Monday, December 13, 2004

Christian matchmaking

Whilst I’m on the topic of online dating… *grin* …about a week or so ago, I saw an ad in the papers for a matchmaking site catering to Malaysian Christians. A similar ad was run in the latest issue of Asian Beacon (a local Christian magazine).

I’m insatiably curious, so I popped into the site and did some poking around. Seems pretty similar to the usual online dating or personals sites from what I can see. I decided to run a search for males of any race, from all states, aged 26-34. There were 13 matches.

Putting aside the not-so-outstanding command of English in a few of the profiles, the “preferred description” of the lady some of those guys are looking for made me raise my eyebrows. One user said, “She must love God, her age 21-30. She long hair [sic], cute face. She like children. She love old people. We can go to serve the Lord together. She simple, not materialstic, she soft, polite, gentle, caring. Not easy to get angry, patient. She know how to drive.”

Wait a minute. Knowing how to drive is a REQUIREMENT now??!?! And what’s with guys and long hair? Every time a guy tells me his ideal girl must have long hair, I tell the fella, “In case you didn’t realise, hair does grow, you know…” *rolls eyes*

Another user actually said, “She will be doing the cooking!” *choke* *sputter* *cough* Why didn’t he just say, “I can’t cook!”???

In the interests of fairness, I did a similar search for females of any race, from all states, aged 26-34. There were 29 matches — more than double that of the guys!!!

The ladies were generally more articulate than the men and provided more details in their “preferred description” of the man they were looking for. Many of them said they were looking for a man who would “love me for who I am”, and specified “non-smoker & non-drinker”.

Once upon a time I filled out lots of similar profiles and forms. I joined 30 personals sites (my profile is still on most of them, but I’ve long ago lost the list of URLs, usernames and passwords). Nothing came of that, and I don’t think I would do it again now. For one thing, when you write out a description of your hoped-for partner, it’s like putting your deepest, most precious, secret hopes & dreams out there. I feel vulnerable now when I think about some of the things I wrote, even though I meant them back then and still mean them today.

For another, I’m starting to suspect that while the women are earnestly seeking a mate, the men are not quite so serious about it. I get this feeling when I look at the difference between the profiles of the two genders. Yes, I know that females are generally said to be the more detailed sex and more open about their personal lives and whatnot. But… I don’t know. I think it’s also about whether you want to, and anyway that sense of purpose just didn’t come through the guys’ writings.

Finally, I just don’t think it’s for me now. Back then, I was really looking for someone. Now I’m trying to trust God to engineer things in His own time and His own way. People keep on telling me, “Maybe you aren’t ready (for a relationship) yet.” I have no idea. How would I know whether or not I’m ready? Maybe it’s the guy who’s not ready 😉 But I’m sure God will know when both of us are ready. *shrugs*

Posted by ireneQ
Category: Hearts & flowers

Comments

Ahahaha. “She must know how to drive?” I bet the guy doesn’t have a driving license. 😀

BTW, a girl with long hair is probably the most cliched thing a guy could want from a girl. what difference does it make whether she has long or short hair????

Posted by: eyeris at December 13, 2004 06:39 PM ++ link

Hey Irene
Some things (men) never change. Remember the cavemen? They will knock out their future mates and drag them by the long hair to their caves?

Posted by: lilian at December 13, 2004 07:49 PM ++ link

Eyeris — YOU’RE a guy, YOU tell me what difference it makes whether a girl has long or short hair 😛

Lilian — that explains EVERYTHING!!! rotflol

Posted by: irene at December 13, 2004 08:44 PM ++ link

Oh, Man. Are these the choices Malaysian women have to choose from? 😉 I can’t help but feel that these guys are still expecting a Mum v2.0, you know, the lady who looks like a supermodel, who cooks like a chef and walks around the house in spike heels. And yes, reminds him of Mum.

😉

Posted by: Messy Christian at December 13, 2004 11:09 PM ++ link

The biggest mistake guys make is that all christians are interchangeable – that nothing else matters other than the fact that she’s cute and christian.

lemme tell ya fellas, it just ain’t so. And while I’m at it gentlemen, just because you’re a christian, that doesn’t make you the catch of the day. Guys should work hard to prove they are good husband material, and women shouldn’t settle for guys who don’t!

A friend of mine had the choice between having an arranged marriage and picking her own love match. She chose to have an arranged marriage, because she didn’t trust herself to pick solely on the basis of looks or personality, without considering respectability, character, and the guy’s ability to truly provide for her in every way.

That really made me think more about my own choice and raise my own standards of what kind of man my husband must be. I figured being single was much better than being with someone who failed to meet my standards. That made it easier to wait for Mr. Right.

Posted by: Feeble Knees at December 13, 2004 11:12 PM ++ link

God sees marriage as a ministry too. So He would want two people whom He loves dearly suited for each other to end up with each other as much as we want it. Just a matter of waiting for the right one and the right time. The right person at the wrong time is as bad as the wrong person at any time.

Posted by: charlyn at December 13, 2004 11:58 PM ++ link

I really don’t see why a person’s religion should be such a big deal. If a person is willing to dismiss a person based on his or her religion, then there is something seriously wrong about what that person is learning from his or her religion.

And no, I’m not dissing any religion here.

Posted by: Eyeris at December 14, 2004 12:18 AM ++ link

I do agree with a person’s religion not being a big deal. For example, my boyfriend is not a Christian. However, I find that God has placed him in my life so that I can show him the glory of God through my everyday life, and that he may become a believer. In just this relationship, I have become a missionary, spreading the gospel to those that are most important to me. That, of course, is not the only reason why I’m with my boyfriend, because I do feel that we are meant to be together and I could not imagine my life without him (meaning, I can’t wait to marry him someday). Though God may place people in your life that are not neccessarily “ideal,” there is a purpose. This is why it is so difficult to appropriately break down what you would like to see in an “ideal” mate on an internet dating site, because this may not be who God utterly wants you to be with. Take it from me – I have been through an internet relationship.

Posted by: jennm2 at December 14, 2004 02:23 AM ++ link

MC — that’s not a Mum v2.0, that’s a Stepford Wife!! 😀

Feeble Knees — having seen friends struggle in relationships, I’ve decided that it is good to have standards (although they have to be realistic). Relationships are already so difficult, there is no point making things worse by getting together with someone for the wrong reasons, or to be undiscriminating about one’s choice of partner.

Charlyn — I agree. Wrong guy, right time; right guy, wrong time; wrong guy, wrong time; eventually it’ll come to RIGHT guy, RIGHT time 😉

Eyeris — religion is a big deal to me when it comes to finding a partner, coz I believe one’s faith shapes one’s worldview and perspectives. It’s not that I ‘dismiss’ guys based on their religion, it’s just that I don’t think true compatibility or connection is possible if he were to be of a different faith. I’ve explained in more detail here.

Jennm2 — Personally, I don’t think it is wise to get together with someone in the hope/intention of witnessing to them. I don’t want you to feel that I’m judging you or criticising you for your choices; I’m just saying that I personally would not make the choice to be with someone who’s not a Christian. I feel that it places pressure on the other person to accept Christ for the wrong reasons (ie. to please me, rather than because he really believes). And in the event that he does not eventually embrace the faith, I would be left with two choices: to marry someone who’s not a Christian, or to break up with him. I don’t want to do the first (for reasons, see the link I gave Eyeris, above), but the second will be EXTREMELY hard to do — it’s always hard to break-up once you are emotionally involved. I find that, once I am attracted to somebody and WANT to be with them, it is easy to rationalise the decision to go ahead with a relationship by saying that I can be a witness to him and help him to become a believer. It is actually less about noble motives and more about me just going after what I want. For all these reasons… that’s why I would not start a relationship with someone who’s not a Christian.

Posted by: irene at December 14, 2004 03:53 PM ++ link

As an ‘unbeliever’, I always find it funny that people of ANY religion think that we ‘unbelievers’ are ‘unfulfilled’.

Religion should not matter in anything. a Relationship is a two way thing. IF your other half is a non-Christian, then you should understand that and respect that, but HE should also respect and understand YOUR views, and accept you as YOU are.

As it turns out, its not a matter of religious beliefs, but a matter of trust and acceptence.

And THATS what religions should be preaching.

Posted by: Eyeris at December 14, 2004 04:39 PM ++ link

Eh I got say ‘unbelievers’ are ‘unfulfilled’ meh?

You are right. Religion doesn’t matter BUT personal priorities, the way one looks at life, attitudes towards people & things — those matter, or at least those determine compatibility. For example some people are determined to climb the corporate ladder & earn ever bigger bucks, and that is their no.1 priority in life. I’m not interested in climbing the corporate ladder, I just want to do something that I enjoy; and money doesn’t have such a high priority in my life. So, I respect their drive & determination, and I understand that they have their personal goals. But I would STILL find it a bit frustrating to be with somebody who always put his job before everything & everybody else in his life, and to whom everything is about money money money. Do you see what I mean? Just coz I don’t want to be with somebody who is ultra-ambitious, am I being intolerant or discriminating against him? No, it is personal preference.

Soooooo… to a certain extent, religion shapes our values & the way we look at things too. It is just easier to be of the same religion, coz then you have more common ground.

If it was as easy as accepting people as they are & respecting them, then marriages wouldn’t be breaking down due to ‘irreconcilable differences’. Sometimes you can accept the other person as he is, but you just can’t live with him nevertheless!!!

Posted by: irene at December 14, 2004 05:06 PM ++ link

Sigh, don’t mind me. Am just feeling extra snappish today, and feel like picking a fight. 🙂

Posted by: Eyeris at December 14, 2004 06:54 PM ++ link

The implication to be with someone for the hope of witnessing to them was not my main intention of my post. I was just saying that God places people in our lives for a reason, because he has a purpose and he has a plan. I could never expect “the other person to accept Christ for the wrong reasons” because that is not the right way to become a Christian. I don’t think I would be able to live with myself if someone did that for me! That is purely their decision based on their own relationship with God. It would take me a while for me to explain myself I think, or for anybody to understand my intentions, but I have truly become a better Christian throughout the relationship because I’m not only sharing the light of Christ, I am also learning a lot about myself and my relationship with God. It’s sort of like raising children I guess – you grow up with them all over again. I’m not looking for a reason to make this relationship work; if it does, it is God’s will, and if it doesn’t, it just wasn’t meant to be for reasons beyond my understanding.

Relationships are never perfect; even if one was to begin a relationship with someone who is also a believer, they will still be at a different stage of their “spiritual journey,” and may not ultimately be close to where you are. They also have their own, personal, and possibly “different” relationships with God. But I believe that love is created by God, and can happen between those that have completely different beliefs.

In all honesty, as selfish as it may seem (…I’m sorry…this will probably sound how I don’t want it to sound…), I am thankful that my boyfriend is not a Christian, because I have grown so much spiritually during the relationship because of him. And then as an added bonus, he can become a believer too! However, I don’t want this to sound like I’m using him, because that’s not what I was expecting out of the relationship coming into it. It just happened that way, and for that, I am grateful. And through it all, we have become even more compatible.

I totally understand if you could never be with someone who is not a Christian, and I even respect that in certain ways, but I guess what I’m trying to say is to not be so close-minded….you never know what could happen, relationship or otherwise (but I’m sure the “otherwise” isn’t the problem). However, I think in terms of modifying my post, I guess I need to be in a relationship with somebody who is at least “open” to the idea of discovering God’s love. Does this make sense?

Posted by: jennm2 at December 15, 2004 03:16 AM ++ link

“It is just easier to be of the same religion, coz then you have more common ground.”

That’s not actually enough to ensure common ground. A Christian (or Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish etc) couple may still only be superficially compatible. There is also the way one approaches and practises the religion.

For the record, I feel much more “fulfilled” now that I’ve finally realised and decided that organised religion is not what I believe in or approve of.

Sometimes I feel religion and the search for God and answers can all but consume us so that we overlook the importance of action. Do some volunteer work, get active politically and it’s amazing how different(and better) life looks.

Posted by: Daphne at December 15, 2004 02:23 PM ++ link

I agree with Daphne’s last paragraph. Think OUTSIDE religion for once, and things may actually be different.

Posted by: Eyeris at December 15, 2004 04:56 PM ++ link

You know, when you come to think of it, it’s true – just because you have the same religion doesn’t mean you’re compatible.

My guy may be a Christian (he’s a hypothetical guy), but we may not agree about roles for women, for example. Or, I’m a postmodern, and he thinks postmodernism is nonsense. If there’s one thing I look for in a guy is that he understands how I relate to my faith, and that usually means that my life revolves around it. Not many guys can accept it, so that’s why natural conclusion – Christian guys only.

But even then that’s not a guarantee, as I said. I mean, I had a boyfriend who met every criteria – he was in bible school training to be a pastor and all that – but we were not compatible because we were not emotionally mature for a relationship.

A lot of things to consider when you decide to have a relationship with someone. Are we compatible, that’s the question! 🙂

Posted by: Messy Christian at December 22, 2004 09:16 AM ++ link
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