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The single Christian's dilema...
Where to search for an ideal partner... when to search... how to meet new Christian singles friends... and what to look for... things to do on a date... and should I be searching for Christian singles help in the first place!!!?

christian singles help!The quest for an ideal Christian mate
Lets face it... if you are a single Christian and like me and you're in your mid 30's, you're probably wondering if you'll ever meet a Christian soulmate that you can really fall in love with, share values and live happily ever after with. The fact is - some (even most) of my thirty-something year old Christian friends have statred to become a little twitchy, almost irrational in their thinking - saying things like "does the church does care", and "is God bothered with my singleness". Of course both God and the church are deeply concerned about it but in our world - God allows things to take their course which means it's sometimes very difficult to meet new people.

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Christians therfore sometimes and understandably feel compelled to go out and 'make it happen' or get Christian singles help. I can't blame them as I feel the same often. They (and often me) go to events and meetings I wouldn't normally attend in the hope that Mr or Mrs right will appear. Nothing really wrong with this, except it's just a major waste of a Christians time and energy if he or she is constantly engaged in the quest to find a partner - especially when it is at the exclusion of nurturing our spiritual walk, looking after friends and family and so on. So really - what should we be doing?

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Looking for events for Christian singles?.. what's the best way to meet Christian singles? Well it is very fortunate that whilst in recent years it has become very difficult for Christians not to compromise their beliefs when it comes to being single (I really believe todays society make it extremely hard for young people to stay on the straight and narrow - relationaly and otherwise), there does seem to be a move in the right direction - albeit the gradual acceptance that the singles in the church need a little helping hand!:)

First of all - should I be looking at all?!
I believe the best time to start looking, if you are single and really feel you are not getting any contact with potential partners, has to be when you feel fairly settled in your faith, church, and life in general. NOTE - I said FAIRLY settled. Nothing will ever be perfect. We all tend to want to get everything sown up before we really get into a relationship which on the one hand is good, but always remember tomorrow will have it's own unexpected problems so it doesn't actually make any sense to wait till everythings just right. If your worry is practical - financial - then you may be right to wait a little. Just remember the golden rule though: If a person REALLY likes you, they'll like you with your faults, rich or poor. If not - they're not worth persuing. Get that straight first:)

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Looking for special someone in too many places - church hopping & the like?
Where is the best place to meet Christian singles? The search for Mr or Mrs right has led some Christian singles to engage in "church hopping" -- skipping from church to church while looking for a singles group with potential mates. This is completely understandable but doesn't really help the person church hopping or the groups they hop to and from. I'm not wanting to point the finger here as I've done this myself a few years back and occasionally find myself going to things I wouldn't normally attend! - true.

The turnover in a typical church singles group can be pretty high. In fact on average it can be as much as 50 percent every six months or so! Christian singles sometimes end up practicing church in a consumer kind of way. One leader says "They go to one church on Saturday night for worship. Then they go to another church Sunday morning and to a third church during the week for Bible study" - all in hopr of meeting the right person. The grass always does look greener elswhere.

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The result of moving on just to meet new singles could damage spiritual life and existing relationships. "It really depends on what their first priority is - to fulfill God's spiritual purpose, or to fill the gap with a patner - a void that only God can fill completely"

Second, church-hopping singles are not helping the body of Christ…because they're not investing their gifts and to be honest being self centred in a place where it's not great to be self centred! - we all need to be thinking about our own needs at times but I firmly belive it's got to be best if there are places, activities and Christian events just for the singles issue so that church stays as church - not a dating venue:)

Does church hopping work for Christian singles?
Perhaps, perhaps not - but I recommend singles invest themselves in ONE church and if you really want to look for a partner - which after all is a desire of most singles on the planet, "If you feel like a church is the right place for you to grow spiritually, to use your gifts, then you should stay there and allow God to bring that person into your life…God is sovereign over those things and He could bring anyone he likes to this place." Maximise your chances (as if God can't work outside chance;) - and attend a large chuch if it makes you feel better.

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What should Christian singles be doing at church?
Singles should build real, genuine friendships - incidentally these should be the goals of any singles ministry. They should talk to people that get left out - introduced each other in a non-selfish way (I have been actively excluded from some circles where I believe I may have been seen as a theat which of course I couldn't be! - this is nonsense in a loving church) - get involved with the needs of the church and the local community. By all means go to singles events and join a singles internet ministry - just be balanced and accept what God has - even if it's not what you want. Remember the charcaters of the Bible. Who praised God even though they had non of the material things that their hearts desired. It tough stuff but we musn't forget the Bible. Despite all this I belive God can bring you someone when the time is right! Just never let it become your all consumming focus.

Looking for a date in the wrong places
Today's singles are often found looking in the wrong places. The prevalence of alcohol in singles establishments - bars and clubs poses a serious problem for Christians who perhaps sensibly choose not to drink alcohol outsidethe home. There is an enormous pressure to drink whilst socialising. But nothing is more unattractive for a Christian woman - to be talking to a guy slurring his words and not making sense when he thinks he is being funny under the influence! - OK guys!! So Christians are forced to look for alternative venues, including churches, in order to meet other singles. But they still might not find what they are looking for.

How the church sees singles

Some people feel that in church singles are the forgotten element --not that the church thinks any lower of singles, but they really don't know what to do with them! Also there singles groups that are brilliant, but run by people who frequently get married or burn out, and then the groups disband. I think there needs to be a church singles organisation full stop.

Should I lower my standards when looking for a mate?
When Chriztian singles find a lack of suitable partners they ask - "should I lower my standards?" I believe 'standards' is the wrong word. When you analyse attracation between men and women - not only is it amazing how people are attracted in the first place - but different people really do like different qualities. In that sense NO-ONE should really worry about the areas in which they feel thay lack in terms of attracticeness. The obvious one being looks. Yes a typically 'beautiful' woman may find lots of men are attracted initially to her - and she may well get more attention - but in the end it will be as difficult, if not more difficult for her to find a REALLY compatible partner. Since she would naturally look for someone like her. She is in fact much more likely to marry an incompatible partner so it really is swings and roundabouts. God has made sure we are not the same, but all equal when our different talents and giftings are put side by side. We all need each other. Anyhow - so back to standards, you are not lowering them, just looking for someone you find attractive - a very natural thing. It is very different to be looking for perfection - that is obvously a daft quest and not very Godly since non of us is perfect! It is in fact almost impossible to lower the things you find attrcative - some of it is genetic. Don't lower the good and right qualities you desire - perhaps lower your expectations of people slightly!

What about missionary dating - converting someone as you go!
The practice of dating someone who doesn't share your religious beliefs in the hope that you can convert them is called missionary dating! Sometimes it works - but 9 times out of 10 it is the Christian who will have to compromise and falls away from their faith to match their potential mate. Not good at all but not impossible either. Though nothing's impossible - be very careful here.

Internet Dating - a case study
Most people join Internet singles sites hoping to meet the right person" says a well known Christian singles site operator. "It is a combination of social network, singles club and home groups. We believe that Christian singles weren't getting enough help. They needed more networking and support. So our online singles service was able to offer that." It is hard to see our Christian singles services as just another Christian singles and dating site. It has an underlying Christian atmosphere that encourages people to grow spiritually while waiting for God to connect them with a potential relationship. Every member is required to sign a statement of faith of their Christian beliefs, including saving real intimacy for marriage.

Recognise the blessings of being single and singleness!
Singleness allows you more time to help others and invest in non-self activities - it's a great blessing to you and your friends around you if you embrace singleness while you have it. Try to thank God - hard as it may seem - for your singleness if at all possible. Praise really does heal the hurts of a persons heart if it is done in times of trouble. Please try it - it works and God blesses it.

Are Internet Christian singles sites safe?
The site is safe - members details are never handed out, but in the end safety just lies with the user. Just take care when meeting a new Christian friend by meeting in a public place. That's it!

Why is it so hard for Christians to meet partners and find the right relationships?
A leading pshycologist in america says "the number one reason why Christians struggle at relationships is the number of potential mates they have to choose from". "Most people don't have a big enough pool. They don't know exactly where to go. The singles groups in churches have proven to be disappointing for a lot of people". In general, "singles don't go to the singles groups in a lot of churches".

Christians often marry the 'next best' person
"As a result, Christians sometimes end up marrying the "next best" partner - someone who doesn't share their values and perhaps they don't find very physically attractive. It is simply very difficult to meet enough people to make the best descision and many compromise. They can hardly be expected to do much else.

Won't God point out the person I am to marry?
There is a lot of confusion as to who should do the choosing. Should I choose or do I leave it to God to call out from the heavens? 'This is the person I have for you'. I am not being sarcastic - it really is hard to know when we Christians have been brought up to have faith and let God deal with things. It is about sensibility. Stay at home and you are unlikely to meet anyone. Don't involve yourself in helping church ministries and perhaps you don't deserve to meet someone. Have faith that if you do your part - God will keep you safe and give you peace. And perhaps when the time is right a wife or husband. This doesn't mean don't look on the web or keep your eyes open.

St Paul says "don't look for a wife"
This is absolutely true and most people don't know it's in the Bible. But I strongly believe St Paul is refering to the idea of not becoming consumed with a search for a wife so you are able to do God's work. That's it really it and this makes perfect sense. He also says that along with the blessings of marriage will come the practical prblems that living with someone 24-7 will always bring - all sensible - all practical informative advice from Paul.

I don't want to join a dating agency to find Mr or Mrs right?
If you don't want to pursue a dating service or web site, the other best way that most Christians (and non Christians for that matter) agree on. Most recommend that single Christians expand their interests and activities. Build a more interesting and rich life if you are able. Get involved in as many things as you can without going overboard. Do voluntary work - this is a great talking point too! Do Bible studies, get involved in other organizations, join a fooftball team - the benefits are obvious when it comes to meeting new friends.

Mix with singles in the context of the church
This wil help you stay focused, avoid sinful activities and remain accountable should you like most people have one or two problems.

Keep an open mind
Sometimes we need to die to prerequisites and illconcieved ideas and wants before God can give us what is really best for us. Be aware that what you think you want may not be what you really want or indeed need:)

OK - so if you reckon you're ready to start meeting Christian Singles... where can I meet singles in the church other than Sunday morning service?! Here'e 101 ways to meet singles - 101 Christian men and women near you:)

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