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Online Dating

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

It amazes me that even God in the first page of the bible says that it is not good for man to be alone. It is no wonder that there are two thousand five hundred love-matching sites in USA. It has never been easier to shop for your perfect match!

When I came out of my self-inflicted solitude I tried different dating sites. I think my experience at it allows me to write a post about it.

What makes people on those online dating sites impatient and rushed? Is it the money they already paid that makes them entitled to see a quick result? Or is it their “inner biological” clock clicking that makes online date surreal, like car shopping, or filling out an employment application?

I felt at times like a steak on a display window of a butcher shop. My grandma used to take me with her to the nearest corner butcher store when I was a little girl and she would look at the display for the best cut of meat to ask the butcher. The funny thing was that my grandma was well known and respected at that store. He would always keep the best piece away from the display case especially for her.

Why the “need to check if there is chemistry”? In innumerous occasions I was asked on a first date in order to check for chemistry. My only take at this is: I can accurately say there was tremendous amount of chemistry between my husband and I, until the very day we signed the divorce papers. The chemistry was not what was missing between us, but respect, support of each other dreams or goals, and friendship. Most importantly we didn’t seem to be walking in the same path or the same direction.  I know full well that chemistry didn’t do much for us except for amazing, beautiful and incredible children.

It is normal for us to desire “a partner”. Specially if we take Gods word at face value. It is a normal desire placed in our hearts by God to connect, to love, to share good and bad moments, to grow, to cheer each other up and to support one another. I think this desire comes from the very nature of God. His very nature is love.

Before I joined online dating sites I was literally dating Jesus and had subscribed to devotional and inspirational sites.

The difference was subtle but profound.

Jesus sites were free, empowering and inspiring type of sites. Online dates were somehow overwhelming, frustrating at times and definitely exciting at the beginning.

Jesus sites made me feel secure. Dating sites made me feel insecure and rejected when I wouldn’t hear back from a person.

Dates sites made me feel pressured to meet quickly, pressured to check for chemistry, pressured to see if this is going anywhere.

Jesus gave me time to know him, was patient with my craziness and lack of response at times, allowed me to take my time, never questioned where would we be in 6 months nor brought marriage discussions to the table, never appeared needy or in bad financial shape.

Jesus loved me unconditionally whereas online dating made me feel that my looks were all that mattered, or worse, I wasn’t qualified for the job. I usually perform a lot better once I feel comfortable and relaxed. It does takes time for me to open up and Jesus was a master of letting me flourish slowly like a garden coming out of winter frost into the blowing spring. Most dates made me want to go right back into the cold winter days.

Given, I did meet a very decent, kind man online. I met a lot of people with pains and sorrows from hard divorce experiences. I met people who genuinely loved their children and wanted to do the right thing. I also met unkind, rushed men, who only wanted to check me out as if I was a car parked in a parking lot ready for purchase.

Why did I give up Jesus sites and try online men-dating sites? Well, I never claimed to be a perfect Christian. I always laugh remembering when my mother would tell me things as a teenager. I never listened.  When I look back, she was always right.

When I look back at my walk away from dating Jesus full time, I see that I allowed doubt to permeate my heart. I started to doubt that the perfect time would present itself to me to meet my so-called suitable helper. I started to wonder if I should help God find my other half.

I began to wonder if He knew the urgency of the matter. See, I am not a kid anymore; I am well into my 40’s.

Another reason was perhaps jealousy. Everyone was on those match sites, everyone was “enjoying” life and here I was waiting.

Truth be told, I wasn’t waiting. I was growing. Most of us don’t know what we want and many of us are not ready for a relationship until we are happy and at peace with our lives.  Most of us, overlook what we care the most about to accommodate a partner because the opportunity may never present itself again. It is like missing a train in a platform. We think another train may never come, but another train always comes. It is just a matter of time.

I understand the genuine desire for us (people in our 30’, 40′ or 50′) to meet someone to share a life with. As one friend jokingly said” I don’t want to meet a person when I am on my walker”.

However, it is not by rushing the fundamental steps that we are going to get perfect yummy homemade bread out of the oven. Moreover, what I noticed, and that includes myself, was that most people don’t know what they want. They project on a partner the desire for happiness that only comes from a relationship with our own self or a relationship with the one that encompasses love.

One incident in particular was a person that claimed to want a serious relationship but eventually told me that he couldn’t see himself bringing his children into the picture because he was clearly not ready. He even said that he would like to see one of his daughters a bit older before he settles.

Overall, my take on it all is, try dating Jesus first. If you ever decide to join an online dating site for men, don’t rush-take your time, listen to what people say and take it at face value.

Please, no shirt-less pictures, or all those porn-like magazine portraits. Go on dates and don’t let anyone pressure you. Don’t create expectations or think about marriage before ever meeting in person. Don’t think about marriage period. Don’t talk too much; let the other person reveal himself or herself. Have fun and read the signs. It may sound old fashion but it does work. Don’t have sex until you know each other really well, and that may take several months. Anyone can fool us for a long while.

Make time your friend. Discipline yourself to one date a week and see if they are as patient as Jesus is.

Remember two people can’t walk together if they don’t agree. Make sure you know your values, your passions and what matters the most for you. It may simply never work, if either of you are not in the same level spiritually, financially or emotionally. Take care of yourself, meet your needs first and be happy before jumping on those online date sites.

God bless,

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