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Dee Ford

March 28, 2013  10:25pm

I've used a few dating sites in the past like http://www.christianmingle.com/ and http://www.christiansingles.com/ -- with varying degrees of success. Sometimes genuine connections were made, and other times they were not. I wasn't necessarily looking to find a wife per se. I just wanted to connect with someone who had similar values. In that respect, online dating can be a good thing.

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Deb Tomsky

March 25, 2013  9:50am

WOW There's an interesting question to pose on a first date ~ "So, do you have a history of submitting to God even when it's uncomfortable?" ~While I think making a list of BASIC qualities you want in a spouse is a good idea (I had one myself, married 28 years) I think Christians are getting too hung up on expecting their prospective mates to be Super-Christians... I've seen "Christian" lists of qualities that young girls should look for in guys that are so totally unreasonable, for example - Fills a leadership role in their church; Able to define & defend their faith in a religious argument; Able to provide spiritual support and leadership to their family; Serves the community in a leadership role; etc. What 20 year old could possibly live up to all that? You can't expect your 20-something boyfriend to have the spiritual qualities of a 50/60 year old man; these things are cultivated over a lifetime, and with the help of a spouse ~God intended husband & wife to grow TOGETHER.

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March 22, 2013  12:36pm

I'm going to have to disagree with some of the article (boy, I feel like I've been very disagreeable lately). I think that when we consider marrying a person we should be evaluating whether or not they have the capabilities to assist us in being happy. Absolutely! I can't imagine marrying a person who one honestly thought was going to make me unhappy or just throwing that question out the window, completely. The time to ask that question is before you get married. Just because someone attends church or is a nice guy or reads their Bible every day, doesn't mean that they'll be a good spouse for you. They might be a good christian, but that doesn't mean that they are compatible with you. I think it's a flawed premise that some folks have, that if you throw any two "good" christians together in marriage that it's going to be a good union and God honoring. Reality tells us that this just isn't the case. Good christian marriages fail all the time.

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Tim Fall

March 22, 2013  12:21pm

Melissa Talbot - "I realized that my list told me more about myself than about who I would marry." One of the best comments I've read this week on any blog! Cheers, Tim ( timfall.wordpress.com )

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Melissa Talbot

March 22, 2013  8:25am

I remember talking with a lady I had known in high school. During high school we had each been prompted to make lists of what we would like in a future mate. She was asking me what I did with mine and how my husband compared, since I was recently married at the time. I told her I came across the list one day going through my things. It made me laugh (tall, dark, handsome, etc. compared to my blonde balding husband barely an inch taller than me) and I threw it out. She was aghast that I could throw it out. She still lovingly tended her list by revising and adding to it. I thought about that for a while. I could throw it out because I realized that my list told me more about myself than about who I would marry. My list limited my scope in a way that would have closed me off to the perfect guy for me. My list certainly didn't induce me to trust God. The happiness business is hard. Marriage is like a mirror for my sin. It takes a lot of hard work to have a healthy marriage.

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Gordon Vaughan

March 22, 2013  2:49am

Happiness, like money, is generally a trailing indicator, so seeking it can often be akin to trying to drive by the rear-view mirror. And those of us who are married often scoff at lists, as they seem an overly-formulaic approach to something that typically can't be planned. But I think simple lists can help. There's a Quora entry on "What are the top five things one should look for in a spouse?" that has some helpful basic lists, including my own. Of course there's also compatibility in faith and in general (when you do find someone, try spending a day with them, if you're very frustrated at the end it's a bad sign). And everyone has a few deal-breakers, which you need to be aware of. But God usually throws in some surprises, and becoming open to these may well be a key step in the whole process. It was for me.

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Karen Smith

March 21, 2013  9:05pm

Disclaimer: I met my wife online, but not on the internet, back in the halcyon days of 1993 when regional Bulletin Board Systems (mostly WWIV-based) were fairly popular. --- As for the discussion, I don't have a lot of authority on the subject - my wife was literally the first person I went on a date with - but I would argue that anyone that makes a list of must-have properties is running the risk of missing someone that is actually perfect for them. I know if I had a list I'd never have even tried to date my wife, and I would have missed out on 16.5 years of joy and pain. And yes, a great relationship involves both. (For those that find my math suspect, we knew each other for a few years before starting to date.)

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Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick

March 21, 2013  12:38pm

Anna, you are very wise to note how the exact traits we might avoid may be the best ones for us. God is the best Yenta. I wrote a piece about how I met my husband, a story of surprise and delight. You may want to check it out: http://www.altcatholicah.com/altcatol/a/b/rsa/4453/

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Gina Dalfonzo

March 21, 2013  11:44am

Thanks, Anna, for a thoughtful piece reflecting the experience of many of us. I was just thinking the other night that online dating is like going out and getting punched in the face repeatedly! And sadly, you just have to keep going back for more if you want to find someone. Trying to get a date in the church -- ha! Trying to find the needle in the haystack is child's play in comparison.

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Tim Fall

March 21, 2013  11:00am

Anna, this is really eye-opening to a guy who wouldn't know what to do with a list even if he could figure out how to write one up. I can't even use Microsoft's Excel! On the dating front, knowing my wife as well as I do after these 25+ years of marriage, I'm not so sure she'd be pleased to know she was compared to such a list anyway, even if she did rank high enough to merit a marriage proposal from me. Wow, that turns my stomach even to have written that last sentence! Which just goes to show that the world is made up of all kinds of people - and couples - and that what works for some would not work for others. And that reminds me of 1 Corinthians 10:31 - "whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Cheers, Tim ( timfall.wordpress.com )

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March 21, 2013  10:15am

Anna, you were kind of all over the place with this one. Which, actually, upon further reflection, is probably how most people go about dating. They've got a list (either written or internal), they know they havel limits to how how hard they're willing to look, and then they go on with their lives. What's too much, what's too little? If your a man, the manosphere tells you to find someone beautiful, young, and pretty much willing to do whatever you say no matter what you have to actually offer to a potential mate. I'd say, "good luck fellas". The world tells both women and men to "shop around" as if human beings are commodities to be traded. Christians should be asking other questions, though. What, exactly, those questions are, I'm not too sure of.

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