Dating apps like Plenty of Fish, Tinder, and Bumble have been my primary source of meeting guys since moving to Chattanooga. I love dating. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I love experiencing Chattanooga through someone else’s perspective.
I have two main lines of thought when it comes to dating apps. One line is- I’m not looking for anything serious. I just want an avenue to meet cool new people and if it naturally develops into romance, awesome. But it isn’t considered a waste of time if nothing comes from it. Another line is..I’m looking for a husband, and if I am to find a husband I need to be seen. As I don’t hit the social scene quite as often as I used to, dating apps are an avenue to be seen by someone I might not encounter throughout my daily endeavors. I am also able to quickly weed through a large amount of men in a short time..I don’t think there is anything really wrong with either of these thoughts. The idea that they serve two completely different end goals is not lost on me. I bounce between them fairly regularly.
I went on a date last week and it was so fun. The guy was cute, articulate, and thoughtful. But after one date I knew I wasn’t going to marry him. I can bottom line things pretty well that way. So I find myself in this thought cluster … do I continue hanging out with him casually? What purpose does this serve if we met under the context of dating? I don’t want to waste his time or mine. I enjoyed his company, but if I’m looking for a husband and I know he’s not it– why invest? This has been the typical cycle of my last handful of dates.. it’s frustrating.. but it leads me to this..
There has been this reoccurring conviction in my life recently- am I really trusting God? Not just going through the motions passively and comfortably but actively, whole heartedly, I’m-so-uncomfortable-but-I-just-have-to-do-it trusting him. I was convicted of this in my tithing last year. Once I quit trying to justify why I couldn’t afford it and decided to trust him (Malachi 3:10) and release that control..I have had such a sweet closeness with God. I’m certainly not saying it was without struggle and, quite honestly, fear. But I brought those struggles and fear to him in prayer and worship and here I am making ends meet while tithing regularly- something I thought I could never do. Lately I’ve been feeling that same twinge of conviction in my dating life. I say my prayer is for God to bring me a husband.. and I’ve got a laundry list of criteria to go along with that.. but I’m spending my time investing in relationships I know won’t lead to marriage. I rationalize being on dating apps as..”well yes God is in control.. but I’m just going to help him out by getting my sweet little face out there..” because that’s what God needs.. MY help.. So I’m taking a step of faith. I am deleting my precious dating app profiles. If the good Lord has a husband lined up for me, I’m just going to have to meet him the old fashioned way.. by us reaching for the same avocado at the grocery. This is me saying “God you are in control.” I have faith he knows the desires of my heart, but I also know that his plans are better than my own. And if that means a husband is not in the cards for me- so be it. It sounds silly to say this is scary…but it is. Relinquishing control has always been a challenge for me, but I look forward drawing nearer to God in this season.
I’m not saying dating apps are bad..I have tons of friends who have met wonderful men online that ultimately became their adoring husband. These apps have been a fun outlet for me for many years and I’ve been able to meet some really great, interesting men. This is just a conviction on my heart that I need to follow through on.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all
Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)