Even though online dating is widespread and fairly socially acceptable these days, there is something a little humiliating to me about having succumbed to it. None of these irritations, however, are the real reason I am seriously considering pulling the plug on my online dating life. The real reason is that I have come to a conclusion about internet dating for ministers or at least for this minister. It is impossible to let a relationship develop in a way that even vaguely resembles natural if you are clergy, because of one factor: sex. Allow me to give a recent example from my own experience. I received a first inquiry from a fairly promising candidate. Sex is important, and I understand the desire not to get involved with someone who is going to turn out to be a nun. Even the infamous song asks if you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain before it gets around to making love at midnight on the dunes of the Cape. This is the question that comes up every time, without fail, usually in the first communication, always by the second.
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I accept Read more. Many single Christians hope to find love with someone who shares their faith. Other traditional ways of meeting partners, such as through work, college, family or neighbours have also declined sharply.
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If a single pastor decides to date- should he date someone within his congregation, or would it be better to date someone from another church.
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Online Dating: Pastor Gives 2 Theories Why Stigma Still Exist
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We talked to three ministers of progressive congregations around the country, including Robertson. Below, they tell us more about dating as a man or woman of the cloth. Responses have been edited for clarity and style; one last name has been withheld for privacy. In the initial conversations with someone, I have had a few people who are very anti-religious and therefore very skeptical of my intentions. As a spiritual leader, there are so many cultural expectations on me and how I should interact with others.
One negative? Up until the last couple of years, I was looking for a committed Christian man, but in Christian circles, my status as a clergy person was always evident, and I think that is intimidating for many men. For one, the profession is still viewed as masculine, and that can be a turnoff. It hurts sometimes to know that my vocation contributes to my loneliness. Michael , a pastor in his late 50s who is currently working as a clergy person at a church in San Antonio: I consider myself polyamorous and use that term because, for me, it is about love, not simply multiple sexual partners.
I am dating three women that I am deeply in love with and see regularly. The quality of love I have for each varies, just as it does for friends or family I love. As the depth of connection grows with one, it deepens with all.
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‘I want to find a partner’
Recently, I was invited to participate in a panel on singleness at a Christian conference. I shared my experience as a single woman pastor and how single clergy can feel isolated in a church culture where marriage is the default. It was the first time since university that I had an honest, direct, public conversation about singleness in the church.
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Five years ago, online dating was still considered taboo, but now online dating has become a societal norm and the Christian community is no exception. While it’s rare nowadays to find a single Christian who isn’t open to online dating, church leaders may be slower to adopt the evolution of what has become the dating “norm. Pastors are all about celebrating relationships that are initiated in the traditional local church, but as I have observed, many are well behind the bell curve when it comes to online dating.
I have two theories for why the stigma still exists in church leadership. The first is that pastors like to grow their own congregations organically. As a pastor for almost 20 years, I understand the value of creating relationships within my own congregation for growth and a strong sense of community; however, the reality is that in average sized churches, singles groups have a limited offering when it comes to other single Christians, while online dating offers a much larger pool of likeminded single Christians.
While single Christians are still able to find love within their own church, many are turning to online dating to expand their potential for meaningful and Godly relationships. Online dating makes it possible to meet your mate, whether they live in the same town or on the other side of the country. I am personally seeing many more Christian marriages today that start online.