3 Things I Learned From Online Dating

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, For the Guys, For the Ladies by Debra Fileta

I remember being in my early twenties. I totally thought I had dating “figured out” and in fact, I was a self-proclaimed “catch”.  I loved kids, I went to church, I was a hard worker, and I couldn’t wait to start a family.  I also thought 30 was old, I was going to live in Florida, and I wanted kids by the time I was 25.

Online dating? The thought never crossed my mind back then. In fact, I thought if I ever needed to get dating assistance “online”….the world would surely come to an end.

Well, finding myself still single at 25…26…and still now at 28, I officially have something to admit: my name is Adam and I believe that using dating apps is not the end of the world.  Even though I was adamantly opposed to the online dating world after a few failed relationships and moving out East, I decided to give online dating a shot.  

And here are a three lessons that I have learned along the way: 

1. It is hard to describe yourself in words.

I wish I could go back and edit my first dating profiles…those were rough.  I remember saying things like “Here’s to strangers, meeting strangers” somehow trying to embrace awkward and cute in a single feat. Guess what, it just comes across as really awkward.

Quirks and being different are great things, but save the depth of them for the first date.  Your profile should highlight who you are and the things about your potential match you would like to see. In my case, I tried to address awkwardness of being strangers instead of putting more thought and time into who I was.

I have learned to highlight the short, small pieces of my story, and remember that I’m saving the rest of who I am for the “dating” part. So if you are a “tell-all-in-your-bio” kind of person, just remember that the REAL work of dating takes time. 

2. There is such a thing as too hot, too cold, and just right…but you can’t always see it through a screen. 

Too short, too tall, this one dresses funny…and the list goes on.  If you are like me and spent a lot of years gathering “options” be careful if you enter the online dating world.  While it is fun going out on dates, having options, and looking for “the one” there are times I end up making no choice at all. 

Much like Goldilocks, I have preferences in dating that can’t be limited to what I see on my screen.  Sometimes you have to risk going out on a bad date in order to find that “too cold”, was “just right” or “just right”, was actually “too hot”. Dear single, if you find yourself just browsing profiles aimlessly, realize that you’re never going to actually meet someone without stepping outside of your comfort zone. (Although when it comes to comfort zone – there is a huge difference between PREFERENCES and NEEDS – learn more about that in this article and also in Chapter 5 of True Love Dates). 

3. Learn about yourself during this time of “unplanned singleness”. 

I am still not really sure what to do with this last bit of advice because I don’t always enjoy being single. I have deleted sites, removed profiles, and even almost given up.  I have found too hot, too cold, and sometimes just right has been just wrong.  In my early twenties,  I thought being married was the only purpose my life had.  As long as you were good enough God led you to marriage.

Since I have gone out on dates I realized that I lost myself in my “good enough” identity and put false hope in the lie that my identity would only be fulfilled when I was married.  But the more I have dated the more I have begun to understand that God wants to do something with me as a single and take me from “good enough” to “God’s best”.  I might meet my future wife online, but I may also meet her when I am off doing things I love and becoming a better man.  Honestly, the guy I used to be is so much different than the man I am becoming.  And I am really starting to like him.

No matter what platform you use or don’t use; if you forget that God is working your “unplanned singleness” will always feel useless. But this stage in life has so much value, and so much purpose. 

It has been a fun couple of years since I signed up for my first online dating profile. I honestly thought by now that I would have met a woman through all of this.  I have gone out on more dates than I ever thought I would and the truth is, I’m starting to see the beauty in this unplanned stage of life.  

The beauty in traveling and trying new things.  

The beauty of wondering what it means to put down roots.  

The beauty in cycling down the coast of California these past two summers.  

The beauty  in practicing patience, kindness, and gentleness with my close friends and family.  

The beauty of pursuing a childlike faith as a “grown up”.  

The beauty of a woman, strong and courageous, not just as a wife.  

I am learning daily about identity, choices, and God’s presence.  I am pressing on into the beauty that’s right here, right now.  Maybe one day, like my friend Goldilocks, I will find my “just right” but for now, I am single…learning how to become “just right” along the way. 

Adam Hassler is a born and raised Midwesterner.  He now currently lives on the East Coast where he has fallen in love with how the church can work with a community after being part of a church plant the past four years.  Studying Social Work at the local college, Adam hopes to bring life to those who have given up on a relationship with God.  He enjoys finding out about social justice and recently took up cycling his bike in the summer for an organization that fights human rights and acts of injustice abroad.

Welcome to TrueLoveDates.com! I’m Debra Fileta, Professional Counselor & Author of the book True Love Dates, and I created this blog as a space to pair psychology and Christian spirituality to address all things love, dating, and relationships.

This month, I’ve invited some of my faithful TrueLoveDates readers to share their heart with the rest of our blog community for my #GuestPostSeries!! There are some AMAZING singles out there, people!!! I’m choosing 10 guest posts to share with you over the summer. I’m so excited to hear their stories and share their messages with you as well! Enjoy!! And be sure to leave them some love in the comment section below.  — Love, Debra