The Christmas message is one of hope but if we’ve been single for a long time or dating without success for a while, Christmas can also be a tricky time. With so much focus on family, the festive season can stir up mixed emotions for those of us whose prayers have yet to be answered or whose dreams have not yet come true.
Picture the scene: you’re on the train or the bus, thinking about joining a dating website, and contemplating which one to choose. Or perhaps you’re feeling disillusioned because you’ve been online for a while and you keep meeting people who look great in their profile, but turn out to be everything you don’t want in real life.
Most of us hope that our future will include love and marriage. After all, that’s why we’re on a dating website: to meet a life partner! But the church’s focus on married couples and families means that many of us grow up believing we won’t be fully-fledged adults until we manage to secure a spouse. It’s easy to pick up the idea that life doesn’t really begin until we get hitched.
So a few months ago I came across an article about ‘China’s leftover women’. These are women over the age of 27 that are not married. The article resonated with me because it is so similar to what myself and thousands of other women in different parts of the world have experienced; that feeling that you haven’t quite made it unless you’re married, no matter how successful you are. What I found saddest about the article was the fact that the parents did not help the issue but instead added to the pressure. Parents that make their daughters feel like failures just because they are not married appear to have no idea the negative effect that it has on their self-esteem.
The journey of online dating is unique to each individual and couple: everyone has different experiences in terms of timing, something that’s true not only in this scenario, but in life in general. Many singles start out with high hopes of quick results, but can become despondent after a while and even give up after a series of unsuccessful dates, or time spent searching. But the key is perseverance, so whatever stage you’re at right now, don’t lose heart. Here are some of the reasons why it’s important to keep going.
‘I find Mothering Sunday really tough,’ confided my friend. ‘I’m happy for those who’ve been blessed with children, but I’ve spent my whole life yearning to be a mum, and a service celebrating motherhood is just a painful reminder of my grief.’
Christian Connection is an award-winning Christian dating website in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA and Canada.
Since the UK launch in 2000, thousands of Christians have found friendship, love and marriage through the site.