Here is a question for both single and married people....
Would you ever use (or thought about using while single) a dating agency (either online or in person) to find a life partner?
The reason I'm asking is that such agencies seem to carry a certain disparaging stigma. I have heard many people say they are cheesy or that it makes you look desperate.
I'll be honest here...when I was single I did consider creating a profile on a relationships website such as RSVP but I never went ahead with it. Despite the dangers involved with meeting someone online, I've heard a few happy stories about people meeting online. Two of my former workmates met their partners through RSVP and one is now married and the other engaged. They said yes, there are lots of dodgy people out there, but there are also a lot of decent people who are simply looking to share their life with a special someone.
I think the reason I didn't go ahead with it was because I didn't want my despair at my singleness to dominate my life and going on dates all the time with Christian men would distract my focus. I felt God telling me to lay it at his feet and just live my life serving him. However, that's just my decision and I certainly don't believe people who meet online are doing the wrong thing. Look at blogging for example. I have 'met' many wonderful people online and I think, in this day and age, that it's considered less weird to meet online first and in person later.
I shake my head at Christians who got married at like, 19 or something, who might criticise older people for using a dating service. People who have never experienced prolonged singleness cannot relate to the battles singleness often brings. I can't even say I've experienced prolonged singleness since I married at 24, but I do know that my single years felt like an eternity at the time.
I think I'd have to say to anyone considering registering with a dating service....pray and if you feel God saying yes, go for it! Why not? Not everyone has the luxury of meeting someone through church or through Christian camps and conferences. For non Christians, it can be equally difficult to meet people if work or uni don't have eligible people and clubs/pubs aren't your scene. However, I think it's important to consider the dangers involved with meeting someone online. A few of my friends who have had online dating profiles have said they were contacted by a few weirdos as well.
So, I'd love to hear from anyone who has used a dating service or at least thought about it for half a second. How did you find it? If you decided against it, what stopped you?