I am more forgiving when things don’t go exactly how I’d like, I’m more trusting, and I’m more willing to give credit and glory to God, too.
I’m finally having an honest conversation with myself about dating, and I’m ready to invite God to be a bigger part of the conversation.
But have I really allowed God to work through the Internet in my life?
Have I truly given Him permission to show up in my profile and in my messages?
Have I been gracious with the men I meet, trusting in God, open about my faith and desires and expectations? If I don’t know what I want, how can I expect these men to know?
In my personal experience of online dating, most people are either looking for sex quickly, or they’re looking to build a strong emotional connection fast. I like the uncertainty and the flirtation and the social aspect of dating. As I’ve learned, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it doesn’t matter how many matches you acquire, or how many dates you go on, or even whether the people you go out with share your exact beliefs.
And to be honest, I’m not really looking for either of those things. Sure it’s flattering to discover all my matches or to receive messages, but what am I actually doing with those interactions? It’s easier for me to let God direct me when I’m not swiping left or right and wondering whether I’ve rejected or chosen the wrong guy, when I’m not the one moving the mouse. Or, more importantly, none of this matters if you’re not ready to surrender the situation to God.
In “real life,” it feels more serendipitous when I meet someone or get asked on a date. I’m not sure there’s a right way, or even a wrong way, to date as a Christian. There are many roads to a good relationship; just like every person is unique, every relationship will be also, as two people learn how to walk together.The way I see it, I have a responsibility to be honest about what I want and need and about what I am capable of. I know I am not the best version of myself online, but I find it easy and a joy to show who I really am and get to know others in person.You can find my face, height, interests, and a quick summation of my irresistible wit on no less than five sites. It brings out something especially judgmental in me. I make hasty decisions when I learn things that it might take me weeks to learn about someone organically.But just last week I deleted those dating apps from my phone. If I’m honest with myself, I bring those apps back when I’m lonely, I need some affirmation, or if I’m just plain bored. In the first moments of discovering a profile, things that aren’t dealbreakers for me in “real life” suddenly become grave issues.Online, I have the opportunity to make a judgment call based on grammar or an affinity for anime or one unlucky gym selfie. It means carefully selecting current photos in which I only have one chin.And often, I’m ashamed to admit, it means being honest that I have faith but being intentionally scant on the details, because I’d rather explain myself in person.