Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On (Online) Dating and Friendship

Edit: I wrote this a few days ago but have been struggling on whether or not to post this publicly on my blog. I have come to the decision that while most things regarding being single (or married for others) might need to remain private or personal, sometimes we use this as an excuse to remain silent in our struggles, desires, and journey's regarding friendships and relationships. Additionally, I know from some married friends, their struggle can be to maintain that "perfect image" to other about their marriage. The reality is life is full of complexity, lots of confusion, but if we will let Him, God will challenge us to far greater things than we could ever attain and accomplish on our own... because our nature is selfish and His nature is full of love, holiness, kindness, and community. So, here we go...


It's time I come clean, let the rabbit out of the hat, and admit what only a few close friends and family have known the past few months. I have been pursuing online dating, even asking a few females out that I have met face-to-face.

For years I found myself feeling a bit rejected, mostly relegated to the friend part of life with all my female friends when it came to relationships. Since this last November, about nine months, I started online dating after losing weight, gaining confidence, and finally deciding I would put myself in that wacky of world online dating despite my first experience at it a few years previously to be rather odd, if not slightly disturbing... If you call getting messages from sixty year old ladies disturbing. I did.

Let’s just say online dating is such an odd thing and I almost feel sad how many people are relegated to finding someone this way. I find it odd that we cannot connect with one another and network enough to find matches in real life, because in community we all know who is single, their personalities, and yet those looking stay silent (in shame or guilt I suppose) about their desires and longings.

Recently, I asked out a few females I had met in person, which is always a lot more dramatic and emotionally vulnerable than sending out the "hey you" message on a dating site to someone you do not know. The thing is, I've also recently been getting some opportunities to become friends with some females, which is odd when you are in a “dating mindset”, like the one that (online) dating produces, that seems to make women into more of a meat market of potential relationships than actually getting to know them as person, uniquely created by God.


The last few weeks God has really been laying friendship on my heart. I still do not have a lot of friends here in the area. It’s like being the new kid at a school where all the social groups are set and you are trying to fit in, to be accepted, to find your niche.

I read and share articles all the time in my Facebook about how men and women can be friends. I believe that in my mind, ideally, but my life the last few months hasn’t been showing what I profess to believe. It is very easy to cut out females from your life when you are so focused on finding "the one" or a "potential one" that you miss all the friends you could make, even if a relationship is not possible.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. - John 15:12-15
Jesus told his disciples that they were his friends, so friendship doesn’t have to be some derogatory phase regarding the opposite sex in regards to relationships, nor does it mean there has to be some alternative underlying motive. Certainly there may be some form of attraction, but I believe friendship is appreciating the beauty of the other as a person without being in an intimate physical relationship, because the reality is all friendships are certainly emotional and spiritual, if not humorous and intellectual, sharing life with another.

Friendship is also known as "Philo” or “Philia" (Brotherly, Sisterly, or Friendly love) in the Greek and CS Lewis writes about friendship in his book "The Four Loves". There is something there, something God is showing me. Despite not wanting to be put in that “zone”, I question why, what am I seeking? What am I running away from? Am I only seeking what I desire but missing something I need, namely friendship? How can I so quickly dismiss that? How quickly do we dismiss others as friends based on many things like gender, socioeconomic status, etc. That thought is haunting me, convicting me, and God has not let it leave me the last few weeks.

Trust. Hope. Anticipate. Let Go.

So, for now, I am toning down on the online dating. Still pursuing it somewhat but I feel I’ve been stuck in extremes and need to re-prioritize, moderate, to find a balance between giving up or completely giving myself over to the (online) dating system. I think God has another way, a different way, one in which I get to know another, and one in which rejection of a relationship doesn’t have to be the end but can be the beginning of something new, a friendship with someone new, created by God that can add value to life.

What are your thoughts?

How do you feel about (Online) Dating?
How do you feel about friendship?
How about friendship with the opposite gender?

~ Single Me

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