Catholic Online Dating Vs. Non-Faith-Based Dating Services
There’s no denying that the Catholic online dating landscape has changed dramatically with the advancement of technology. Long-gone are the days of merely waiting and hoping for that special someone to come along.
These days, singles have a variety of options when it comes to searching for a potential mate. If anything, there might be too many choices, when it comes to dating sites and apps.
Feeling overwhelmed by the variety of options? In this blog post we’ll break down:
- Pros and cons of Catholic dating services
- Pros and cons of non-faith-based dating services
- 3 things to consider when looking for a potential partner
- 6 Tips to make the most of online dating
Not Sure Which Type of Dating Service to Use? We Have the Pros and Cons for Each
From the big name websites to the more specialized sites targeted at specific groups of people, the options are almost endless.
So which type of online dating is the best choice for you?
Catholic Online Dating Services
Can Catholic-based dating sites compete with those bigger companies? Here are the pros and cons of using a Catholic site.
A dating site doesn’t have to be huge and all-encompassing in its focus to be worthwhile. There are actually several reasons that a dating website geared specifically toward Catholics can be a great place to start your dating search.
Focused on Your Faith
When we’re at Mass, when we’re working to develop a prayer life, and even when we’re faced with tough moral decisions, it can be simple to invite God into our lives and purposefully focus on our faith.
But when it comes to the more mundane, worldly situations we face in our lives, it can be difficult to bring our attention back to the true Purpose of our lives.
Some people try to increase their focus on their faith in every day moments by doing things like listening to Christian music, following Catholic blogs, and the like.
But why not make use the means available to increase this focus when it comes to our dating lives?
Connects You to People of the Same Faith
A Catholic dating site can also help improve your faith life in a concrete way by connecting you to others who share your faith.
Surrounding ourselves with people who share our faith is often one of the best ways for our faith life to grow and develop.
Knowing this, we might consider what a step in the faith-building direction it can be to search for a connection to dates who do share our faith, like a Catholic dating service is aimed to do.
High Chances of Finding Someone with the Same Values
Another plus to using a Catholic dating service is that the people you might date are likely to share your values.
Dating someone with the same values as you might actually be much more significant than we realize at first glance.
That first date can turn into a relationship, where you’ll be spending a lot of time with this person. If the person shares your values, the relationship will serve to serve to strengthen you in them.
But perhaps even more significantly, dating someone who does not share your values can often lead to temptation, or at least to occasions of sin.
Then there are considerations for further into the future as well. When you search for dates who share your values, you are in fact taking steps that will help your likelihood of eventually having a holy marriage.
Not Just About Appearance
It can be hard to pick out a potential mate based on the typical things you can learn from a dating profile.
It might be tempting to think that if someone is physically attractive, and maybe shares some interests of ours, they should be an excellent choice for us. In reality, the components of a lasting relationship are much deeper than this.
The shared faith and values that you can find in a match from a Catholic dating website are a much better starting point to find someone that could be a good spouse to you someday.
Are such things a guarantee of a good match? Of course not. But having religious convictions in common with someone are certainly a better starting point than mere superficial commonalities alone.
With all those positives to using a Catholic dating site, why aren’t all single Catholics taking advantage of them? Well, we would say that’s a good question!
To be fair, there is one drawback to using a Catholic dating site instead of one of the non-faith-based services.
Smaller User Base Compared to Non-Catholic Dating Sites
Those huge dating companies, the ones we see commercials for? Their hugeness does have a pay-off that a smaller Catholic company might have trouble competing with.
When you use a Catholic dating site, the numbers of available people will be fewer. So if you want to feel like your options are truly endless, you might not enjoy a Catholic site as much.
But this doesn’t necessarily have to be a con, depending on your perspective. Some people might find a limit to the number of options to be refreshing!
Non-Faith-Based Dating Services
There must be a reason that these secular dating service companies are so big. Chances are, they have at least something to offer or they wouldn’t be thriving. But are they the best choice for you?
If you have any single friends who have found some level on success with these services, you may have heard of the benefits already. Certainly those commercials are all about touting the high points.
The biggest reasons people might choose to use one of these services include:
Larger User Base
Non-faith-based services do typically have smaller Catholic dating sites beat when it comes to the user-base size.
So if you are looking for sheer numbers, you might be interested in using a site like this.
Is having more variety always a pro? Not necessarily, especially if you’re the type of person to be overwhelmed by too many options.
But there is at least one benefit to having this larger user base.
Higher Chance to Find People that are Close to You
If the possibility of a long-distance dating relationship gives you a bit of a pause, you might enjoy the larger user base of a non-faith-based site simply because of the higher probability of finding someone nearby.
Close to you might sound simpler, easier, less stressful.
But don’t immediately write-off the possibility that a relationship starting out as long-distance could end up being your beautiful love story!
Obviously, non-faith-based dating services aren’t the end-all-be-all solution when it comes to online dating. There’s one pretty significant drawback to them.
Lower Probability of Finding Someone of the Same Faith
It’s possible, if you highlighted your faith in your profile and looked specifically for others who did the same, that you could find someone of the same faith on a non-faith-based dating site.
But probable? Not particularly.
Considering that these sites aren’t set up to feature their user’s faith in any particular way, it will be a lot harder to discover other Catholics using the site.
If finding someone with the same faith as you is important to you, a non-faith-based site is likely not the best option for you.
3 Things to Consider When Looking for a Potential Partner
Feel a little lost when you try to figure out where you should even start?
The quest to find a potential partner online doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are three considerations to get you started.
Just like when you meet someone in person, considering the preferences of a potential online date is a good place to start.
Are they a night owl who loves country music, while you’re an early riser who listens to metal? Perhaps not the most compatible of matches.
Do you both love outdoor activities? Do you both have interest in the arts?
Preferences such as these are a good place to start when you’re trying to determine compatibility with a person you’ve never met before.
But there’s a particular aspect of a person’s preferences that can be even more important.
Finding a fellow-Catholic is perhaps the best place to start when it comes to online dating. But even beyond that, there are different aspects to the ways people live out their Catholic faith that you could have in common or not.
Do you both love attending daily Mass? Are you both devoted to saying the rosary? Commonalities like these can really help to make a dating relationship holy and beneficial.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider personality characteristics.
Sometimes, opposite personalities attract. But there are also personality characteristics that can clash pretty heavily.
If you know that you yourself are introverted and don’t like huge groups of people, you might not want to try dating someone who says they love spending times in large groups.
If you are a talker who simply must tell their significant other every detail of your day, it might not work out to date a quiet, contemplative person who loves silence.
How to Make the Most of Online Dating
Okay, how are we to set about making sure we’re really making the most of this online dating landscape? Here are six ways.
Use a Service that Matches Best with your Interests and Values
If you’re committed to finding a Catholic, you might want to use a Catholic site. Just like you’d be smart to check out one of those interest- or lifestyle-based sites, like the ones for single farmers or for single skydivers, if having those interests in common is important to you.
Set your Priorities
Figure out what exactly is most important to you. And if there is more than one thing that you think is important, prioritize.
You might not be able to find someone who is both a Catholic and a fellow skydiving enthusiast, so you may have to decide which is more important to you.
Take Your Dates to the Real World Too
Just because you’re looking for a date in the online sphere doesn’t mean you need to think of dating only in terms of the virtual world.
Let your date into your everyday life – it might be one of the best ways to see if the two of you are in fact a good fit!
Be Honest and Realistic
Don’t fall into the trap of exaggerating your good qualities to attract more potential mates. Honesty is really best policy when it comes to online dating.
And in a similar way, don’t have unrealistic expectations of other people. Not every date will be a perfect match, and that’s okay!
Don’t let a Negative Experience Stop You
Sometimes, it might be worse than just “not a perfect match.” But that doesn’t mean that your actual perfect match isn’t out there!
It can be hard to keep from being discouraged if you do have a negative experience with someone you met online, but try your best to get back on the proverbial horse.
Don’t turn dating and looking for a potential mate into a life-or-death type scenario. Dating is meant to be fun!
While it is wise to keep long-term hopes and goals in mind, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the journey to those goals an adventure.
It might be possible to find that special someone using a non-faith-based dating site. But locating potential mates who do share your faith and values on one of these sites will probably not be a simple task.
If your faith is important to you, you might want to consider starting in a place where it will be easy to find others who feel the same way.
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.