Well, you don’t need our permission to be on more than one dating site or app at a time. But let’s talk through whether or not it’s a good idea for you…
There can be a lot of highs and lows in the world of online dating.
Finding hundreds, if not thousands, of matches that meet your specific search criteria = HIGH
Going on a series of bad first dates = LOW
Receiving a message from a unicorn of a match = HIGH
Finding out there are no such things as unicorns, him or her included = LOW
Just like anything else in life, online dating is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Sometimes, in the midst of a series of Lows, it’s tempting to think that if you expanded your options and signed up for more sites or apps, then the Law of Averages leans toward the idea that you’re going to find said unicorn faster.
That’s definitely one way to think about it. The more matches you have, the faster you’ll probably find True Love, right?
If you’ve talked with more than one person at a time on an online dating site, then you probably shudder at the thought of juggling multiple accounts. When two of your matches start texting you at the same time, it can be difficult to just manage those two conversations. If you’re talking to two matches per site, it suddenly becomes a full-time job. (And only a few of us get paid to surf online dating sites all day…)
While there’s no right or wrong answer, here are some good questions to ask yourself about adding multiple dating sites, especially if you’re a Christian:
1. How good is your attention to detail and ability to multi-task?
It’s kind of assumed that if you’re online dating, then you’re probably not talking to just one person. (You didn’t assume that? Oh, pumpkin, it’s time you knew…)
If you struggle to keep up with two or three conversations on one site, adding in another site or two could be a little much for you. Sure, there’s grace for your mistakes and you technically don’t know the person in real life yet, but if you already know this is an area where you’re weak, then it’s probably best to have an honest conversation with yourself and throttle back on the speed there, Turbo.
There are (usually) real people on the other side of that screen, and it’s not worth hurting, confusing, or upsetting them in order to serve our own impatience. Sure, you don’t know them, but your relationship with Christ still compels you to care about others. The Golden Rule, remember?
2. How are your funds holding out?
No one likes to talk about money, we know, but it’s important. Are you swimming in debt already? Or are you simply struggling to make ends meet? Adding multiple online dating sites can get pricey—especially when you consider that you’re not only paying for memberships, but dates, too. Is it wise, considering your financial situation?
3. How are you stewarding your time?
This question is about as fun as the money question above, but here goes. When you evaluate the time you’re spending on the site/app you’re currently on, is it too much? Are you finding that it’s affecting your ability to get work done each day? Are you coming home from work and spending hours searching for matches in the evening? Do you want to rush home from time with friends—real people in your real life—to get online and try to chat with matches? Are you busy chatting with matches while you’re with your friends?
If one site is causing you to not be present in your own life, then adding more is only going to intensify the problem. Take a moment and assess how much time you’ve spent online in the last week. Are you pleased with that amount?
4. Is it affecting your judgment?
Online dating can be problematic because you only get a one-dimensional perspective of a person’s life. You get a few pictures and paragraphs and have to make a snap decision on whether or not you want to move forward and get to know them more. It can be tempting to reduce a person to those few things, instead of the multi-faceted person that they are if you were to meet them in real life.
Before adding multiple sites, it’s always good to do a heart check to be sure you’re not allowing an extended period of online dating make you more judgmental and less graceful towards others. Do you see yourself becoming more critical of matches or the opposite sex in general?
Conversely, is your judgment affected because you’re not finding enough Christian matches? Are you finding yourself more willing to lower your standards? Are you now looking at matches who are Christians-in-name-only instead of like-minded believers? Are you looking at matches with the thought of changing them once you start dating them?
5. Is it beneficial for you?
“’All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful.” (The Apostle Paul, for the win.)
There’s no right or wrong answer to the question of whether or not it’s a good idea to be on multiple online dating sites or apps. It really is a personal issue and one that can only be answered by assessing whether or not it works for you right now in the season of life you’re in.
If you’re good on all of the above questions, the final thing to consider is whether or not it’s beneficial for you.
What’s your motivation in adding more sites or apps? Are you unhappy with the site you’re currently on because of limited matches or because you’re frustrated that it’s not user-friendly? Do you want to add more sites because you haven’t had one date on the site you’re on and you’re bored because new matches aren’t being added to the site? Are you adding more because people you know are having more success on another site?
Or, deep down, is the search for a spouse consuming you? Has it become a bit of obsession? Are you embarrassed because your friends are getting dates and you’re not? Will adding more sites make you more discontent if your search doesn’t result in a relationship? Will adding more sites stress you out?
Do you need to add another site or two, or do you need to take a break from online dating for a while? What is most helpful for you—personally and spiritually—right now, where you are?
Ultimately, it’s permissible to employ multiple online dating sites or apps in your search. It’s just a matter of knowing yourself and your limitations and allowing the Holy Spirit room to search your heart.
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