Of all our Christian dating site reviews, our Christian Mingle review is one that has the most comments. And while we know there is no perfect online dating site, Christian Mingle in particular seems to evoke the most responses from people. (And it’s not just because they had the nerve to use a beloved old school Jars of Clay song in their advertisements.)
So when Michael and Shelley introduced us to Arica and Chris, two friends of theirs who met on Christian Mingle and are getting married in the fall, we really wanted to hear their story. Arica is 34 and a nanny to two children and Chris is 40 and is the finance team lead for a biometrics company. They both live in the Nashville area.
We love their interview because of their frankness about online dating in general, but also because it is encouraging for those who are currently using Christian Mingle or who are considering it.
Did you struggle with the idea of online dating?
Chris: I did for a while. Though some of my closest friends met their now wives online, I still hesitated. It felt like it wasn’t natural. But the more I looked around the social situations I was in, it made sense with my lifestyle. Plus, the more I got to know myself and understand what I was looking for in a relationship, online dating was a better option. I could search for people who fit the personality type that I could be happy in a relationship with, so we were starting off on common ground.
Arica: I did a few years ago, when I first started thinking about getting into online dating. But a mentor of mine made a really wise comment to me. She pointed out that I did so much stuff online & spent so much of my day on a computer that it really isn’t a stretch to meet a man online.
On which site did you meet your fiancé? How long were you on it before you found your fiancé?
Chris: We met on Christian Mingle. I was off and on for about 5-6 months and had just jumped back on when we met.
Arica: Chris and I met on Christian Mingle. I had only been on that site for a few weeks when I met him.
Do you tell people you met your fiancé online, or do you keep that under wraps? Why?
Chris: When I had jumped back into online dating, I had decided to really try to find someone I could see myself with long term, so I was much more ready and comfortable with online dating by that time. So I have no problem telling people where we met.
Arica: We tell for sure. I don’t think it’s weird at all to meet online and have several friends who are married to people they met online. I also don’t think lying about the beginning of our relationship is wise.
What was it about each of your profiles that caught the attention of the other? What made it stand out?
Chris: She came across as very sweet, caring, and down to earth. Plus, we had a lot in common, including living a healthy lifestyle, which was important to me. She was always smiling her beautiful smile in all her pictures, so I felt like she was very fun and easy going and I knew we would have fun together no matter what. It helps knowing you already have a lot in common before you’ve even met.
Arica: He was fun and had a life! Some of the guys I had talked to previously didn’t really have friends and didn’t do anything during the week. Chris wrote in his profile about loving to dance, having Preds tickets, going to football games…he loves to go and do, just like me. After talking to guys who were the opposite, his profile definitely jumped out.
From the time you started messaging back and forth, what was your initial dating process like?
Chris: After a couple of conversations via email, I could tell we had real potential for something special, so I asked her out right away. I had tickets to a hockey game the next weekend, but didn’t want to wait as I really had a good vibe about Arica. The first date was perfect, so I asked her out again for the hockey game. I met some of her friends that night and again the next day, and really felt like we would blend into each other’s lives very easily. We went out again a few more times, but I knew by the end of the 2nd date that I wanted her to be my girlfriend. The only question was how long I was going to wait till I asked. I waited 6 more days and knew I didn’t want anyone else.
Arica: Our dating process actually moved pretty quickly. We emailed for about a week before we met. He was cute because he initially asked me out for Thanksgiving night, but then came back and asked me out for a date a week before that. He said he just couldn’t wait to meet me. 🙂 We went out several times that first week, and he even met some of my friends that week. It was 9 days in that he asked me to be his girlfriend.
Online dating sites can get pricey. Do you think it was worth it?
Chris: If I met someone out dancing or something, I would probably spend the same amount in drinks. And this way, I’m able to be much more specific in what or who I’m looking for. It’s very much worth it, if you’re willing to take the time and really try. If you do, quality people, like Arica, are out there, which is worth way more than what you pay for the site fees. You can’t put a price tag on what she means to me.
Arica: Seeing how I met the man I am going to marry, I’d say yes! I will say though that I only signed up for an online dating site if I had a discount of some sort. There are always promotions, so you can be smart about it, even while investing the money.
Were you pleased with your experience overall? Would you recommend the site to other Christian singles?
Chris: It was and I already have. With Christian Mingle, you know you’re starting off with one major thing in common. So you’re already starting off on the right foot with solid foundation to build on. Plus, you know you are skipping past the people just looking for a hookup and finding people who are honestly looking for something more serious.
Arica: Initially, Christian Mingle wasn’t my favorite. There were a lot of men who I was not interested in. I was seriously considering canceling my membership when Chris emailed me. So it turned out well.
What are some tips you’d offer other Christians who are online dating? Are there things you wish you’d done differently?
Chris: Send quality emails, instead of just winking. Take the time in the emailing process to really get to know them before anyone has spent time or money on a date. If that goes well, ask them out. Show them that confident can-do attitude by making a first move. But the main thing is to really look at the character of the people and their lifestyles, instead of just looking at their profile picture. Yes, you need to be attracted to the person romantically. But the character of the person is what will really build that first contact past the first date and into something real. Though I’ve always been very attracted to Arica’s looks, it was her sweet heart, confident, God-centered, and positive personality that really hooked me in. Our lifestyle was such a perfect match that our lives blended together almost seamlessly. So put the effort in to really find the character of the person. It just makes that person that much more beautiful.
Arica: One of the first things I tell friends who are considering online dating is to only sign up for about 3 months. It’s even more of a time investment than money, and after a couple months of looking through profiles and emailing, you get to a place where you’re just over it. The other thing would be to meet quickly once you begin emailing, texting and talking…especially emailing and texting. Those can create a sense of knowing someone when you really don’t. The quicker you can have a face-to-face meeting, the sooner you’ll know if there’s something really there or not.
If you know someone who is currently using Christian Mingle or who is considering it, will you encourage them by emailing them this post?
Photo credit: Dr. Wendy Longo