Woman on smartphone

Your single friends might be informing you that they are picky when it comes to choosing a mate online. However, they may not be supplying you with the entire truth.

What we heard in the dating world seems to be contrary to what researchers are finding as more people are lowering their standards. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia found that despite people having a dating wish list--they are moving forward with anyone.

"Settling for less than what God has for you has little rewards and will delay your perfect match."
The "Preference versus Choice in Online Dating" was published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking and the study "analyzed 219,013 contact decisions from the Australian dating website RSVP." The study showed over 50 percent of the participants had one or three contacts that had no matching attributes. 
“This study provides quite unique findings in that people may state a preference for an ideal partner but they are more than happy to initiate contact with potential love interests that bear no resemblance whatsoever to that Mr. or Mrs. Perfect they initially think they prefer over all others," researcher of the study and behavioral economist Stephen Whyte said in a press release.

Although this is one study, there is validity to people lowering their standards. People could be lonely, desperate, bored and may lack hope. When we are feeling this way, we may gravitate towards anyone to fill the gaping hole. Settling for less than what God has for you has little rewards and will delay your perfect match. If you fit into any of these categories, here are 7 reasons to not settle when it comes to online dating.

You could be getting into a toxic situation.

Grant it, any relationship could become unhealthy. But when you settle for anything less, you are more open to inviting people into your life that are not ideal. Not only this, you are setting yourself up for failure. The risks associated with a toxic relationship are also anxiety, distrust, disappointment and insecurity.

When you compromise, you are missing out.

Since we pay so much attention to outward appearances, we may choose someone based on this and set up a date. In the meantime, we overlook their traits and other bad habits. If you have nothing in common or if the person has character flaws, looks will take a backseat. The Bible asks us to "Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God." As a disclaimer, you need to be attracted to the person, but we are looking for the entire package.

They don't have a passion for God.

Dating apps make things more streamlined to help people find each other in their respective areas. This does not mean to throw caution to the wind. We are still warned in the Bible to "Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have but stays close to anything that makes you want to do right." This verse is not only good to find solid friendships, but also to find your soul mate. A person who does not have a fervency for the Lord will drain you spiritually.

It makes you more impulsive.

Once you are all set with online dating, you may start reaching out to people from a place of emotions. Work to keep your emotions in check. If you are depressed one day after work because you come home to an empty apartment, you may want to avoid going online. Our emotions can make us do crazy things and they will only leave us with regret. When you are feeling blue, refocus your attention and energy somewhere else. Go for a run, go to the gym or watch a funny television show.

It's not worth the risk.

We believe that our worth is tied up in being in a relationship. This makes people want to rush into them before finding out who the person really is. Psychology Today explained that settling for "An unhappy relationship because you’ve already invested a lot in it is like going to the concert even though you’re sick, or continuing to invest in a company that is doomed to fail." No matter what, you will suffer a loss if you continue to stick it out, even if you thought you found the right person online.

You are playing Russian roulette with your heart.

We think we aren't complete until we find our other better half. This is where we get into danger. We are told in the Bible to protect our hearts. Online dating is not an excuse to go on a relationship shopping binge. Philippians 4 said to not be anxious "But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." What does that mean for you? This means to slow down and to guard your heart against the things of the world. Risking your spiritual health for the sake of a date is not worth it.

Have patience.

Whyte found in the study that people were tired of trying to find their perfect match among all the options they have online. The "Ideal partner preferences is a widely offered and commonly-used option for people creating a profile on online dating websites, but whether it’s effective or useful in helping people find that special someone is unclear,” he added. What happens is people become inundated with information and then move to the next best choice. We get that there is no such thing as perfection, but before you accept the person's request to connect--think if it is worth the effort. 
If it is online dating or traditional dating, we need to examine our motives and the direction that we want to go in. Should we have standards? Absolutely! But we should use discretion as we seek out the one God has for us.
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