A frequent conversation I have with my other female single friends is how weird it is to be a woman on dating apps in 2020. Even in the last ten years, dating (especially online dating!) have changed and shifted things so much. Sometimes these changes have been for better, sometimes not.
I have been on and off dating apps and Catholic dating sites for the last few years. Some experiences were better than others, and some were just plain horrible. For people like myself who have discerned a vocation to marriage but are still looking to meet the right person, Catholic dating can feel frustrating, overwhelming, and hard sometimes.
As I reflect on my experiences and those of my female single friends, here are some thoughts on what it is really like to be a woman on a catholic dating app in the world today.
Where are the normal guys?
Forgive me gentlemen, but it needs to be said. A common thing I hear from single girlfriends and have noticed myself, a woman can be left wondering, “where are all the normal guys?”I have heard lots of stories of men asking odd questions to women early on or even on a first or second date. These have included questions about how many children we want to have, our liturgical worship preferences, and how we voted in the last presidential election.
This is just plain weird, and sometimes happens more than I would like to admit for Catholic women. Just be yourself. Please do not lead with asking a woman a lot of deep, probing questions. Instead, get to know her as a person first and foremost.
What’s up with the double standards?
I have noticed and felt frustrated at times with the double standard for women when it comes to physical appearance and photos.
As a woman, there feels like this unseen pressure sometimes to have these beautiful, glamorous photos of myself, while sometimes it feels like I would only get likes or messages from men who don’t seem to be putting in the same thought or effort. That feels frustrating and sometimes like a double standard.
If women are expected to come across as striking, it would be nice if more men would take the same consideration and thought into their own photos.
Why is ghosting a trend?
The golden rule of treating your neighbor as yourself can be applies well Catholic dating and dating apps. A person may have reasons why they drop off communication with someone, but please can we just be adults and not ghost each other? It is hurtful and unkind.
I had one particular painful experience on a Catholic dating site. I had been talking with a handsome widower with three little girls for close to a month. We had deep, good conversations and seemed to want the same things in a relationship. Then, all of a sudden, he stopped messaging me. I was confused and initially wondered if it was something I had done. It hurt my feelings, and while I eventually made peace with the situation, I was resolved to not treat another man as this one had treated me.
So let’s agree as men and women not to ghost each other.
Can’t we be honest leave the games behind?
This point piggy backs up to the previous one. For the love, let’s not play games with people and/or their thoughts and feelings. If you know you are not interested in someone, do not lead them on. Be kind but honest. Don’t play games with their heart. Truth-telling with equal amounts of love and grace are most important.
Honestly, I have heard to learn this the hard way sometimes in my dating journey as a Catholic woman. I have made mistakes where I judged a person too quickly or presumed I was right when in actuality I was wrong.
Dating well takes equal parts grace and humility. When you make your share of mistakes, take responsibility for yourself but use it as an opportunity to learn and grow through your mistakes.
Ladies, what has your experience been like so far on dating apps and/or Catholic dating sites?
What are you learning on the journey of dating as a Catholic?