Last week I talked about how I was on an online dating site for eight days but that I took my profile down after an unfortunate incident so that I could “reassess”.  Well, I figured, it might be helpful to actually do some reassessing and think through what I learned, even in that short period, before I try it again.  And as it turns out, I actually learned quite a lot.

I learned that:

-I am discerning and it’s okay to delete someone based off my own criteria and not feel badly about it. (Some are deleting me too, I’m sure.)
-I can pretty much tell in one meeting if there’s chemistry. (Not fully sure what to do with that information, but good to know that I can tell.)
-I am capable of ending things graciously.
-I can be spontaneous. (Who knew??)
-it’s okay to have fun.
-I am brave.
-at 43+, I was completely myself on both first dates. No game-playing (wouldn’t know how) and not putting on a charade to seem better than I was. I was just me.
-I need the man to be communicative about what he feels about me. (Okay, that’s probably not a new learning, but still…)
-I can insist on slowness and I can reinforce that it’s a priority to me.
-I’m a little bit naïve (and that’s okay).
-I am capable of not giving away the emotional farm within a week. This is progress, people.
-it’s important for me to be honest with the men that I’m communicating with more than one at a time, and to find out how they feel about it, giving them an out early on.
-it’s a good idea to tell someone where I’m going and when and with whom for my safety.
-I need to be more ready for anything to happen and not be so thrown/stunned if someone isn’t kind to me or things go south.
-there are some good men out there.
-despite my pleas to Jesus to the contrary, I have a feeling this won’t be wrapped up quickly…I will need to be patient and take a longer view and will, more than likely, have to “go through” a lot of guys (sounds horrible, but you hopefully know what I mean).
-though I’ve alluded to it being difficult to reenter the dating world in your 40s (and it is), one huge advantage is that I actually know myself and what I’m looking for now  and I actually have the tools to wisely chose my life partner.
-you can punch in all the parameters you want regarding distance and age and faith and such and you’re still going to get a not-yet-fully-divorced 71-year-old atheistic Floridian “winking” at you. Hypothetically. I can’t even…

Some huge lessons learned in eight days, people.  Huge.

Now here’s what some of you shared with me last week from your online dating experiences:

Guard your heart. (Yes.)

Guard your wallet (lots of scammers). (Good one.)

Don’t believe everything you read or what you’re told – be discerning. (Sad, but true.)

Just because it’s a “Christian” dating site doesn’t mean everyone believes what you believe. (Yep.)

It’s fun but it can be emotionally draining. (It’s practically like having a part-time job if you’re not careful!)

Some people do online dating thinking that they don’t have to do their homework and get to know these men.  Be your own detective. (Use Google, get a background check, etc.)

I am trying to look at online dating as practice for me in setting boundaries and educating the other person about me, something that is new to me.  (Love.)

Be aware that most, I do repeat most, of the people you will meet are not keepers. (Aww…)

It’s best to meet early on and shatter any illusions that may be developing, before your heart gets hurt. (Agree times ten.)

Great tips, ladies!  Let me pray for us…

Jesus, for those of us out in the dating world, longing for a good man to call our husband, please give us quicker discernment, an open mind, thicker skin, steadier emotions, and lots and lots of heart protection. And help us not make relational choices based out of fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, woundedness, loneliness or old stories. Bring us the men you want for us when we are ready, and in the meantime, draw us closer to you, making us more whole and into the people you want us to be. Amen.

And remember, sweet ones: we are already fully loved.  (I know, I know…Jesus isn’t our boyfriend, but still.  Don’t settle.  Keep that bar high.)



If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.

Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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