Meet up quickly
Don’t message for too long before meeting someone online in person. It is easy to build someone up in your head and create a false impression of them from messages or texts. If you are far away from each other, at least video chat as soon as possible to see what he or she is like as close to in person as you can get. You need to put the face and the hand gestures and the nervous tics to the name. The more you can get a sense of him or her in different situations, the better.
Be upfront about your faith and morals
If you use a general dating app (one that’s not specifically Catholic), make it clear on your profile that your faith, and the morals coming from your faith, are important to you. For starters, it will save you from some dead end dates. And the more obvious it is that you are serious about what you believe, the higher your chances are of finding someone compatible.
Do more work than you want to
Reach out by messaging, liking, swiping, etc., more than you think you need to. Don’t wait endlessly for the right person to swipe you up or message you off your feet. Does this mean spending more time online than you would otherwise? Not necessarily. Just be sure the time you spend on dating apps is put towards making connections, rather than just perusing or browsing.
Remember, a profile or message can never fully portray a person
Don’t discount someone too quickly. Keep in mind that most people look better in person than they do in pictures. And a great match for you might not have good writing skills or might not present themselves well in the static profile they made for this particular app that you’re on. In the end, people’s spelling abilities or photogenic qualities or even online conversational skills are not what makes a good spouse a good spouse. Honesty, patience, the ability to sacrifice, and even chemistry do not come across online in the same way they do in person.
Don’t only date online
Use every avenue you have available to you to date (having friends set you up, meeting people at real life events), so that you can balance discouragement and online dating overload. Online dating can feel like an endless virtual world where things start and then fizzle out on repeat. It’s common to feel hopeless or exhausted by the ups and downs. So, if you can keep a balanced perspective by treating online dating as a tool and not the end-all-be-all, it will go a long way towards a happier online experience.
One final tip — adopt a patron saint for your online dating journey. Many people like St. Raphael, St. Anne, or St. Therese of Lisieux. Check out their stories, or consider finding a married saint to ask for help. Whomever you choose, why not say a quick prayer asking for his or her intercession every time you open a dating app? Good luck!
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