Computers and the internet are intertwining themselves with every aspect of our lives. As single adults it shouldn't surprise people that we often are looking for potential relationship partners. There are certainly no shortage of online options promising to match us up! How should we as Christians view online dating? As a minister who specializes in relationships, I have asked this question many times. After praying about it, thinking about it, and looking at what's out there, I have concluded that online matchmaking is just a technique for sorting some possibilities.
Like most techniques, or tools it is neither good or bad. Even so there are smart ways to use online matchmaking, and dumb ways. This lesson is intended to give you some ideas of how to explore online options without endangering your Christian walk, or your safety.First of all I would concentrate on matchmaking sites which at least claim to be Christian. It is true that Non-Christians will frequent Christian matchmaking sites.
You should also be watchful for those who claim to be Christian, but are not. However it is more likely that you would meet someone compatible on a Christian site than a secular one. How a dating site or any other site portrays itself, will naturally impact the kind of people attracted to it. Besides as a general rule it is always a good idea for us to fellowship with fellow Christians than the people of this world. This holds in the virtual world, just as it does in the real world.Keep in mind that on the internet you can never be entirely sure who you are talking too.
Sadly people often lie online. Never completely believe anything you are told on the internet! Don't release private information (phone number, address, work location, email etc.) except under the most trusted circumstances. Many sites allow you to email other members, without revealing your email address.
It is worth paying extra for this feature. Another option is to get an extra email address from one of the many free web based email services. That way you can avoid giving out your main email address.
Worst case scenario, you can simply close this extra account.Trust your instincts! Don't let somebody talk you into meeting in person unless you feel totally comfortable doing so. Pick one or two sites and spend some time there. Most such sites have chat rooms, and usually regular visitors.
Get to know people who have been there, ask them about their experiences.If you find someone who you want to meet, always schedule the first meeting in a very public place. Also make sure a friend or relative knows you are going out, and when you think you will be back. It is also a good idea for you and your "prospect" to discuss the date beforehand.
How long do you expect the date to last. What are your "boundaries" for what you will allow. Yes guys there are still women who don't kiss on the first date. This will go far to avoid potentially dangerous misunderstandings.
For safety sake, avoid dark places (like movie theatres) even public ones. Aside from safety concerns keep in mind the primary purpose of a first date is to decide if there will be a second. How can you get to know more about each other, and make that decision in a movie?.Other precautions to consider include leaving unnecessary money and credit cards at home (They can't steal what you don't bring!) Do take your cell phone along if you have one. You might also want to bring along a couple of quarters in case you have to use a payphone. If you don't have a cell phone you may want to consider at least getting a prepaid one.
Payphones are not near as plentiful as they used to be. Note to the ladies, carry these "safety quarters" somewhere other than in your purse.The best way to look at such things is to treat this like any blind date, or any date with someone you don't know well. Just take your time, and protect yourself just in case. However don't forget to have fun! Hopefully the only thing you really have to worry about is if he/she will enjoy the date as much as you do..Robert A. Crutchfield is president of Kingdom Relationship Ministries. He is a minister, public speaker, and success/relationships coach. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Visit him online at http://www.kingdomrelationships.org.
By: Robert Crutchfield