Am I using the church for dates?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Am I using the church for dates?
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 3:23pm
A previous discussion on church goers dating non-church goers relates to a dilemma I have, so maybe you guys can give me some advice too.

I’m a single well-educated professional in my late twenties looking for a man with similar qualities. Of course this seems to be easier said than done. I’m looking to expand my dating opportunities and church is an avenue I’m considering. I was very active during jr. high and high school – Sunday school, church services, youth group, youth council, choir, missions trips, you name it I did it and I loved it. During college I became busy with other things and stopped going to church.

I’m not overly religious but I do feel that believing in something or someone and participating in groups that share your beliefs can enhance your life. However, I take great issue with people that attend a church, synagogue, etc… purely for the sake of being able to say, “I attend blank church”, “I sat next to Mr. X yesterday”, “The mayor is in my Sunday School class”, etc…

While I would enjoy getting involved in church again, the main reason I want to go is to meet new people – both potential mates and new friends in general. My “churchy” friends say that part of being a Christian is fellowship, which I think is true, but since fellowship is my main goal I feel as though I may be using the church.

Am I a hypocrite? Does anyone else attend church, synagogue, etc… with fellowship as a main goal? Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 3:31pm
No, I don't think you're hypocritical at all. I think you're expressing your religious beliefs by going to church, and if you happen to find a social life there, that's a nice by-product. What's happened is what happens to most people, you find LIKE-minded persons who also share your same beliefs, and you choose to associate together.

Were you to rely SOLELY upon your church for your entire social life--and use the congregation as your "meet market"--then yes, you'd have to examine your motives. But from what you've described, your church is but one facet of a balanced circle of friends and acquaintances.

So WHAT is wrong w/that?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 4:02pm
I'm sure some people do it...and I know a great many more people (being a preacher's daughter) who use the church as their "validation and affirmation" that what they do from Monday thru Saturday is "a-okay and they're going to heaven - after all, they go to church on Sunday and put a $10 in the plate!"

But the reality is...if you date someone with the beliefs, values, standards, and requirements of self that the particular church you're attending believes in - you better be pretty sure those are standards, requirements, beliefs, sacrifices, principles, and requirements of self that YOU can live up to your own without resentment and regret - as well.

As in....Baptists don't "drink and dance". Any Baptist that is "out doing that' - isn't a Baptist except on Sunday and to get into heaven. If you go to a Baptist church - realize that if you truly date a Baptist that believes in the faith and the "reasons behind the requirements" - not just "in the requirements to get to heaven" - you're not going to be going to dances, or perhaps even restaurants where liquor is served - EVER. They don't "believe" in that - it's a core value they hold.

Put it this way - there's a huge difference between the people who in church who "do what the pastor/priest/minister/preacher/rabbi says to do"...and the people that study their doctrine, know their beliefs, have a personal walk with God (as they understand that entity), and conduct themselves according to those believes at all times - situations, opportunities or options notwithstanding.

So if you're going to use the church like a "fellowship social" - realize you better stay away from dating anybody who is has serious beliefs, principles, values, and standards that are in accordance to the religion you're affiliating're better off to stick to those who go becuase "they should" - and they do what the pastor recommends "unless something better comes along"...which is probably the caliber of people you're trying not to date and thinking that goes to church eliminates that crowd for your scope and interaction.


Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 5:17pm
Maybe the moral dilemma is that she wouldn't go to church at all if she weren't looking for a man.

I've met lots of people who've done that. I can't tell you the final outcomes because I stopped going to church when I hit that age. But the church I went to a church had really big singles group for awhile. After everyone either paired up or gave up, the group disappeared. It's not that they all went and switched to the church's marrieds' groups. Only a very small percent stayed active in the church. Now maybe they all went off to some other church with a large, flourishing young, married group. I don't know.

I personally can't go to church without feeling obligated to believe it all 100% and dedicate lots of time and energy to church activities, but I've met several who were even quite spiritually devoted who still got drunk occassionally, got high occassionally, had premarital sex regularly. I don't know how you work it when dating if neither or you are particularly strict Christians. If you find yourselves sitting in church together, appreciating the sermon after a drunken night of sex together, maybe you have found a guy who matches your particular take on religion. Or perhaps more likely, you find yourselves having sex again in the morning, blowing off church, and never going back again until you feel your kids need some religion.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 11:31pm
know what?

i think God would rather have you at church scopin' out possible husbands than sitting at home watching tv.

sure, you're reasons may not be 100% pure, but so what? at least you'd be there! and hey, you just might get something out of it besides a friday night date...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 8:59am
Some people go to church for the music, some people go because their family expects them to, some people go for business contacts, some people go to worship God, some people go because their lives are in turmoil. There are probably an endless number of reasons why people go to church. I don't see anything wrong with going to church for the fellowship because fellowship can help you live a decent life and avoid temptations. When people come together as a group they can accomplish great goals that a lone person cannot. However, some people don't look at it that way. I am an educated professional but I live in a town of uneducated people. I decided to go to church in a more educated/affluent town just south of where I live so I could have fellowship with people like myself. However, some of the people in my Sunday School class had an attitude toward me that I was there to catch myself a rich husband, which in their minds I wasn't entitled to since I didn't live in their town. It got to the point where I felt unwelcome. Eventually I stopped going because I was having some issues with chronic pain (which have since been resolved) but it was a relief to not have to put up with their attitude anymore. I have not been back to church since then except on Easter Sundays, right after 9-11, and once to hear Handel's Messiah. Hope you at least have a better experience than I did! Iri
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 10:07am
I attend a spriritual enlightenment center, some call it a church, some just call it spirituality. I have been attending for over 3 years. In that time, I have seen many, both men and women, who show up there and it is obvious to the regulars who are attending truly for their spirituality, that these men and women are only going there to find a date. Being that my whole motive for being there is to enhance my spirituality, when some man I have never seen there before shows up for the very first time and starts trying to glom onto me I absolutely hate it. Then I see these same men just move on and try to glom onto the next woman who looks good, until they realize they are not going to get a date so easily, then they disappear. Over this past 3 years that I have been attending, with these men and women who show up solely to find a date, they never last. Once they realize that the majority of us attending are there not for a date, but to understand spirituality better, these men and women stop coming. Do you intend to continue attendance at church in the event that you don't hook up with a man??
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 10:38am
I'm a preacher's daughter.....40 now....and here's some reality checks for the "practical" side of the equation.

Lots of men going to church "looking to get laid". Women in church are known to "put out but have to shut up".....most churches frown on premarital sex.

Going to church to "meet a man" - is like taking up jogging and joining a club hoping to meet a man. You better like jogging and paying the dues...becuase that may be all you get out of it in the end. And if you do meet a man you better plan on continuing to run. Most men don't "go somewhere to meet women" in terms of getting a date and finding a relationship - they go somehwere to meet women to get laid. So if they're interested in you because you're "in church" or "a runner" - realize you have to be getting something out of those entities and activities on a personal level because it's now an "interest or value" that you share and in order to "keep the commonality"- you have to have it to begin with.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 5:02pm
Thanks for all the great feedback, it's very helpful.

I think it's interesting that a few of you have pointed out the commitment level of people that attend church. Every church has a group that will hit you over the head with a Bible every chance they get, people that live a pure Christian life, those that try to live that life, those that make a 1/2 as* attempt, those who use the church for other reasons, and many others in-between. To me, the best thing about a church is the acceptance of everyone. I don't have a problem with any of the above; well I take some exception to the users, hence my concern about being one. Am I a shining example of Christianity– no, but I’m not a heathen either. I wouldn’t attend a church whose beliefs where drastically different than my own on either end of the scale. Just like I wouldn't join a club I didn't really want to be part of just to meet a man.

There are 2 reasons I want to go to church, to incorporate church and the Christianity back into my life & to expand my circle of friends with like-minded people. I want to find people that have similar values to me, and since some of those values are Christian, I felt like returning to church would provide me that opportunity.

Someone asked if I would be going to church if I weren’t looking for a man, I would say that expanding my circle is the catalyst for my return to church. I did return to my church my Sr. year in college. I loved my Sunday school class (young singles by the way) but was turned off by my church’s focus on raising money and social standing in the community and gave up on organized religion. 10% is one thing, but when your church asks you to re-mortgage your home so they can buy a new organ, I draw the line. Would I quit going to church if I didn’t meet anyone – not if my spiritual needs and views were in line with the church. I’m not looking at attending just any church because they have cute guys, I’m attending a local church that falls within my denomination and one I would attend anyway.

Thanks again for your opinions, I’ll let you know how church goes.