Practical Online Dating Tips for the Single Christian.
9 Online Dating Success Tips for Single Christians – Most singles would like to find someone to spend their lives with, but traditional routes of meeting other singles have gone by the wayside. Married couples don’t typically have many single friends so that leaves limited connections for those singles over twenty-seven.
A majority of churches build their programs to appeal to families with small children and have eliminated many of their single groups. In the workplace, there are too many rules and bad consequences to dating other employees. Not least of all, our society has become more self-centered and geared on perfection in others making it unfortunate that when we do have a friend that sets us up on a blind date, we eliminate them before even meeting.
All of these play a role in finding someone whom you can build a relationship with but with their decline, we are forced to accept the possibility that online dating is a legitimate means to meet people. Generally, in online dating, as with all dating, there are limitations. However with online dating, there is one more consideration; it can be dangerously unreal.
What are Statistics?
According to StaticBrain.com (as of 7-7-2014) there are nearly 54 million single people with 41 million who have tried online dating. That means that about 75% of all singles have used online dating at one point or another.
In an effort to get a full picture of online dating, I have tried just about every dating website or online tool available. I spent over seven years using and researching these various services. I have been on many dates arranged from online dating websites. A date typically consisted of coffee or something small of that nature. While I typically only went on one date within a 24-hour period, the most dates totaled three. Some called for traveling to different states and one even had me working on a farm for the day in Southern Illinois. Most dates lasted an hour, while the extreme was twelve hours. Out of all those dates, about 20% of them turned into a second date. Of those, about 20% lasted for at least thirty days of dating, with only three lasting longer than ninety days.
I tell you all this only to shed light on the experience of having met many women from online dating. I have read hundreds of online profiles and have found funny faux pas in most of them. For example: the most common thing women state on their profile is that they “like to laugh.” I have read that line so many times, it makes me laugh. Who doesn’t like to laugh? (I know many of you are heading to your profile right now to remove that sentence.)
9 Online Dating Success Tips for Single Christians
To make us wiser with online dating, here are nine tips that can help us to experience something authentic and real, while guiding our heart.
1. Your imagination is yours.
Here is the deal; people are not what you imagine them to be. You see a picture, read a few words, maybe chat online, on the phone, and then have coffee. In the process, you have created a fantasy in your mind of who this person is, and for at least a few dates, they may fit that. But the reality is they are not who you’ve imagined, and neither are you for that matter. You are just setting yourself up for failure if you let your imagination lead. Only time and conversation can help you understand the person who sits in front of you. Lose the imagination because it’s an illusion.
2. Don’t act too serious but be serious.
The goal is to be balanced so that you can make the right assessment about your prospect. You must be both clown and interrogator. On one date, the lady I met (for the first time) recounted for me every bad dating experience she’d had and then warned me that she wasn’t going to settle for anything less the best. That’s a given isn’t it? We all want the best so there is no need to state the obvious. Her abrupt conversation resulted in me never wanting to go out on a second date with her as she was “too serious.” She was clearly on a self-centered mission of marriage rather than on the mission of relationship.
3. Do your research.
Do your research ahead of time. Thanks to Google, we can know everything publically available about a person prior to going on a date. I encourage you to ask questions about the person you are interested in. I had one instance where the young lady had a warrant out for her arrest because she forgot to pay a speeding ticket. Needless to say, I asked her about it and she had no idea. Discovery of who a person is, is the fun part of dating, however, red flags should always be taken seriously. (Just don’t let them initially know you are into “research” because you then become a creeper.)
4. Be an interviewer.
As with all dating, first meetings are always exciting. But the excitement can sometimes over shadow real conversation especially when there is an attraction. Treat this like an interview for a person you want to hire as an employee, but keep your tone informal. I have been on some dates where women were so scared they were shaking. You don’t want that affect so choose a balanced approach in getting to know someone. Follow the flow of the conversation and ask the right questions at the right time. If you give a person room to talk you can uncover anything you need to know.
5. Ask good questions.
I have literally developed a “questions” sheet with in excess of 200 questions that have come from my experiences in dating. I add to it all the time, and remove questions that aren’t relevant any longer. If the first date warrants a second, the questions get a little deeper. All of these questions are balanced, meaning both serious and funny questions are asked in order to get the person talking so that you can uncover their core character. One of my favorite serious questions is, How did you learn what it meant to be a woman? A fun question I ask often is, What was your favorite age to be and why? This gets them talking about their past and the value they place on their childhood or upbringing.
6. Never be too open.
It’s your job to discover the real person in front of you and allow them to discover you. Unfortunately, the digital world is filled with miserly people who want nothing better than to hurt someone to offset their own hurt. Guard your words and your heart. This doesn’t mean that you can’t let someone in a little at a time. After all, they want to know the real you, just not all at once. As a whole, it’s both parties’ job to provide clear communication. If you find that there is not clear communication or consistent excuses arise, then it’s probably time to move on. Someone who is really interested in you will reciprocate with clear communication.
7. Give it space (Don’t Rush).
I have met some pretty incredible women over the years. When I found someone who seemed very compatible, all I wanted to do was immediately pursue her. Of course I learned early on, that’s the quickest way to end something before it starts and expose an open heart to be hurt. Your part in the beginning of any relationship is to show interest, but take it slow. Savor the time, the moments, and the conversation, as it really makes the whole experience more enjoyable and memorable. Some of those memories for me include brown sugar bacon, 4th of July at the St Louis Arch, laughing on the beach, and sushi conversation.
8. Be willing to walk away.
Online dating can be the avenue that you find your future mate. It can also be the greatest source of hurt in your life. Taking your time to get past the fake parts will secure a more realistic perception of those you are allowing into your life. I have many friends who are happily married and met their spouse online. But just remember; it’s not real until you discover the reality in that person. At any point you have to be willing to walk away from your perception when you discover the truth. In my case, early on in my dating ventures I would linger around too long to see if there was something I missed. But I learned quickly that when I relied on the questions I mentioned above, it typically exposed things that didn’t work for me and I could walk away. Just take heed that the longer you continue in a relationship once you’ve discovered some non-negotiables, the easier it will be for you to compromise yourself.
9. Perspective is key!
One of the dangers of online dating that it gives a person the ability to re-create themselves into whoever they want to be. Anyone can write a profile to present themselves as the most incredible person. However, little untruths can be hidden in the facade. Their pictures are from 10 years ago, they understate their age, they list hobbies that they aspire to do but in actuality, never have done. Maybe you have tried that route or maybe, you chose to be you, but in comparison to everyone else, that doesn’t seem to be good enough. Or is it? I have met women outside of online dating that rejected my profile from the dating website, only to seek something more after the unplanned meeting.
Who you are can’t digitally be defined.
Let that sink in. Don’t allow the lack of choices or dates cause you to make wrong choices by re-creating who you are online. Be authentic. Here is an excerpt from my old dating profile that was highly responded to:
I have tried online dating a few times over the years. One thing I have found that holds true is that it is nearly impossible to judge the character of a person online; the core of who they are!
To prove my worthiness I could include pictures which show my well-traveled sophistication, my comedic abilities, or my blatant stupidity. I could write a romantic one-liner telling you how deep I feel, a comedic master piece leaving you laughing and surprised for days, or write the two most stupid words ever uttered by a man “you’re hot”. I could give you details of how much success I’ve seen or maybe tell you of all the failures. Yet somehow I feel it’s all lost. After all, you’re here because you’re bored, or maybe in need an ego boost, or don’t have the time or network of people to find something meaningful.
Maybe you have depth to your character or you just want a drink, smoke, and to listen some good music. Yet, who you really are can’t digitally be defined by two sentences, a couple check boxes, and a cell phone picture.
The average person online gives 10 seconds or less of their attention to what they click on. After all, sexy or stupid, well written or grammatically challenged it’s virtually impossible to find out who you are unless you allow yourself to be known.
Conclusion to 9 Online Dating Success Tips for Single Christians
You have a responsibility to keep a balanced approach and keep your imagination in check, and you have an opportunity to ask great questions and uncover the real person in front of you. Ultimately you are more than just finding anyone or settling for less than God’s best for you. What that looks like has to be defined well before you step out on a first date.
God calls us to be responsible for our heart and to guard it diligently. The first step in any relationship venture is to be emotionally, spiritually, and physically ready for whatever God has planned for you. This means focusing on your core principles so that when the opportunity of a quality person is in front of you, you can recognize it and enjoy the journey of dating. Guard yourself against someone seeking anything but who you truly are. 9 Online Dating Success Tips for Single Christians – For more information about George Lamelza visit GeorgeLamelza.com