h2>Dating : Is it possible for a Catholic to find a promising match on the most popular dating sites?
If you’ve been out of the dating game for several years, your choices of online dating sites may seem insane. It can be overwhelming to navigate through all the sites such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Match.
If you’re tired of dating sites with questions about bondage and sex on the first date, it’s compelling to join a faith-based site. You’d probably give up on dating if someone sent you a nude photo of himself.
It’s not that you’d die if your grandmother found out. You want no part of the hook-up culture.
You might spend a lot of time on OKCupid, swiping left on profiles that mention non-monogamy, hook-ups and “currently separated.”
You enjoy a more conservative lifestyle.
If you haven’t dated since the ’90s and feel like you’re from another planet, you’re not alone.
If you’re Catholic and seeking another Catholic to date or even marry, however, faith-based websites might be the answer.
Finding that faithful match
Most secular sites have profile questions about your religion. On Elite Singles, for instance, you can select Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic or other. Just about every other site also allows you to choose your faith.
On Catholic Match, in contrast, you can describe your beliefs in greater detail.
It has seven questions about church doctrine. Do you agree that the Pope is the infallible head of the church, God’s representative on earth? Do you agree with the Catholic stance against the birth control pill and other artificial contraception? How do you feel about having sex before marriage?
Unlike most dating sites, Catholic Match doesn’t use algorithms to match you with potential dates.
Instead, you select your preferences, such as “non-smoking” or “never married.” After you do that, you won’t get smokers or divorced matches, unlike the popular sites which may throw in a few duds to keep you searching longer and paying to renew your membership.
While Catholic Match has the largest number of Catholic members, or 1.5 million worldwide, the web has two other Catholic dating sites.
Catholic Singles, which was reviewed recently by the AskMen website, has a blogging chaplain and a 10-minute compatibility test.
It also offers local mass times so you might even meet someone promising in church.
Catholic Mates is the third website but AskMen didn’t recommend it, saying that Catholic Singles and Catholic Match have far more members.
How much patience do you have?
The drawback to joining a faith-specific site is when you live in a rural area and your local potential dating pool is relatively small.
On the other hand, Match.com is owned by IAC, which also has OKCupid, Tinder and Plenty of Fish under its umbrella. Together, those sites have well over 8.2 million members, some of whom are Catholic.
According to a survey of 35,556 Americans — released in 2008 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life — 23.9 percent of us identify ourselves as Catholic, or 72 million of a national population of 306 million.
So your chances are good that you’ll find Catholics on the largest sites. The question is, do they agree with the church’s views or not
That will require a phone conversation or in-person meeting. You might waste a few hours until you get around to asking the deeper questions.
It’s tricky to immediately ask a stranger: “Do you believe in the sanctity of life?”
While that’s more relevant than talking about inane things like the weather or TV shows, on the Catholic sites, that work has already been done for you.
You may save time in the long run, as long as you’re patient enough to read profiles and see how someone has answered the seven questions. But you’ll be sorting through even more profiles on the secular sites.
You’ll also be weeding out a few party animals and non-believers in the process. Or you could be sending messages to people who don’t live their faith. They were raised Catholic but haven’t been to a mass in 20 years.
Save yourself some grief
Because you’re not interested in dating people of other religions or with no religion, you could join a Catholic site for just one month to try it out, then re-evaluate the site if you’re not satisfied.
Finding that special someone is far from easy. Just like you spent years in college and creating a successful career, seeking a romantic partner takes time and preparation.
But you can work smarter not harder by subscribing to a faith-based site and e-mailing customer service when you have an issue with the profiles or another member.
With less members, the smaller sites work harder to keep subscribers and are usually quick to answer your questions. Many of the sites send satisfaction surveys to their customers as well.
While it’s possible to find a fellow Catholic on the popular sites, you will definitely spend a lot more time and possibly money finding potential matches. You can save yourself some grief and frustration by joining a faith-based site instead.