We’ve heard of sugar daddies and hitting the jackpot in love, but how often do we equate economic principles with online dating? Stanford economist Paul Oyer says that online dating can be influenced by economic principles. All you have to do is know which principles to apply, and soon you could have even more success with all those dates.
Before anyone signs up for an online dating site, they often spend a lot of time deciding which one to join. Some simply go to the biggest names or they follow their friends to a popular spot. Niche sites are great when they are “thick,” meaning they are specialized yet large enough to attract large groups of people.
One of the problems that people run into is rampant lying. Even if you’re not the one who exaggerated your youth or weight, many online daters now assume that everyone lies. Many people read between the lines, wrongly assuming things you didn’t say. “In economics terms, online dating is one big game of hidden information and ‘statistical discrimination’” (paragraph 11). Even the best intentions could result in an online profile that doesn’t catch the eye of the kind of person who is right for you.
While others are applying simple economic standards to their love lives, it’s a great time to get some even better advice. Maybe God won’t send you a vision showing you the name and phone number of the person he wants you to marry, but he filled the Bible with applications for your life that will do nothing but attract the right kind of people. You’re set apart for a greater purpose. Just ask Jim Burgen, lead pastor of Flatirons Community Church in Colorado, who recently taught that in order to experience the life God wants for you, you have to be willing to fight for it.
In Jeremiah 33:3, God says, “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come” (NLT). Finding love is about more than picking the right online dating site and writing the perfect bio. It also involves a lot of believing in God and his perfect timing. Here are a few steps to help you get moving in the right direction.
Winning the love lottery is a wonderful feeling, but for most Christians it takes a lot of trust to stick with God’s plan. Many Christian singles are tired of being told to just be patient, so instead of twiddling your thumbs, continually pray for discernment with the people you meet, and ask if they are safe to move forward with.
If you feel like you’re meeting a lot of the wrong people, try removing some elements from your profile. An honest friend is great for this kind of thing; he or she can tell you exactly what is acting like a magnet that leads to those awkward dates. If you feel like you’ve been fishing all day and all you did was drown some worms, think of a new online dating site to join, or change your picture every week to make your profile more visible to different people.
Go with your gut. When you are getting to know people in person or online, listen to your instincts. Do you have a good feeling about this person or a bad one? Do you detect any red flags you are ignoring? Listen to that still small voice about your impressions of people and gain valuable information.
Singles must remember there’s a lot of hope with the onslaught of online dating. No longer can singles claim they can’t meet anyone while thousands of singles are online looking for love. However, as believers we must “… be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Mathew 10:16, NIV) as we sift through profiles with wisdom to find Mr. or Mrs. Right.
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