Lately we haven’t been hearing about as many relationships starting out the way they used to. Gone are the days of meeting your match at church, through mutual friends, at the gym or through other chance encounters. Nowadays, when you meet a happy couple, you are more likely to hear that they got their start all with the click of a mouse…
Online dating is more popular than ever, and for Christian singles who are deeply rooted in their faith and haven’t yet found that special someone with whom to share a meaningful relationship in the eyes of God—then the internet provides a vast platform for doing so. If you’ve ever contemplated using an online Christian dating site, to better understand how they work and to learn how to safely make the most out of your experience, be sure to check out our overview of online Christian dating:
Christian Dating Sites: A 4-Step Overview
STEP 1: THINK ABOUT ONLINE CHRISTIAN DATING Before embarking on your journey of online dating, it is important to determine if online dating is right for you and whether or not your curiosity of searching for love in cyberspace should be further explored. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers that can help you decide:
- What are the benefits of online Christian dating?
- Online dating is convenient. Because many singles are consumed by hectic schedules where time is barely afforded to put on socks in the morning, finding space in the planner for a date can be a daunting task. But thanks to the ease and accessibility of online dating, after a long day’s work all you have to do is put on your favorite sweats and curl up with your laptop to interact with eligible Christian singles all over the world…from the comfort of your own couch!
- Online dating allows you to be picky. Finding a match in this world is hard enough—then factor in that you want a match who is a good Christian and your search just got a whole lot harder. However, when you subscribe to an online dating site catering specifically to Christians, you know that every online friend you make will share the same religious beliefs as you. Peruse through databases of thousands of Christian singles and weed out the ones right away who aren’t matches.
- Online dating allows you to save money. Of course, you may have to pay a subscription fee to become a member of a reputable online Christian dating community; but because you can hone in on singles who fit your criteria and quickly determine through online interactions whether you have a potential match or not, this fee is a small investment compared to the money you would’ve spent when going out on first date after unsuccessful first date.
- Online dating introduces you to new experiences. Because you get to know a match over the web before you meet them in person, the nerves and butterflies that tend to come with face-to-face dates are gone—since you can relax and just be yourself, you have the chance to broaden your horizons and mingle with matches all over the world who you wouldn’t have had the chance to meet otherwise.
- How do I know that I’m ready to date online? Before diving headfirst into online dating, make sure that you are in a healthy place to open yourself up to the idea of new friends, new experiences, and new relationships. Identify who you are as a person, the kind of person you want to attract as well as the goals and ideal outcome of your online Christian dating experience.
- How do I pick the best Christian dating site? There is not necessarily a “best” Christian dating site out there—it all just depends on each individual’s specific wants, needs and requirements in a dating service. Just make sure to do your research to pick a site that is reputable as well as safe. To learn more about how to select the best Christian dating site for you, read our article here.
STEP 2: LEARN HOW TO USE A CHRISTIAN DATING SITE Technology has come a long way over the last several years—and the dating sites across the net are equipped with the tools and features (not to mention singles!) to give you the best experience possible. Here are some hints to help you navigate your journey on a Christian dating site:
- Features of Christian dating sites. There are several different levels of features depending on the dating site and membership package you choose. Many sites will offer you a free trial period in the beginning so that you can browse singles and test out the site to determine whether or not it is a fit. The majority of dating sites offer advanced search options, flirting capabilities, email, voice chat, video chat, blogs and newsletters plus a slew of other ways to connect with a potential match before taking things to an in-person level.
- Creating your profile. Setting up your online dating profile is a piece of cake. The site you choose will walk you through a series of questions, have you complete personality/compatibility tests, allow you to upload pictures and will provide you with everything else you need to describe yourself as well as your ideal match.
- Connecting with others. To get the most out of your online dating adventure and maximize your matches, keep the following advice in mind when interacting with fellow Christian singles:
- Honesty is the best policy. Always be truthful with any information that you disclose about yourself. Lies, no matter how small, can be detrimental to a relationship. Upload a current picture of yourself and be honest when describing your characteristics, career, level of education, hobbies, etc. If someone doesn’t accept you for who you are, then they aren’t the one for you.
- Demonstrate Christian values. When subscribed to a Christian dating site, it is important to showcase your Christianity online just as you would in person. Don’t use bad language, post inappropriate content or use discriminating comments against others.
- Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Don’t limit yourself by only talking to one person on a dating site—put your subscription to good use and interact with everyone who strikes your interest. Until you meet a match with whom you decide to date exclusively, there is nothing wrong with exploring all of your options.
- Be yourself. This is one of the most important rules of dating by conventional methods, and it is just as important for dating online. Don’t worry about trying to impress someone else. You want a match who you can be your true self around and a match who can be their true self around you.
- Positivity attracts positivity. Never talk about exes who have done you wrong or a bitter past that you can’t seem to get over. Live in the present and focus on the positives—talk about the parts of life you enjoy and relish in the opportunity you have to meet exciting, new people.
STEP 3: FOLLOW ONLINE DATING SAFETY TIPS Because the internet provides such anonymity, it also unfortunately provides a breeding ground for predators, con artists and other deceitful people who don’t have the same intentions as you. Safety is your number one priority when dating online, so to avoid encountering a dangerous situation, don’t log on to your account before arming yourself with the safety tips below:
- Keep personal info personal. Until you spend enough time getting to know an online match and you are confident that they are worthy of your trust, never disclose identifying details such as: your home address, place of business, phone number, access to accounts or even your last name.
- Be aware of scams. Financial scammers are con artists who trick innocent online daters into an online relationship to gain access to the victim’s finances. Watch for the tell-tale signs of a scammer:
- Profile picture is too good to be true
- Works in a foreign country like Nigeria, Russia or the UK
- Requests money for a dire situation
- Uses spelling and grammar that is inconsistent with alleged education/career
- Professes love for you immediately
If you think you have been targeted by such a villain, read our article on what to do if you’ve been scammed.
- Stage a safe first meeting. The first date with someone you’ve connected with online can be very exciting—just don’t let the excitement take over to the point of sacrificing safety for fun. Use your own transportation to meet your date in a crowded, public place and make sure that you let a friend or family member know where you’re going. While on your date skip alcoholic beverages, keep an eye on your belongings and have a cell phone handy should you need to reach anyone in case of an emergency.
- Use your best judgment. If at any point in your online dating escapades something doesn’t feel right, listen to your intuition. Anyone who is too forward or makes you feel uncomfortable isn’t deserving of your time and could pose a potential threat. Cease all communication and move on to someone who will respect your need for safety.
STEP 4: ENJOY GOING ON CHRISTIAN DATES Not only is it imperative to plan safe dates, but as a Christian using a Christian dating site, it is crucial to also plan dates that uphold your Christian values and reputation. Before going on dates with online matches, consider the following Christian dating advice that will respect God, your date and will ensure fun for the both of you:
- Understand how God feels about dating. The word ‘dating’ isn’t found in the Bible—the Bible does, however, teach purity and abstaining from sex until marriage. Sex is a topic that can be further discussed if a relationship with a cyber-Christian progresses; but if you are someone who adheres to the teachings of God, it is best to refrain from sex until you are married and plan dates that don’t encourage sexual promiscuity.
- Christian date ideas. Just because you are planning safe dates that don’t cross any physical barriers doesn’t mean that they can’t be fun! Click here for our full article on fun Christian first date ideas.
- How to tell if your date is a match. Have you ever had a date that has left you confused as to whether or not the other person felt the same feelings you did? Check out how to tell if it’s a hit or miss by watching for these signals:
- Is the conversation flowing? Of course, everyone is a little nervous on a first date. But once you get past the beginning small talk, be sure to listen, ask questions, give meaningful responses and keep the topics light. If the dialog is flowing and the two of you can’t stop talking, there is a good chance there will be a date number two.
- What does the body language say? If your date is engaged and interested, their body language won’t be able to deny it! Eye contact, your date’s body turned towards you and light touches are positive signs that the date is going well.
- Is there curiosity? When there is a mutual attraction and a desire to pursue more than just one date, both of you should be eager to uncover as much as you can about the other. Every bit of information you find out about your date should intrigue you to learn more.
- How does the date end? The end of the first date will tell you a lot about what to expect in the future. Are you reluctant to call it a night because the two of you are having such a great time? Is there excitement about the idea of more dates? At this point, you should be able to tell if you want to see this person again…and if the date went well, you should be in contact soon after to plan for the next rendezvous!
Now that you are fully equipped with what to expect out of your online Christian dating experience you are ready to sign up, date safely and meet your Christian match today! Happy dating!
Just because you’re interested in meeting like-minded Christians online doesn’t mean everyone you run into will be safe. You still have to protect yourself when it comes to online dating because you never know what’s out there. If you were meeting people at a singles mixer at a church, you would still be aware of your surroundings to ensure your safety, right? It’s the same when meeting Christian singles online.
Ensure the site keeps your identity anonymous. You don’t want to share any personal information with potential suitors. Keep it light in the beginning and see what happens. There’s no reason to rush things. If the person on the other side of the screen has ulterior motives, he or she may be pushing things along so an in-person meeting happens quickly. Don’t let this happen. Allow things to move along organically and always report any users who make you feel uncomfortable. All professional online dating services take their users’ safety seriously and most will quickly resolve any inappropriate advances from members.
Keep your personal information personal as long as you feel the need to. Never feel that you have to share anything with a member you aren’t 100% comfortable with. Never assume that because you are on a Christian dating site, you will be safe and that the site will only attract users with good character. A messaging system, both direct messages and instant messages, will be in place by the dating site. This allows you to interact with members without revealing your personal email address or IM name. Use the site’s services as long as you are a member. You may want to do this even after meeting a member in person, since it will allow you to easily cut them off if you aren’t interested in a second meeting.
You may feel comfortable chatting with someone via direct messaging or IM-ing, but never let yourself become so comfortable that you divulge personal information. Your real name, where you work and the area in which you live should be kept to yourself. Be careful not to let these things slip out when chatting with a potential date. You don’t want this person to be able to learn more about you on their own, using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.
When the time comes to meet someone in person, be sure you enlist the help of a Christian friend or family member. Meeting someone online, whether it’s to cultivate a friendship or a possible romantic relationship is becoming more and more and accepted. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about and it’s important to remember your safety comes first. Ask a close friend from church or a family member to go with you to the meeting place. This may seem silly at first, but for anyone who’s serious about meeting you, he or she will understand this is simply a precaution. The third party can split after it’s established you’re safe.
If you feel this is too forward, tell a friend or family member where you’re going when meeting someone from a Christian dating site. Let the friend or family member know where you’re meeting the person, how long you’ve been chatting and how well you know the potential date. After 10 or 20 minutes on the date, have your friend or family member call to check on you. You can come up with a phrase to let him or her know you’re OK and choosing to proceed with the date, or you can use the phone call as an excuse to bail on the date.
We love to love, but if you love the planet too, you may want to implement a few green techniques into your love life. It doesn’t have to mean poor hygiene and candle lit dinners over raw food, it just means being more aware of what you buy. Consider it being good to the planet and your lover.
- Use organic lube. Nearly everyone has this in their goodie drawer (and you should), so why not make it organic? Organic lube isn’t necessarily better for you or your partner, but it is better for the planet since it isn’t made from petroleum-based ingredients. Organic lube is readily available in most sex shops, but if you have trouble tracking it down, you can always do a quick search online and have it delivered to your door within days. We know you won’t want to go longer than that without it.
- Turn out the lights. When you’re in the mood for a little hanky-panky, kill the lights. It conserves energy and it’s sexy. Sure, we love to see what’s going on too, but sometimes it’s nice to be in the dark over what’s going to happen next. If you’ve been sharing a bed for quite some time, this is a great way to show off your more adventurous side in bed. If you think no one is looking, sometimes you’re more apt to try something new or be open to something different your partner has been wanting to try.
- Light up soy candles. Candles packed with paragons and lead aren’t any good for the environment or your home’s air. Instead, swap those old-fashioned candles for soy candles. Soy candles burn cleaner and typically result in fragrance that’s true to whatever the candle is supposed to smell like. This means a lightly scented room that’s sexy and never overpowering. Many men can take or leave candles, but don’t want that overtly sweet or phony perfume smell lingering in the room long after business time is over. Soy candles create a more authentic scent whether you’re burning a romantic scent like rose or a more sexy scent like a musk or vanilla.
- Cover up in organic bedding. Once upon a time, organic bedding only came in white or drab versions of off-white. Now brands are using vegetable-based dyes to create fabulous organic sheets that add a little color into your life too. If you want to keep your bed free of chemicals or dyes, reach for organic bedding when it comes to your sheets and comforter. They are available at most department stores and super stores, and if you aren’t finding anything to your liking, you can always hop online for a vast array of organic bedding that will make getting down in the sack eco-friendly.
- Shop a local market. At your local market, the produce may not always be organic, but it did travel far less than those bananas from Mexico. A lovers stroll at a local produce market can be downright sexy. After all, you’re touching, smelling and squeezing fruits and veggies to find out what’s ripe. It also creates a sense of unity between two people when they feel they’re doing something good for the community. In this case, you’re putting your hard-earned dollars into the pockets of farmers and vendors from your community (or just outside of it), which will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Warning: this could lead to excessive happiness and making out once you’re home.
- Go with glass sex toys. Many sex toys are made from plastic and contain phatalates, a component banned from children’s toys in some parts of the world. Phatalates are what go into plastic to make it pliable and think about how many sex toys do this. Scary, but true, so why would you want to put an object comprised of this inside yourself or your partner? Stick to glass when it comes to sex toys of any variety. Most sex shops have a large variety of sex toys made of glass, but if the idea of walking into one of these places while having the environment on your mind makes you chuckle, there’s always the Internet.
- Use natural oils to get in the mood. There’s something about being slippery and wet that makes most of us raise an eyebrow and slip into we-want-some-action mode. Instead of using a petroleum based massage gel or oil, hit up your local natural health food store and snag a few natural oils. Derived from plants and flowers, these oils can be purchased 100% organic and create a light pleasant scent while rubbing your partner’s back, or ahem, other regions.
- Eat well. Less meat and bread and more fruit and veggies means a lighter, more active you. This doesn’t have to mean you go vegan starting tomorrow, but staying away from junk food and fast food will only be beneficial for your love and sex lives. You’ll feel more energetic and with that usually comes a higher frisky quotient. We don’t want to get into a whole ‘beef is bad’ lecture, but the meat industry in America releases more methane into the air (via the animals’ flatulence) than almost anything else. Skipping meat twice a week doesn’t mean less meat is produced, but it does mean you’re healthier and less dependent on a resource Americans are draining by the minute. Make a commitment to yourself to eat less crap, which also typically crap for the planet and you’ll see your sex life reap the rewards before you know it.
Taking the environment into account when feeling romantic or getting busy in bed are smart moves because hopefully you’re doing both…a lot. If you’re making a transition to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, there are areas that are easy to adjust to. If this is your first shot at going green, it’s likely you’ll barely notice you’re making an effort, but you will notice that your love and sex life improve. After all, if you’re happy and feeling healthy, you’re more likely to be horny and who doesn’t want that?