My Woes of Online Dating..the Case of the Disappearing Men

Sometimes I can be foolish.  Such was the case when my friends begged me to try online dating to find that special man the Lord has for me.  If you have been following my blog, you know how much I love the Lord and consider Him my husband.  I believe He will cross my path with that special man when He is ready and if I am staying in His will and am where I need to be. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18.

After watching the film Courageous, where the father asks the daughter for her heart to keep in safekeeping,  I gave the Lord my heart and asked Hm to do the same until He showed me the man He had for me. So the whole idea of online dating sounded wrong.

In fact,I had tried eHarmony twice in the past, but had bad experiences so I had sworn off online dating.  I know others who have had great experiences, including my friend Laura who met her husband online at ChristianCafe.com  But sometimes the Devil tempts us to go off God’s path and I fell into the temptation this past week. Did God really say don’t eat the online dating apple? he whispered to me.

My friends pressured me to try ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com, which I found out were both owned by Sparks Network.  Hmm.. that sounds strange for a company to have both a Jewish and Christian site.  I was told JDate.com welcomed Messianic Jews (Jews who believe in Jesus) and Christians looking for a Jewish spouse.  So I signed up for both memberships, putting pictures and profiles online at each.

Surprised, I instantly had a slew of responses on both.  Wow, I thought, there are a lot of men interested in a 52 year old woman! Compliments of ‘how beautiful you are” and smiley faces, stroked my female ego.  I was a bit overwhelmed by all the choices.  You could send a smiley face to say hello, a flirt, to flirt and a Ecard with a witty slogan.  If you chose to subscribe and pay, you could email or instant messenger (IM) through the service securely.  They suggested not to give out your personal contact information until you had gotten to know one another. Good advice I thought.

My first day, I got an angry response on JDate from a Reformed Jewish man saying that No one here embraced Jesus, you are wrong about Him being messiah. He enclosed a list of all the supposed lies Christian missionaries like Jews for Jesus use to convert Jews.  None had biblical truth. I felt the sting of rejection from standing for Jesus amongst Jewish people.  What am I doing, I thought. I can take the rejection when I am witnessing, but here?

Another strange thing happened.  When I responded in turn to a smiley face or email from  most of the men, I got a notice that their profile was no longer available due to ‘violations of the policies’ (for mentioning money or sex). Hmm, this is strange…why do these men keep disappearing when I contact them back?  Are they all sex addicts? I guess Jesus is protecting me from the wrong guys,I thought.  I also noticed most claimed to be ‘widowed’.  Really, widowed at only 48 or 50 years old?  Red flags started popping up in my mind.

Then I noticed I was getting the same profile of a man, with no picture, but from different parts of the US. Traffickers I wondered?  I valiantly reported these men and was sent a form letter thanking me for alerting management and that they had been deleted.  When I received a fourth one, I knew there was a scam going on.

I googled the owners, Sparks Network Inc., and saw a list of complaints against them stating they used fraudulent and old profiles, to get people to think they had lots of matches.  On Christian Mingle, I repeatedly received pat blurbs back in response to my email that told me how pretty and charming I was, with a ‘sensual smile’. They appeared to have been written by a good writer somewhere but didn’t answer any of my questions I had posed. I even got a woman match on my profile and wondered what that was about? Turns out men were getting the same pictures of a provocatively dressed woman like I had. Oops.

I did get one live one.  A local San Francisco man claiming to be a cultural Jew asked me to text him.  I debated.  Shouldn’t I wait to make sure he wasn’t some mass murderer who would then have my phone number?  Feeling tempted, I textted him.  Let’s IM on Yahoo, he textted back.  No idea how to do this, he then sent me 20 texts explaining how to, all the while asking me about myself.  Feeling so flustered, I finally got him on Yahoo.

Five minutes into our chatting, he told me he had to do something and would be right back. Confusion hit me.  How long do I wait?  Not knowing the rules of IM, I sat there for 1/2 hour getting more angry with each minute.  How could this guy be so rude?  Finally I chatted him, Seriously, Mr. XYZ, what could be more important than talking to me?  I am working on some documents, baby, he chatted back.  Baby? Are you getting fresh with me on our first chat?  I asked.  No response.  We were disconnected. I stormed off to the kitchen in search of a glass of wine, being so frustrated from the whole experience.

Awhile later, I heard the IM blurp and he was back  I was calm now. He apologized for the ‘baby’ and hoped I wasn’t annoyed. I forgave him telling him we Christians were good at giving grace (!) and we chatted. I asked him why he wanted to chat with me since I was a Christian and he was Jewish?  I want to get to know someone like you, you sound so interesting and religious he replied.

Next came the smiley faces.  First he sent the flirty smiley face, winking at me.  Flattered, I responded, Thank you I needed that today.  We talked of keeping sabbath and how we both loved Israel.  He had only been on JDate 2 days and we LOL over how we newbies had found each other.

Then came the smiley face again.  Not to be outdone, I sent the flirty smiley face back.  He rallied with a smiley face that looked like it was kissing me, but I couldn’t be sure because I didn’t have my glasses on! The smiley face licked its lip after the kiss.  Ewwww I thought.  Are you sending me a kiss with a lewd smiley face, because if you are I will have to report you! I replied, jokingly.  Poof.  He was gone. Signed off.  I guess I scared him off. Good.

So I wonder, is this what the online dating world is all about.  Deception and rejection?  Lustful men using smiley faces?   Lord please forgive me, I am sorry I didn’t trust you and wait on you liked you asked.  I deleted my profiles on both sites and wrote for a refund since there was a three day grace period for Californians. I wonder if I will receive them.

Lesson learned?  Don’t listen to pressure from your friends but trust in the Lord.  Why am I blogging on this?  To warn others about the deceptions and dangers of online dating and certain sites.

I recommend the best way to meet that special man is to get involved in your church and meet godly men that way..  Attend singles groups which are in most churches.  Go to Christian singles retreats.

Protect your heart.  You only have one heart and you don’t need to have it broken by ungodly men.  Jesus loves you and adores you.  You are known and accepted by Him.  Only He can fill that deep place that longs for true love.  Once you know this love, you will be ready to receive the love of a godly man.  I am preaching to the choir and myself today!  Wait on Him. My blessing to you? May you meet the man of your dreams in His timing.

And watch out for those smiley faces.

He who finds a wife (husband) finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.- Proverbs 18:22

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What has been your online dating experience, leave me a reply?