Navigating the modern world of dating is hard for anyone, but these days it seems increasingly difficult if your faith is a key factor. Most Christians are seeking a partner who shares their beliefs in God and their morals that flow from that. But with traditional church attendance down, that leaves many Christian singles asking, “How and where do I find that person?”
Add in a global pandemic and the strain of a divisive culture where saying the wrong thing could cause serious tension and dating feels overwhelming. Queue, dating apps!
Use a Reputable Dating Site for Christian Singles
I know what you’re thinking here, fellow Christian. A dating app? Is that a godly way to find a spouse?
When they first launched, dating apps got a very bad rap for being geared towards singles looking to engage in hookup culture. Considering that isn’t a recommended way to find love by the church, it’s no wonder that Christians were deterred from using them.
However, dating apps have evolved past their initial forms and now offer a way for singles to connect, date and be upfront about what they’re looking for. Mainstream apps like Bumble, Hinge and more allow for you to indicate your faith and even list it as a “deal breaker.” There are also now apps geared towards helping Christians find love.
Dating apps in and of themselves are not inherently bad. Like any other digital tool, they can be used for immoral things but they can also be a great format to start testing out the dating waters. As long as you look at them through a lens of faith, there is no reason you can’t find a godly spouse.
Set Your Expectations
Before you jump into the world of dating, figure out beforehand what your expectations are. Do you want to casually date to get a better sense of what you’re looking for? Or are you looking for something more serious? If you’re on an app, most allow you to select what kind of relationship you’re looking for on your profile.
Assess Your Motivations
Dating apps can be fun or a great tool for finding love! But it’s important to check with yourself first: are you in a good place to start dating? If you’re hitting the download button while crying over your ex with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s saying you’ll “show him” then maybe pause. This may be a digital platform, but there are real people on the other end of the screen.
Throw Out “The List”
A common plague in the Christian dating world is the idea of “the list” – the idea that the list of attributes you wrote down in your fourth-grade journal all perfectly coexist in one person out in the world. I am all for having standards and looking for someone who has key commonalities with you. But if they have the core things you’re looking for, maybe don’t swipe left on everyone who doesn’t have the exact hair or eye color you’re dreaming of.
Decide Your Deal Breakers
Speaking of core qualities, if faith is a deal breaker, think about using an app that is either geared toward Christians or one that allows you to include your faith on your profile. There are a lot of mainstream apps like Bumble, Hinge, etc. that allow you to filter by faith. Just don’t ignore it and then get your hopes up every time you see a cute profile only to realize your faiths don’t match up.
Don’t Feel Obligated
Just because you’re dating online, doesn’t mean you have to send a message to every match. If you see red flags at any point, politely end the conversation. You don’t owe them a conversation or a date if you already know this isn’t going anywhere.
Don’t Worry About “The One”
There can be a lot of pressure in the Christian dating world of finding “the one.” I think this falls in line with the concept of “the list.” While it is a good idea to pray and discern about serious relationships, don’t get carried away thinking you should be able to know if they’re right for you from a profile. That is what conversation and dating is for! It’s ok to not know right away.
Test It Out “IRL”
If you’ve been talking to a match and feel there is chemistry and potential, meet in real life! Dating apps are a great tool, but they aren’t designed to mimic real life dates. If you’re nervous to ask them to meet up, you can make subtle hints. Ask them their favorite coffee shop and suggest you could grab a cold brew there that week. Chances are if you’ve been talking long enough, they’re excited to meet you too.
Don’t Keep Score
No matter how many dates you go on, you only end up with one winner. Don’t be hard on yourself if you have a few dud dates along the way. It happens! And who knows; maybe one of your dates that isn’t a romantic fit becomes a friend… and they introduce you to their cousin, who is your winner!
Do What Works for You
There is always endless advice from your family, friends, and strangers on the internet about dating. But ultimately only you (and God) know what is right at the end of the day.
The Bottom Line
Trust the process. God has the right person for you. There is nothing you can do to derail that – or speed it up! Maybe your guy is on that dating app you downloaded, or maybe the experience will prepare you for your coffee shop meet-cute. Either way, remember to have fun with the process and that there is no one-size-fits-all for finding love.