Pastor Jim advises whether to reply or not to reply when someone writes to you on an online dating site, and you don’t share their interest:
“My question is this…I have met people that seem to like me but the feeling isn’t mutual….we haven’t met in person or anything. Should I send an e-mail telling them that I don’t want to go further or should I just ignore them completely until they get the hint, sort of like what was done to me? I don’t know really how to react to this situation because the secular websites say to ignore them but I’m not sure if that’s the Christian thing to do. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”
If you are active on the Internet using a Christian dating site you will very likely come up against the situation noted above. How does one respond in these circumstances?
Like a supermarket
For many surfing a dating site can become like going through a supermarket. It allows one to just shop for the things that appeal to them and ignore the rest. When you walk down the aisle of a store you are not expected to purchase everything you see. Why not use this same approach when using a dating site? You cannot be expected to date everyone!
No, you are not expected to date everyone – although it appears that some try. However, when you do pick up an item at the store you are not allowed to THROW it down on the floor or open every package and then say no thank you. There is no excuse for bad manners in a store or when connecting with others via the Internet.
Find one jewel in everyone
Another factor to consider is what I call the microwave mentality that has taken over our societies. If we do not find instant results or gratification, it must be in the other person and they just did not have the instant grab for you. This is a very shallow approach and one that will more than likely keep you circling dating sites for many years beyond what you need to. Start looking for the value in others instead of how they can satisfy you. I challenge you to find one jewel in everyone you meet and share that with him or her. See how that can add dimension and quality to your life.
If after receiving a response from a person that you have contacted and you do not find an interest to continue, find a courteous way to let them know this. I strongly suggest that you give them more than one chance to find mutual growth. While others may not take the time to do this, their model is not a good one for you. Consider it as an act of investing into the lives of others.
Remember “The Golden Rule”
The older we become and the longer the world evolves the Golden Rule remains a foundation of interpersonal relationships.
Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.