Is Online Dating a Good Option?

Illustration for The Banner by Gisela Bohorquez

Is online dating a good option?

On my online accounts, the secret passphrase for the question “Where did you meet your spouse?” is “church,” so my own experience in this area is limited. But some helpful input convinced me that online dating is a viable option for anyone seeking a mate.

Shanda and Mandy thought dating would come naturally and easily. Not so.

Fighting the perception that online dating was somehow seedy or secular, Shanda secretly signed up with eHarmony. For Mandy, the more time that passed after graduating from college, the harder it was to find decent men to date. So she and a couple of her single friends decided to try the “online thing” at the same time.

“During my year-long subscription, I was matched with probably 80 men,” Shanda said. “I only met two in person. I learned so many things about myself! Could I date someone on the other side of the country? Could I date someone with kids? A smoker? Divorced? Throughout the process, I kept everything secret. When I finally decided to meet someone, I told my family. Reactions were mixed. That first date had many family members praying for safety and a few friends cheering me on.”

Being self-aware is important, Mandy said. “You definitely need to know who you are as a person. [Online dating] can be very defeating at times and make you question yourself.”

Safety is also important. “When I first started online dating, I would always tell my friends where I was meeting the guy, and we always met in a public place,” Mandy said.

Shanda and her husband, Gary, will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary this year. Mandy and her fiancé, Jeff, plan to be married this month.

Shanda’s coworker commented, "I don’t know why more people don’t use online dating. It is like using a fishfinder to catch fish."

“That made me feel good and maybe even smart for using online dating,” Shanda said. “And I began to own how my husband and I had met.”

About the Author

Dean Heetderks is co-director of Ministry Support Services of the CRC and art director of The Banner. Wondering about any part of the digital side of your life? Tell him about it at dean.heetderks@gmail.com

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