Christian Internet Dating–It Works!

Christian Internet Dating: It Works!I’m a natural matchmaker. I sit in bed at night and obsess over all the single people I know, and who they would work well with.

I’ve even tried to fix some of them up, to rather disastrous results.

I’m just like Jane Austen’s Emma, though with a little more personal self-awareness.

But I can’t help the fact that it BOTHERS me when I know Christian singles who aren’t single by choice. I know that God can be enough. I know that God can give them joy, and can do great things through them, and that their lives can be full. And I know many single people who are quite satisfied that way.

Others, though, really did want to get married. And I think that’s a good thing, and an honourable thing. I don’t like thinking of people being lonely, especially when I know how wonderful a family can be.

I met my husband in university. It was a prime time to meet one’s mate; we were surrounded by single people, of the same age, and we all went to church and campus Christian groups together. Probably about half of my friends married people from university.

The other half married shortly thereafter, or else didn’t marry at all. Once you’re done university, it gets harder to find a mate. It doesn’t mean you won’t, and I do believe that God can bring the right person along any time (I know two young people in their twenties who met a mate on the mission field–in the middle of nowhere!) But it does get harder, because you’re not in a place where there’s the same pool of single Christians.

I worked briefly after university, when I was married, and my workplace was primarily female. If I’d had to rely on work to find a mate, I’d have been in trouble.

And once you’ve worked through the singles at the church you go to, what do you then do? You can try other churches in your city, but if you’re in a small city, like I am, that gets tough, too.

About eight or nine years ago some of my friends starting trying internet dating services. I was really suspicious at first. What if you meet creeps? How do you know what they’re really like? And aren’t most people on internet dating desperate and pathetic?

But that wasn’t the case at all. Five of my friends that I can think of, off of the top of my head, met through internet dating. And there are internet dating sites like www.eharmony.com.au that gives you the chance to meet compatible Christian singles close to your location without moving from home.

Here are the stories of my friends:

(Names changed) Diane was a 40-something teacher. She met a man who had been divorced because his wife left him. They’ve been married now for about five years and are quite happy.

Amy was also a 40-something teacher. She met another divorced man (he’d been divorced for almost fifteen years after a very brief marriage when his wife left). They’re having a blast.

Lorraine was in her early 30s. She met a guy who lived about three hours away. They married a year later and now have 3 kids.

Hannah was in her mid 30s. She’d dated off and on but nothing stuck. She says she was given six matches, and 3 were creeps and 2 were weird, but the last one was amazing. Great job, great family. He just had never gotten married because he’d been so busy building his business he hadn’t had time to date and the years had gotten away from him.

And Leslie was in her early 30s. She spent six years on the mission field in her 20s, and returned home at 28 thinking it wouldn’t be hard to get married now. But she just couldn’t meet anyone single. She met a man who was a farmer, super busy, and had never had time to meet anyone. She’s a vet, so it worked out perfectly.

Internet Dating

All five couples are Christians and married strong Christians. All still go to church and serve God with their husbands. Two of my friends married divorced men (but their wives had left), and three found men who had never been married at all–no baggage or anything.

Watching them really changed my mind about internet dating. As long as you’re specifically looking for a Christian, and you’re very upfront about issues like, “do you pray? What’s your favourite Bible verse? Where do you serve in church?”, then you’re doing well.

All five did meet some men they really didn’t like, but that’s par for the course, I guess. And their identities were kept private during the initial conversations so that if the person was creepy, you could just ban them or delete them and they couldn’t contact you again.

So I honestly now suggest to people who are single who do want to be married that they try it. Just be up front about who you are and what you want, and be very vocal about your faith, and see what happens. We live in an increasingly fragmented society, and it does get very hard to meet people. But that doesn’t mean those people aren’t there.

If you have friends or family members that are single, then, I’d say give it a whirl!

What do you think? Did any of you meet your spouses through internet dating? Tell me your experience!

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Comments

  1. 5 and a half years married, 6 and a half years together. Knew almost immediately he was the one – we were open from the beginning tho – testimonies exchanged first week of email. First phone call was 3+ hours. First meeting in person I took my best friend and her hubby. Just be wise and seek the Lord’s wisdom! Glad I stepped out of my comfort zone!

  2. I think it may be more accurate to say “It works for some”. I do personally know of a couple that met online and are happily married–which is great! But I’ve also personally literally spent close to a decade on numerous online dating sites (secular and Christian), and to no avail. Of course, I’m not exactly an adonis, but like so many things in life, there simply are never any guarantees. A godly lady once shared with me that: “I wish, in an ideal world, there would be a gathering for area singles that love the Lord and are so busy serving Him that they don’t have time to meet each other.”

    Out of the frustration, I’m choosing to let God bring someone if marriage is something He chooses to bless me with. That may sound like I’m just lazy, but the reality is my own efforts have failed, and I do believe God is more than capable. In the meantime, while it’s an ongoing struggle to be content with singleness, I want to learn what I can about life and marriage from others, and be an advocate for truth wherever God has me.

  3. ButterflyWings says:

    I tried internet dating for three years and it was a disaster. 90% of guys on christian dating sites or who call themselves christians on general sites were nothing like christians in their attitudes toward marriage and sex. They wanted sex, and their version of “waiting” was to give you til the 3rd or 4th date before demanding sex. As soon as you mention that you don’t have sex outside of marriage, they don’t want to know you.

    Then you get the 9% who are judgmental pigs. Men who are “experienced” themselves most of the time, but who treat women who have never had sex outside of marriage but who have been married and are widowed or divorced through no fault of their own, who claim to be serious christians with strong morals but who have no problem with calling women “sl*ts” because they dare to consider dating again after losing their husbands.

    And then you get the other 1%. Some of whom are decent guys, most though are broken in some other way. In my time of internet dating I only met three guys who didn’t dump women for not having sex before marriage and who weren’t hypocritical holier-than-thou types. And of those three? Two had serious disabilities that they lied about (one admitted to having a physical disability but deliberately hid that he had a serious intellectualy disability, even getting his friends and a social worker to compose his emails to me and help him with his live chats to me). I have no problem with disabilities – I do have a problem with liars.

    And the out of the many guys I contacted who wasn’t a perv, a pig or a liar? There was the one remaining one who seemed like a great guy. We shared heaps of hobbies and interests, we seemed to have the same strong christian values, and he seemed to be in a similar situation to me. I was uni student and a full time single parent of one child, and he was an unemployed full time single parent to five kids. Like my first husband, his wife had run off with a lover and left him with the kids to pick up the pieces and I thought we understood each other. Things were going great, I thought it was time to meet up to decide if we wanted to date, and then his answer shocked me – he didn’t want to date me because to him I was 1. too “old” for him despite the fact HE was 11 years OLDER than me, 2. I was slightly overweight – he announced he doesn’t date women bigger than a size 10 (for those in the US, and I assume canada uses the same sizing, that’s a size 6) despite the fact he was very obesely overweight himself. 3. he didn’t date unemployed people – despite being unemployed himself and the fact that I was studying full time at the time and planning to work at least part time when I graduated.

    I didn’t care he was much older, more overweight than me, bald, not good looking at all, unemployed with five kids in his full time care (and no child support or anything so dirt broke), but he on the other hand…. I can see why he hadn’t had a date since his wife left him more than 5 years ago if all he wanted to date was a supermodel half his age who earns a lot of money.

    And that was my experience with internet dating. In the end I met my husband, who (despite our problems) has a good heart and is genuinely christian, at a wild drunken birthday party of a mutua friend of all places. Neither of us knew that the party was going to be full of drunks who abused each other, but we bonded while hiding away in a quite corner talking geeky things – my love of star wars, his love of starcraft.

    You never know where you’ll find your spouse. Don’t let me put you off internet dating – there ARE some good guys out there – but be prepared to sift through a lot of fakes and hypocrites and liars until you find the diamond amongst all the coal.

  4. I’m not willing to say poo-poo on internet dating services, but it feels too much like “this is what I want and I’m gonna get it”. Sometimes we don’t understand that what we really want is not good for us at this time, and we need to wait. On the other hand, I’ve “met” some great folks online and really enjoy some ‘internet friendships’.

    I was just short of 29 when I got married. I wanted to be married from age 18. I hoped I’d meet Mr. Hubby at college, but nope. Then I hoped I’d meet him on the mission field, but nope. Then I hoped I’d meet him in grad school — and I did the last year of my schooling. I had to wait 11 years! Then, when we tried to get pregnant, it didn’t happen, and I had to wait another 4 years for a child. Now, we want another child and we are waiting, again. Darn waiting! Why does God make we wait for things I know are good for me! (please here the sarcasm there :P)

    We live in a society that says decide what you want and go for it, but I question if that is really a good thing.

    But in all, the most important thing is community. Do you both, however you met, live in community with others such that the others can say “yes, he/she really is who they say they are”? Its easy to be fake when you only see each other on Friday or Saturday night. You need to be in a group of friends together so you can live life out before one another and others.

    And just about all my good friends where late 20s, early 30s and early 40s before they got married, And none of them met their hubby/wifey online. I really question of children of today are ‘grown up’ enough in college to have the maturity to say yes to marriage. Adulthood, at least in the US, is getting pushed back further and further, and I’m fairly convinced it needs to be adults who get married.

    Well, lots of random thoughts and concerns. Hope it makes some sense!
    Rachael recently posted…lessons learnedMy Profile

    • Rachael, I think the community aspect is so important. I don’t know all the stories of all five of my friends inside and out, but I do know two of them, within a month of meeting the guys in real life, insisted on going to church with them and meeting people from their small groups (which they felt was even more important than family–who you choose to spend time with, and to see whether they really served in church at all).

      I guess after thinking about it I think MEETING someone online is a very viable option for people. But unless you then move it to real life and understand their community, and make sure that they are actually IN a Christian community, it isn’t enough.

    • I really agree with what you said about some college students not being “grown up” enough to say “I do” (and this is coming from a happily married young person). I would say that it is a cultural problem of no one teaching or expecting us to grow up. Young people CAN be responsible adults in the U.S., but why would they? Literally no one expects responsibility from us. We are “too young” for certain tax breaks and jobs that we qualify for, many parents are happy to support their children and don’t want them to marry, if you make terrible choices (in relationships, finances, etc) there is an expectation to just quit or be bailed out of it. It is terribly and daily frustrating for the young actually doing our best to be “grown ups.”
      This was a little off topic-sorry. For online dating, it has worked for some that I know and I don’t see any harm in trying it cautiously.

  5. My husband and I didn’t meet online, but we started our relationship long-distance and used the internet a lot. We met at a conference in South Carolina while he was living in Virginia and I was living in Mississippi. We started emailing and shortly thereafter God moved me to North Carolina and we were able to date face-to-face. However, being still an hour and a half apart, much of our communication was online and by phone. Modern technology made things much easier for us.

    There is a couple in our church that met online at a Christian dating site. He’s from Virginia and she’s from the Philippines. She moved to the US to marry him and they seem to have a really good marriage and they have a cute little boy. I know it works sometimes so it’s worth trying as long as you’re careful and actually spend some time face-to-face.
    Lindsay Harold recently posted…The Difference Between Liberalism and ConservatismMy Profile

  6. I did not meet my husband on-line, but the first year we were dating, we did go to 5 weddings, three of which were for couples who HAD met on-line. So I am very much of the “it works for some” camp. Also, Rachael above, I totally see where you’re coming from with the waiting on God bit. I went that route too in (not) dating. At the same time, I can see where people are coming from who want to pursue on-line dating, or set ups from friends. Maybe pursuing something you want – marriage – but not demanding that it happen at any cost would be a good attitude in those situations? Also, again with Rachael, the community thing is super essential … at least it was for us. Knowing the other person’s people, and having them know yours, and having community accountability THROUGH the relationship (probably more challenging if you’re long distance, but talking openly with friends I would imagine might help?) really helped us to think things through, not rush things, and have good relationships with people that have allowed us to talk about issues that come up in our marriage too.

  7. Welll, I have this 4-something brother …

    I do. He has considered the Internet avenue, but has had so many real-life disasters he’s a little gun shy. The women he meets, mainly, have lived alone so long they’re set in their ways and often very controlling. I do think a Christian dating site would at least give him a few choices more than he has now. It’s hard to get someone to branch out like that. I know I wouldn’t be thrilled at the prospect!

    On the upside, I know of two couples, happily married, who met on-line via dating sites. They met in person after several calls and e-mails, and discussed their issues, past relationships, etc. in great detail. One of the couples continued with Christian counseling after marriage to help them iron out any differences that confused them (in their mid 50′s … one a divorced man — she left him, the other a widow who didn’t have marital struggles with her first husband).

    I do think the Internet can offer terrific, helpful services. However, as a few have attested, people do “pose”. That’s the negative, and that’s where God’s services take over and give discernment.

    Interesting topic!
    Amy recently posted…Let’s Text to TalkMy Profile

  8. My husband and I met through an online dating service and prior to meeting him, I had been on a few sites for about one year. During that year, I had some interesting experiences. First, I admit that my profiles were very upfront. I mentioned that some of the first questions I would ask would be about the person’s area of ministry and how they served the church, what their favorite scripture verses were, and how they see themselves ministering to others in the future. I also mentioned that, for me, the purpose of dating is to determine if you should marry that person or not (after an appropriate amount of time of course). Then, I went in with the attitude that I would talk to every person that called themselves a Christian and would talk back to me. The reason I did that was because if nothing else, I would learn what was important to me during this process. And even if I found out later that the people were really weird, God loves them and they might be someone’s future spouse, just not mine. One thing I always did was tell a friend where I’m going, who I would be with, and I checked in every two hours during the first couple dates with a person.

    A lot of people didn’t respond to me, but of the ones that did, some were weird, yes. I’m pretty sure one person talked with me because he was looking for someone to marry to get a green card. Others stood me up or just ended conversations without a word of good-bye, but that’s the nature of online dating and I just shrugged it off. Some I thought were nice people and good Christians, but just not the person God intended for me. I met a good friend and we dated for a month, but it was clear he was meant to be a friend. In fact, he just got married this weekend and I’m really happy for him. But even through the disappointments, the weirdos, and the good guys, I learned a lot. I learned what traits in a mate were critical to me and what wasn’t so important. But I’ll be honest, that was work. In my opinion, online dating is a lot of work and it’s hard. But if you feel, as I did, that God really wants you to do it, then at the end of the day, it’s worth it. When I finally met my spouse, I had been through that and I knew what was going to work for me.

    Then, during our dating time, we spent a couple nights a week together. We visited each other’s churches, had dinners with family, evenings with friends, and really, most of the time we weren’t out “dating”. We did everyday things like make dinner together, play a game, watch a movie, and just talk. We asked for tons of prayer covering and advice. Whenever we visited someone, we asked them, what works for you in your marriage? How did you know you were ready to get married? What advice would you have for dating, engaged and newly married couples? And we still ask for that advice (which is one reason I read this blog daily). And so far, we have a good marriage and we are both very happy we did online dating. It is likely not for everyone, but online dating can work with the right attitude and patience. Of course God can cause people to meet their spouses through many ways, but online dating is one of those ways. If a friend asked me if she should try online dating, I would tell her to prayerfully consider it and to continue forward with care and discernment.

    Thanks for your blog Sheila!

    • Thanks for that story, and for the example of the kind of attitude you need to have if you’re going to try it.

      I think your example of how you dated would work for anyone–no matter how we met! Sometimes I think we focus too much on doing “date” type things, rather than everyday things, and then when you get married you realize that you don’t really know how to live NORMALLY with someone.

      Great thoughts!

    • This is so true! Observing godly character in others is something God can use to help us appreciate what really matters in marriage. Over the years, I’ve greatly appreciated real-life examples of husbands and wives who genuinely love each other. That love is evidenced especially in the seemingly “small details” and in public settings. It’s a huge encouragement and blessing in this day and age!

  9. My husband and I met online! :-) We’ll be married six years in April and have two awesome little boys.

    I’d been doing the online thing for about a year when we met. To be totally truthful, I started online dating to get my married friends off my back. I was one of the few single girls left and it seemed like all my married girlfriends were trying to hook me up with anything male within a ten foot radius and it had gotten really annoying. So online I went. My expectations weren’t that high, but I did meet some nice guys and go on some nice first dates. I did meet one guy where it turned serious but it didn’t work out. After that one I decided to take a break for a while. A couple months later, I got an e-mail from a guy on the dating site asking if I went to a specific church. Turns out we went to the same church and had never even laid eyes on each other! We probably knew some of the same people so we got together for coffee, figuring if nothing romantic came out of it, at least we’d both have made a new friend. Yeaaaaaah…that lasted less than a week. ;-) Three and a half months later we were engaged.

    We know our story is unique and we moved quickly – we don’t tell anyone to do things the way we did! We do have a few pieces of general advice for anyone thinking about trying out the internet dating thing, though. :-)

    1. You are not obligated to go on a date with every person you meet. You can say “no thank you”.

    2. Be specific about the things that are important to you and the non-negotiable qualities you’re looking for in a potential partner.

    3. Go over prospective dates profiles with a magnifying glass! There were times when guys contacted me and I went to read their profiles and it was obvious they hadn’t read mine, just seen my picture and thought “Oh, she’s cute” and clicked “contact”.

    4. Listen to your gut. If the red flags are going up, heed them. If you met a person in real life who was giving you the creeps you’d listen to those impulses. Do the same online.

    5. Keep your personal information private. Don’t give out your phone number or address until you’ve met the person face to face and you’re comfortable with it. Most sites even allow you to use a username instead of your real name to protect your privacy.

    Internet dating is not a guaranteed way to meet the love of your life but it’s a viable option. Just make sure you use the same boundaries you would offline. :-)
    Melissa recently posted…Tea and Toast and LentMy Profile

    • Thank you for that, Melissa! What a great story you have.

    • I especially agree with keeping your personal info private! It was a funny moment when I had to tell the guy (now my husband) that my real name was Angela, not Abby as I had written on the site. I think you can’t be too safe!!

  10. A good friend of mine found success and marriage through this. Had to weed through some not so pleasant guys, but in the end found a gem!

  11. I’ve often wondered if internet dating isn’t a better option than real life dating. You aren’t as controlled by your emotions and you can pick someone with common interests and goals. Charm isn’t as powerful on the internet as it is in real life.
    Sis recently posted…Embracing My Inner LunaMy Profile

  12. “But I can’t help the fact that it BOTHERS me when I know Christian singles who aren’t single by choice.”

    (one last comment then I promise I’ll be quiet) :) I just wanted to say a BIG “thanks!” for your perspective on this. For some (not all) of us singles, we tend to see our singleness as failure, or as something inherently wrong with us because we haven’t found a spouse. We know this isn’t necessarily true, but it just feels that way so much of the time. So thank you for seeing us in a different light!

  13. I met my husband online. We both resisted the online dating for several of the same reasons you stated in your post, but prayed about it and felt led to do it. We were matched in May, met face to face in June, went on our first “date” in July were engaged in August and married in October. It was fast, but it was covered in prayer each step of the way and we have been happily married for 10 years and just had our 4th baby 3 months ago.

    Neither of us had been married, he was 30 and I was 29 when we met. I could not have asked for a better husband or father for my children. We have never had the problems that you hear of from so many people, because we mesh well together, and have similar world views. That doesn’t mean we don’t disagree, but we do it respectfully.

    I don’t think internet dating will work for everyone, and I do tell those who want to try it to cover it in prayer. It did work for me!

  14. I met my husband online, though not a dating site. We were both bloggers and a random woman in a different state than either one of us lived in suggested that I check out his blog. A comment later led to emails, late night phone calls, and a proposal a few months later. God definitely used technology to lead me to the wonderful man who is now my husband!
    Jess recently posted…Things That Press My Annoyed Button.My Profile

  15. I met my husband online 15 years ago before it was accepted! So many people were worried about me (you do have to be careful!). We met on a chat room and got to know each other before we even knew what each other looked like. We were friends for a long time before we even thought of it as something romantic. :o) Now, we have been married for 10 years and have 4 kids. I believe I was in love with him before we met in person. I like that it didn’t start out romantically, so we got to know each other really well without the complications of trying to impress.
    Eunice recently posted…Pumpkin Hat Pattern by cheekyandchoccyMy Profile

  16. Danielle Lusk says:

    At 24, I was working with only women and attended a church where the singles clas included myself, my brother, sister and an ex-boyfriend. There didn’t seem to be anywhere to meet anyone so I joined eHarmony. Two months, three weeks, and five days later, after several creeps, a few weirdos, and a couple who showed promise because they said all the things I wanted to hear (but later learned they were just words) I was matched on my last day of subscription to my husband of almost five years. I was the first person he was matched to. Had he signed up a day later or my subscription ended a day earlier we would have missed each other. A week of in depth, nitty gritty, emails talking about faith, morals, dreams, goals etc, we began talking on the phone. A week later we met at a restaurant ( he lived 45 min from me in another state). His profile pic has terrible! He’d weighed 100 lbs more and had a terrible mustache, but I gave the communication a chance cause I fell in love with his heart. When he walked up to me at the restaurant 100 lbs lighter and clean shaven with hair product I was so thankful for our online site. Eight months later we were married and now serve in our church with our two little girls. Internet dating works if you put the effort in, and know what you want and aren’t willing to compromise just to find a catch. Our advice is to talk about the important hard stuff because people are really good at telling you what you want to hear.

    • Woo hoo! That’s a great story. Yes, definitely talk about the hard stuff. Maybe internet dating actually makes that easier!

  17. I love reading all the stories. I met my husband online in October 2001. I was very newly widowed, but was separated. I had been in an abusive marriage for 4 years. We separated on Christmas day and in April, he took his own life.

    A friend of mine from church, had sent me a link for an online dating page. Wasn’t sure I was really ready to move on, but was in a way…if that makes since?! I went into the site and noticed you had to make your own profile to look. I figured it would be nice to at least look. Something kept pulling me to hubby’s profile, but I didn’t want to give in because he was a pastor. The feeling wouldn’t go away, so I talked to my friend and she told me to message him. She said, “you’re only talking to him, it’s not like you’re going to marry him”. Here we are, 11 years later with two daughters, 5.5 & 8. Have more to say, but ran out of time…:)

  18. Lost my whole post!!! :(. Try again later.

  19. Monk Chick says:

    I met my fiancé online. My friend met him while she was in Canada at a church she interned at. She came back to the States — Facebook was invented–they got reconnected–she “introduced” us and after 2 years we met face to face.

    Our wedding is in the Spring.

  20. My husband and I met on an Internet dating site 8 years ago. 3 out of 4 of our siblings met their spouses on the same site!
    The ladies in my church threw me a bridal shower and they seemed to be mortified when i told them that I met my then fiancé online! Talk about awkward! Thankfully it’s more accepted now!

  21. I meet my soon to be husband on eharmony in August. He will graduate seminary in May to be a pastor. I knew that I wanted a man who was strong in his faith and quickly would look at profiles to see how large of an impact faith had in their life. I believe that if you are cautious it is easy to meet new people on dating websites. I never would have dreamed that I would have this amazing man in my life and now I do. I can’t wait to marry him in 3 months!!!

  22. I am in my early forties, and met my boyfriend on Christian Mingle two years ago. I found him (or I should say God did) in just 4 days, and within a week took down my profile…I’d found the one for me! My experience was positive and I suggest sites that give a really good profile of the person before there is any contact at all. Pray and ask the Lord to show you their heart. That is key. Unfortunately for us, we live 2000 miles away and in different countries so our journey is a long one, with neither of us being able to move any time soon. One positive to online dating…you get to do LOTS of talking and discussion without the distraction of the physical getting in the way-a big plus! We try to visit at least once every three months. Long distance relationships are hard-so know that going into one! Thanks to Skype and instant messaging, it can be done. Someday we plan to be married, but it’s all in God’s perfect timing.

  23. My husband and I met through online dating through a Christian site. He had lost his wife and had three small children. There were not a lot of singles at his church. I had been waiting and waiting, not understanding why God was making me wait so long (I was 29 when we married)… It was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it. Our relationship is built on communication because we lived in two separate states. God moved in awesome ways! I LOVE our story!
    amanda kelly recently posted…God’s Word in My Heart- Book ReviewMy Profile

  24. My husband and I did not meet on a dating site, but we did meet online. 2 weeks ago we celebrated our 13th anniversary! There is no doubt in either of our minds that God brought us together. Our story is incredible! Only God could have orchestrated it :)

  25. Susan Fryman says:

    My husband and I met in 2002 on eharmony and were married that same year. We have a wonderful, Christ centered marriage. Due to the extensive questions we answered it really helped us find our soul mates. In 2004 my husband became totally disabled, in 2008 I became totatlly disabled. Not too many marriages would have survived the first disability, let alone a second one. We’ve faces numerous challenges and always ride the storm out together with Christ. Blessings, Susan Fryman

  26. Thanks for the encouraging article about online dating. I am a young ‘not-by-choice’ single who’s been online for several months without much luck so far, and I had a lot of trepidation about the whole thing even to begin with. It’s great to see so many success stories here in the comments.
    Does anyone have thoughts on dating outside your denomination? (for example-a Messianic christian dating a baptist or a Jehovah’s witness dating a Catholic?) My family and church culture don’t encourage dating Christians who don’t share my exact beliefs, but I feel like it really limits the number of singles ( personally I don’t think denomination indicates spirituality, but I’m more concerned with the practicality of eventually making a life together and growing as Christians together.). I’ve heard lots of cautionary tales about how religious differences ruined the marriage, etc, despite what promises and plan were originally made during dating/early days of the marriage. Anyone have any experience with this? Did you run into this with online dating, or did you stick to matches who shared your faith very closely?

    • Beth, that’s a hard one to answer, because it really depends on what YOU believe. I’ll just tell you how I would see it: Jesus is the central part of my life, and I couldn’t marry anyone who didn’t believe the basics (like the Apostle’s Creed): that He is the Son of God, that He came in the flesh, that He was crucified, that He rose. I could certainly marry someone who didn’t have my exact beliefs on baptism, or Calvinism, or worship, so that might put me outside my denomination. But the basics would have to be there.

      Some of the things you mentioned really would fall within that–A Baptist or Messianic Christian would be fine. They both believe the same things, though they may have differences on preferences of worship style, etc.

      But Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe the apostle’s creed, so that’s a whole new kettle of fish.

      At the same time, it really isn’t up to your parents to tell you who to marry. It needs to come from an inner conviction that you would never WANT to be married to someone who didn’t share your faith. If you don’t have that inner conviction, then it’s unlikely that someone else, who did have that inner conviction, would also want to be married to you (I’m not trying to be harsh, I’m just being realistic). In other words, however important you find faith, you would probably be matched with someone who fell at about the same place, and you really couldn’t expect anything else.

      So I think the question is really: how important is faith to ME? What do I think about God? And honestly, I’d really suggest getting that question straight in your own mind before you move forward, because it’s the most important question you’ll face in your life. And it’s so much better to get it straight BEFORE you choose a mate than afterwards. It’s not about what your parents think; ultimately God asks us, “who do you say that I am?” And we each need to make that decision for ourselves.

      I really hope that helps!

  27. My husband and I met on an internet site called Sovereign Grace Singles. We lived far apart though. We’ve been married 3 and 1/2 years now.

    Although meeting online is more common, it’s still strange to tell people that’s how we met. :-)

  28. HopefulGirl says:

    Really interesting to read this, as I spent four years on the Christian dating scene here in Britain. I think we have a slightly different situation here, in that single women massively outnumber single men in the church (by at least 4 to 1 – which as I understand it isn’t the case in Canada and the States, although feel free to correct me on that) so we’re always looking for creative ways to meet other single Christians, especially men! Personally, after I was spectacularly dumped by my fiance, after a period of healing I looked around my church circle to assess the number of eligible Christian men. The tally came to… zero! So I knew I had to look further afield and be creative about meeting suitable singles. It was a rollercoaster journey during which I went on numerous dates with the good, the bad and the slightly scary! I used Christian dating websites, Christian singles events and speed dating, and lots more. It was an extraordinary journey, during which I learned a lot about myself and the church – and my steady supply of dating horror stories turned me into the dinner party entertainment in my circle of friends! Later, the stories became an anonymous dating column in the leading Christian women’s magazine here in the UK, and now it’s been published as a book by BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship). I won’t name the book here (unless you give me permission, Sheila) as I don’t want to hijack this blog to plug my own book. However, I think that if you’re wise, stay safe and are prepared to play the long game, Christian dating websites and singles events are a great way to meet Christians that you wouldn’t normally encounter in your daily life. I know lots of people who met their spouses this way (and lots that didn’t). I made two great friends – and went to the wedding of one of them, when he married a girl he’d also met online! (A bit awkward when his friends and family asked, “And how do you know the groom?”!!) I can’t tell you the end of my own story, because it will give away the end of the book for anyone who reads it… but suffice to say, I’m a happy lady! :-)
    “HopefulGirl”

    • Awesome story, HopefulGirl! And for sure share the name of the book. By all means!

      • HopefulGirl says:

        Ah, thank you so much, Sheila – most kind of you!

        The book is called “Would Like To Meet: The Real-life Diary of a 30-something Christian Woman Looking for Love” and it’s available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon etc. Readers can download a free 10-page sampler of the book from http://www.brfonline.org.uk/hopefulgirl .

        People can also find me at http://www.facebook.com/HopefulGirlUK and http://www.twitter.com/HopefulGirlUK where I share resources for single and dating Christians.

        And can I just say, Sheila, that I always enjoy your blogs and articles. I have learned a great deal, and gained a lot of food for thought, about principles not only applicable to marriage but also to dating, engagement, and in fact relationships of all kinds. So thank you!

        HopefulGirl x

  29. Ah, thank you!! I taught ballroom dance for years and worked with many couple getting ready for their wedding. I always asked how they met and for years it was a bit taboo to meet people that way but I taught so many couples that met online and it is a very normal thing now. I have friends that are still single and want to be married and I so wish they would give it a try and completely agree with all your thoughts on this. :)

  30. I was 6 weeks shy of 50 when I married my husband, whom I met on http://www.christiancafe.com. This is a first marriage for me and I will always be grateful that God helped me to bypass the frogs as I waited, hoping for my prince. I was not of the belief that there must be a prince, only that my Prince of Peace had a perfect plan for me, whether that included marriage or not. I was not single by choice, and it was very painful at times – I just knew that it would be more painful to be married to the wrong man.

    Here is the beginning of our story … My husband and I felt a pretty instant connection when we met online. On day 2 of our communication I told him that I’d gone through breast cancer. I wouldn’t normally spill that out so soon but his profile indicated that he had lost his late wife to breast cancer 4 years earlier, and I thought it only right that he know right up front. Rather than scaring him off, he felt a greater connection with me, having some idea of what I had been through. That evening, still day 2 and through instant-messaging, he asked if we could meet. I know now that this was very out of character for him to move so quickly. My question for him, half serious-half joking, was, “how do I know that you’re not an axe murderer?” Having daughters of his own he really understood why I would ask. He suggested that I bring a friend or family member on the date. Then he suggested, still through instant messaging, that I contact his pastor for a reference. Fabulous idea!! So I actually spoke to his pastor before I ever spoke to the man who is now my husband. The pastor gave a rave review of my now-husband, and also turned the tables and asked me some questions, just to be sure that I was good enough for his congregation member. I also went online and listened to a sermon from this church, just to be sure that we were on the same page theologically (this also helped me to be sure that it wasn’t just a buddy, posing as his pastor, that I was talking to). With the glowing reference I decided that I didn’t need to bring someone along on the date, but my now-husband said, “well, I at least want to stop by your parents house so that I can ask your dad if I can take you out.” This is where it gets good…in case it isn’t already. He DID go to my parents house to ask my dad, and that is where we officially met. Oddly, to me, we stayed there for 2 hours before leaving for dinner, with him mostly talking to my father during that time. One week later, 7 days, my father died very unexpectedly. So our first date, which came one week after meeting online, was the only opportunity these 2 important men in my life would ever have to meet, here on earth – and they spoke to each other for 2 hours! So began the adventure of “us.” We married 9 months later and have been married 3.5 years now. We cherish each other so much, all the more because of the things we went through prior to meeting.

    Sheila, thank you for what you do through this blog. You have helped to mold this new wife (I can’t exactly say “young!”) :-)

  31. Sheila, My wife and I met online and have been married for over 3 yrs. now! I had just got out of my first relationship as a baby Christian at age 37! My wife was never in a relationship, although had joined the site togetherchristian.com and had chatted with other guys there. I was looking for someone in state and near my age. After putting in the criteria, there was like 100 and something girls in SC. I went about 5 pages in and the first girl on the top left (probably helped) was Kathryn! On that site you post to her message board that your interested. If she is she can write back or not answer. Well she responded and after 2 or 3 days we swapped emails. We did emails for like 2 weeks and then got onto chat. We chatted and emailed for 2 1/2 months due to she was 3 hours away! Then right after Christmas that year, we were online at the same time and I was shocked, it was 2:30 in the morning and she was a 10 pm the latest type girl. So I got on chat and asked if I could call her. She agreed and we talked for 30 min. and I had so many butterflies in my stomach the whole time! The conversation went well and after that we started talking on the phone almost every night. That lasted 3 1/2 months. Then we planned to meet and goto a concert with friends of hers. I planned my trip so we could meet for lunch, then go out to concert later. She was real shy so after getting really lost and a hour late with a cold hot chocolate for her, we finally met! I couldn’t say it was love at first sight but I was so nervous and hope she liked me. We talked and watched some videos and had a good time. The concert was fun and we met 2 others times like this a few months after this first time. Then she came to see me! She stayed in my room and I stayed at another friends house. We started falling in love! After a few more trips back and forth, I was out of work and needed a place to stay. I asked my cousin who I had stayed with when I went up to see her, if I could stay with her for a few weeks. She agreed and I moved up to my then girlfriends town to be near her! After bad luck finding a job and my car blowing up, I was at wits end! My girlfriend to the rescue! She lent me her car during the day and after a short while , the couch in her and her mothers house. At this point we already talked marriage and were trying to figure out when and how. After a few weeks at her house, I got a job at a grocery store and then after a few months we planned a date. My father and most of my family and friends didn’t believe me! Well to cut to the chase on September 19, 2009 we got married. The special part was it was the same weekend my parents got married back in 1969! After my mother died in 2006. I knew that honoring her in some way would mean a lot to me and my parents. Hope this inspires people to use internet dating! I recommend if not long distance to still give it 30 days on email and chat before you meet. You can learn a lot about a person in that time frame. My wife and I took 6 months, we will never regret it!
    Wayne & Kathryn Craig

  32. I def know what it feels like to be more of a maid then a wife! Any recommendations to snap my husband back to reality?

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