7 tips for online dating this new year
As we wave goodbye to 2020 and enter 2021, what lies ahead? While there’s lots going on in the world, one thing doesn’t change – there’s still a strong desire to connect with others. Over the 20 years we’ve been helping single Christians meet, we’ve seen that January is one of the best times of the year to embrace online dating. More people are joining, sending waves, likes and messages in January than at any other time. So, if you’re new to online dating, or are returning after a break, welcome! Now is the perfect time to get started. Here are just some of the things we’ve learned about Christian dating to help you connect successfully.
Be intentional and proactive
Couples who meet on Christian Connection have one thing in common – they all joined CC, created a profile, and started connecting! As online dating and meeting online becomes an increasingly popular way to find someone special, the first step still has to be made by you, and we’ve done all we can to make online dating straightforward. Answer a few simple questions about yourself, add some photos and say hello!
It’s easy – and sometimes feels safer – to set out dating with a strict list of what you want or even who you want. And yet, we’ve heard over and over that many happy marriages have come from people messaging and meeting outside strict parameters. Online dating gives you the chance to connect with people from all sorts of backgrounds and places, and it’s a great way to see what you might have in common with people who can also bring something new to your life. When Ana and Nathan, who married in 2020 after meeting on CC, got in touch to share their story, Ana remembers how Nathan wasn’t “my type” but after getting to know each other they found an exciting future lay ahead!
Dating, even Christian dating, can be challenging, so invite God and your trusted friends on the journey with you. If you’re feeling moved to start dating this year, ask for wisdom and discernment, and talk through your hopes and disappointments as you go through the process. Lots of members who’ve got engaged and married through Christian Connection have told us about how they felt led by God at particular times, including talking about how they felt prompted to join the site. Keep God at the centre – you don’t have to date alone.
The best relationships – and the ones that last – are built on truth. Being honest with yourself (and about yourself) and with others helps provide a firm foundation. Couples who’ve met and married through Christian Connection often tell us how important honesty was from the very start of their dating journeys. As Monica told us about meeting Benjamin, “I was honest about me. I think that was the most important thing to have someone to fall in love with a real person.” Resist any temptation to present yourself in a more flattering light and let someone get to know the real you.
If your dating experiences don’t lead quickly to a relationship it can be tempting to feel down-hearted and start to believe you might never meet someone special. As our blogger Katherine wrote in ‘How to date optimistically’: “I was dating with a fixed mindset, taking every knock-back as a confirmation of an unhealthy core belief that I’d carried around for years – that I would never meet anyone; that there was nobody out there for me. Instead, I needed to date with a growth mindset. This would enable me to see every interaction, date or relationship as a learning experience – a stepping stone that would lead me eventually to my husband.” There’s lots of good advice on the Christian Connection blog from Katherine and others to help you regain confidence and date with a positive mindset.
Sending that first message, even uploading your first profile picture, can feel nerve-wracking! The fear of rejection or of being hurt is very real. Not every first date will lead to deeper connection, but for every couple who gets in touch to tell us their story of meeting on CC, there was a first date that did! Read their stories for inspiration – and to give yourself some courage to keep going. Remember whoever you wave at or message is likely to be feeling nervous too. Be kind to yourself and each other as you try to connect, and remember how many people are trying online dating for the first time too.
Many couples have told us that timing is everything. For Natalie, who married Sam after they met on Christian Connection, timing was a vital part of her being ready for what was to come: “I was once a cynic having been online for years and learning both the art of patience in the wait, coupled with growth in God off screen, meant God was able to present me to Sam and he winked, with a follow up email five months after. I never replied and I didn’t even remember reading his email until I cleared my inbox to prepare to leave the site in frustration, when I suddenly saw this handsome man staring back at me. I believe God knew we were both not ready, so did a timely work in us both before he lifted the scales from my eyes to be able to see Sam.”
While you step in 2021 and new opportunities, remember that you are already known and loved by God. You are a whole and complete person even without a partner. Continue to focus on what makes you happy and fulfilled, while you look for new possibilities too. A happier person is more likely to find and sustain a happy relationship.
We’re here to help and support you through your dating journey too. Here are just a few things to look out for in 2021:
- Inspiring stories. We’ll be sharing the best advice from couples who met on Christian Connection and dating experts, so follow us to get the latest.
- Celebrations! We’ll be celebrating our 21st anniversary this year, so look out for some special events, offers and other content throughout the year.
- Time together again. With the promise of the vaccine, we can look forward to meeting face to face, with our church and faith communities etc.
- A growing community! Every year the Christian Connection community increases, with more and more people looking to connect through online dating, events and more.
Find out more about Christian Connection and how to join here.