Welcome back to another NAS Tuesday! I hope you had a chance to see some of my and Jen's adventure in Boston! We had the absolutely BEST time at CatholicTV! Check out my Twitter and Instagram for more :) And if you're joining us for the first time reading or linking up, welcome!!
This week's prompt is an interesting one and one that not everyone can necessary weigh in on. Surely, not everyone has tried online dating, but it does seem to be popular these days and is certainly a common topic of discussion in our NAS Facebook group!
I haven't come out and said anything on this here blog yet, but I can speak on this topic because, yes, I recently joined the online dating world. Sometime in May, after some prayer and a lot of "why the heck not"s, I signed up for CatholicMatch. I have a lot of friends (both blogging and IRL) who have tried various dating sites with various results...many of those results being successful. And by successful I mean either serious relationships or engagements.
So, what I have I learned these past 4ish months since trying out CM? While I might still be a rookie in online dating, I have definitely learned A LOT. So here are some of my tips...
DO try it out.
If you want. If you're curious. I decided that I didn't have a whole lot to lose, and if I'm truly open to however God wants to bring my future husband and I together, then why not try to open every door possible? The worst that can happen is...nothing. But at least you were open to the possibilities!
DON'T put all your eggs in one basket.
Online dating is not the end-all-be-all. It is not the cure for singleness. It is a tool that could potentially help you meet a "special someone" (if I hear/read that phrase one more time...). But don't expect a dating site to "fix" your love life. Be open to other possibilities and don't stop living your life.
DO be honest with yourself and potential suitors.
If there is a fundamental reason you think this guy who messaged you is not a good fit, that is ok. You don't have to be attracted to every single person who makes contact! Just be sure to message him back with a simple "thanks for reaching out, but I don't think I see anything more than friendship...best wishes for your future." No huge explanation necessary. Believe me, he'll likely thank you for your honesty.
DON'T be perturbed by the thought of someone you're interested in talking to other women.
Look, this is just the way things go. On a site like CatholicMatch, there are literally thousands of guys. In order to sort through them all, you will likely be talking/messaging/chatting with multiple men at one point or another. So, it's extremely likely that someone you're getting to know is also getting to know other women. Even men serious about finding their future wife will likely be in contact with multiple women.
DO keep your pictures current and high quality!
This might sound obvious, but this is so essential! Make sure you find a pic that was taken in good lighting, and that it's one that shows your "true" self. By this I mean your sweet smile, silly humor, or what have you.
DON'T be afraid to initiate contact.
Now, before Cindy protests, allow me to explain ;) Ladies, we want a man to pursue. How he acts early on in the relationship is an indicator of how he will act throughout. However, I think that viewing profiles, taking interviews, or mayyybe even sending emotigrams are perfectly acceptable. (these are all CM specific things, which is the only site I can speak to, sorry!) I draw the line at long introductory messages with 10 questions. The way I see it, a "view" is like a glance across the bar, taking interview questions is similar to a friend telling a guy about you, and an emotigram is like a smile or saying "hi". Now, I don't use emotigrams often because I think they're corny and annoying....but hey, whatever floats your boat. :)
DO fill out every section of your profile.
If you're going to pay to be on a dating site, make sure you get the most out of it. Fill out the questions completely so anyone viewing your profile gets a good idea of what you're all about.
DON'T keep a relationship online.
By this I mean if you're within visiting distance, meet up if possible. This hasn't been possible for the guys I've gotten to know, but then move the conversation from online to as personal as possible...and soon. Use Cindy's tips on how to suggest this without leading and do this as soon as you feel comfortable. The sooner you make contact more than just email, the easier it will be to discern if you actually get along with the guy you're talking with.
DO continue to be "picky".
Just because you're giving online dating a go doesn't mean that you're desperate. It doesn't mean your standards have changed. If you've joined CatholicMatch or Christian Mingle or some other faith-based site...keep that standard. I've noticed a ton of guys on CM who only agree with 2-3 of the 7 Catholic faith questions. Mmmmm I'm gonna wait for a 7/7. After all, I joined CATHOLICMatch for a reason.
I can't wait to read everyone else's advice and perspectives! Knowing how diverse our opinions can be, I expect a good discussion for this topic as well :)
What do you think about online dating? What are your tips and tricks? Dos and Don'ts? Write a post and link up below!
Next week's topic:
Courtship vs. Dating
It might be easy to say that the pursuit of marriage is the purpose of dating (aka courtship). But, that's not how our culture views dating. Does viewing the person you're dating as a potential spouse add unnecessary pressure on the relationship? In your opinion, is there a difference between dating and courtship? If so, what are those differences?
9/30: Our Makeup Routines
What are your thoughts on wearing make up? Do you see a tension between a pressure from society and a God-given desire to be and make life beautiful? Is your use of make up compatible with the idea that God sees you as naturally beautiful? (Thanks to Bek!)
10/7: Rosary + Single Life
October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, so we wanted to honor Mary and reflect on her help during this time of singleness. How have you called on her intercession before? What is your relationship with our Blessed Mother like? If you don't know much about Mary or the Rosary, is there something keeping you from getting to know her?
Continuing on our reflections about our make up routines, let's chat about modesty! What does modesty mean to you? Does it just involve the clothes you wear and how you wear them? What about the things you say or do? In what ways can we improve our overall modesty?