Monday, October 17, 2011

Online Dating? Opinions & Cautions

Online dating

It's here to stay.  Talk to any single and you can be sure that they've got an opinion on this whole scenario.  I've heard tales of laughable profiles and creepy texts, of great anxiety and heartbreaking disappointment.

I've talked to more than one woman who's sworn she'll never head back there again. 

I also know first-hand of one couple's discovery of true love online.  Jonathan and Allison, pictured here, were married in June.  {And no - this is not a wedding photo!}

So what do you do if you're ready, willing, and able to head into some sort of serious relationship.  And you find that you're soon disillusioned as you realize that opportunities to find a potential soulmate in your neck of the woods seem as rare as hen's teeth.

Christianity Today recently asked the question, "Is online dating for Christians?"  An anthropologist, a writer, and a ministry leader weighed in with three opinions: 

With Gusto!

No; Trust God

With Caution

Click here for the three opinions.
{And take special note of the wise cautions.}
 
I'm sure Jonathan will be weighing in with his experience.  How 'bout you?  Click the orange comment link below ...
Linda

8 comments:

  1. I am the product of more than 20% of marriages stemming from online dating. In fact, that statistic is a few years old so I wouldn't be surprised if 25% is more accurate now. I did not enter the online dating arena craving relational closeness or filled with angst over my status as a single young adult male. I chose to utilize online dating in tandem with "traditional" methods to enable myself to meet other people and allow God to guide our paths from any interactions that came forth. What I found was an environment that challenges fundamental beliefs and desires in a mate. What do you do when with a click of a button you can control height, weight, marital status (would I consider a widow or a divorcee), race, geographical distance, pets, prior children, and recreational interests? And even if all of those factors can align, you can also search based on denomination, alcohol use, and tobacco use. What results is that serious online dating users are challenged to the core of their beliefs and views in what they are willing to consider in a mate.

    With those factors in mind, unlike Leslie Ludy, I don't see "hunting" for a spouse and focusing God as being mutually exclusive. Though far more severe situations, I find her arguments to be tantamount to Christians who withhold medical care due to believing "God will heal me" or who don't wear a seatbelt because "God will take me if He wants me". I do not dispute that God can certainly heal without modern medicine just as easily as He can have a minor fender-bender result in death. Where I see a distinction is that each of these three situations (now adding online dating into the mix), though God can act in any way that He so desires, He has also provided His creation with the ingenuity and ability to come up with new approaches in medicine, safety, and dating which are not inherently bad. We can use them with discretion and caution...which I think is a useful approach to online dating.

    As a result I don't disagree with the third author's point to be cautious. There are those on Christian dating sites who hold non-Biblical views. Others are there on the "rebound" from a hurtful relationship and aren't ready for a new relationship to form. But I have also met some wonderful people through these sites, including my wife. In fact, I would say that I was more prepared when I met her BECAUSE of online dating. The reality of online courtship actually encouraged a strong relationship for us. When you only have a webcam and 700 miles between yourselves, you must build a strong communication foundation. We had to be creative in our long-distance dates (playing Blokus online, making separate meals but eating together, doing Bible Studies). My hope, is that others are aware of the merits and cautions of online dating and will use their God-given discretion to make good decisions. Maybe they will find themselves walking around Wal-Mart late one night buying mime makeup and matching outfits to celebrate their first Halloween Party as a married couple...no longer separated by 700 miles.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes! God is more than able to provide us with that "ingenuity and creativity" in medicine, safety ... and dating, too.

    He is an "out-of-the-box" God - nothing is too difficult or challenging for him ... and He's able to bring relationships into our lives in any way that would give Him {and us} joy.

    For your thoughts and your photo and just for being you ... thanks, Jonathan!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am the proud mother of the two mimes in the picture! When I heard that Jonathan was using online dating, I was concerned about who he would meet, would he be able to discern whether the person was being honest or deceitful and what kind of girl would use online dating?

    I soon realized that the girl was the one I had been praying for, Jonathan's entire life! She is a woman who loves the Lord, is open to His leading, is an encourager and a prayer warrior. She is funny, intelligent, caring and has filled our family with joy.

    These two young people are the kinds of individuals who have followed God's leading to use online dating and I am glad they did!

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  4. I love that you referred to the woman that Jonathan married as your child. By calling her your daughter, not a daughter-in-law, you have given her one of the highest compliments a mother-in-law could extend.

    What a beautiful tribute.

    You are deeply blessed, Marilyn!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing nice online dating tips and advice.......
    Keep such online dating tips and advice continue......
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    ReplyDelete
  6. Our blog's continued goal is to integrate every area of our lives - relationships, workplace, health, leadership, family, homekeeping - with our faith in Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for dropping by!

    ReplyDelete
  7. These days, many people use this kind of sites to speak with new people, because it's much easy to stay at home. I know lots of people who met their spouse with the help of these sites and with an eharmony promotional code. It's a great voucher with free membership and you can look up on some sites, to see if they are the perfect ones!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've heard some good things about eharmony ... thanks for dropping by, Rosa!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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