As promise, this week I am sharing my insights and experience with On-line dating. Gregg and I met on-line 12 years ago when on-line dating was just getting started. I seriously never expected to meet my husband on-line. And, I was embarrassed to even admit I was participating in on-line dating!
Men Were Not Scarce
After college, I lived in a very metropolitan area where there were plenty of single men. In fact, I was surrounded by single men both socially and at work. I also had a very active social life with a Catholic community comprised of both married and single Catholics. I knew a lot of people! So, statistically, I should have found my husband in this environment. I dated a lot and had 3 relationships that I would put in the ‘on-the-cusp-of-being-engaged-serious’ category. But, alas I remained single.
Why Online Dating?
I signed up for on-line dating with a Catholic site at the encouragement of a girlfriend of mine. She was a brave girl from New York and she gave me just the right push to get me to do it. I had high hopes at first because I had a fundamental belief that I had a lot to offer. I jokingly describe my decision to participate in on-line dating as “opening myself up to the larger, National Market.” My motto was “Let the best man win!”
But, then I went on dates with the on-line guys and my expectations were tempered. After a while, I viewed it as just a ‘supplemental” way of meeting men.
One of the beliefs I had about on-line dating is that the men are seeking marriage (which appeared to be half the battle with the real-life men I was dating). However, I found that although the on-line guys may have been seeking marriage, none of those relationships progressed towards marriage (not even remotely). So, I became disillusioned about it. Don’t get me wrong, the guys were contacting me and they were taking me on dates but they were not guys I was interested in. Dating them felt mostly forced.
I got to the point where I was only logging into the site on Monday’s to answer the emails I received from these guys. But then, one glorious Monday, I logged in and found an email from Gregg, my beloved. The saying, “It only takes one.” is true.
A Desperate Move?
Is on-line dating a desperate move? If it is, it is the best desperate move I ever made! Did I feel desperate and creepy at the time? Yes. Do I care now? Not a bit. If I hadn’t done it, I have a strong feeling I would still be single. And no man is better for me than Gregg.
I know you might think on-line dating is just for the ‘hopeless’ but may I make a suggestion for those of you who scoff at it? Approach it as a supplemental way of meeting men. Approach it as a way for God to work in your life without limiting Him to your local area. Don’t put all your hopes and dreams in it, but just be open to it.
Suggestions for On-line Dating
Since my Response Formula won’t work in the cyber world, here are my suggestions for on-line dating:
Let him pick you: I never shopped around or checked out the guys that were on the site. I only responded to the ones that sought me out and sent me notes. That way, I knew that they picked me.
Log in once a week: I got to the point where I only checked my on-line inbox on Mondays. This did frustrate the guys a little but it prevented us from getting into an email-only relationship. It forced them to call me if they wanted to interact with me and ask me out. I think it also showed that I had a life outside of on-line dating.
I followed this practice with Gregg too which is why we got off to a slow start. But, it did not discourage him! I only learned later that he was checking his inbox for my reply while I was going about my life. I had no idea that he was going to be ‘the one’! So, I treated him just like every other guy…..until he set himself apart with his wonderfulness. 🙂
None of their beeswax: Other than my friend from New York, I did not tell anyone I was participating in on-line dating. I even fibbed to my Mom about how I met Gregg and only told my parents the truth because I was flying to Kansas to visit him. Yeah, I was weirded-out about it a little.
Therefore, if you feel desperate and creepy and hopeless for trying on-line dating, just don’t tell anyone. Just remember the safety rules for the first 3 dates (meet in a public place, drive yourself, keep your spidy scenses on).
Treat it as supplemental: Treat is as a way to increase your ability to meet men. Don’t put all your eggs in the real-life or on-line basket. Be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit!
Don’t be too electronically chatty: In other words, be flirty and sweet but keep it breezy. You do not want him to carry on an electronic-only relationship with you. If he keeps it at that lame-o level, you can email him back after a couple of exchanges and say, “Email is not my preference. Would you like to call me?”
Don’t become his buddy: The guy should move things to the dating phase rather than taking the phone/email buddy approach. He should want to look into your eyes, see your smile and smell you by taking you on dates! 🙂
Long-Distance situations: This can be tricky but obviously not impossible. A guy may feel skittish about initiating a visit. Seriously, the women’s lib thing has screwed up chivalry. He may not want to scare off a perfectly nice girl by suggesting a visit.
True Story: Gregg and I lived a long-distance from each other. Once our interactions moved to talking on the phone and I could tell that he was a nice guy (oh, and I loved his voice!), I wanted us to meet in person. So, after about a month I sweetly said, “When are you going to visit me?”
My point in sharing this is that you don’t need to be coy. You can state what you want in the relationship. Guys cannot read your mind and they don’t have the visual cues they would have in person. If you say to him, “Would you like to call me?” or “When are you going to visit me?” and he does not want to, so be it.
Gregg wanted to visit me and he was very happy I put that opportunity out there! With the right guy, it works. With the wrong guy, it won’t work. It will leave you feeling needy and stupid. But, it is still better than a stalled courtship stuck at the email or phone phase.
If you are doing the on-line thing and you have specific questions for me, feel free to email me or (if you feel brave) state your question in the combox.
The topic: There Is No Formula! An Amazing and Beautiful Guest Post. This is BIG!
God love and bless you!
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