When I worked at Red Lobster, nearly 10 years ago, I met the first person I remember who admitted he was dating online. I think his name was Paul and he was a server at the restaurant with me. Poor Paul, was super smart and I thought he was funny and pretty cute, but he just couldn’t seem to get a repeat date.
Suddenly, one night after we had worked together for about one year, Paul bounded into the restaurant lobby, swinging his black, waist apron over his head. “She said, ‘Yes!'” A resounding chorus queried, “Who said, ‘Yes,’ about what?!” We, his fellow servers, couldn’t believe that he meant the obvious. Where was this mystery woman? How had they met? How long had they known each other? Why had we never seen her?
I confess, when Paul told us he had met Wendy on Match.com, I felt sorry for him. Apparently, he was more desperate than I thought. I kept my mouth shut and minded my own business, but I wanted to warn him that it could never last. An online meeting was certainly superficial and a foregone disaster.
Paul and I went separate ways. I was already engaged, married later that year and moved away. However, I stayed in touch with another server from Red Lobster and two years later, I heard that Paul and Wendy were happily wedded and expecting a baby girl. Go figure.
Since that over 1000 dating websites have launched a volley of Cupid’s arrows. Surprisingly they have pierced 1 in 5 of couples married today. Currently, one third of singles are scouring the wide world of cyberspace for that special someone.
Let me give you a few more statistics, taken from Janet Parshal’s interview with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. The Parrotts are the authors of “dot.comdating: Finding Your Right Someone Online,” and the founders of Realrealtionships.com. I found the timing of this interview especially interesting since Beth just shared with us her experience of waiting on God to provide her husband. Hopefully, Beth will chime in here, giving us her thoughts about the efficacy of online dating.
Match.com and Eharmony.com are the two most renowned online dating services. According to a survey conducted by Eharmony, after the first five years of marriage, couples who had met online reported better than average satisfaction in their marriage.
So my first question: Can it last? At least one source says, “Yes.”
I think the bottom line question for me is: Does online dating somehow usurp God’s sovereignty and express a lack of faith that He will provide in His timing? Can God’s sovereignty be usurped?
I really am undecided about online dating and curious about your opinion. Should a Christian try it? Why or why not? Have you dated anyone online and what happened?
Here’s the deal. I am especially interested in your thoughts if you are single. Leave a comment here and you will be entered in a contest. I will draw the winning name on June 16th, and the winner will receive a copy of the Parrott’s book, “dot.comdating: Finding Your Right Someone Online.”