Sunday, May 3, 2015

Online Dating Experiment

OK, it's official. I am not a blogger. LOL. I definitely love writing, and write in a lot of random places, but not consistently on this blog.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way. One of the things I was planning to chronicle in this blog was my journey from being a sad single. Years ago in my 20s, I was totally depressed about being single. My parents married when they were in college, so I figured I would be married by 27 at the latest. But going through my 20s virtually dateless, I found myself desperate for a relationship/marriage. It was definitely a long journey, but through prayer, a focus on my relationship with God, and surrounding myself with a village of sisters in Christ to encourage me, I emerged from that low state. Praise God!

Ummm....but I emerged still dateless. I spend time reading books like I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Choosing God's Best, and hearing folks talk about how the man finds the woman and the woman should wait. I definitely respect those books and those messages, because it is difficult to find out the right way to date when the Bible was not written by people who had any concept of what we call dating. Still, my friends and I who were waiting on the Lord found ourselves waiting, and waiting, and waiting. It was after reading How to Find a Date Worth Keeping by Dr. Henry Cloud, one of the authors of Boundaries, that I found a more balanced look at how to date while still honoring Christ.

I had to acknowledge that I was not taking any personal responsibility for my lack of a dating life. When it comes to finding a job, applying to schools, working towards better health - any other area of our lives - we understand that there are things that we must do, while also praying for God's will. But for some reason we don't apply that same logic to dating - especially women. And for shy, introverts like myself, this spells a recipe for disaster. I rarely meet new people, and when I do they are women.  I have no male friends, and I realize that I really need to work on interacting with males as a part of my preparation to be a wife.

So, I decided to try online dating. (I feel like I need to mention this again here - I did a lot of work on myself before I came to this point - spiritual, emotional, financial work. A woman should first make sure she does the work through prayer, counseling, or whatever it takes to gain confidence in who God created her to be before she embarks on a journey to try to interact with more men. When you are confident and not desperate for a relationship, you can relax and interact with guys without fretting over whether or not he likes you or whether or not he will become your husband. Dating while desperate leads to multiplied hurt and disappointment.)

OK, back to what I was saying, I did some research on how to create an online dating profile, and I put myself out there! I tried the following:

  • eHarmony
  • Christian Mingle
  • BlackChristianPeopleMeet
  • BlackProfessionalPeople Meet
I had looked at online dating sites before, but this time I actually put my picture out there and paid for the sites that showed the most promise. eHarmony and Christian Mingle did not have any matches in my area, so I quickly left those. However, on BlackProfessionalPeopleMeet, there was a guy who I had a lot in common with...and he wrote in complete sentences! Go figure. I knew that I didn't want to get into a pen pal relationship, and that you can't really determine chemistry through email. So, I sent him a message letting him know that I had enjoyed our email exchanges, and I would open to meeting for coffee if he was interested. Guess what? He was interested and replied back with his phone number so we could arrange a time. I'm too embarrassed to say how many YEARS it had been since my last date, so needless to say, I was pretty excited about it.

I'll spend the next few blog posts reflecting on my experiences with online dating.