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Equally Yoked: A guide to Christian Dating

by Giselle Aguiar

Note: A few years ago, I started writing a book catering to Christian singles on dating. Instead of going through the usual publishing routes, I’ve decided to publish the majority of it on this site.

How do you find a good Christian mate in a secular world?

Good question! I hate dating! It’s hard, frustrating, time-consuming, nerve-wracking, and it can get expensive. You have to be a mind reader! Do they like me? Do they think there is potential? After the third date when he hasn’t yet kissed you goodnight, you wonder. “Is he really interested?” Did I do something wrong?

So why do we do it? Unfortunately, dating is the only logical way to meet people. You can’t get a job with out the dreaded job interview—sometimes more than one—so why do you think you can find someone to marry without dating? Oh, yeah, there’s always “love at first sight.” But doesn’t that only happen in the movies?

Ok, so much for the pessimism. Dating can be fun. It’s an adventure, a challenge. You get to meet all different kinds of people that could lead to other things besides a date. You can make a new friend or even get a job! You also get out of the house. You get to do things. Things that you’ve wanted to do but haven’t done because it’s no fun doing them by yourself.

No More Excuses! So, why are you still single? Why am I still single? If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me that… My answer: “I just haven’t found the right person to spend the rest of my life with.”

Been There, Done That. The year after I graduated college, my parents and I moved back to Puerto Rico where I was born. That was in 1979. My main goal at the time was to jumpstart my career in retail management. I wanted to be secure in my job before I would even think of marrying. So I thought to myself, “I’ll wait till I’m 28 or so, and then I’ll start looking for a husband.” I didn’t know that at that time, I was in the start of a trend. U.S. Census Bureau figures for 2003 show that a third of men and nearly a quarter of women ages 30 to 34 have never been married, nearly four times the rates in 1970.

Plus, when I got to Puerto Rico, a predominantly Catholic island, I met so many people that married very young because they had to get married to be able to have sex. (Premarital sex is a mortal sin.) A few years and a child or two later, they were in divorce court. (Divorce, ironically, is also against the Catholic Church.) That was not going to be me. In my eyes, marriage is a forever thing and divorce is not a cure for a bad marriage. I was going to avoid the bad marriage in the first place. Oh, I dated, but it was always casual—nothing serious.

When I was 28, I got the opportunity to work on a cruise ship. Wow—being paid to travel! Well, that put my search for a mate on hold. I was having too much fun to settle down.

That lasted for three years. I became tired of living like a gypsy and I really didn’t want to return to Puerto Rico. I knew that I wanted to settle down in the states, and after 18 years in New York and college in Vermont, it was going to be somewhere with no snow. So, I chose Miami, Florida.

Once settled there, I started shopping for a potential mate. I was ready for marriage. I joined a computerized dating service. It was the latest thing back in the mid ‘80s. They sent me many “matches,” but none of them really matched. I placed several personal ads in local newspapers and again had many blind dates, but still didn’t find “the one.” I think the problem was that nowhere did I specify “Christian.” I dated a Jewish man who actually told me that he’d date me as long as I didn’t convert to Judaism. (Fat chance of that!) I dated men who didn’t care or religion was never part of the conversation. It was mostly looking for physical chemistry, things we liked to do or had in common. (Funny, how religion was not considered something to “have in common.”)

So, I figured the problem was that I needed to find a “good Christian man.” So what better place to look but in church? Unfortunately, the youngest bachelor in my church was 72. (At the time I joined the church, I was looking for a church family, not a singles club.)

A few years later, my pastor sent me to a seminar on starting a singles ministry. (Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.) We didn’t have enough singles in our church so, we joined forces with a sister church to start a singles ministry that we called “Family Christian Singles.” It was an ecumenical social group. We invited any Christian single to join us—not just the members of our church or denomination.

After leading the group for a few years, I noticed that the goal of the attendees of any activity—whether it was a barbeque or a bible study—was to find a potential mate. I did a little research and at that time, the Internet was in its infancy. There was one other matchmaking service online, but it was secular. It just divided religious choices by the major religions: Catholic, Protestant, Islam, Buddhist, Judaism, etc. With my experience with the ecumenical group, I learned that not all Christians are alike. Church denominations vary in doctrine, worship, evangelism and the way they interpret the Bible.

One night, at about two in the morning, I woke up with the idea—Christian Singles Online. Ah, heavenly inspiration. I started the business with no money, (a big mistake) and with the help of free publicity, I managed to run it, make several good matches (yes - weddings!) and make a modest living. I measured my success not by monetary value, but with each wedding announcement.

After nine years as a small Internet matchmaking service, I could no longer compete with the likes of eHarmony or and in February 2004, I decided to close the business. The negative bottom line won out. But this is not a series on starting an Internet dating service or running a small business.

With this site, I am sharing my experience, the experiences of friends and clients, my research and the advice I have given my clients over the years on finding a soul mate. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work.

You name it—I’ve tried it myself. It basically comes down to the 3 P’s – Patience, Persistence and Perception. You have to be patient—God’s will be done. You have to be persistent—If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And you have to have good perception—see beyond what the eye and heart see—be wise regarding your choices.

So, what have been my excuses for still being single? I was too busy to go on dates I had a full-time job, I was running the dating service and writing Christian fiction. It wasn’t a top priority for me. I figured that if it was God’s will that I marry, I prayed that when my soul mate did cross my path I would recognize him. If it was God’s will that I stay single and concentrate on writing, then that was fine with me.

Why Equally Yoked

Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness? What agreement does Christ have with [Satan]? Or what does a believer share with an unbeliever? ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

Yes, I know of interfaith marriages that have worked. One of them was a good friend of mine from North Miami who was married to a Jewish gentleman. She is a faithful, devoted, hard-working “church lady.” They raised their children with the traditions of both faiths and let them decide as adults which faith they wanted to follow. I am sure there are others that have worked well, but if we follow the teachings of the Bible, a marriage that is built on the solid foundation of Christ will overcome all obstacles. And there will be obstacles.

You’re reading this because you are hoping to find some direction and help in overcoming your singleness. You’re searching for a good Christian mate and are mystified on where to look, what to do and how to go about it. You think you’ve tried everything, but have been unsuccessful in finding “Mr. or Ms. Right.” You’re starting to wonder if “Mr. or Ms. Right” is really out there. Does God have a soul mate out there for me?

Hopefully, this site will guide you in making decisions that will help you grow spiritually, set you going in the right direction and help you find your soul mate. It will take you from preparing yourself to delve into the dating scene, getting you to see the difference from what you “need” in a mate to what you “want” in a mate and then show you where to look for that potential candidate. But I don’t leave you there! After you think you’ve found him/her, there are guidelines to get you through all the stages of the relationship to the ultimate goal: the engagement!

All through this, keep one thing in mind—God’s will be done. Remember most importantly, and what should be your FIRST priority in life, is your personal relationship with God. Don’t let your desire for a mate supersede your desire and search for God.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. ~ Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, my brothers and sisters in Christ, go forth into the world and with God’s and my guidance...

Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. ~ Matthew 7:7-8

2009 update - I still hate dating.

Before you can love another person, you have love God and fell His love in return. You can do that by committing your life to Jesus Christ. It’s easy. All you have to do is pray this prayer wholeheartedly:

"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen."

If you received Jesus into your heart, welcome to the family of God! The following will help you deepen your relationship with Christ:

  1. Pray. Just talk to God no matter where you are. He doesn’t care what the words are, just that they are sincere.
  2. Read the Bible everyday to learn about Jesus and how to live that pleases God. Start with 1 John, then the Gospel of John, the Philippians.
  3. An important part of helping your relationship with Christ grow is to tell others about Him. Demonstrate God’s love and be active in telling others about Jesus.
  4. Find a bible-based church and become active getting to know other Christians. Find one with a singles ministry or groups for people your age.

Many have groups for different interests. Shop around, but commit yourself to finding one and joining a church family.
(Read the Benefits of a Church Family).

Additional Reading: