A Letter about Online Dating

Dear Friend,

Trying to be spiritual as you navigate the waters of online dating can be very very difficult. I know you want to try to be open minded and understanding of all people, but sometimes it’s hard not to judge people’s profiles.  Online dating is set up, so one judges on a split second decision. We do this in real face to face meetings too, but at least we have the added dimension of using our senses and hearts to really get a feel for another.  However, it is very easy to totally shut down your mind towards someone, when seeing a totally ridiculous photo profile or strange cryptic description of someone’s mating habits.

Here are some basic suggestions to go through online dating and still practice some spiritual principles:

  1. If you’re a praying sort, which I know you are, then pray for the people you are looking at; yes, pray for even the ones with extreme close up photo profiles that makes you cringe.  If you don’t feel like praying for them, use the Buddhist approach and wish loving-kindess (metta) towards them.  But remember to first start with yourself and wish yourself metta by using common phrases like “May I be happy.  May I be healthy.  May I be at peace.  May I be free from suffer.  May I stay away from the crazies.”  🙂  The last metta phrase can be deleted or be repeated many times over…and then wish metta towards each person you encounter as you navigate through the online world.  “May you be happy.  May you be health…”and etc.
  2. Keep an open mind.  First impressions are important, but scroll through all their pictures and read all the words they took time to write.  Take deep breaths as you browse through their profile, and give them a chance even when they post pictures of their ex next to them.  Forgive them…pity them even.  They must be still suffering deeply from the break up.
  3. Please be extra tolerant of overworked, and over functioning single parents who post lazy pictures of selfies in their car with their kids in the back.  These parents have probably been running all the day, without any real alone time…and probably not at their best.
  4. Give people who are separated or divorced a chance, but be extra mindful of the ones who are simply trying to rebound.  If you notice a wedding band on most of their profile pictures, it’s probably a safe bet not to go out with this person.
  5. Have fun and be honest.  Put yourself out their, and remember we’re all trying to find a genuine connection of some sort.  Some people just find the need to lie to find the very thing they are looking for, which never really works out well.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful, if not mildly amusing.  In my experience, suggestion 1 and 5 have been the most helpful in staying sane as I navigate the mine field that is online dating.  I hope you know that my prayers are with you, and I hope you find what you seek.  Just remember that there is a loving God that already loves you, and that you are whole and complete just as you.  But I totally understand the desire share life with someone else.  However, love is not like the movies, it involves accepting all their gifts and weaknesses.

In the Light,

Your Friend