The dating world makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. You put yourself out there earnestly as available only to encounter some of the most disingenuous people. There seems to be no formula. Just a boat load of anxiety. – Alafia Stewart
We live in the digital era. That’s right. It’s like a new world. Cars, books, clothing, medicine, foodstuff, you can get almost anything online. You name it, you can get it. The experience that comes with online dealings, that convenience is amazing. And it doesn’t stops there. There’s a growing trend. Need to meet someone? Need a future husband or wife? They are available online.
Even in my Christian circles, people ask, is it okay to seek a relationship online? Being the old school gal that I am, I was at first skeptical about it. But with age comes wisdom, and you get to avoid dismissing people’s views because they are not aligned with yours.
So, question. Why would someone seek this option? Lack of dating opportunities with people you interact with face to face? Or, maybe, a different platform, forum, of meeting people compared to those traditional options basking around social gatherings? We all do know how matchmaking can turn out.
Online dating is like a shop, a market place, for potential partners. There are those who sell themselves in the hopes of ending up in a successful relationship. Then there are the ‘buyers’, those who troll the internet, clicking profiles, checking whether there can be a successful match.
But why online dating? Why deal with an increasing perception that those who seek this avenue are desperate? Have they given up on ways of meeting someone physically to love? Kindly let’s indulge.
Single men ask, where are these good women we keep hearing about? The single women also serve an equal piece of the same pie. For someone who hasn’t struggled to get into a good relationship, it’s a plight for this good people that one may not understand. A friend asked, why and how do people take long to marry? The truth is love is not always easy to come by for many a good people.
The advocates for online dating state that it’s increasingly getting harder to date in one’s own circles. The digital media thus provides a wider platform to meet different people. What if someone doesn’t respond to your online request? No problem. You don’t get to suffer the humiliation of being rejected like you would in a face to face situation.
Online dating also gives you a chance to meet and know someone before you meet them in person. It provides a basis, a view point, an experience, to know someone’s mind, thoughts and if there can be a connection. Hey, the world is changing, the proponents say. There’s nothing wrong with moving with the trends. Conventional ways aren’t working, they say. And there have been cases of success where couples met online and relationships led to marriage. Therefore, it’s a tried and tested method, they conclude.
The opponents also partake in the discussion pudding. They argue that using online mode of dating, one may meet fraudsters and impersonators. There are many predators ‘out there’ with ill motives. Information provided may be untrue. It’s a crazy world. One has to be extremely careful. It’s a risk. But they also admit, fraudsters do also exist even when seeking relationships face to face. They also argue that it may be difficult to get someone who shares your values. Christians fear that trying to find love online diminishes your faith in God regarding waiting on Him for a spouse.
According to some psychotherapists, especially in the West, they feel that the use of dating apps may end up being pathological, as the focus is on one’s appearances, and there’s non-emotional online communication. Some of the people using these dating apps have a list of people that they would want or not want to engage with, for example they should not be black, fat, short, whatever you wish to eliminate to get a good chance of getting the perfect match. It is usually hard also to pick the non-verbal communication, as you are not physically present with the person identified.
It may not be wrong to date online, but one needs to figure out the person on the other end. You see, you are circling around the internet. There are hawks, there are vultures, but there could also be pigeons and doves. Through social media platforms, the internet can reveal what or who the person is committed to.
Of importance is the need to exercise caution as you seek to get into a relationship, whether in the traditional manner or online. One needs to also seek counsel and be surrounded by people who care and provide you with support. Relationships aren’t easy.
And seek the Lord’s guidance. It’s paramount. Remember that He is always working in our lives. One guy who has used the dating apps for a prolonged while said, “No matter what platform you use or don’t use; if you forget that God is working, your ‘unplanned singleness’ will always feel useless.” Seek to glorify God in all things. It calls for prayer as you pursue any kind of relationship. Or, as my brother Munene Gangi says, you may end up experiencing a cold blast of realism!