S2 Ep2 – Online Dating

*This is a Patron’s choice episode* Please consider joining our Patreon Community. At ‘Shine a Light’ tier, you will get to choose one of our episodes.

We did a live stream earlier today, if you missed it check out our patreon page, join any tier to access the live stream, where we talked a bit about the break, padre shared about settling into Narrandera, and Stina about Virtue Ministry plans moving forward, and we talked about what’s coming in this season of Living Fullness. 

This is a Patrons Choice Episode – 

Is there a place for online dating? – Yes, so long as it’s used as a platform to meet people and not a platform to grow in depth of relationship. 

What do we mean by ‘online dating’?

Go back to dating – it’s an opportunity to get to know someone in the initial stages to see if we can be friends with the potential of romance at some point. 

This is where dating and online dating are actually different. In the real world, the face to face, side by side world, dating is an opportunity to enjoy getting to know someone you’ve met for a short period of time to figure out if there’s potential for real friendship and romantic relationship. Once a yes has been established, move into intentional courtship. Quit wasting time and energy skirting around whether you want to commit to figure out if this is the right person for you or not, and just do it. If you realise in a couple of weeks, they’re not the one, then at least you properly tried the relationship and can walk away,with less hurt on both sides,  instead of being in the gray area for months and leaving a gaping wound when it ends. 

In the online world – dating is more about actually meeting someone – it’s that first encounter and the initial stages all through a medium. Which means in some ways, things can be a bit fast tracked which means being intentional and clear about what you’re after (which also means knowing yourself). In other ways, things can also be slow to develop, in that relationship milestones and progress can take a bit longer. 

Shared hearts – cautious – online dating is not for the person who really struggles to keep their emotional attachments in check. If you find it ‘too easy’ to fall for someone, then online dating may not be for you right now. Figure out who is the most important person in your life. Because if we fall for someone too quick, and make our everyday decisions around that person and being able to spend time with them, talk to them etc. then we’ve effectively made them the most important person in our life… where does that place God in our hearts? 

I’m not saying we need to be in a place where we never face temptations to put someone or something else above God before we date, but we need to be in a place where we can recognize it and actively work to reorder our relationships, before dating, of any kind! But especially online dating

Why especially online dating? Because unlike real life dating, where we recommend group settings be the primary method of dating until you’re ready to move into intentional courtship, online dating doesn’t really allow for that. There’s a lot of 1 on 1 from the start, and it’s easier to divulge your heart to someone through a medium than it is in person. It’s less confronting, less risky, and therefore you feel less vulnerable. A good check is, would I be able to give my inbox to a trusted friend, who loves God and has his or her relationships in order, to read without cringing at my interactions? Or having any regrets or for them to raise any concerns in my interaction?

If that questions makes you think ‘errr…. Maybe not’ then there’s too much being divulged. 

Online dating should only ever be temporary. We don’t want a relationship that only works in the online space. We want a real-life-relationship, make it a priority to move the relationship off the platform in a timely manner. By that I mean, be intentional and clear that you don’t want to stay in the ‘typing’ conversation mode for too long. Decide for yourself how much interaction you need to feel comfortable and then move into another way of communication such as a video call.

Once you’ve had a couple of video calls and you decide this is a relationship I’d be interested in continuing, make it a priority to actually meet up in person. This is where distance can become quite a challenge. If you know you have no way of meeting up with someone from the other side of the world, really ask yourself if you should be even getting involved with someone on the other side of the world. We’re not saying no, i’m saying make a point of praying about it. Same for  the things that you won’t sway on. Eg. if you actually don’t want to move from where you are currently located, whatever reasons that might be, make sure you’re clear about that from the start so that neither of you end up opening your hearts to something that doesn’t have a future. If you’re not sure, and you think perhaps for the right person I’d move, then say that too. Just be clear about what you will and won’t sway on. Don’t be wishy washy about it. 

Be wary of anyone who stalls a video call for too long. Also be wary of anyone who pushes your boundary. I have a personal policy that I don’t give out my number until I’ve met and spoken to someone in person, and I feel safe to give them my number. But everyone is welcome to facebook messenger me about anything whether that be because they’re interested in pursuing a relationship, want to book me for a speaking role, or have a professional question to ask. There have only been a few who have been taken aback by my ‘no, I don’t feel comfortable giving you my number just yet, but you’re welcome to use… (whatever other method is more appreciate)’. A couple have tried to push me, which to me is a red flag. Anyone who tries to push you after you’ve said ‘i’m not comfortable’ are telling you they will say and do things that make you uncomfortable not just now, but also well into the future. Believe them, when they indicate that! They have serious wounds that need to be healed, and you’re not going to heal that, you’re only going to get hurt. 

If they push, just say, well it looks like we can’t agree on this, and I’m looking for someone who can understand me so thanks for messaging/replying and I wish you all the best. 

Hold nothing against them, be grateful for the interaction because now you know you have eliminated one more person, and you’re one step closer to finding someone suitable for you, AND you’ll learn something about yourself each time, as well. But also, truly wish the best for them. If you can, say a prayer for them and their future spouse. Maybe something like ‘that they may find each other soon’.  

Expectation management – Take stock of what you expect to happen when you sign up to an online platform – Do you anticipate you will be flooded with requests from people? Do you think you will find a number of suitable matches that will be overwhelming? Or do you think it will be an awful experience? Whatever outlook you have, will influence the experience you have. The reality is you may not meet someone suitable for you right away, it may take time. You may have to filter through a number of unsuitable people to find someone similar to you. You may even find that you don’t get requests for some time. All of these are ok and there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just part of the process.  

Link in description to Samuel Brabner – 4 Bad Dating App Dates You’ll Probably Experience (Sorry!) – https://parttimeprophet.com/4-bad-dating-app-dates/

T.B.G

SB – Caught up with Katrina and Loni and Family and listened to Iva sing!

SC – Another Trust exercise – scary but grateful

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