I Am Single, Should I Use a Dating Web Site Like Eharmony.com or Christianmingle.com
February/05/2012 05:42 PM Filed in: Marriage, Sex and Dating
The web brought a new dynamic to relationships. It is possible to meet and converse on-line with people you would never normally meet. While this new virtual reality provides exciting opportunities to meet Christians, it also provides a unique set of pitfalls. Here are a few things to remember when using the internet to meet new people.
- It is much easier to present a false identity. I was a youth pastor in internets toddler years. In the youth group I had to teach the kids the importance of not being dishonest about their identity in online chat rooms. It was common for the guys to enter their identity as a 16 year old female just to see how their friends would try to “hit” on them. In the last 15 years the internet has changed but human personality has stayed the same. The internet only provides limited information about a person. On dating sites, people “filter” their information to only present the information they would like known about themselves in their profile. In short, while internet dating sites can be helpful, there is no substitute for meeting face to face and seeing the real person. The more time you spend face to face, the easier it is to discover their true identity.
- Meet the individual sooner rather than later. Because internet relationships only offer a limited amount of information about a person, it is better to meet your prospects sooner than later. Meeting an internet match after a long internet relationship tends to make us base our perceptions of the individual upon our fantasies of them rather than the facts. Our imagination fills in the missing information with what we would like to think is true rather than what is true. Face to face meeting cuts down on those errors of judgment. I have counseled people who not only were misled on line but even gave money to a potential date only to find out they were scammed.
- Most self-identified Christians do not hold Christian values. Just because somebody checks a box that identifies them as a Christian does not mean they are passionate for Jesus and interested in purity until marriage. The biblical blueprint for relationships and marriage is unknown by most Christians. While not all self-professed Christians are this way, many are just looking for a “hook-up” with someone who holds loose biblical values.
- Use a site with a comprehensive personality profile. Sites like eharmony.com use a more comprehensive personality profile. These provide a better chance of meeting somebody who is a good match. Be especially careful of sites that do not use a comprehensive personality profile. It is easier to hide your true identity from others on them.
- Remember it is God who provides the right person, not the internet. While the internet and large church singles ministries provide a statistically better chance of meeting your mate, God is the one who brings the right person into your life at the right time, not the internet. Many young singles neglect prayer in favor of searching the web. Don’t be fooled. Don’t neglect one in favor of the other. God may use the internet to introduce you to your mate but his providence and time is behind it all.