Friday 17th March.
Sat in my PJ’s in a friend’s bed watching Beauty and the Beast eating Chinese takeaway.
Bored of being single, and feeling like I’m not ‘getting out there’, I join a dreaded dating site...
Not even 24 hours later, the app is being deleted.
Because quite frankly, I just don’t like the person I become on dating sites. I find myself judging people on pretty much anything, even right down to their name and location.
I scroll past so many people without ever bothering to find out more about them and out of nowhere I get this unjustified ego that allows me to judge and dismiss other people. When I join dating sites, I look for perfection, despite the fact that I myself am not perfect.
I feel like I need to say that I’m not like this in reality. Dating actually terrifies me (which is why I’ve never really done it).
Do I have the confidence or ego to think that a guy in a bar is ‘below my league’? No, in reality, I think everybody else is out of mine.
Do I refuse to talk to someone because their name just doesn’t ‘roll off the tongue’ when joined with mine? No, that’s crazy.
Is it true that if any one of those pictures on the dating app came alive and told me a joke that I’d probably talk to them all night? Yes!
So why is it that when it comes to dating behind a screen, I suddenly feel the need to look for ‘perfection’ and dismiss anything that may not meet 99% of my checklist? (I realise that having a checklist is not a great attitude to have: I’m working hard on changing it).
After seeing the horrifying change this makes to my personality in under 24 hours, I have once again sworn off dating sites. This is not to say that dating sites are not great for some people. Plenty of couples have successfully met partners online, despite finding the process sometimes difficult. It is possible to date online while honouring yourself and others (see our previous blogs on the subject). I guess each individual will discover how they personally respond to internet dating and although for some it will be helpful, for others it won't be their bag.
Personally I’m choosing to focus on meeting people because even if it doesn’t become romance, it may at least become friendship, rather than an unanswered message in an empty inbox. I am choosing to put dignity back into my dating life and to be open to the possibility that my future partner may not be the person in my head.
I called this blog ‘Don’t Settle for Silver’. By this I don’t mean ‘Go for Gold’ in the same malicious way that I do on dating sites, but instead don’t settle for a silver standard of dating.
I’ve recently been watching the Winter Olympics and the silver medal is an absolute triumph perhaps to anyone but the perfectionist athletes. But in the same way I still (to this day) kick myself about my B’s at A-Level, sometimes, Silver may be ‘good’ but not good enough’...
Imagine a Gold Dating Life: Meeting People (Online or in non-virtual settings), putting yourself out there, chatting to people but being open to the possibility that God might surprise you and that your perfect person may not look like Zac Efron or Megan Fox. Perhaps you'll end up making new friends along the way, even though it might not lead to romance. Perhaps you'll end up being a blessing to the person you're dating. Perhaps you'll actually learn and grow from the process of dating, rather than being ground down and depressed by it.
Please understand that I am not talking about a Gold relationship, but a Gold dating life. I think that choosing to love somebody through thick and thin and having a relationship that totally includes God from the outset, can be nothing else but Gold.
All I am suggesting is that perhaps, and this is for me more than anyone, there’s a bit more improvement that can be made to our approach to dating. As a previous blog said, ‘Give the biscuit eaters a chance’... go for Gold!