When Christians Mingle
It was one of those weekend evenings. Maybe a Friday night, or a Saturday night. I can’t really remember now. I was home alone. All my children at their other homes. I had just recently been walked out on and rejected by people I met online. I was done with online dating. I was, however, not unhappy. I was also not lonely. I’m rarely lonely, even though I am often alone. I enjoy the company when I’m by myself. (It’s a rare gift when all the voices tend to enjoy each others’ company.)
This particular night, I was hanging out. No television. Probably lots of good music blaring, and I do mean BLARING. And a great bottle of red wine. It was about 8:00 in the evening. A time, back in the olden days just after my divorce, that I would never have admitted to enjoying being home alone. This is because back in the olden days just after my divorce, I lived in a home built in the late ’70’s which was badly in need of updating and which seemed to have some seriously bad energy in it. No matter what I did with that home or how I painted it, it always gave off depressing vibes. When I lived there, I found as many excuses as possible to be “out” whenever I could be. Since moving to my new, more affordable, and larger townhome (freestanding, like a house and not adjoining another townhome or row house), I have found that I look forward to coming home. I actually dread leaving home to go out. This is a real change for me. Prior to this, most everyone I know would consider me the Party Animal, and they’d have been right. I can usually drink more and handle it better than most. I’m not sure that’s something to be proud of. I’m not proud of it, even if it is an accurate statement of me.
So, here I was, at home in my new life. A life free of critical people creating stress because I am not living up to their expectations. A life free of the depressing surroundings which reminded me constantly of the pain, unhappiness, abuse and failure of my life. A life filled with challenges to be sure, but also filled with hope and peace. I was happy. Not just superficially so, but deep down in the core of my being. The only word that could describe my existence that evening, in spite of all the financial woes, the health challenges, and the relational failures of this year, was contentment. Deep, abiding, complete contentment.
So I opened a bottle of wine and proceeded to drink alone.
At the end of the second glass, I came up with the brilliant idea of signing up for ChristianMingle.com I do not know what gave me this crazy idea. Maybe it was an ad on Facebook or a spam email. Maybe, I thought, I could check it out and write a review of it on one of my other blogs. In any event, the next thing you know I am on my tablet, creating a profile for myself on ChristianMingle.com.
The really funny thing about this is that I spent the last 20+ years in churches and leading churches filled with exactly the kind of people that populate ChristianMingle. I can talk the talk, better than they can talk the talk. Trust me, they are all about “the talk”. In most of those churches, the congregation is so large you rarely see anyone twice. At least, not until they’ve been attending for a year or more. In a place like that it can be easy to fly under the radar; one can easily pretend to be something one is not. Sadly, I tend to be a bit too authentic to fit in well with these people. The way I see it, you either live it or you shut up. Christianity is both about what you say and what you do, but it is mostly about your inner life. One’s inner life is eventually revealed by one’s behavior.
So…while I was perfectly capable of writing the quintessential ChristianMingle bio, I found myself struggling. I found myself struggling because, while I was really only doing this as a joke, I still had this strange idea that I needed to be honest. Really. I’m faking a profile to find out how the website rolls and I feel I need to be honest?
Needless to say, my profile, with all the Christian-ese I could muster, was approved. I was in. And, as happened with all the other dating sites the winks and requests came flooding in. But, while ChristianMingle promotes itself as being a “free” sight, it is only free as long as you do not communicate with anyone. In order to correspond, you must pay. That, is not free. Furthermore, that is not honest. ChristianMingle is not about putting people of the same faith together so they can get it on. ChristianMingle is about making money. Yet another Pharisaical organization attempting to delude the unthinking masses.
I signed up for ChristianMingle. I visited the site once to check it out. I’ve never been back. I won’t go back except to delete my profile. I abhor the dishonesty. At least, on places like Match.com or POF, they are up front with you. Further, I’m keeping my commitment to myself. I’m not dating from online ever again. I hate the way it feels like a job interview every single time. I have better things to do with my life.
I need to live my life before it is gone. I don’t have time for inauthentic situations or people. I won’t meet the kind of person I’m looking for, by looking for him. I will only meet him perchance by living my life and being myself. And if I don’t ever meet “him”, I’m okay with that too.
But I have an idea for all the Christians out there on ChristianMingle. Save your money. Take down your profile. Get out in the real world. Go to church. Join a gym. Get involved in your community. Go out and really mingle, Christians.