December 2, 2009 jennyrain

Online Dating: Is it ok for Christians? (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my post from yesterday answering the question, “As a follower of Christ, is it ok for me to use online dating?”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Yesterday, I talked more about a foundation that I believe is really important prior to dating as a Christian woman. Today I talk about more of the practical aspects of online dating for followers of Christ.

Tomorrow, I will continue with today’s post about the practical side of online dating.

Question 3: What practices would you recommend for online dating?

As a follower of Christ, we have the advantage of the Holy Spirit and I encourage you to listen frequently and openly. I will share one example from my online dating experience where the Spirit of God probably saved me from a potentially disasterous situation.

I had started talking to a very nice “self-labeled-Christian” man online and we decided to meet for lunch. The lunch conversation was great, we definitely hit it off, and at the end of the date we agreed to continue talking. I had made two wise decisions prior to that date:

I told my friend AnnieLaurie that I was going on the date and asked her to pray. God brought me up to her about ten minutes before the date and very emphatically stated to her “Pray now!” So she did.

I prayed before, during, and after the date and remained open to God’s leading.

As I was sitting in class that night, out of the blue I had the random thought:

“HE IS MARRIED.”

Immediately, my body stood at fierce attention as it resonated with that Truth. My feelings for this man did an instant 180 – from fond to furious! There was nothing during the date that would have hinted at this man being married and I am naturally skeptical and good at picking out liars. But as soon as that thought ran through my body – I knew that I knew it was Truth from beyond my ability to know.

After that thought, I began reviewing parts of the date and my logic confirmed what my Spirit already knew:

He was only willing to email or meet, but would not pick up the phone and call after work hours.

He parked his car in an opposite parking lot so I couldn’t see it.

He drove a station wagon and was overly “explanatory” about the great deal he got on it “which is why” he drove it.

He lived in a cabin in the woods that “had very bad cell coverage” which is why he could not call.

Needless to say, that was the end of things with this man and me. But I learned a couple of very important principles:

It is important to date in community – in other words – allow your friends in, let them pray for and with you during your online dating process – let them know when you will be going out on a date.

If a random thought comes up – do not ignore it as it may be from God! My Pastor calls this “using your sanctified common sense!”Your online dating system may have 29-matching categories to create the match, but then it is up to you to decide if it is worth pursuing.

Question 4: We are really developing feelings for each other even though our communication has only occurred online, what should I do?
Are you hearing things like this from someone you were matched to only two-weeks ago?

“You know, I am really feeling a deep connection with you that I have never felt before with any of the other women I have met on this site. I really think you might be the one. We have something I’ve never had before.”

You can online date, email, or tweet to your heart’s delight but if you get a profession of unrequiting-love over cyber-space before he even meets you, I have one piece of advice:

CLOSE THE MATCH.

Don’t think about it, don’t ponder it, don’t wrestle with it. Just close it. Trust me, there are plenty of other people out there who will have the courage to tell you how they feel face-to-face.

The same principles you would use for non-online dating should be applied in the online dating world.

Know your non-negotiables

Look for red-flags

Never compromise yourself just to have a mate.

Need some guidance in these areas? I highly recommend the following 3 series by Pastor Lon Solomon

Tomorrow I will continue with more on the practical aspects of online dating for followers of Christ.

 

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jennyrain

I break things and trip a lot. I like to chase things like dreams, goals, ideas, and raindrops. I create things with words. Writing has been an outlet since I first discovered the magic empty space of a journal. Words dance around in my brain and often land amidst scraps of paper, find their way into journals, or etch themselves into blinking pixels. I hope my words fall like rain on tender souls in need of refreshing. Finding photos in random moments helps me share stories. During a trip to Africa the perfect trifecta of my first DSLR, mission trip, and dream-location happened and my love of photography became a reality. I'm currently writing my first book, "Will They Laugh if I Call You Daddy: Growing up with 2 Dads in an Evangelical World," I'm a board member for One Million Kids, and I believe that every kid of an LGBT parent should have an opportunity to #ChangeTheConversation with their story. My bio remains in process because I am.