Two Reasons Your Family and Friends Should be a Part of Your Dating Life
by ChristianCrush Team
The game of online dating has changed tenfold in the past decade. When the first matchmaking sites appeared, they were primarily visited by a few geeky people who happened to know how to use the Internet. And now, over half of all singles profess that they have used an online dating site at one time or another. Today, one of the most talked-about trends in online dating is the community aspect. People aren’t working on their profiles in the privacy of their own homes – they’re writing bios and looking at potential dates while out to dinner or drinks with their friends.
While the dating algorithm – similar to the types of algorithms that Facebook and Google use to target ads at consumers – changed how online dating was treated, real life has had an even larger effect. Now that people have the hang of dating online, they’ve realized that the best way to determine compatibility is not to send endless emails or multiple text messages. It’s to meet in person as soon as humanly possible. It’s this mix of needing to meet in person and wanting advice from friends that has made online dating so interesting of late.
To be honest, having friends around can help take away some of the exhaustion of dating. After you finally pick a site to go with, you are faced with an in-depth, personal quiz-like resume that takes just as long to complete as it does to renew a driver’s license at the DMV. Except your chair at home is probably much more comfortable.
Mobile phones have made online dating a social experience. No longer is the online dater sitting on a chair at home, lit only by a lamp and a computer screen. People are out and about, swiping Yes or No, sending winks, and tapping out text messages to potential dates. And while they do all of those things, their friends across the table or over their shoulder offer advice and even egg them on to pick people they might normally ignore. In a way, friends become privy once again to the practice of meeting someone and going on a first date, which is something that faded for a while when online dating was first so private and taboo.
One of my favorite things about online dating is how many options it creates. It’s hard to feel alone when you know that there are literally millions of other people out there, all looking for love at the same time. And since friends can peek over my shoulder and help me make tough decisions, it can often feel a lot like traditional dating. Sure, it can be a little scary at first. Meeting someone new always is (at least, it is for me). But give it a few tries and not only will you have some great stories to tell your friends when you check in after your date, but you just might get a second or third date out of your efforts.
Getting a date into real life is probably the most important thing about online dating. The Internet, after all, is just a tool. It can tell you if you’re likely to get along with a person, but it’s not the Oracle at Delphi, and its predictions aren’t always spot-on.
Now that the negative views of Internet dating have mostly disappeared, it’s going to be fun to see where everything goes. Mobile apps let users take their dates with them wherever they go. I, for one, think that having friends around during those first stages is essential. After all, they know me best, and if they say No to someone on the screen of my phone or computer, chances are that they would also say No in person. Besides, good advice can be tough to come by these days, so I’ll take what I can get.
I love being able to show my phone screen to my friends and immediately have their opinion on whatever they see. Whether it’s a new fashion trend, a cool picture, or a potential date, what they think matters. Even God thinks that life is better when we live it in teams. “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14). When I think of the dates I’ve gone on without my friends knowing or meeting the guy first, I tend to think of awkward or dull first dates that generally make their way into stories simply for being so terrible. There’s a kind of safety in listening not only to friends, but family members and others who are close to you.
Here are a couple of great reasons to think about asking advice from your friends before you go too far into an online relationship:
If you’re one of the lucky ones to jump online, date one person, and stay with them forever, kudos to you. But for the rest of us, who feel like they have to work to get noticed at the grocery store, getting a little support from our friends is essential. When you’re surrounded by people who love you and remind you of your goals, it’s harder to lose faith. Just look at Hebrews 10:24-25, where we’re told to meet up with other Christians as regularly as possible, not just to worship together, but to encourage one another to spread the love.
Let’s face it – every person you know probably thinks they know exactly what kind of man or woman you should marry. It seems that the single’s lot in life is to have everyone else try to set them up with someone’s cousin or best friend. But even though there are some people I would never listen to, I do have a core of friends I would trust with my life. If one of these friends had worries about a guy I was dating, I would want to know. Sometimes, when we’re blinded by attraction and the warm, fuzzy feelings of new love, it can be hard to spot a wrong choice. Pray about it, and know that you can rely on your friends to help you avoid bad decisions (2 Cor. 6:14).
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How else could friends/family help you in your dating journey?