I have realized that being on dating sites AND living my life for Christ in a bold way means that I need some tough skin. Either that or I just need to be sure I know who I am in Christ, because if not, I think I would question some things.
I also realize that when you meet someone for the first time online, whether it be through emails like on Match.com and eharmony or whether it be through quick little text messages like on the apps such as Coffee Meets Bagel or Bumble, communication is not the best. Many times my sincerest questions or comments get lost in translation. Which is why I do question myself for trying these “new modern dating avenues” whenever I seem to offend someone.
For example, on Match.com, a man that lived pretty close to me sent me an email stating that he enjoyed reading my profile and that I seem like an amazing woman. That was very sweet of him and a good first email if I do say so myself.
Here is how my profile starts off on Match:
Most importantly I love Jesus with my whole heart and I am in constant pursuit to know Him better. I am by no means perfect and still have a long way to go in understanding what it fully looks like to love and trust Jesus on a daily basis. But I am looking for someone who is similar because if loving Jesus is not one of your priorities in this life, we would both be wasting our time to communicate.
I love being around all different types of people, no matter what their faith. But if I am going to date someone (and eventually marry), connecting on a spiritual level is the most important thing for me. If that happens, hopefully other things will fall into place. However, I realize there needs to be a connection on other levels as well, such as that thing called “chemistry,” which is actually very hard to find.
I go on to describe my personality a bit more, but that is not as important right now.
So back to this guy, who we will call Peter, because he kinda reminds me of another Peter that I have read about… 😉
On Match, similarly to CMB, each person’s profile does include their professed religion. You would be surprised at how many emails I get from men that are atheist, agnostic, or other. I wonder if they read my profile before emailing me? And then, even when they claim the title “Christian,” it soon becomes clear that there are different kinds of Christians these days. So I began scouring profiles to find the name Jesus or something that would indicate that they are more than just Christian by name.
Peter had me intrigued though, so I wrote him back and made a grand mistake. If I could take it back, I would.
I began the email with a few sentences and then typed this:
Since you said I am “quite the amazing woman,” (thanks for that by the way!) it must mean that you found something in my profile interesting and so I am wondering what that would be? The reason I ask that is because I tried to make my profile faith based so that those men that reach out to me shared the same strong faith as myself. However, to be honest, that hasn’t happened as much as I would have liked. So my reservation is that in reading your profile, I can’t find any indication of that on your end. Which I guess goes back to what you said about meeting the person sooner than later being ideal. I am not asking you to say something brilliant or spiritual in regards to that area and I am not asking you where you go to church or how often you go (that doesn’t mean as much to me …but what does…is your love for Jesus). I am just asking you to be you and to see if we mesh on a faith level.
If you think by chance we do, then maybe we can continue this correspondence in whatever way you see fit. And if not, then I will understand.
Thanks again and I’ll hopefully hear from you soon regardless.
A few days went by and I actually forgot about the email I sent Peter; until one morning I received his response and my stomach dropped while reading it.
Thank you for your message.
When I first read your message, I was kind of taken back actually, and wasn’t going to respond. But I believe I should always treat others how I would want to be treated, and I hate it when I message someone on here that I am interested in, and don’t ever get a reply, leaving you wondering.
I liked reading your profile and liked what you are about and looking for in a match. I liked how you described yourself, and what you were good at. That is why I said after reading your profile, you seemed like an amazing woman. I myself, am I a Christian? Not a very good one, and have had a very long and rocky road (mainly because of my own stupidity and hardheadedness) and have been through many trying times in my 34 years that has tested my faith many times, and even led me to doubting our purpose and doubting God.
All that being said, my beliefs and faith are mine, and I don’t like to force them upon anyone. Yes, one of the things I look at in a potential match is what they believe, but I do not judge them based on where they are at in their spiritual walk. I do not fault you for wanting to find a Christian man, that’s great! But what I do not like is that you are judging me based on the fact that I didn’t have praise Jesus written all over my profile. I have been praying a lot that God will send the right woman into my life, and I believe He will, whether it be on this website or randomly bumping into someone one day.
But I don’t think that by not throwing Jesus all over my profile makes me any less of a Christian, and might just make others run for the door who might be Christians, just not as far along as me in their walk. I find it funny how quick we as Christians are to judge others based on something that is said or done or written down. By you not finding any indication of how much of a Christian I am on my page, asides from where I put my religious preference on the profile, doesn’t make me any less of a Christian then you who put it all over your profile. I am not saying that is a bad thing, and it is one of the reasons that I said you are an amazing woman. But I feel like I am being judged in return for not having the same.
I felt like you were at least owed an explanation or a response to your message. I appreciate you responding to me in the first place. I really hope that you do find that person that you are looking for, and be careful because there are a lot of snakes online, both men and women, who will say anything, write anything, quote bible verses till the cows come home, but words, whether spoken or written are cheap and easy to come by. Maybe in the future, since someone like myself that is writing you and talking about your profile and not starting off the message with “hey sexy” or something along those lines, rather then delving right into saying you are not seeing any sign of godliness in the person messaging you, just ask, “hey, what do you like about my profile” and it will become clear pretty quick what someone’s intentions are. Remember, pharisees were all about show on the surface.
Hope you have a great day, take care. 1 Peter 5:8
I was thankful for his email back to me because it showed me that I might not be coming across the way I intend to. I am sure he is probably a great guy, but it seemed I offended him and he felt judged. Whew, that was not my intention at all! I immediately went back and re-read my email to him and realized where he was coming from and how he must have taken it. My inquiry about his faith was lost in translation. I did not mean to condemn him at all for not having anything written about loving Jesus on his profile. I was just wondering if he did.
While I did feel badly about making him feel judged, I also know that someone I am interested in dating would not be offended by what I asked. But I wanted to at least apologize.
Thanks for writing me back and explaining yourself. You seem very intelligent, well spoken and have great communication skills. All very good qualities!
I wanted to apologize in the way my email came across because after reading your response and re-reading my own email to you, I can understand your feelings. That’s the stinky part of online dating and many times makes me wonder if it’s the wrong route for me. The first couple of emails are crucial and as soon as someone says something “not the correct way,” or someone’s profile doesn’t state what the other person is looking for, or the person uses poor grammar, it’s the end of the communication without ever really knowing who the person really is and the heart behind their words. No matter what, even putting faith aside, there is always going to be judgement there. Usually based on looks. I’ve had to find a balance with that myself because while I don’t want to write someone off too quickly, it’s also impossible to get to know every single person that emails. So for some reason I went deep with you from the start and asked about your faith.
However the words were not the best (I see that now) and I’m sorry you felt judged because that of course was not my intention. I just wanted to get to know you better (I should have left off the part about not seeing it in your profile and just asked about your faith).
Honestly I don’t believe in the whole idea of “being a better Christian” than others. That sounds like a competition and as you said is very Pharisaical. What I think is more important is how much do you love Jesus and how much does Jesus play a role in your every day life? Not how good of a person you are…does that make sense?
However again, I chose my words poorly and I appreciate your advice for the future. I forget to reread emails to see how it might sound to the other person when reading it.
Thanks again, and I also wish you the best in your search. It’s not easy, as I’m sure you know. I wish it was and then maybe we wouldn’t have to use the stupid internet to find people that are willing to ask you out on a date 😉
Well, lesson learned. I never know how much to ask them about their faith before I go out with them. I don’t think questions about important topics, such as faith, come across well through email, but I also don’t want to waste their time if our faith doesn’t align.
Let’s move on to the next story, shall we?
Mr. Maturity emailed me sometime over the summer and at the time I was already in communication with a few men and dates were starting to get lined up. I figured I should draw the line somewhere and so I stopped responding to emails. Not really on purpose – because if I thought about it a bit more – I would have explained to him where I was coming from. Just like Peter, I also hate when I don’t get a reply, leaving me wondering what happened on the other end. So I shouldn’t have done that in this case either. Oh my, so much to learn!
So a few days after not emailing him back, Mr. Maturity sent me this message, “I barely know you and you’re already playing hard to get? 😉” I remember seeing it and smiling but not doing anything about it. So, Mr. M emailed me again nine days later with this one more email. “Hey, I just wanted to send you one last message. You seem like a really genuine person- someone I’d like to get to know better. If you’re still looking to meet someone, send me your number and we can talk in real time.”
What I loved about Mr. M’s emails is that he waited at least a week in between each one but yet his interest was still made known. That is why I called him mature. My dad always told me that when a guy is interested, you will know it. You will not have to wonder or guess what he is thinking because he will tell you. If he likes you, you will know.
Simple as that.
If you are left wondering why a guy is not asking you out, it’s probably because he’s just not that into you. I’ve always known that men were much more simpler than us women 😉 We just have to be reminded every once and awhile, I guess.
At this time I knew that Mr. M didn’t know me yet, but it was apparent that he was interested in getting to know me and I liked that. So I emailed him back and apologized for my silence. I suggested maybe connecting when I got back home and settled (and after I went on the dates I already had lined up).
One thing led to another and one Friday he began texting me. He asked if I would be interested in grabbing dinner and I said yes. He asked if I was okay with last minute plans and if so, if I wanted to meet up that evening. I told him I was up for it!
Whoever tells you I’m not spontaneous, don’t believe them…even if that someone is me.
Oh and did you know that being spontaneous is one of the most quoted aspects that guys write in their profiles about what they are looking for in a woman? I roll my eyes each time I see that because, come on, there are about 37 better qualities that I can think of that they should be looking for in women besides spontaneity.
I came home from work and showered, washed, and curled my hair and met him at the restaurant 10 minutes late. Ugh, I hate being late! That was one of the first things I said to him when I saw him. He said it was fine and we were seated at our table shortly after.
During dinner, I realized Mr. Maturity and I never really did send many emails to each other with the purpose of getting to know one another. A date was organized before all of that took place and in a way, it was kind of refreshing because I can communicate much better in person.
At one point I think he might have asked me about how I spend my time or something along those lines. One thing led to another and soon I was talking about my love for Jesus, as well as my passion for helping others to see who He really is. I said a few other things and he listened intently and commented back a few times.
I enjoyed our conversation, hoping I didn’t talk too much and I enjoyed the meal as well. After we finished, our waitress cleared our plates and set down the bill. Immediately, Mr. M reached for the bill to pay. Oh ok, so that’s how a mature man handles the check. For once, I didn’t even have time to get nervous about whether or not he was going to pay for our meal or if I should offer. He handled that so quickly, I barely even noticed. I thanked him for paying and neither one of us got up to leave. I wasn’t sure if dinner was enough or if he was interested in doing something else. I wanted to respect his time since he had driven about an hour to meet me, but I also didn’t want the date to be cut short if he imagined something else. I didn’t necessarily feel like the date needed to continue, but I did enjoy his company, so I didn’t mind if it did.
At one point, I think I looked at him and said, “So…now what?!” He smiled, but didn’t have an answer and excused himself to the restroom a few minutes later. When he got back, I suggested we go sit outside because it was such a nice night. After about ten minutes, the mosquitoes were causing a ruckus (yes, I said ruckus, is that an indication of living in the South for several years now?) around my legs and I couldn’t stop itching and swatting them away. I told Mr. M I was going to have to go and he walked me to my car.
We said the normal goodbyes and thank yous and our date was over.
The next day, my best friend and I went shopping and she asked how the date went and if I was going to see him again. “I am not sure,” I responded. But I knew I had a peace. Not long after that conversation, my phone vibrated and I saw a text message from Mr. M. I found myself smiling when I saw his name appear on my phone and I opened the message as I was leaving the cashier’s line.
And here is what it said.
Mr. M: Hey, thanks for coming for dinner last night — I enjoyed meeting you. Unfortunately, we’re not quite the match I’m currently looking for. All the best!
I wasn’t actually expecting that but I’ve come to really appreciate his straightforwardness and honesty. Plus, it was easier reading it on a text message than getting told at the end of the date before I even had time to process myself.
I responded: “Hey! Thanks so much for letting me know. I appreciate the communication instead of just no response. I kinda figured you’d say that….you want more of a spontaneous woman with a lot of hobbies, right? ;)”
On our date, I joked about how I really didn’t have many hobbies and that is the number one question that most people ask on these online dating sites!
He said: …and someone who’s more punctual
Me: I actually cannot tell if you are joking or not.
Ugh I hate that I was late!!
Right when I sent that message, another one popped up from him.
Mr. M: I better stop it before you think I’m being serious about the being late thing.
Oh, okay, phew!
But here is the thing, I WAS curious. I’ve had guys just all of a sudden stop talking with me before. I’ve had guys show me a little bit of interest and attention and then suddenly stop. And I’ve had guys not ask me out again after a first date. But I’ve never asked why.
Frankly, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
But, what did I have to lose, right?!
I tapped out another text.
Me: So in all seriousness about the hobby thing…do I come across boring?
Yes, people, I realize that I have some insecurity about this…I am working on it.
Me: I just need to know for future reference – do I need to take up sewing and horseback riding to get second dates? Oh and you don’t owe me an explanation and don’t have to answer, I was just curious.
Mr. M: It’s so funny because I almost sent a message last night afterwards telling you we should compare notes about how it went.
Me: I’m up for it!
Mr. M: Okay, so I didn’t take it at all that you were too boring. Personally, I think lots of people play up too much how they’re into all of this stuff. I got the feeling that if we were dating and I had some ideas about fun activities, you’d be game, even though they aren’t things you do weekly now.
Okay, so he had me interested. At this point, I lost my friend in the shopping center and sat down at a table to focus my attention on these texts. It was just getting interesting. Plus, that made me feel good. Really good.
Me: I am so glad you saw that, because you are right!
Mr. M: Take this how you may, but to be completely honest, it sounded like we probably share many of the same values surrounding religion and Christ, but you’re much more intentional about your beliefs and they influence your life choices much more than I. And while I think that’s totally awesome – and respect that about you – and don’t mean to hold it against you – it sounds like you want and would be happier with someone more like you in that regard.
Oh, I could have cried! Not because I was hurt or disappointed but because he put into words exactly what I am finding. It is hard to find someone that lives out their faith in a way that impacts their daily life choices. And Mr. Maturity saw that in me from just one dinner. I actually think I did get tears in my eyes as I read that message because that is one of the best things that someone could ever say about me.
God used Mr. M to encourage me in that text message. I felt rejuvenated and recharged. Mr. M wasn’t condemning me for my passion in the Lord. He wasn’t telling me that I judged him or that I acted all “holier than thou” just because I talked about my faith. Mr. M was just telling me that he saw what I hope and pray that every single person sees in me when I interact with them. He saw a love and a passion for my God that I cannot contain. And he saw the desire that I have to share that with someone one day.
That was the best “rejection” conversation I have ever had! And I’m so thankful for Mr. Maturity. He showed me what it was like to go out with a man who doesn’t play games and who knows who he is. I can only pray that all of my first dates end with a rejection text like that one.
So should I get to know guys better during the email stage to find out if our faith aligns? Maybe so. I have learned to be careful with my words though. Peter taught me that.
Or should I just go out with guys when they ask, only knowing that they claim the title of Christian, and have the deeper conversation in person? Yeah, maybe that. I have learned that I don’t need to scale back sharing about my desire to marry someone like-minded though in fear that they will feel like I am judging them. Mr. M taught me that.
I don’t think there is a perfect way to do this thing. This thing – called dating. But regardless, I am certainly trying my best.