I realize, I owe you guys an apology. I totally left you hanging in terms of this whole online dating thing (meh).
So, I joined three different online dating sites/apps. I quickly learned the apps are where it’s at! They were far easier to keep up with and the algorithms make the process pretty seamless. I’ll be honest, I was very intimidated and embarrassed about embarking on this journey. I was uber consumed with what others would think. And I was mortified at the thought of someone recognizing me. While I never got over these sentiments 100%, I was able to at least ignore them long enough to move forward.
Setting Up My Profiles
I actually had a lot of fun setting up my profiles. It forced me to look for creative ways to describe myself. My goal here was to reveal parts of my personality with each sentence I typed. I was also very intentional about being authentic and desired to err on the side of giving more information versus being vague. Perhaps because I’m a writer, this was a welcomed challenge. I can see though how this component of the process can be unnerving for others. Oh, and I did disclose in each of my profiles, my commitment to saving sex for marriage. I felt there was a higher probability this would weed out the bulk of those with ill intentions and I believe it did.
(Actual excerpt from one of my profiles below)
Who Am I?
Boy do I struggle with this question but I’ll get over myself for a few minutes just to answer the question. Sigh!
I’m a hybrid of contradictions. That probably sounds bad but let me explain…
I’m liberal yet conservative.
I’m passionate and passive.
I’m wounded but also healed.
I’m colorful and black/white.
I meal prep every week but still eat out.
I’m present yet distant.
I’m a lover of people and increasingly introverted.
I’m the owner of two cats yet I’m allergic to them.
I’m an open-book but oh so closed off.
I’m well versed on many topics and also blissfully ignorant about many more.
I’m a homebody yet I’m never home.
The Process of Online Dating
I realized you essentially get out of Online Dating what you’re willing to put into it. Which means, regardless to whether you are a man or woman, you have to be willing to initiate interactions. I’ll tell you, I have traditionally been dead set against approaching a man. And honestly, I still can’t see myself doing this in person. But guess who was a lean mean hollerin machine with online dating? I know, that was corny but I WAS mackin a little bit. I initiated conversations with three guys and swiped to indicate interest for several others. This is totally a law of large numbers deal. Two of the guys I sent messages to responded. I was sort of in a cyber fling with one of them (lol). Nah, not really but we did hit it off and exchanged dozens of text bubbles a day for about two weeks. Our interactions were super refreshing.
Simultaneously, I received a “bagel delivery” (I’ll explain this in a bit) for a guy who seemed pretty interesting. Him and I began exchanging text bubbles as well. Here’s the thing, since hanging my player hat up, I no longer feel comfortable getting to know multiple guys at once. So, this part of the process felt weird for me. I had this intense feeling of guilt. Thankfully, my interactions with guy #2 faded just as quickly as they began.
The process of online dating requires you to be patient and open-minded. There are numerous false starts, exchanges that aren’t reciprocated, and inflations then deflations to your ego.
The Process of Engaging
Ya’ll know I’m always preaching authenticity. You thought I was gonna turn it off for online dating? NOPE! The only difference is, I was mindful not to share personal information (full name, city of residence, phone number, etc.). Other than that, I allowed myself to be completely free to engage authentically and transparently. I think this made for meaningful interactions. Well, maybe I should just speak for myself…I enjoyed the interactions I had.
Pros/Cons to Online Dating
- Pro: Opportunity to meet a potential life partner in a non-threatening way.
- Con: Since online dating is by nature set up to be a law of large numbers process, you can easily find yourself in a situation where you are entertaining several people at once. For me, this wasn’t ideal.
- Pro: Can be a safe way to meet people since you aren’t exposing your personal information.
- Con: Not all sites/apps have heightened security and have been used by some to facilitate aggressive or violent crimes. Be sure to check privacy notices.
- Pro: Great option for busy professionals.
- Con: Can become time-consuming, even addictive.
- Pro: Can force a person who has only dated in the traditional way to get out of their comfort zone.
- Con: Doesn’t promote face-to-face contact. Can become lazy in the manner in which you engage romantically.
- Pro: Select people to date based on similar values.
- Con: You are competing against everyone else who is selecting that pool of people for the same reasons.
Favorite Dating Site/App
I really enjoyed Coffee Meets Bagel. The highlight of my day quickly became my daily “bagel delivery”. Ok so, based on your preferences, the geniuses (who just so happen to be three women- WOOT WOOT!) at Coffee Meets Bagel have algorithms that pair you with matches or what they call “bagels” that they deliver to you each day. This was like having my own personal dating service where someone escorted in a cackle (probably should use another word here) of men to parade before me every day. To which I was able to yell out “YES HONEY!” or “AWAY WITH HIM!” This was a total ego boost.
Aside from my cyber fling (lol), my experience with Coffee Meets Bagel was the highlight of my Online Dating journey.
Soooo…What’s Up Now?
Chile, Jesus said “You’re buggin!” But seriously, in my prayer time I sensed the Lord telling me to shut my online dating operation down. And really it was due to the condition of my heart more than anything else. He knew I was taking matters into my own hands and not fully trusting Him in this area. Not even 30 days later, Jesus knocked the cool out of my walk and I was no longer an online pimp. Ironically though, I needed to hear the things He shared with me early that morning because for years I’ve felt like He was silent with regard to my romantic life. While what He was asking me to do was hard at the time, I was oh so encouraged by Him telling me to trust Him.
P.S If there are grammatical or punctuation errors, forgive me. It’s because Erin is on sabbatical (sheds tear). I realized last week how crippled I am in her absence so please, bear with us. Bonus for you guys, I am probably getting away with more here in her absence lol.