Monday, May 14, 2012

Online Dating Observations

I had an interesting revelation the other day that I wish to share.

When I think of online dating success stories, I immediately think of 3 girlfriends who have met, dated and married men that they met online.  While each of the women are different from one another, they have one defining characteristic in common:  they are all extroverted women.

Let me introduce you to my three girlfriends:

They are all God-fearing, extroverted women that have the capability and energy to lead and mobilize others and they are all entrepreneurs in their own right.  They are outgoing and not entirely soft-spoken women, but full of grace and love for those they come in contact with.  They have hearts that are overflowing for the ones they love and they would do anything for family and friends.

Yet, they are all different.  One is the 2nd oldest in her family, another the 2nd youngest and the third is in the middle.  One plays competitive soccer, another loves to travel and another prefers shopping over sports any day of the week.  They range in age from late-twenties to mid-thirties, only one of which being married before she was 30.

All three of these remarkable women met their Godly, quiet husbands online.  It's interesting to note that the 3 girls married 3 guys who, like the women, are all similar yet different.  Each of the couples are very similar:  an extroverted woman married an introverted man, and they all met online.  I can assure you that each of the women should have had no trouble finding a man to date, and yet they all ended up online in search of love, because they had little to no success in the traditional realm of dating.

Is there a case study for the personality types that go online dating?  To ask my mom she might tell you that it's those who are somehow defective ("I mean why else are they still single?!").  I can't help but wonder what it is that makes these Godly women who people admire, respect and adore feel the need to go online to find a husband.  And what is it about these equally Godly men, who can only approach these women online?  Is there something in our churches, in our societal expectations or perhaps through the onslaught of media that funnels people into certain avenues of dating.  Does online dating attract a certain 'type'?

Is it possible that these men are simply too fearful of rejection in the flesh that they must be introduced via a computer.  Are these the same women they would be attracted to in social settings, but out of fear of rejection never attempt to instigate a relationship, or even ask for a date?

Likewise, are these type of women overlooking the quieter guys because of their outgoing personality and perhaps the men are not even acknowledged, until such a time when the woman becomes serious and deliberate about her dating life?

I ask these questions, not because the women asked me to - no, I ask them because I wonder the same for myself.  Am I missing out on some of the Godly men in my life because I'm so busy being social, that I might miss the quieter guy in the corner?  I have tried online dating and failed miserably and as I've said before, paying to be rejected is just not something I take joy in, so I stopped.

There is a quieter, Godly man that I am interested in, but I wonder what his thoughts are.  I refuse to instigate anything, lest I be left wondering "did he just settle?; would he have ever asked me out of his own accord?; will he take leadership in the relationship?" Older women that I admire and respect have told me that they had to 'nudge' their husbands, and these are Godly men who have become elders and leaders within our church.  I am left quite confused by the whole situation and so I sit here with these absolutes:

  • at this point in time, I will not try online dating again
  • I am interested in someone
  • God will provide for all my needs
Looking for some feedback:  do you think that online dating attracts a certain personality?  When, if ever, should a woman 'nudge'?  What constitutes a 'nudge'?  Do opposites really attract, should an outgoing woman be looking for a quieter man?


  1. I hope I never suggested to you that you're single because you're defective! We're all defective in some way. You're a wonderful person!
    Reading you're post, I thought about the different ways couples would meet, date, woo (? ) over the centuries. Some societies still have the parents decide who their offspring will marry.
    It used to be much more formal, restrictive and in many ways it seems that was better than the chaotic free for all we have now, where young girls mistake sex for love or even a pastime and men can 'get the milk for free', so to speak.
    If women only realized the power they've 'thrown away'.
    I do think the quiet/shy men do often need a nudge. I wonder if they're too timid to ask a woman out? It can be helpful if a friend nudges them, that way, if they're not interested, it's easier for them to decline.
    Seems like our society needs a new formal system to help young people with the whole thing. It's not unique for it being a challenge, why else would there be and have been so many different ways for parents to get actively involved; to protect their daughters, to make sure their children found a 'good' match.... sadly often it wasn't in the child's best interest but the parents'.
    I keep praying for you to clearly understand God's will for your life, that the right doors open and you'll know which way to go.
    Being single isn't all bad, as you know. Funny how many single people desperately want to be with someone and couples more often than not seem to be unhappy with the one they're with.
    Hope you'll get some good counsel from friends on this. xo

  2. Hmmm. Man, I don't really know if I have any useful feedback. I have a cousin who met a really great guy online. I think that sometimes (as in her case) there just aren't that many guys/girls in a certain age range and then you need ways of meeting people who are in areas with the opposite gender shortage... Lol that sounds ridiculous but do you know what I mean?

  3. Sadly, it's not ridiculous - at all! I totally get it :) Who knows, maybe one day I will reconsider the online dating world, but for now I'm too busy to be preoccupied with dating. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be dating, but it's not as though my life is incomplete or I feel dissatisfied because of a lack of relationship. I am trusting God to bring whomever, whenever, if ever. I go through periods of discontent and contentment - today is a day of contentment, thankfully!

  4. Interesting observations and good questions. This made me think of an old Boundless podcast where Lisa interviewed 4 guys about their reasons and experiences with online dating. My impression is that online dating would have more appeal to shy guys than those who are outgoing, but I don't have data to back that up.

    Regarding the idea of looking for an opposite match, I'd think such a match should develop naturally rather than being engineered. If a person fits the criteria of being a good counter-balance but isn't attractive (in the broad sense), than I'd think that's an issue. It could well be that someone of an quieter nature is more attractive to someone who's more outgoing - great! But I don't think that ought to be a criterion.

    Those are a couple thoughts off the bat, for what they're worth.