Online dating advice - is it worth it?

Am I cheating myself of potentially finding a future spouse if I choose not to join online dating (ex: Catholic Match)?

I have never found the idea of online dating appealing and though everyone else tells me “what’s there to lose?”, or think it’s a good idea, I come up with a laundry list of reasons why I don’t want to join. But I don’t know if I’m just being ridiculous and overthinking/over-analyzing everything (which I’m known to do), or if maybe this is a sign that God doesn’t want me to join. The best way I can describe my feelings towards online dating is just a bad gut feeling about it.

Yet at the same time, I wonder if me not joining means I’ll be forever alone. (FWIW, I am pretty active in my young adult community and have many Catholic friends, but none who are eligible or on my radar… and my friends don’t even know anyone to set me up with). I’m pretty certain I feel my vocation is marriage, but have been feeling rather hopeless. :frowning:

Thoughts, advice, etc much appreciated.

Online dating never worked for me.

My fiancee was someone I knew from high school and she hit me up on Facebook after she dumped her last boy friend :man_shrugging:

Just trust God.


Our oldest son found his wife on an online Christian dating site. They’ve been married eleven years and seem fine so it can work out. But I lean toward your gut feeling. Despite the positive outcome for our son, I would not want to approach dating in this way myself.

In my early 20’s I felt very much like you have described. I was a fringe member of a young adult community in my church of that time. But I was not attracted to anyone and had no plans to get married. Trust God, as the last poster said. I did that and wound up getting married to the last girl I could ever have imagined from that same group of young singles.

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Maybe I should also mention that I deleted Facebook a while ago… oops…but glad it worked for you!

I added another paragraph while you were reading the first one. :slight_smile:

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Cheating? Is this a game, and are there written rules?

Sorry - but it you had phrased that a bit differently… like: “Am I unnecessarily narrowing the possibility of…” might work a bit better…

Glad I am past that age… :grin:


Then don’t do online dating.

God doesn’t really operate that way. He doesn’t micromanage your decision making.

It is healthy to approach ALL dating with skepticism and caution. There are good people and bad people to be found everywhere, including your local young adults group.

I can share my own story. I was very active in my own young adults group, for 10 years. I was the president for several years. I was involved socially attending many events, in spiritual aspects like bible study, I played on 3 sports teams, and I did volunteer work with YAs. I lived in the 4th largest city in the US and met not only YAs in my own group but YAs across the city.

Many, many of my friends met their spouses at YA. I did not. For whatever reason, that was not my role there. My role was leadership and ministry, not finding a significant other. Although I did date a few people I met through YAs they were short lived.

I joined Ave Maria Singles, and spent 2 years online dating. I corresponded with about 8 different men, maybe more. I met 4 of them IRL. #4 is my husband of 14 years. We corresponded about 6 months, met, dated another 8 months long distance, got engaged and dated 8 more months before the wedding. Have been married 14 years next week.

It’s not for everyone, especially not people with unrealistic expectations or romantic fantasy notions about finding “the one.” It has good and bad, just like meeting people in any other context.

What specifically is your “laundry list of reasons why I don’t want to join”?


Well, I am very much a romantic, and find that online dating is, in a way, “forcing” things, where I’d much rather have things develop “organically”. (Should I be forcing the fact that I should be dating someone, or should I just ride the waves of life and see what God gives me? These are the questions that I’m constantly asking myself. It sounds silly but I’m terrified that if I choose to either join or not join, I can be making a mistake either way. I know this is where trust in God’s will comes in, but I’m constantly battling between: should I play my part in my future by partaking of these things, or should I just continue on with my life going wherever God guides me?)

I also hate the idea that you really only see people on a superficial level and almost have to make a decision right then and there if you want to pursue a friendship with them. I know there’s a level to this irl, but it seems worse to me online. I don’t want to *have * to pay the money each month just to try and meet people, I also don’t want to risk catfishing. I am also someone who can get easily emotionally attached to people, and feel that could be detrimental to my mental/emotional health if I go through that with someone online as opposed to real life/in person. Also, online dating takes up one’s time that seems less productive to me than hanging out and meeting people in real life.

I know online dating works. Many of my friends have found success. I just am having a hard time justifying this for myself, and it doesn’t help that everyone I know seems to think it’s a great idea for me to try.

Sorry that was a huge response! :confused:

No, that was not too long. It actually gives a good perspective on the reservations that you have. It sounds like you’ve thought about it, and it’s not something you really want to pursue. That is legitimate. It isn’t for everyone.

It also isn’t a decision you have to make definitively right now. you can always sign up later if you change your mind. And if you sign up for service and don’t like it, you can deactivate. So it’s really not all or nothing either way.

Don’t sign up to make other people happy. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. Your choices are your own.

Also don’t let “what if” haunt you. In that respect, you are definitely overthinking. I mean, if your friends invited you to go out for drinks this evening, and you decided you really didn’t feel like it, are you going to be second-guessing that your perfect match would have been at the venue and you missed your chance? No. So don’t think like that about online dating. There isn’t “one person” out there and if you aren’t standing at the corner of Main and Elm you’ll miss out forever. There are many people with whom we could find happiness and marriage, and we meet them in many ways.

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I don’t understand what you mean by “forcing” with respect to online dating. I was on several sites after my first wife passed and met my current wife that way, but there was never any thought of forcing anything; all it is is a way to increase the chance of meeting someone. Of course you have to be very careful to watch for the warning signs of someone with bad motives, and there are some general rules for safety when someone does catch your eye and appears to reciprocate, but all of that can be learned. Most of the dating sites I am aware of have pages specifically for advice on recognizing bad situations, and if you want to PM me I would be happy to give some pointers. I don’t think everyone on the thread would be interested in such things. One big thing is to be aware of what sort of people and type of relationship the particular site is oriented to before you sign up.

But of course if you have a bad feeling about it that no advice or research puts to rest, by all means avoid it like it’s poison. If you aren’t comfortable with the process it isn’t likely to work anyway.

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Just be careful. Sometimes people on those sites are married or already in relationships. It’s sad, but it’s true. A lot of people in 2019 find their spouses online though, so there’s that .

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I just married a dude from work. So did every other lady I knew since our workplace had a 3 male to 1 female ratio and hired a crop of new young college grads every year. I was just talking about that with some other older people at church because they also met their spouses at work. I remember one Catholic guy I knew at work met his wife because their last names both began with same letter of the alphabet and they stood in the new hire orientation line alphabetically next to each other. (This is also how my in-laws met many years ago, their last names both began with same letter and they stood next to each other in some line at their work as teachers.) I met my husband because he sat in the next cube to mine.

If you don’t want to online date, you might try regularly putting yourself in an environment where the gender odds are in your favor.

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If you are really serious that you are terrified over the matter, I would suggest that you may not be ready for a relationship leading to marriage.

Seriously? Terrified?

You are making mountains out of what is not even as big as a mole hill. It costs? So does a cell phone and that likely a whole lot more than a month on a dating site.

God does not micromanage. And when God opens a door for us, if we choose not to go through, then God opens another door.

Thank you for your kind, thoughtful response. I agree with you. I just sometimes need a voice of reason to help me out haha

I would love for this to happen, however, my workplace is female-dominated and of the older age-range, unfortunately. I did have a short relationship with this guy who I used to work with, but that ended, sadly.

Then find some hobbies that attract a ton of guys your age. You won’t regret it.

I will be honest, as shallow as this sounds I picked my major and my first career partly because it was chock-full of guys. I had just gone through four years of an all-girls high school and because I didn’t have brothers, or friends with brothers, bringing guys around, I had a very difficult time getting a date anywhere because I just simply did not meet guys anywhere. I figured if I put myself in an environment with guys out the wazoo, one of them would click and that’s what happened (actually I dated more than one of them before picking one).

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I suppose “terrified” isn’t the right word here- I’m not terrified of having a relationship, I’m more just scared of the idea of online dating and the whole process of that. Sorry for the confusion!

I think by “forcing” I mean not just naturally meeting people in a typical setting. It’s putting yourself into a very structured situation that seems just awkward to me. But I guess it isn’t once you get into it

I feel very called to marriage but haven’t had luck. I’m close with people but nothing comes of it. God Bless you on your journey

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I don’t do it, I’m glad online dating works for those who found someone to share their life with, but for me, i’m not in favor of using online dating to meet someone. I prefer to allow it to come naturally and out of respect for my parents wishes for me not to use online dating, they don’t like the idea neither. They also wish for me to at least get a steady career first so I can learn to support myself before I get married and support along side my husband and our children.
I do still feel there is possibilities for me to meet a man, just have to wait right now. Right now, I don’t feel particularly ready to start any relationship with a man at this moment, but who knows! God decides when he knows i’m ready or not, so I wait on his will with an open mind. :slight_smile:

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