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An Interview with a Christian Online Dating Expert

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In her late 40s, Margot Starbuck found herself in unfamiliar territory: the world of dating.

After 20 years of marriage, divorce, and years of healing, the author of more than 30 books decided to venture into online dating. her latest release, The Grown Woman’s Guide to Online Dating: Lessons Learned While Swiping Right, Taking Selfies and Analyzing Emojiswas born from her personal experience and in-depth research.

Today, she shares pertinent information with women of all ages in the unknown world of online dating, including how to get started, be authentic, and stay safe online.

For readers unfamiliar with this, could you start by explaining how to get started?

First, you have to choose the site you want to use. There are sites that are free, sites that are free for an introductory period, sites that are paid from the beginning, and sites that allow you to pay for additional benefits.

The simplest rule of thumb when considering which site to use is “you get what you pay for”. On a completely free site you will come across many characters who do not share your values. , so we take finding your match very seriously.

Once you know whether to use paid or free sites, one of the best ways to narrow down to one or two is to get opinions from people with similar age, gender, and religious preferences in your area. is to listen to The best site for me in urban North Carolina may or may not be the best site for someone in rural North Carolina.

What is the best site for you and why?

Match and Bumble worked best for me. I love Match’s search capabilities. You can search by geography, age, religious preferences, and more. The desktop version also allows you to search by specific keywords like ‘artist’, ‘drummer’ or ‘yes’.

Bumble was created by a woman. On it, swipe right if you like someone, swipe left if you don’t. If they both swipe right, it’s up to the woman to start the conversation. Because of this, I think there’s a good chance there are safer men on Bumble.

Eharmony has a good reputation, but it’s also expensive. ChristianMingle also has the word Christian in its name, which makes me feel safe, but I haven’t found a great match there.

What are the 3 most important things to consider when creating your profile?

1. Include what makes you unique. Imagine how many women would write, “I love the beach. I love coffee. I love my family.”They may be true, but they are not unique to you, so you are wasting precious real estate in including them. earth wind and fire while roller skating on a local trail. ”

If you’re having trouble identifying your own traits, ask a friend to help you. Because your friends know what makes you special.

2. Choose your photos well. Include both headshots and full body. You might be tempted to just show him a headshot or post a picture of him 30 pounds from 6 years ago, but there’s no point in not having a current picture. And use different pictures. Post a picture of you playing baseball with your favorite nephew, a picture of yourself in art class, or a picture of yourself holding your favorite book. Being more specific gives men something to be interested in and respond to.

3. Don’t be negative or share too much. It’s easy to complain about dating apps, about men, about meeting men on dating apps, but it has little real estate to make a good impression that negativity is a waste of space. Avoiding sharing is also important. Former depression and addiction may be part of you, but your profile is not the place to share it.

What are the red flags to look out for when establishing a connection?

Some are really obvious. If he announces his favorite sexual position, you know what you should avoid. If a man is very eager to meet you soon, or, conversely, is overly reluctant to meet in person, both of those could be red flags. Char claims that the man who asked me out was likely in prison.)

Another thing to watch out for is whether the guy’s profile is too disrespectful or too idealistic about his ex-partner. If he says things like, “I’m a workaholic right now, but I’ll be different when I meet you,” or “I want someone to complete me,” then he may have an unrealistic view of relationships.

Pay attention and notice what your gut is telling you.

As a Christian woman on a dating site, how do you approach the topic of sex?

We know that in our culture, ticking a Christian box doesn’t mean you share the same values ​​when it comes to sex. . It may simply mean, “My grandparents baptized me when I was a baby.”

If you’re saving sex for marriage, make it clear. Add hints like “I’m not here to meet you” or “I’m looking to build a friendship” in your profile. You can also

Here are some code words and phrases to look out for when viewing male profiles. All of them can be codes for “I want to sleep with you as soon as possible.”

I have a friend who is in her 30s and she is very outspoken about her commitment to saving sex for marriage and she always brings it up on the first few dates. Our Culture So, I think this is very wise, since sex and dating are often assumed (even among those who tick the Christian box). It takes courage, but it is very important.

You mentioned trusting your intuition earlier. Could you elaborate on that? Do you have examples of when this has worked?

Yes, I’ve been catfished — when someone isn’t who they say he is. He said he is from Norway and lives in Atlanta. I’m not sure what a Norwegian accent sounds like, but his voice just wasn’t a good fit for me. I mentioned it to a friend who did some research. She realizes he doesn’t have a profile on LinkedIn, even though he claims to be an architecture professional. (It’s not a total deal breaker, but most of the experts are on LinkedIn.) But he only had three Facebook friends. So I finished it.

Let’s talk specifically about safety. What practical things can women do when investing in the world of online dating?

As for the overall stance on safety, it should be questionable. It may sound silly, but don’t assume that person is who you say you are until you’ve seen the evidence.

Be smart and do your research. With Google and social media it’s very easy and saves time and effort. One man I got in touch with said he thought it was silly for people to Google their matches. So I Googled him and found a sort of paparazzi shot of him walking out of court in a high-profile criminal trial.

Also, don’t share personal information, addresses, or photos you don’t want to share with others. If you want to be extra careful, get your Google phone number so people don’t see your real number until you’re ready to share it.

Also, get your girlfriend involved. If something doesn’t feel right, go past them. Let your friends help you browse profiles, and when you’re ready to meet a match in person, let your friends know where you are, meet in a very public place, and use your own transportation. You can really protect yourself by following the .

Before I let you go, what’s your advice for getting out of a relationship or just getting out of a connection after you’ve met in person once or twice?

A neighborhood friend in his 30s has a great template for this. Just say, “It was a pleasure to meet you. I don’t think we’re compatible, but I wish you all the best.” I think the phrase “we don’t look good together” really helps to say goodbye.

Adult Women's Guide to Online Dating Book CoversDoes the thought of joining a dating site evoke fear, anxiety, or worse, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness? adult online dating guide is the book for you. The Grown Woman’s Guide offers practical advice on how these sites work, what to expect, when to join and quit, and proven ways to get the most out of them. It offers tips and gives readers everything they need to take the plunge.

Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Tonktiti

Kim Harms headshotKim Harms Author, speaker, and part-time librarian with 20 years of freelance writing experience. She has a degree in English from Iowa State University. She married her adventurous husband and together they had her three wonderful sons, but only her youngest son still lives in her house. her book, Life Reconstructed: Navigating the World of Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction, a guide for women on the breast cancer road. She also provides breast cancer resources on her website. kimharms.netYou can find her on Instagram @kimharmslifereconstructed It turns out that her dog is far more popular than she is and is raking in the scenery when he’s the star of her reel.

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