Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

The Missing Link & Internet Dating

on September 28, 2014

Flооd via photopin cc

No, this blog has nothing to do with evolution or Darwin. A careful study of a variety of cases, as well as my own personal experience, has led me to find the “missing link” that is causing problems in an otherwise perfectly acceptable way to meet future life partners….online dating. I’m going to share this theory with you in hopes that those seeking a relationship online will take heed to my call to caution and therefore be able to save themselves pain and trouble.

Let me back things up here by sharing with you that my husband and I met online. It was over ten years ago. He was from Scotland and I was a California girl. We met on a Christian website called Christian Mingle. We spent a lot of time private messaging each other, emailing and also speaking on the phone. After a few months, my husband flew to CA to meet me. Oh the excitement and the nervousness! Needless to say, neither one of us turned out to be a serial killer, so it was all good! Over the course of a year, he visited me and I visited Scotland. We spoke on the phone or computer almost every day. We were married about 14 months after our first communication and at that point had probably spent about 2 1/2 months together in person.

When I first got married, I was always worried about the question, especially since my husband speaks with a thick scottish brogue. When we would meet up with people and they would ask, “how did you two meet?” I would always get nervous and I’d share that we had met online on a Christian website. I received mixed reviews and facial expressions. I always felt the need to justify it. Today, it’s not like that. Research shows that nearly 1/3 of married US couples met online. It is a popular way to meet people, both in and outside the church, and it’s not a bad way to meet either.

There are benefits to meeting online. First of all, you have a much wider sea of candidates from which to choose. Growing up in a small town, there were just not a lot of choices in terms of possible matches for me so the internet gave me more options and allowed me to meet a variety of people. It also can make it easier to get to know the person in certain ways. As you communicate online, you have plenty of time to talk, share and get to know each other without the distraction of being “on a date” or dealing with the physical temptations. For Christians, it offers the opportunity to get to know each other without putting yourselves in temptations way. You really talk. Whether or not both parties are honest as they talk is never a sure thing, but that can happen in any type of dating or courting situation, regardless of where or how you meet.

There’s nothing wrong with meeting online, but there is something missing. There’s a missing link that isn’t usually dealt with or realized at first, and it can cause plenty of problems down the road if a couple marries before spending considerable time together in person. There’s no one word to describe it, so I’m going to call this missing link, “the raw you.” The raw you is the person you are in your everyday habits, preferences and small personality features. It includes sense of humor, good and bad habits, and just your overall persona.

You see, you can share with someone about your dreams, goals, theological beliefs, past, job, hobbies and your love for Jesus. You can talk about how many kids you want and how you want to raise your future children. You can really learn a lot about each other, which helps you decide if it is a good match or not. However, you don’t learn everything. You can’t learn the “raw you” on the phone or on the internet. You can’t learn it in letters or emails. It has to be learned in person. I know this is true because I have seen the pattern in my own marriage, and in others who met online.

For William and I, we lined up well. Today we are so on the same page in most areas. We are very much of the same mind. However, where we have struggled in our marriage has always been in the little things. It’s been in habits, small personality traits and in humor where we are very different. Isn’t that strange? haha I think it is! Now, we are totally committed to one another and to this marriage. We love and honor one another. We just drive each other batty every so often! 🙂 Would we have chosen each other all those years ago if we had spent more time in person? I don’t know the answer to that, and it doesn’t really matter. We are blessed to be in a marriage where there is love, honor, respect and a focus on Jesus. We are blessed indeed, and so we can deal with the little annoyances when they arise. Other couples, unfortunately, are not in the same boat.

I’ve always been honest and open here that my marriage hasn’t always been easy, and for this very reason I am sharing today. William and I, however, are very dedicated to marriage and family. We have worked hard and continue to work hard to make a joyful home, where God’s covenant of marriage is honored and family is most important. Divorce is not an option for us. It never has been. Therefore we are blessed in our marriage and our daughter is blessed in her home. God has grown our love for one another so that we are able to transcend those conflicts when they arise.

I have several friends who have also married a person they met online, or got to know online. I have witnessed one common issue in all of these relationships….their raw selves simply do not match up. Their personalities are so different. Their way of thinking in basic situations are not lined up. Their sense of humors are off-kilter from each other. There is almost this awkwardness about them…and this is after many years of marriage. I recognize it because it’s the same awkwardness that my hubby and I no doubt have exhibited when our personalities crash into each other. It is what we have to overcome pretty much daily.

One of the couples I referred to above are also very committed to each other and to their marriage. Like us, they have chosen to conquer those raw issues through the power of the Spirit, the sword of the truth of God’s Word and through the love of Christ that is perfected in us. They will struggle more than other couples, perhaps, but they will honor God and love each other. Another couple, however, are divorcing. I’m not going to pretend to know the details or how bad it was. All I do know is that it has brought them all pain and I pray for them.

Internet dating can be a good thing, but it’s important not to fall into this trap. Be sure to spend time together in person – quality time – before marriage. Get to know the raw personality of the person you are considering, and remember that those personality traits will probably be even more pronounced in marriage when everyone relaxes. You have to decide if they are traits and habits you can live with or not. Get to know the raw him or the raw her. It may seem like small issues, but they can definitely affect your marriage, your life and your heart. So take care, dear ones. Marriage God’s way is til death. That’s a long time!

William and I believe in marriage. If you are struggling in yours’, whether you met online or not, we’d love to offer you encouragement and pray for you. Feel free to contact us by clicking HERE. God bless!

3 responses to “The Missing Link & Internet Dating

  1. crazyconleyclan says:

    Thank you for sharing! ❤ hearing more about your guy’s story!

  2. john1323 says:

    Reblogged this on Proverbs 4:1 and commented:
    I just read this and it is so true. I’ve met two women in my past on Christian dating sites, and neither worked out. Not saying it can’t, but what this woman says is true about my personal experience and with those of others that I have known to go this route, meeting their spouse online.

    I believe the heart of the matter is that you are trying to meet someone based upon your own desire and your own works, instead of waiting for God to bring them to you. I no longer believe, after reading the stories of Isaiah, and Jacob, and others, that men or women should be out selling themselves or advertising themselves for marriage or love, which is what a dating site is. The goal in our lives should be evangelism, and purposefully preparing ourselves for marriage, while we prayerfully wait for God’s will. He says that every good and perfect gift comes down from heaven, from the father of lights, with whom their is no variation or shadow of turning. He also says that a wife is a gift from God. You can join the camp that says we gotta get out there and date around and take risks, but I’d rather be in the camp that Isaiah was in, and let the Lord bring me His good and perfect gift. I don’t know of any better matchmaker than the God of the universe. Do you?

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