Bad Christian Dates and the Tower of Terror

I love hearing dating horror stories. And oh boy, do I have plenty of my own.

Like the guy I met on Match.com who flew out from Colorado to meet me at Disneyland with his daughter for the day. Only problem was he showed up to our date with another gal who looked like Cindy Crawford’s twin. And strangely enough they had adjoining rooms to each other at their hotel (his little girl told me this on Tower of Terror and my scream might have genuine for the first time). When I confronted Mr. Awesome Christian internet guy about his duplicity he got sad and asked me with a straight face, “Why can’t we just all be intimate friends?”

Ummmm…because even though one of my favorite wines is called Ménage a Trois, it doesn’t translate to my dating life Pervert!

Another lesson learned the hard way.

So when I hear my single friends moan about their lack of quality dating prospects, I usually ask them to explain how they go about meeting their potential dates.

“So I was hanging out at Swallows Inn, trolling around Match.com, or partying in Vegas and there she was and I just had to ask her out.”

And then a few weeks later these same folks are surprised and genuinely baffled (just like I was) when the hottie they picked up turns out to only be interested in them for sex and/or money and they feel used like a dirty rag and so mislead.

They tell me with a sigh… “It’s crazy. People are so superficial these days. And their profile even said they were a Christian!”

And then I laugh maniacal because it reminds me of all my awkward dating adventures where I too sought out Mr. Right in all the wrong places.

If you want a Godly girlfriend or boyfriend consider what pool of prospects you are fishing in.

Now I’m not against all internet dating. I know you’re a busy person and you don’t have time to meet other singles the traditional way anymore. So let me take a moment to explain my objections.

From my experience with Match.com, people will hide their true identity on internet dating sites and pretend to be whoever they want to be. When no one knows what you did last week, you lose the accountability of dating in community. You have no real references on a person’s character and just because someone checks the Christian box and knows John 3:16, doesn’t mean they walk the walk.

Here’s a confession for all you dudes –women lie. I know this because I did.

Truth? I was 24

I am guilty of putting up pictures of myself that looked like me on the very best day of my life with hair and makeup, a stylist, and a team of photographers. Yes, you heard me, I used pictures from my previous modeling and acting days and I looked pretty hot for a twenty-four year old. Of course I was thirty-three when I actually posted them. (Totally lame…I know, but I claim mental instability from post-divorce trauma, which is, oh right… another reason I shouldn’t have even been on a dating site)

Reality...Sam and her friend Lara at 33 (still cute but not 24!)

Oh and ladies…guess what? Men lie too! How many guys claimed to be a CEO of a non-existent company, pirate their parent’s address, and take pictures in front of cars they sell for a living but don’t actually own? Sound familiar?

We wouldn’t hire an employee without doing a background check and getting multiple references, or even board an airplane without taking off our shoes to check for weapons, so why do we let strangers enter our dating lives in a vacuum of anonymity? Strangers aren’t sexy, they are just unknown. And beauty and a shiny car can’t compensate for a Godly character.

Where to meet Christian Singles?

Churchy Places

Church is a great place to meet people, but make sure you don’t ask out everyone and become “that guy” who all the ladies avoid. Events at your church are always wonderful opportunities to mingle and volunteering as a greeter or at the coffee bar will guarantee you meet lots of new faces. What about helping out at your niece’s Christian school or your own child’s if you are a single parent? Mission trips…awesome! Usually if you head to a place where Christ is a guiding value of the organization it helps the odds of meeting another Christian. Just saying.

Group Dating

If you are in an all male Bible Study, why not invite a women’s group to join you for a fun out outing? How about a Christian Singles ski retreat or a cruise? Tim and I had a blast up in the mountains with a group of Christian singles while we were dating. But maybe stay away from the hot tub.

Friends and Family

Referrals from friends are a great source of networking, but you have to be willing to humble yourself and ask. I know it’s so hard to admit you might need help, but when I finally inquired from a friend I trusted and asked if she knew some quality men she suggested this pastor guy –now my hubby (though we met by chance on our own before we could be set up). Other people have great insight –use their resources.

Internet Dating

If internet dating is the only way you feel comfortable meeting people, try E Harmony or a site where people have to take a personality test and at the very minimum spend real-time and money setting up a profile. Then take your time getting to know them and PLEASE date in community with friends and people around to give you feedback. Real friends will tell you if a guy or a gal is a poser right off the bat.

Pursue Your Passions

If you want to meet someone who will love the real you, do what you love. If you are passionate about serving the poor and needy, go with other singles to serve. If it’s working out, maybe find a Christian running group or friends with similar interests. If there isn’t a group you know of doing what you enjoy –start one and get busy making a life someone will want to join you in.

Dating

I know you are scratching your head right now. But yes, I said dating. If you date with honorable intentions and don’t shove your tongue down their throat after five minutes –even if it doesn’t click between the two of you, that person might know another person they could recommend. And it will be much easier to run into them again at church if you haven’t behaved like a jackwaggon.

How did I meet my sweetie? We met at the church bookstore where I worked and Tim was a pastor on staff. I am an avid reader and was puttering along in seminary at the time, so the bookstore was heaven to me. I was doing something I found exhilarating and helping people and I’m sure my joy was apparent. He noticed and made sure to introduce himself and eventually asked me out.

So if you’re fishing in the pool of inebriated and superficial bar people, don’t be surprised by what you catch.

Have you got any awesome and awkward dating stories?

Comments

  1. Tim and I drove together to a “winter blast” party for our “20-something” group of friends from church on Feb. 12, 1999. That was the night that Lisa and I first both realized we might be interested in being more than just friends.

    Then Tim and I joined some of those same friends (and more) for a “non-Valentine’s” party the following night. Lis was there. The spark continued.

    More group events. More spark. Lis and I got engaged in June of that year and married in November. Twelve+ years now and going strong thanks – in part – to Tim, his wheels, and his keen sense of what constitutes a good time.

    I think part of the key to relational success is to hang out with a social provocateur like Tim. You may fall in love. If not, at least you will have a lot of fun. : )

    • I agree! You need an epic wing-man like Keller to bring the party to you! And help you meet new faces.
      Thats why I married him :). Never a dull moment!

  2. Sam, there are so many bad dates this blog could go on for….e……ver……

    First, I have to ask for your opinion of the book “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping” by Dr. Henry Cloud. Have you read it? If so what are your thoughts? Dr. Cloud, who I respect, says it’s a numbers game – I totally agree.

    He says to not be concerned about being labeled if you’re in a church environment and date different people. Yeah, right. Women in church all know each other and if you date one of their friends, you’re a “couple” after your first cup of coffee. This explains why guys are reluctant to ask out girls at church. If you date more than two women in the same church you’re a “player” – how dare you date people?! Yeah, whatever. Weirdos.

    To make a long story short, us guys are very, very careful about who we date at church because we know all you single (and married) women are watching to see what we’re doing.

    Men play sports and watch ESPN. Women talk about men and relationships – gossip. Our goal is to not be a part of your gossip.

    • I think my prior post was written in a moment of frustration about something from my past – where I was on the receiving end of some very unfair and damaging gossip.

      I think if one dates with honorable intentions and is diligently and prayerfully pursuing then good things are going to happen. If some people want to gossip then fine – usually those people don’t have a life and aren’t worth investing in a friendship anyway.

      • Hey, I get it! I think it’s totally ok to ask out women at church. I reccomend it. But I think you do have to be extra cautious to make initial dates non-physical and more about making a friendship. Then, after you have gotten to know them and you believe they have many of the qualities you want in a spouse, be intentional about asking them to be your girlfriend. My husband (Pastor Tim Keller) has a great plan for dating that goes through all these steps and protects not only a woman’s heart but your feelings as well.
        If you are interested at all…he is setting up another group of guys soon to mentor through the process.
        He did his dating plan with me and it was AWESOME!
        I read Dr. Cloud’s books and to some degree it is a numbers game from an asking out perspective, but I disagree from the perspective that if you know you want certain characteristics, why bother barking up the wrong tree? if you want a puppy don’t shop at the cat store…is my point 🙂

        • Hey Sam, sounds pretty awesome. I’m curious to hear more about this “dating plan” as I am dating actively, meeting lots of girls, trying to make wise choices, and want to come out a winner. Can you please share a summary of his plan for those of us who may never have the chance to meet your husband?

  3. "Bookish B" says:

    CONNECTING COURAGEOUSLY

    Hey, Scrappy Sam, loved the article!

    As much as I like my directives simple and clear, ala “Just be yourself” my heart breaks for the number of singles I know who feel profound pressure to gild the lily because they think they really are competing with Cindy Crawford’s Twin.

    Would you consider devoting a blog entry to building a bullet-proof sense of self so that you can go out and connect courageously?

    From my own POV I know some absolutely awesome singles. Each brother and each sister could honestly be the answer to more than one person’s dreams and they are the last to know that or see that.

    “BB”

    • Bruce, of coarse I will write a blog on self worth. Anything for you!!!! I think most of my dating folly could have been avoided if I had believed what God had to say about me. Sadly, getting dumped by my ex-husband defined me for too long. I think we all need encouragement daily to combat the worlds messages.

  4. Great post!
    I had a roommate that would come home crying after every date because the guy would end up being a jerk for the lack of better words, sadly we had to remind her it is because she dated customers from the bar we worked at, but then again we also went to Azusa Pacific University, you would think with being surrounded by God seeking men pursuing their higher education would be a great source to find a respectable date…not the case (APU could use a little Tim Keller dating one on one). A roommate and I actually went live on APU’s radio show with our horror dates within the APU Christian Community and ruffled a few feathers with a house full of five girls, we had some great….awful stories. I completely agree with your “Purse Your Passions” section, I feel as though if you dont have a firm foundation in what you’re passion about and are truly seeking it, you’ll lose yourself in someones passions, just to make it seem like it works. For me, dating became a lot easier when I stopped looking and just did what I had to do for myself (focus on school, work and do what I love).

    • Amara, I’m sorry your roommate had some bad experiences in a bar. I don’t know anything about the guys at APU but I do know that God-seeking men aren’t perfect and are capable of being just as human and fallible as the next guy. King David’s life sums that up. A few thoughts from a single guy’s perspective and bars:

      Your story reminds me of a recent conversation with a buddy’s girlfriend. She said “girls go to a bar hoping to meet a nice guy” to which her boyfriend replied “but that’s usually not why guys go to a bar”. No kidding.

      In my pre-Christian days I used to go out to bars a lot – it’s the national past time of singles in America. I wasn’t happy with any of the women I met in bars – at least for more than one night. Ever.

      When I was starting to come back to my faith, I’d started to want a good Christian girl but I was still in my “old pattern” – going to bars. One of my more interesting nights in a bar is when I met this beautiful wholesome-looking girl, and for some reason she started to tell me she goes to church – that caught my attention. I was hoping she might be worth pursuing, but then quickly realized she was drunk. Slurred every word. Then she mentioned she goes to my mega-church. Great. I don’t know why, but I suggested we meet for coffee before the service sometime. Her response, waiving her hand, “oh, you’re just saying that” – like that’s a line to get into her pants or something – yeah, that’s what I usually say to take a girl home with me: “hey, want to go to church together with me?” …that is one hot, sexy idea – works every time (sarcasm). I was too frustrated to talk any further with Drunk Church Girl (DCG) and the whole scene became nauseating. My buddy didn’t fare any better – he was flirting with DCG’s friend who turned out to be married so that went down in flames fast. I remember thinking: Why am I going to bars? What am I getting out of it? Nothing. Here’s who I meet at bars: (a) spoiled, rich snobbish chicks, (b) women who want to sleep with me, (c) tons of gold-diggers hunting for Mr. Mercedes, (d) women just trying to get attention to stroke their egos, (e) cougars looking me over, and (f) DCG and her married friend. The kind of woman I want isn’t at a bar and never has been, so why am I? I think there are good catches out there, but she’s not at the bar!

      • Maybe the coffee bar at church? Its funny how we act differently when we are out too. Do we even show our real identity at the bar? Usually we are on guard in that environment anyway.

  5. I love this. At 55, I am single and have had a hard time finding truly God-honoring Christian men. Love your humor and ideas. Thanks for the heads up on guys posing with cars they don’t own! I love cars and tend to get sucked in there:)

  6. I LOVE your blog! It’s so practical and whimsical…bad dates and all. I see, though, that it all worked out for the best. Congrats!

    I saw your link posted on a freelance forum on LinkedIn and noticed you are a fellow Christian blogger, so I thought I’d drop by. I’ve wandered around for a while and thought I’d say hello.

    I also used to write a singles blog, as well as a relationship blog for Christians. My main focus now, though, is my daily devotional blog.

    I also started a Blessing Blog Connection, where other bloggers support, promote and bless fellow bloggers. If you would be interested in something like that, I’d love for you to linkup. If not, no worries. I know your blog is already successful and doing well! Congrats!! Here’s the link that explains how to Bless a Blog, in case you’re interested: http://blessingblogconnection.blogspot.com/2012/02/bless-blog.html

    Regardless, I’ll be stopping by often!

    Be blessed and remain hopeful,

    Tristine

  7. This is cracking me up! I’m fairly new to the ‘re-singled’ scene and have only dated one man. He turned out to be quite wonderful and will be a hard act to follow. We met through a mutual friend, developed a fun, non-romantic relationship while acknowledging the sparks were flying! In time it moved into the realm of romance adn only God knows exactly how it will end and whether or not our story will end together. There are challenges to dating in this season of single parenting but I underestimated the intensity I would feel and my own desire to be with someone again. Sigh – great to hear from others!

    • Makes it a bit more difficult with kids huh? If you do get serious I highly recommend blended family counseling before marriage. It made a huge difference in our relationship. Dating is hard enough but way harder with the kiddos involved.
      Blessings…
      Sam

  8. Oh my gosh, this cracked me up! It was SOOOOO depressing to me after my divorce, the whole UNDATEABLE bunch of CRAP out there….. thankfully I met my Godly man … yes, in Sunday School :). I think he was the last good one. 😉

    This is my first visit to your blog! Can’t wait to read more.

    • Yep, I’m pretty sure I dated most of the crap. Thank God for Sunday School and church bookstores 🙂
      thanks for dropping by! Can’t wait to check out your site.
      Sam

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