Online dating works. At Christian Mingle, we know this to be true – after all, we see the success stories every day. Yet, for everyone who found the one for them within a couple of hours of signing up, there’s someone who had to be a bit more patient. Sometimes, God’s plan for your future involves a lot of waiting (and, yes, a little frustration). In this personal essay, former Christian Mingle writer Eddie Gilman tells his story – a true tale of how he redefined online dating frustration, and how it lead him to his love.
My Online Dating Frustration
If you feel like online dating is nothing but frustrating, I have been there. If you are in a dating drought and it feels like it will never end, I have been there. Maybe you outright hate dating, due to so many bad experiences. I totally sympathize. Is it you? Is it me? Is it them? Or did God pass over us when He was giving out the “perfect date” blessings? If you can identify with any of this, then you know the struggle is real.
No matter the online dating frustration, or how long the dating drought, you are on the brink of love – if you don’t give up!
30+ And Divorced – A Fresh Start?
Being a thirty-something and divorced did not seem like a promising start when I decided to try online dating. But I was determined to give it a try.
Within my first five days of trying it out, I started conversing with a lady nearly 3,000 miles away. A year later, what had developed into a serious relationship ended, and I was back to square one again. After a solid year of frustration and growth, I hopped cities to start something new – including my non-existent love life. Little did I know that that year would be the most interesting yet.
I was more determined than ever. And something new had birthed inside of me: an unquenchable desire to allow myself to believe there was someone compatible for me. My determination overflowed into my self-development, creating a burning desire to understand myself more. Then, one of the greatest revelations in my life occurred; I changed the way I defined frustration and failure. What used to make me throw my arms up in the air, swearing I would never waste my time again, became my greatest motivator.
When I renewed my mind and redefined what I perceived as failure, frustration and loss, I began experiencing more progress. I went to the next level and redefined what progress was to me as well. This radically reshaped not only my approach, but how I connected with people. In addition, it applied not only to the dating world, but to my everyday life.
Rewrite Your Frustrations
It sounds odd – even laughable perhaps – but I began looking forward to situations that I would have labeled as online dating frustration in the past. For the first time, I was not online just looking for a soulmate. I left myself open for the opportunity and just connected with people. The difference was radical! I had incredible conversations and made lifetime friends; I was inspired and looked for opportunities to encourage those I met.
If dating becomes the means to an end, you have already arrived at the end.
When I rewrote my reason for searching, Mrs. Right was not a moment late. I know it sounds almost too cliché, or unbelievable at best. But I wouldn’t trade all the frustrations and failures in the world for what was waiting on the other side of not giving up.
Your True Self
I truly believe online dating is brilliant. I didn’t think that at all the first time I gave it a try. Whether you connect online or bump into Prince Charming at Starbucks, it is all too easy to feel the need to present ourselves as something more desirable than we think we are. And in our attempts to present a version of ourselves that we think will attract the right person, we often distort the best qualities of who we are. However, it is those very qualities, that the person we are looking for, is searching for in us.
When we alter, avoid, mask, manipulate, hide or deviate from our truest selves, we are just making it harder for ourselves to find the right person.
One of the most recent mindset shifts I had made before I found love was that I didn’t need a million matches. I only needed the right one. If I couldn’t be 100 percent myself, it was already a deal-breaker in my mind. If you cannot be 100 percent yourself, then you have every reason to question your interest.
You are on a journey to find the right one. Don’t focus so much on the destination that you miss out on all the beauty of the journey. It is not easy and it will take time. But if you can push past your online dating frustration, and keep learning, you will cross the finish line. Never give up!
You may also be interested in Honest Dating: How To Honor The Responsibility In Romance