Should I suggest online dating to my single friend or sister? (Written by that single person)

There is perhaps nothing more confounding than sitting across from a single friend who is perfectly eligible yet perennially single.  As you search for ways to encourage and support, and brainstorms ways for her to “get out there” it’s almost impossible not to bring up online dating.
This is so good! I have wondered about this for my sister!But should you?  Sure there’s still a bit of a stigma, but we all know several people who met online, and it worked!  Ta-da! Problem solved.
As you sit across from your sweet, gainfully employed and cute (even if she is a little quirky) friend, here is a reason to resist:
Odds are she’s tried it.  She probably tried it the day after she was maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding; then again when she received the invite for her cousin’s big day (to the girl he met on Match); and maybe one last ditch effort on a lonely Saturday when her chick-flick was sprinkled with giddy Christian Mingle pairs (maybe a religious site will be different, she reasoned).
But, even with sophisticated algorithms, multitudes of men, and guided communications there is still no guarantee of a match, no protection from rejection and often, no support in the process.  Rather, the sweet subscriber is left in front of her laptop, pouring over just the right verbs to describe her sporty, fun-loving and driven personality while cropping and posing and producing just the right photos to capture her “natural” beauty (and disguise those post-college pounds).
Seriously.  So, what is a well-intentioned best friend (or mom, aunt, co-worker or hairdresser) to do?  A few thoughts:

1. Understand.  We simply were made to be with others and to have a husband.  God said it was “not good for man to be alone” before sin separated Him from Adam and Eve in the Garden.  It’s not just a nice thing, it’s actually part of God’s design and purpose for us.  So, understand that the desire your friend feels to be married is very real and is very good!

2. Invite.  Try to go out of your way to invite single friends to office parties or happy hours, to your church gatherings or other social events.  Help her engage with others outside of her normal circles and enjoy the time spent together.

3. Include.  While dinner at your home might seem like an unexciting affair, time spent with families and kids can be really good for the soul.  Feel encouraged to invite single friends to lunch after church, the kids’ birthday parties or sporting events.  Helping her feel like part of the family is a great support while she’s waiting to start hers.

And, if you really feel led to bring up the online dating thing?  Well, offer to do it together, be her “sort & support” team; have fun developing the profile and sorting through the matches together.

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