I have been on ChristianCafe.com for a month. In the online dating world that feels like a gajillion years. If you had asked me six months ago if I would ever be on a dating site, I would have laughed and then vehemently told you what I thought of online dating.
After a month, my opinion about online dating itself hasn’t changed much. However, there have been other areas of my life that have been affected by the journey thus far. I want to stop, take a breath and share some of those with you.
First of all, I had this misconception that online dating was easy. It really isn’t. I’ve shared about filling out my profile and some of the interactions I have had with some guys. It’s been a little crazy. There is an intentionality that you must have when participating in online dating. It can be a minefield trying to figure out how long to respond to a person. Do you message that guy because he happens to like coffee as much as you? How long is appropriate between emails? Am I over thinking this? (The answer to that last one is usually “yes.”) Things seem a little arbitrary in the Internet dating space. That has taken some getting used to.
I am also seeing relationships in my everyday life in a new way. I‘ve started asking myself the following questions: How deliberate am I being in relationships around me? Am I demonstrating intentionality with friends and family, making sure that I’m involved in community and being accountable in these relationships? While I’ll never be perfect, this has been a great opportunity to examine my life and relationships, asking the Lord to show me where I need to repent and how I can grow.
The most surprising thing I’ve learned is how I really feel about marriage. Before I started on this journey, I wanted to get married. But I don’t think I realized how much I actually desired it. In a strange way, it was difficult to admit that I want marriage. (Kind of silly, huh?) On the other hand, it was freeing. Going to Jesus, being honest about those desires and laying them before Him continues to be an exercise in faith. I have also been convicted about the fantasy I’ve built up about how meeting my future spouse is going to happen. The picture I’ve had in my head about how my life would turn out has differed vastly from how it’s actually happened. While I’ve had to work on accepting what God is doing with my life in general, the area of dating and marriage is one place where I’ve held on to my own plan tightly. Slowly I’ve become aware of the need to relinquish control.
So that’s where things stand now. I know that there are many more lessons to be learned. And while the journey has been unexpected, I know that I’m right where the Lord wants me to be. I’m looking forward to whatever else He has in store for me.
What about you? If you’ve been in the online dating world, what lessons did you learn? How have your ideas about relationships and marriage changed?
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