Christian Mingle: faith in dating

Confession time: I have joined dating sites in my prior single life. It’s just part of life in the technological age.

I had some successes, some failures and met plenty of interesting people. I can’t say that any of my experiences were life altering. At no point did I feel fate was dealing me a hand, or some guiding force was leading me to meet someone.

minglePerhaps I was on the wrong dating site. For many people, meeting the person they will spend the rest of their lives with (theoretically) can seem like a religious experience, at least in hindsight.

After all, some believe in a “one true love” concept. So marrying faith and dating is a natural fit. At one point, I joined eHarmony and recall that it debuted with a Christian message.

Then you have Christian Mingle. The site has rocketed up the ranks of online dating sites, boasting around 10 million registered users. Its $30 million ad campaign has generated plenty of critics through its now-famous slogan, “Find God’s match for you.”

The site took off after a 2010 makeover that included plenty of input from the clergy community. As Business Week reports:

The majority of ChristianMingle’s users live in the Midwest or the Bible Belt. Fifty-five percent are older than 36, and 25 percent are older than 50. Daters are encouraged to identify primarily through descriptions of their faith, in statements such as, “To me, being a Christian means …” or “My favorite Bible passage is …”

You don’t have to be Jewish to join JDate—you can sign up for “Willing to Convert,” “Not Sure if Willing to Convert,” and “Not Willing to Convert” categories. On ChristianMingle, in the Ministry category, the only option for nonbelievers is “Other.”

But it’s the slogan that is rubbing some folks the wrong way. A sample Tweet with the #ChristianMingle hashtag:

Just saw another #ChristianMingle commercial, “find God’s match for you” how did Christians meet before God invented the Internet?

I can see interpreting the slogan from the standpoint that if God is everywhere, get out and meet people and let God lead you to your match. Read in a general sense, the slogan seems fine.

What do you think? Is the Christian Mingle slogan a little too much?

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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