How to Date in Today's World without Online Dating Services
- Kris Swiatocho and Cliff Young
- 2016 29 Sep
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
Hi, I'm at a place in my life where I really want to settle down with a man, I am a single mum of three children, but I'm struggling as I don't seem to get any male "attention" as I am. I've been on my own for the past 8 years & the only man to "ask me out" was only in the last 8 months & he was a non-Christian. I dated this man due to some bad advice from a fellow Christian, only to have my heart broken repeatedly with this man. Anyway< when I talk to people about how to go about finding a man they all seem to say the same thing about "putting" myself out there or making men "aware" that I'm available (this advice has come from both Christians & non-Christians). How do I do that? How do I show the male population that I am available? I'm not one for dating sites at all, so that is not an option for me & I'm not exactly your average Christian female.
Whether it’s the result of the death of a spouse or divorce, it seems like more and more people are re-entering the single classification, oftentimes many decades removed from the dating scene. And although online dating has definitely become a viable alternative to finding a mate whom we would not have otherwise crossed paths with, it is not the solution for everyone.
As singles, especially mature ones, we (generally) seek a companion whom we share common interests with, a person who is in the same relative stage of life, someone we will enjoy the company of and a mate for (the rest of our) life.
That can be a tall order as we go about our (sometimes what seems like a mundane) life.
While a surprisingly low percentage of married couples meet at church (studies have shown anywhere between four and ten percent), if a Christ following believer is your first and foremost requirement, you have to begin with where they would (most likely) be.
Getting involved at your local church would be my initial (but not only) place to begin. Too often I hear of singles telling me they’ve attended church for years, but haven’t met anyone. My first question is, “What have you participated in besides Sunday morning services?” Too often, we want a simple solution to our problems and aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to achieve our goals.
A couple of years ago I moved to a new state and went to a church that following Sunday, by myself. I knew no one there and was ready to exit after service when I felt God telling me to go back in and get involved. After a couple of minutes of struggling with my nerves, pride and insecurity in the parking lot, I walked back in and signed up for three activities.
Although I didn’t meet my “soul mate,” I did meet life-long friends and have had life-changing moments with them.
Whether its church activities, weekend outings, international trips, hobbies, or furthering education you enjoy and desire, go out and sign-up!
Since my epiphany, I have lived more deliberately and intentionally in my actions sometimes participating in things when I don’t necessarily feel like it just to stay involved.
Here are more thoughts on how to live intentionally.
Get yourself out there, make yourself available, let them know you are wanting to date, etc. are the things you are hearing from your friends. So without online dating (which I am not a big fan of either), how do you get yourself out there?
For me, in order to be around the opposite sex, you have to be where they are. While God can bring your man to your front door, while you are shopping at Walmart, at the dentist office or even in line at the post office (and you can go that route), you need to be where there are many. So depending on where you live, that could be a challenge; however, if you are in a decent sized city, I would find out where the Christian singles groups are meeting. Some are in churches and some are listed on meetup.com. I would join groups on Facebook as well. Then I would attend anything and everything to see where God wants you to be. I would pray (and have my friends pray) ahead of time. I would even ask my friends to go with me. Once I was there, I would pray about getting involved. I find percentage wise that more people fall in love who are serving and leading in ministry than those who are not. I know this because I have either started or led many singles ministries over the last 25 years.
As you get involved and as you get to know folks, including men, build friendships and allow God to connect you to someone special. But don’t be a wall-flower. Take the initiative to talk with men. When you are in groups, ask open-ended questions to hear what folks have to say on various subjects such a kids, sex, drinking, marriage, money, etc. Questions that can help you filter out some potential guys or even friends for that matter. Be intentional to sit beside men when you eat out as a group—again, getting to know them and vice verse. Make sure they know you have kids but that you also would like to be married again one day. Don’t be afraid to ask a guy out to coffee versus waiting for him to ask you out.
Relationships can be hard. Blended families are even harder. There are some great resources on blended families by Laura Petheridge. Also, a great new resource is the “Dating Manifesto” by Lisa Anderson. Both will help you in this next step towards love and marriage.
For yourself, continue to grow in the Lord. Spend time daily in the word, praying and ask for God’s direction. And if God doesn’t bring him to you or you to him, you will have HIM. And He alone is enough for us all. He can help you have peace in the area of relationships...I promise. He has for me.
…the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:25-27
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
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