Should I Use an Online Dating Site?

With dating sites becoming the norm, I think we should do ourselves a favor and dig into the topic of online dating (especially as we head into this month typically focused on romantic love).

Before we do, I have to be honest with you. Tackling the topic of online dating is a little intimidating for me. I have several really close friends that I greatly admire who stand on opposite sides of the spectrum on this issue. Some godly friends of mine love online dating to pieces, and some godly friends are strongly opposed to it.

There are also amazing Christian ministries I highly respect with competing views on the subject. With all of these different perspectives, we can’t help but wonder, should we consider online dating or not?

As a twenty-nine-year-old unmarried Christian woman, I’ve done my fair share of reading, praying, and thinking through how to best honor God in the area of romantic relationships.

I’ve had multiple conversations and read many blogs and articles about online dating. I’ve decided to boil all of that information down into this one teeny-tiny blog post. There is so much to be said on the topic, and I realize I can’t address every aspect of the conversation today.

The goal of this blog post is to help you think through the pros and cons of online dating and both sides of the argument.

Why Online Dating Isn’t for Me

Let me start by sharing my personal online dating “status” with you. I’ve never used online dating. I don’t believe it’s the path for me. I believe that online dating would only be a distraction for me, and I never had any peace about using it personally.

My life verse (Prov. 3:5–6) has really become my personal mantra on the issue of dating and relationships:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths

That has been my prayer over the past several years as I’ve waited for God’s timing for romance. I want to trust wholeheartedly that God will guide me in the direction He wants me to go through His Word and the wise people around me. I don’t want to try and take control or make something happen on my own. For me, that’s meant “no” for online dating.

However, I don’t see anything in the Bible forbidding online dating. My decision is a personal preference, not a line in the sand. When it comes to online dating, you have to weigh your own pros and cons with the Bible as your guide.

If you’ve ever thought about using online dating, I highly encourage you to think, pray, and weigh the pros and cons before ever getting online. Don’t do it blindly or in a hurry because your friends encourage you to do it. Don’t do it out of fear or a lack of trust in God. If you’re motivated to start clicking because you’re wrestling with fear you will never get married, I’d encourage you to wait. Invest time reading God’s Word and ask Him to help you trust Him more in this area of your life.

So is online dating ever a good idea? Let’s consider the pros and cons.

The Pros

It can help differentiate the intentional from the non-intentional.

I’ve heard it said that online dating really helps narrow down the singles who are serious about marriage from the ones who aren’t.

It expands your pool of fish.

By going online, you will have many more potential options. No longer are you just limited to the tiny pool of people you personally know, but you now have access to people all over the country and sometimes even the world.

It offers personality, religion, and preference matches.

Online dating sites are well known for matching guys and girls up according to personality, religion, and preferences, etc. Many believe that this helps narrow down the options and gives a better chance of relationship success.

You can make your marriage interest known.

Online dating is often for the purpose of finding your lifelong match. Guys online will most likely appreciate a girl who’s intentional about marriage and who’s interested in a guy doing the same.

The Cons

There are dangers of the unknown.

Let’s just be real. You’re a girl going online and getting to know total strangers. That can be a little scary. It’s not possible to know with certainty that the person on the other side of the screen is safe.

It’s a time consumer.

I’ve heard several people who’ve used online dating say that it requires a lot of time to create a profile, keep up with emails, and get to know the different potentials. Before you create your online dating profile, consider whether you have that time to spend at this stage of your life.

There’s a financial investment.

Online dating sites aren’t free. They require memberships and membership fees.

How secure is your private information?

Going online requires you to fork over a bunch of personal information. (That’s how they make the matches.) I’ve read in several places that many online dating sites aren’t totally secure, making it somewhat easy for hackers to get into your account and access your info. That’s concerning.

Everyone puts their best foot forward.

Online dating gives the users the chance to put their best foot forward and keep the ugly in the back. It can be difficult to know the true beliefs, convictions, and character of the guys you meet.

Are you rushing through the single years?

God is working in your life and giving you opportunities to grow and become more like Jesus. Singleness isn’t a bad thing. Think through the possible work God might have for you to do in this season of singleness before getting online.

Remember the Point

Your life is about reflecting Christ and pointing others to Him, not to find a date or a mate. Fully strive to trust in Him, rely on Him, and rest in Him, and ask for His guidance as you consider online dating. He loves to give us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:5)!

Just remember that God is bigger, mightier, and more amazing than you could ever imagine.

Just remember that God is bigger, mightier, and more amazing than you could ever imagine. Don’t underestimate His sovereign control over your love life. Seek to trust in Him with all of your heart, and He truly will make your “relationship” path clear.

Now it’s your turn.

  • Are you for online dating or against it?
  • What pros do you see and what cons would you add to the list?

PS: Be sure to hop back on the blog for a bonus post tomorrow. We’ve got BIG news and some exciting giveaways you won’t want to miss!

About Author

Bethany Baird

After a brief experience in the modeling industry, Bethany’s eyes were opened to how self-absorbed and lost her generation of young women really are. She and her older sister were inspired to start a blog (www.GirlDefined.com) and wrote a book Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. Their passion is to help young women find God’s truth about beauty and womanhood and the freedom that comes from living a radically different life for Christ.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Emily Anderson

    Hmm… Well I am on the younger end of your readers (14) and not dating and certainly not engaged it married. I do, however, greatly admire your respectfulness and awareness that people have different personal preferences. I think, when I’m older of course, that I’ll say no to online dating. I may have read too many Christan thrillers/suspense/mystery novels where the bad guys (or even good guys looking for the bad guys) learn A LOT about people through their profiles (socal media profiles too!). So I think that my reasons for most likely NOT using online dating in the future, are (1.) people not bring who they say they are, (2.) hackers and privacy things, (3.) to me it seems like I’m taking God’s will into my own hands/I’m not trusting God for my future,(4.) You have to pay… That’s a nah.
    Thanks Bethany for this post! It is always a pleasure to read something from you! May everyone have a wonderful day!

  • Em Nelly

    My boyfriend and I met online. We both were Christian and new to the area we lived in. One of our first dates was finding a new church together, and we did! We are still together and have a Christ-centered relationship. Online dating is great when used for the right reasons. You still trust God in that He will provide in that way. To say you will not try online dating as a Christian girl closes you off to so many possibilities God may have for, in my opinion. It is not anti-Christian to online date, but can expand you spiritually if you filter your matches.

  • Natalie

    Right now, at 22, I wouldn’t date online. The whole idea still exudes a sense of desperateness. A lot of churches — and blog posts like this one — encourage such views. But, the closer I approach the age of 36 (for medical reasons, I feel this is the responsible, upper limit for giving birth), the more my opinion is likely to change. I believe most christian girls under 25 are still looking for a husband who is not only serving Christ, but who also “fits” them well. When the desire to be a wife and mother exceeds the desire to find a truly compatible man, the more online dating makes sense. Any christ-serving man will have to do. I don’t see it as anymore “wrong” or “unsafe” as traveling to a christian conference with a hope tucked in ones heart somewhere of meeting that special guy.

    Additionally, men show their “good-sides” at church too. The way they look and act there likely isn’t identical to the way they’ll look and act at home after 3 years of marriage.

    It’s also almost a given that those men who “resort” to online dating usually don’t have the whole package (either a chronic lack of free-time, meager good-looks, social difficulties, or a failed long-term relationship).

    It seems like a scary reality that I might just have to face someday too… I don’t find it in any way ideal. But, I also don’t disapprove of online dating. I think it can be positive, and I try not to judge those whose priorities have shifted.

  • Kaylyn

    I met my husband of 4 years on an online dating website. We only lived 25 minutes from each other! I feel like God brought us together through the website. I do agree that you have to be careful, though. I can see how sifting through profiles could occupy too much of your time. It is definitely something to pray about. It was right for us. ( I should add that I met my now husband within 2 weeks of being on the site, which I know isn’t probably normal for most people.) Again, God had his plans for us!

  • J

    I think this post was a balanced view on the subject. It is a matter of conscience. When I turned 30, many of my friends had found what they desired online. Feeling comfortable at the time, I took a shot at it, which lasted about 22 months. I met different people, dated, learned and have sinced moved on from that. While on the journey I tried to set boundaries. I kept others informed of what I was doing and I prayed. While I was ignorantly praying my hard earned money wouldn’t be wasted and the Lord would unveil some prince charming on cyberspace, he was ripping pride, entitlement, delusion and ignorance from me. Little did I know, online dating would be where God would start to teach me about His biblical purpose for marriage and how my clouded, Hollywood version could destroy me. I am forever thankful for His presence in my life. He is truly my Savior.

    I would caution young women not to get so caught up in assuming marriage and children are divine rights; they are not. They are not means for salvation. I would also caution against overly-romanticizing marriage. The Hollywood version is not accurate. The Bible teaches something more profound and true about marriage. Earthly marriages sanctify in preparation for the true Marriage Supper of the Lamb ( Rev. 19: 6-9) to come. This is not about loneliness or trying to become a mother before eggs disappear. If you feel a desire to try online dating, go for it. It can work and positive attitude is crucial. There are no specific formula to meeting other Christians. But certainly be grounded enough in your faith in Jesus that when tempters and immorals stand before you, you’ll know to avoid their traps.

  • Mary Tilden

    I’m all for online dating. After all, I found my husband through it!! He has a stronger, more knowledgeable foundation in the Christian faith than most people I know. I live in a very small community, where everyone knows you and all the young, single people escape. Moreover, I have a mental condition which offput many single men. It was only by warning single men beforehand (i.e. an online dating profile) that they had the time to personally evaluate whether they wanted to give me a chance or not, without me ever knowing! It saved me a lot of pain. Honestly, I had prayed for years for God to send me someone, and I think he really intended for me to sacrifice the money to find a good guy online, for my husband has genuinely made me happy. 🙂

  • Child of the King

    Please do stick with placing God first in your life. I am not against nor really that into online those that search for a mate online. Do be careful. My sister met someone online. As for me I tried online site just to be near those my age at least. My Pastor said this in a message, ‘If a Godly Man wants to pursue you that man will make the first approach.’ Sadly very few contacted me. My dad said, “Do you trust God, if you do take up the cross & follow Him”. I am in my thirties & if I don’t have a spouse, then I am ok with that because I know I will be following God’s plan. He has a timing for everything & I trust Him. I have give my attention to those that I work around that are unsaved & give attention to my nephews & neices. Do seek God’s Will for your life everyone. Always ask elders for wisdom about someone you might be interested in, because often we are blind at what they do that we should avoid like their belief for example as Girls Refined said in a video.

  • AG

    One of the cons that I would add to the list is that online dating puts me in a position of control, rather than God, and could possibly indicate a lack of trust in God’s timing for me. Do I really believe that God is in charge of my life? Do I really believe that He will provide what I need and withhold what I don’t? As I understand the Bible, God put man in the position of being the initiator, not the woman. When I participate in online dating, I am putting myself in the position of initiator, looking for the man. How much better to just trust God with my love life. After all, my story is already written (Ps. 139:16). If God has scripted a godly husband into my story, then He will bring that husband to me. I don’t have to put myself in the position of authoring my own story to speed things up or make things happen. No, I simply have to trust the Divine Playwright of my life and find life in Him alone. (Deut. 30:20a).

    AG

  • Child of the King

    AG, Amen! I received a quote, that I wanted to share with everyone a devotional from the book Jesus Calling, ‘You may have to wait for My answer– a little while or a long while. But don’t quit praying! Keep asking, and you will receive.’
    I not interested in online dating. I have learned that not each person’s page shows everything that’s true about them. Also whatever you post about yourself that might be true it leaves the risk of your identity as Bethany shared with us. Oh, the site is not Girls Refined. It is GirlDefined Ministries. Those two sisters are so sweet & very encouraging as well as other ladies here on Lies Women Believe. I know God protected me from what would have been an unhealthy relationship especially if it got truly serious. I know now how God feels, when we put other things before Him. God knows what’s best for us. I am not against those that find a mate online, but as for me I know God has my life planned & I want to seek His Will & not try to do things my way. I might or will be chased if I go my way & not follow His Will, true?.

  • Eve

    Thank you for the pros and cons. It’s great I can see it black on white. It’s really helpful! 🙂

  • Brenda

    Thank you for the timing of this article on online dating. It is nice to read the pros and cons.

  • Appreciated this article. For many of the reasons listed above, I’m not keen on online dating but when friends were interested in it and wanted my advice I had to really think about my stance on it and also concluded that it isn’t a black and white issue.

  • Madeline Hoppenstedt

    I appreciate that you gave both perspectives, as I tend to lean too much toward “my perspective is the right one”, when really this issue is a matter of the heart, each person should do what the Lord leads them to do.