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Single File


THE SINGLE FILE


Whether you’re dating, looking for love or happily single, HopefulGirl tackles the issues that affect you


Q I’m on a Christian dating website but the lack of interest, brush- offs and generally being ignored are getting me down. I don’t want to give up yet, but how can I stop it affecting my confidence? With online dating, we ALL face some rejection – and yes, that includes the gorgeous ones, the funny ones and the successful ones. When I found the courage to make the first approach online, I was sometimes ignored – ouch! But I soon discovered it’s par for the course, so take comfort from the fact that it’s a universal experience.


Although being ignored online feels personal, it’s really not. d want


that he will be with us always – and box ourselves in, trying to map out our lives, to program in the route. The exact route. God, however, is not a Sat Nav. He may say “This is the way,


walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21), but this is to do with how we live our lives, not necessarily mapping out every event or decision. God nudges. God whispers. God can be silent, but still


present. God teaches by experience and allows us to learn from mistakes. God frequently takes his people ‘the long way round’ because that benefits their characters and helps them grow more into Jesus’ likeness. I’ve begun to believe that God allows us to make many choices using our own wisdom, preferences and common sense. Sometimes God speaks clearly and we get a sense of his


purpose; these are treasured moments. But God is no less with us when the route is less defined, when there are a number of options and none seems better than the rest. It can be a challenge. Sometimes we’d rather have the Sat Nav! But it’s through our choosing and our journeying that we grow into maturity, that we learn to stop and reflect, that we deepen our understanding of the lives we lead. God does guide me – sometimes calling me to do something,


or go somewhere specific. Something burns within me; I know what I am meant to do. But much of the times God’s guidance is showing me how to live here and now, to conduct my life in a way that glorifies him, wherever I am. If only I would shut my mouth, open my heart and listen.


People aren’t rejecting the real you, just a vague snapshot of who you are. And often, it’s nothing to do with you at all. Some people (especially men, in our gender-imbalanced church) get more messages than they can cope with, and only reply to a few. Others are there to test the water or assess their own attractiveness, and aren’t really looking for a relationship at all. Some people may have recognised something in your profile that means you wouldn’t be a good match. Or perhaps you’re just not their type. It doesn’t mean you’re not attractive or likeable, or that you won’t be a perfect match for someone else. In fact, by not wasting your time, they’re clearing the path for you to meet Mr Right! If someone rejects you in a way that’s rude or hurtful, it’s very


easy to internalise a sense of worthlessness – but their behaviour says nothing about you, and everything about them. Be grateful that their true colours came through early and saved you from wasting time and emotional energy on someone who’s not good enough for you. If you find you’re focusing more on the rejections than the potential, take a break for a while and focus on other things you enjoy. If it has seriously affected your self-esteem, seek counselling and prayer. “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” says Psalm 34:18. If you’re consistently passed over, maybe it’s time to take a fresh look at your profile. Is it too long, too short, too negative, too trite? What about your photos: could they do with being clearer, more smiley, less posed? How about the people you approach: have they set criteria that you don’t fit? It’s always horrible being rejected, but ultimately we must


respect a person’s right to decline. Sometimes it’s hard not to react with anger or pettiness, but as Christians we should aim to respond with grace – so say a prayer for their happiness, and move on. That may be a big ask in some cases, but with God’s help, we can do it.


Tip of the month


Want to set up a local Christian social group? Barry Mockford, director and group co-ordinator of Twenties, Thirties, Forties, has offered to advise Woman Alive readers on how to get started. You can e-mail Barry on info@ttfonline.org.uk *Would Like To Meet… (£6.99, BRF) is the funny and heartwarming


story of HopefulGirl’s four years on the Christian dating scene (www.brfonline.org.uk/hopefulgirl). Connect with HopefulGirl at www.facebook.com/HopefulGirlUK and www.twitter.com/HopefulGirlUK


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