Relationships

Help, I’m a blur sotong: How to online date like a gentleman

Jon Ho // February 25, 2020, 10:03 pm

JonxStef - Featured new

“Eh, try leh.”

That was definitely not what my mum said to me when I told her I wanted to look for love online (but two of my friends did!).

You see, I am no oppa or Prince Charming. Far from it.

In fact, if you have seen the photo of that one oddball out of a pack of huskies licking the glass door, that is exactly how my close friends will describe me – the oddball of the group.

I have tried looking for love in my own church, but serving was a bigger priority for me. So even “targets” have become just friends over time.

I know there are many who face this same problem: the people around you are either attached or married, and those left are oddballs.

But fear not gentlemen, for there is no harm looking for love online. That was how I met the “Monica” to my “Chandler”.

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I signed up for Coffee Meets Bagel not expecting to connect with someone. Rather, it was more of an experiment, and I wanted to know what meeting someone online would feel like.

I was fortunate to meet my wife Stef through the platform. If I were to give a few tips from my experience for the other guys out there…

1. BE YOURSELF

It was quite fun looking at profiles on the app as some of them were really well-written. But Stef told me it was how goofy my profile was that won her over.

Now gentlemen, you may think it’s not easy to just throw yourself out there and be noticed. But that is exactly how you use dating apps!

Knowing that you are made in the image of God will help you to be real on your profile.

You can be confident in the knowledge that you are made in the image of God. That will help you to be real on your profile.

One thing on my dating profile that actually stood out for Stef was a picture of me high-kneeling to talk to a cell group member’s daughter. That picture caught her attention because she thought: “Wah! Not bad, will kneel down to talk to a little girl – must be good father material.”

And I had also written on my profile: “Hey, if you can stand my dad jokes now, then you can stand me when I’m 40” – that was a big hit with Stef.

2. PRACTISE LISTENING BEFORE THE BIG MEET

I always thought I had the gift of the gab, and that I could converse with anyone. But in reality, once the excitement of matching with someone wears off, meeting someone for the first time can be a little challenging.

My immediate thought after setting up the first date with Stef was: “Teacher didn’t teach me how to date in school.”

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And that right there was a problem. Living such busy lives, we may have forgotten how to connect with one another. In a world of instant gratification, especially on social media, many of us have forgotten how to communicate – how to listen to someone and be heard.

So it’s good to practise the art of conversation and listen to what others have to say. After all, you have two ears and one mouth.

Bonus pro-tip: Be a gentleman on your first date and offer to pay. I did the I-need-to-use-the-toilet-but-actually-sneak-off-to-pay trick. Stef told me it was this gesture that touched her heart on our first date.

3. YOU WILL ALWAYS NEED TO KEEP TALKING 

One of the first things we did after Stef became my stead was to come up with a communication strategy.

From the get-go, we talked and we talked, about the big things and about the small things. Some of our friends were quite surprised to find out about our conversations.

But as I’ve learnt from my parents and in-laws, communication is key. So, right from the start, we talked about how serious we were about the relationship. We agreed that it would ideally lead us to marriage. And it did!

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I also remember the first time Stef had something serious to tell me. 

I found it hilarious that she had a hard time trying to tell me that, just because she was afraid I would be mad. In the end, I managed to get it out of her with much coaxing and encouraging. It turned out to be something trivial like changing my bedsheets.

But the point is this: Communication helps us understand each other’s expectations, opinions, thoughts and feelings. How else will you be able to express what is going on in your head?

Speak the truth in love, and your relationship will be as sweet as BBT.

4. BE PATIENT WITH THE PROCESS

Gentlemen, it helps to be aware that the lady you have matched with online also has a life to live. As adulting can be busy, replies will be slow.

Slow replies do not necessarily mean she’s not interested! Unless you have been completely ghosted. Then that’s just plain mean. Please do not ghost anyone you meet. Even if you’re not interested, be nice and call things off amicably.

Matching with someone can get to your head, knowing that someone out there finds you attractive. But guard your heart. Pray and ask God if this is indeed the match He has for you. Discern for yourself as you talk more.

You deserve God’s best

Be patient if you haven’t found your match.

You can always trust that God has the best plan for you. God might just be working in a part of your life to ready you for the rest of your life with your spouse – or He might be working on your future spouse.

And here’s a hard truth: It might not be God’s will for you to get married. But if that is indeed God’s plan for you – then it is the best thing you could want!

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My youth cell group leader always told me: “Whatever you are going through in life right now is a way for God to prepare you for the next stage in life.”

I believe that. So whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married – you can trust in Him and know that He is always in control as you follow His plan. 

Liked the tips here? Read our other “Help, I’m a blur sotong” article – this time on the all-important subject of money!

Help, I’m a blur sotong: I realised how little I knew about finances

THINK + TALK

  1. Is it hard to trust in God’s plan for your life?
  2. Do you have faith that God can send the best partner for you? 
  3. How do you draw the balance between being proactive to date people and trusting in God’s timing?