Lauren Windle, author of Notes On Love: Being Single and Dating in a Marriage Obsessed Church, shares her thoughts on the latest dating concept to hit the market.
I remember when Tinder first came out. The original dating app. I wasn’t a Christian at the time and I thought it was brilliant. A friend and I sat in a pub garden swiping relentlessly enjoying the novelty of so many options. But as well as know, novelty wears off and reality sinks in.
Anyone who’s been on a dating app for more than a weekend will know that it can get tiring. There’s the rejection, the ghosting, the matching and unmatching and the boring languishing conversations to navigate. The whole romantic endeavour quickly feels like another admin task. I’ve got lots of friends who refuse to use them because they find them more depressing than uplifting.
For Christians who want to date Christians, they often feel like the only option.
For Christians who want to date Christians, they often feel like the only option. Dating within your faith means narrowing your options compared non-faith daters. We are, as I like to put it, dating in “thin markets”. That means you can’t grab a coffee and ask the attractive person standing next to you out for a drink, as in all likelihood - they won’t be Christian. That’s why the internet, a place where people with a common interest (i.e. Jesus) can gather, is a great tool for dating.
Now though, there’s a new company, with a new idea and I think it has the potential to transform how we do Christian dating. Too bold? Possibly, but I’ll let you be the judge. Pear is a dating concept where you buy a ring - green for straight people and pink for those in the LGBTQ+ community. The idea is that wearing the ring is the nod to those around you to approach you and ask you out in real life. It’s like wearing green to a traffic light party but in every day life.
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They’re calling it the “world’s biggest social experiment” and, you may have guessed, it’s not a Christian initiative. But, I do think that there’s a way it could be. Firstly they could release a new colour ring for Christians so we can spot each other across a crowded room. This won’t happen because it will get silly, suddenly they’d be blue rings for Jewish people and purple for Muslims. There just aren’t enough colours for every dating division.
That way, you can turn up at church, worship nights, conferences and events and see at a glance who is open to dating and who isn’t.
So here’s my actual idea, Christians wear the rings but only in all-Christian spaces. That way, you can turn up at church, worship nights, conferences and events, where it’s likely most people will be Christians and see at a glance who is open to dating and who isn’t.
Surely this is the ideal way of doing “in real life” dating while avoiding the embarrassment of chatting up someone who is already spoken for. Can we agree this is genius? I’ll be pitching it to festivals this summer, so if you see it advertised – get yourself a ring and get yourself out there!