Lance Patterson

I wanted to share something with you about the modern twist of  relationships.  For the past couple of weeks I have been researching the idea of online based relationships, and I must say that I have been  getting some mixed messages that make me feel more ambivalent than  before.  About a week ago, I spoke with a matchmaking representative  about who they are and what they are about. Today, I went in for a one  on one interview with their relationship representative.  I was shown a  video and found out that they interview potential candidates and screen  them to insure that they are who they say they are and then offer like  three types of memberships, each with their specific advantages and  disadvantages.  I then got to peruse several profiles of women who could be a potential match, and then I was asked if I would like to get  started by putting down an exorbitant amount of money.  I was also told  that about 70% of their clientele was female, while the other was 30%  male.

I must admit that some of the profiles I perused through  contained photos of some attractive women, either never married or  divorced.  I was sort of tempted to accept the offer, but I declined  with difficulty due to the exorbitant fees as well as feeling a sort of  shame and embarrassment.  I felt like I was at an auction or grocery  store, picking and choosing these girls before I have met them.  I felt  that relationships have been reduced to a commodity that can be bought  at moderate to expensive price.  I also pondered why does 70% percent of their clients consist of women who either Christian or spiritual.  The week before when I spoke with the representative, I was told that I believe in traditional way of dating, and that it is outmoded.  I am  left with the question of what are we to make of dating and  relationships.I am a 30 year old male, and I have not been a  relationship or dated any girl for about 3 years now.  Despite my  cravings for wanting to be in a relationship, I was told by the  representative after I had declined “Where are you going to find someone to date?”  A question meant to draw insecurity and lead me back to  accepting the offer.  I replied candidly that I will find a way and  there will always be opportunities.  I do have some networks and a  majority are married, there is church, and I am not comfortable with the bar scene, nor would I resort to such a dismal context.

But in this  postmodern world, the idea, initiation, and function of relationships  appears to be in a state of flux.  I suppose that I am lonely for I have not developed my networks fully and need to give it some time.  I find  particularly that the non-denominational churches, whether small or  mega, cater to young adult culture, but teach a cultural Christianity  that does not fully incorporate the transformative and transcending  message of Christ, evoked by writers such as the works and writings of Dr. Carrie Miles, as well as Jewish  author and feminist, Wendy Shalit.  So I am wondering if the problem is  me, and am I just too introverted and unwilling to explore the party  scene, or it is the unstable cultural climate that I live in, or both.   How do we transcend the brokeness of the reality in which we live, we  can’t escape nor rationalize our way out of it.  This question continues to elude us.  I felt shame and embarrassed for I felt divided on  whether I am trusting and being proactive in the providence of Christ, or whether I would  employ and be proactive with the opportunities of the matchmaking  organization to increase my opportunities for dating and social  networking.  In the end, I feel ambivalent and confused, but I do  not want to remain that way.

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