Friday, September 13, 2013

Devolution

At first I thought it was the fact I didn't sound very interesting or that my lack of social life somehow seeped into my profile. Sure I didn't highlight the detail that I still live with my parents or that at thirty-some odd years old, I haven't been in a long-term relationship. But reading between the lines, maybe it was all too clear that my Friday nights were most often spent at home, reading, watching a movie for the first or fifth time or challenging my mother to a game of Scrabble. I have to admit my first dating profile, back when I joined ChristianCafe sounded a lot more appealing than my latest incarnation on Match.com.

Then I wondered if it could be my advancing age? Back then I was under thirty. Or perhaps my profile pictures were not attractive enough? Or maybe my understated expression about the importance of faith in my life was off-putting both to non-believers, who I didn't really want to attract anyway, and believers, who maybe felt it didn't go far enough. A friend had suggested I downplay this emphasis since a previous profile had sounded too religious. 

Maybe if I took a break and tried to achieve a more interesting and appealing life, I could return to the world of online dating and write a better profile? One that would attract some interest and, more importantly, lead to a real-life connection with Mr. Right?

I read some articles and had some discussions about dating websites and Christian dating websites and grew more disheartened. It seemed a lot of guys use Christian websites who aren't who they claim to be and who find Christian dating websites a means to better exploit vulnerable women. And many men use online dating to hook up with no need to commit or settle down and an endless array of women to choose from. It certainly appeared that the only men I was attracting was divorcees and men in their fifties. And then there was that guy who contacted me from an American prison.

In talking to a male friend who wasn't a Christian, I almost despaired of the existence of men of integrity who weren't addicted to porn and who were committed to sexual purity. Almost, but I realised I knew many men who were men of integrity and honour. My friend's view that "all men are pervs" should not cause me to doubt that there were men who were godly, respectful of women, and, even if they were sometimes tempted by lust, had made a covenant with their eyes not to look at a woman lustfully. Men who saw women as more than objects.

In my forays in online dating, I have written many profiles, I have chatted with some men, exchanged emails back and forth, and have even met some individuals in person, many of whom were decent people. I haven't found the One and I have wondered if the One even exists and whether I should even hold onto that concept or not.  I have tried ChristianCafe, eHarmony, and Match.com, moving from explicitly Christian to more secular, and with each new website, I have made fewer connections and met less people. With each attempt I have grown less hopeful. I know dating websites do work for some people, but they haven't worked for me. I realise now with each new profile I have compromised more and been less true to myself and more vague. I should be more confident in who I am, engaged in my life and interested in other people and then, whether I meet Mr. Right or not, I will find more satisfaction in life and success in my relationships. 

4 comments:

Diwakar said...

Hello Suzanne. So good to know you through your profile on the blogger. I am also glad to stop by your blog " Consider the Lilies" and the post on it" Devolution".Your experiences seem disappointing to you in finding Godly young man to be your life partner on line. It is my prayer that the Lord would bring right person in your life in His time. I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 33 yrs in the great city of Mumbai, India. We do have arranged marriages in most cases.In Christian marriages Pastors role is more important and crucial Dating is a Western culture but since parents and elderly persons are involved in the marriages of their young children the divorce rate is less. As the title of your blog says Consider the Lilies which removes our anxiety and shift us to trust God who has best plans for us.
Well Suzanne knowing that you are a christian Nurse I just felt that I should share with you an opportunity where by you can come to Mumbai, India on a short missions trip to work with us in the slums of Mumbai bringing healing (physical and spiritual) to the broken hearted, neglected, marginalized and oppressed. I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 33 yrs in this great city a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage young people like you as well as adults from the West to come to Mumbai to work with us during their summer vacation. We would love to have you come. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. My email id is : dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar WAnkhede. My son has settled with his wife in Calgary, Alberta. I do keep coming to Canada once in couple of years. I would love to visit you if the opens door for me in coming year. Looking forward to hear from you very soon.

Ty Swaffield said...

sincere, and true
p.s.- you cannot sound too religious- God has a path for you- He is purposing you for. I pray that you continue to discern and build the church

Donna said...

Internet dating never worked for me either! I met a great local guy on christianmingle.com and ended up waiting over two years because of the mixed messages he kept sending; I thought he was The One and he totally ended up breaking my heart. I finally gave up on him (and internet dating), and eventually met my now-hubby at a bonfire the next year. As for the other guy, I heard he's currently shacked up with his current girlfriend. I guess he still hasn't figured out how to commit. :S That being said, I have 4 cousins who all met their husbands through internet dating. I guess you just never know!

Suzanne said...

Thanks Ty. That sounds painful, Donna, to invest two years into a relationship with someone who can't commit. I am glad you are now happily married. I have heard success stories too with internet dating. You are right that you never know.