Online dating has never been more popular. In fact, the trend suggests that online dating may become the norm rather than a supplemental tactic.
A recent study showed 19% of internet users in the US said they were currently using an online dating app or platform. A further 27% of participants said they had used an online dating app in the past.
These users include every demographic you can think of: people in their twenties, working professionals, divorced re-entering the dating world, as well as senior citizens simply looking for companionship.
For Catholics, the big secular dating sites are initially appealing mainly because they boast having huge numbers of users. The problem however is that it’s difficult to find true compatibility and people who are looking for a relationship intended for marriage. The tone and lifestyle often promoted by some of these sites can also be very off-putting to say the least.
Fortunately, there are sites that cater exclusively to Catholics that are growing in size and offer the same standard features that only the secular sites were once able to provide.
If you or a friend or family member are single and have not yet tried a Catholic online dating site (or tried in the past without success) it’s time to look again to see why so many are turning to online dating.
Before you sign up, however, it is important to have realistic expectations. Here are five of the biggest online dating myths and the reality behind them that you should know before jumping in.
5 Myths About Online Dating Catholics Believe
1. I’m going to meet the love of my life right away.
Sure, there are a lot of stories of people who met two hours after they joined, but those are happy exceptions to the rule.
In general, few people meet their future husband or wife right away. Many success stories involve at least one member of a couple creating a profile, and using the site on and off for a long period of time before finally connecting with “the one.”
Creating a profile for the first time can feel like a big step, one that ought to bring about big results. The name of the game, though, for the overwhelming number of success stories is ‘slow and steady wins the race.’
It is important to remember that even if it takes time, that time in your life is going to pass by regardless, and you will never regret the time spent on a dating site if it does eventually lead to that special connection you’ve been waiting for.
2. I’ll marry the first person I have serious conversations with.
This expectation is a little different from the first because some people may not sign on expecting to find a spouse right away, but when they find themselves having an in-depth or serious conversation with someone they may understandably assume ‘this is it!’
Being on a Catholic dating site in the first place implies a shared faith, though every member is certainly on their own journey. But sometimes detailed profiles can make people feel closer from the get-go than they actually are because, on paper, they sound compatible. To mitigate this, couples are highly encouraged to meet in person or at least video chat as soon as possible to see whether they have actual chemistry in real life.
3. I’m going to meet lots of people and have hundreds of options to choose from.
Again, the emotional rush of signing up for an online profile is often understandably accompanied by an expectation of meeting many people. And technically, this is often true. New members in particular are likely to receive many messages, profile views (and reactions), etc.
But that doesn’t necessarily equate to meeting a plethora of truly compatible people. In fact, the initial rush of receiving many messages can even lead to stress and overwhelm, particularly as users attempt to navigate the murky waters of online etiquette regarding whether or not to respond to everyone, especially if they’re from someone you’re not interested in.
One way to increase your odds of meaningful connection is prioritizing quality over quantity. Be specific in your profile about the type of person you’re looking for and what your goals are in life. Attention to detail in this area can help profile viewers self-select out (or in!) of contacting you.
4. I’m going to meet someone who lives close by.
This idea often comes more from men than women. While there absolutely are couples who find that they live very close to each other and more than a few who attended the same parish and never realized it, more likely, though, are the stories of unions between couples who dated long-distance, like a Texan and a Floridian or even from other countries.
While dating long-distance isn’t often people’s first choice, expanding their search radius or removing all distance limits has paid off a huge number of couples now married who met on Catholic dating sites. People move for a job all of the time – what could be more worth the hassle of a long-distance move than a spouse who shares the Faith?
5. The promise of dating vs. the reality
The following are not exclusive to online dating. For many, there are a lot of past experiences, insecurities, and fears that can pose big obstacles for not just dating but forming healthy and lasting relationships in general.
Feeling so frustrated and disappointed with how your dating experience has gone so far and that you begin to wonder if it’s worth trying anymore at all.
Being anxious about getting started or re-entering the world of dating and relationships after a divorce or losing a spouse is a huge issue for many. If it’s been awhile since you’ve dated, the culture has changed a lot and what use to work doesn’t seem to make sense anymore.
For some getting over a bad breakup has left them heartbroken and angry and it’s simply too much to “try again.”
Another problem is having an inaccurate or poor self image which undermines the confidence you need to put yourself out there to have the courage to meet someone else.
As you navigate the ups and downs of online dating, keep in mind that you’re certainly not the only one to hope for and want those same things. But, when you choose to let go of the unrealistic parts, you open yourself up to the truly beautiful things that can come from online dating.
And, fortunately, there are answers and plenty of help for working through these scenarios.
Where To Turn For More Online Dating Advice
On February 10-11 CatholicMatch is hosting RELATE 2023, a free online event that will equip you with the practical advice and inspiration to give singles the confidence to be successful and enjoy the dating process…online and offline.
RELATE presenters include some of the most popular and trusted names and experts including, Chris Stefanick, Bobby & Jackie Angel, Daniel & Emily Wilson/Hussem, Damon & Melanie Owens, Rose Sweet, Dr. Mario Sacasa and many more.
CatholicMatch has helped thousands of couples meet and marry over the last 20 plus years and have gained an enormous amount of insight and expertise on relationships and compatibility. This is a chance for singles of all ages and backgrounds to learn how to find their future spouse but actually enjoy the dating experience!
Learn more about RELATE here: https://events.catholicmatch.com/relate2023