As long-time readers of my blog (you folks are awesome!) already know, I’ve dedicated this blog to saying the things that the Church is afraid to say–to being brutally honest about my own struggles and mistakes and life choices. I haven’t held much back.
But I’ve got to be real with you all today.
I’ve been hiding something.
Something that I’ve been too proud to talk about.
But it’s time for pride to go before a fall…
It’s time for the truth to come out.
Alright…deep breath…here goes!
I met my boyfriend on a Christian dating website.
Sigh of relief. Okay, it’s out. You now know my deepest darkest secret. I was not only crazy enough to try out a dating website, but I was crazy enough to date someone else who was ALSO crazy enough to try out a dating website.
It was called “Christian Café,” too. Ugh. So cheesy. And the payment plans were named after coffee-shop beverages, like the “mocha grande plan.” Ughhhhhh (I didn’t actually pay for the service, but Abe did and I like to tease him about that).
Anyways, now you know the truth.
Really, though, it’s the 21st century. I shouldn’t be any more ashamed about meeting my partner on (shudders) Christian Café then I would be about meeting my partner in a local Starbucks. But I am.
Why is it so embarrassing for people to admit that they met their partner on the internet? Why did Abe’s and my third date involve a “What are we going to tell people when they ask how we met?” conversation? What’s wrong with online dating?
Let’s talk about some of the negative things people say about online dating, shall we?
“Anyone who uses an internet dating service is desperate.”
Okay, I’ll admit it. I was desperate.
When I signed up for Christian Café, I was going to school as a full time student in a demanding major and I was working forty hours a week at Taco Bell. I would get off of work at 6 am, enjoy an hour or two of “free time” (more like, “pick pieces of soggy taco out of my hair” time), go to class all day, come back to my dorm and get four hours of sleep, then wake up, go to work and do it again.
I was at a school where I barely knew anyone. I didn’t have time to make friends. My roommates were fast asleep when I got home from work. The only conversations I’d have for weeks at a time were arguments with drunk customers about why their cell phones are not accepted as currency in exchange for tacos.
Yeah, I was desperate. Not for love or for romance. Just for some dang human interaction.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s okay to need human interaction. It’s a need that almost everyone shares. Some people can fulfill that need by calling up a few friends or going to a party. But there’s nothing wrong with fulfilling that need in other ways, even if the words “Christian Café” are involved.
And you know what? Even if you have plenty of friends and a social life, it’s okay to want to go on a date. That doesn’t make you weak or desperate, even if you meet your date on the internet.
“Anyone who uses an internet dating service is just too socially awkward to meet people in person.”
First of all, I’m sure this doesn’t describe everyone who uses dating services. Some people work weird hours and can’t have normal social lives as a result. Some people just don’t know anyone who is a potential partner.
And then, yes, some of us are socially awkward. Again, I am guilty as charged.
Who cares, though? You extroverts have ruled the dating scene for far too long. We introverts shouldn’t have to change our personality styles in ways that make us uncomfortable in order to get a date. Online dating lets us socially awkward people get to know each other without having to go through the painful process of small talk.
There’s nothing wrong with meeting people the old fashioned way, but there’s nothing wrong with us introverts using new technology to our advantage either.
“The internet is filled with creepy people.”
To that I say, so is the world. That doesn’t mean we don’t leave our houses.
Don’t turn off your common sense when you turn on your computer. Be careful and follow safety tips like these and you should be fine.
“If you’re a Christian, you should wait on God to bring you a date.”
This stems from the idea that God hand-picks The One for you, and that you should wait passively and patiently until He sends The One down on a unicorn from heaven.
You would never say, “God promised to provide me with food. I know there’s some in the fridge, but I think I’m going to wait for him to bring me the right sandwich.”
Why do we do that with relationships? God made a world full of awesome people and it’s our job to get to know those people and find a person that we like and form a relationship with that person. And no method of meeting people is more or less “divine” than another.
Online dating worked for me and Abe. We both have the same favorite jelly bean flavor and I think that makes us soul mates. We also both have the same tennis shoes and I think that makes us sole mates. But we would have never gotten to know those things about each other without the help of the internet.
Online dating helped two socially awkward people fall in love.
Have any of you ever tried online dating? Did it work for you? Why or why not? Don’t be ashamed! Your story can’t be more embarrassing than my “Christian Cafe” story! Hah!