Has Online Dating Affected Officiating?

online dating
Match.com homepage screen

Have you noticed how many of your couples met because they signed up for an online dating service?

It’s definitely more accepted and on the increase.

What ever happened to Aunt Emily who really wanted her nephew to get married so she kept trying to find her a date?

I remember when “remote” introductions first started. People posted personal ads in the newspaper. Some of the posts were embarrassing, some were comical. And of course, some were sincere.

Many Many Many years ago

To test the waters, many many many many many years ago…. I submitted an ad ONCE when I lived in Austin, TX. Holy you-know-what — the responses I got were bizarre, some boring, others were alarming. I took the listing down immediately.

Nope, online dating DIDN’T work for me. One of the men I “flirted with” visited me at the church I led. I was floored when he revealed he was from the online app. As if his going against the dating site rules wasn’t enough, he proceeded to tell me how much he missed his deceased wife. (Slap face and WOW emoji). Besides his confessions being very unromantic, I wasn’t prepared to be “found”. I thought I was protected from personal contact to begin with.

So I gave up on online dating.

People are much more savvy about their conversations and meetings online these days. Plus there’s nowhere near the embarrassment there used to be about not meeting your future mate at a social gathering.

Photo by Mayur Gala on Unsplash

With social gatherings not being plentiful or safe, online dating truly helps bridge the gap between Aunt Emily and the

neighborhood bar.

With dating sites focused on virtually any criteria you can think of, what does this kind of dating say about our culture?

Remote contact culture

Which brings up the question, how are our couples influenced by this remote contact culture?

As an “old timer” officiant, I’m super curious to hear your input because it’s certainly one of those developments that show us that our world and the relationships that circle within our world, are truly changing.

online dating
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Will there ever be a return to “the way it was?” We’re in the midst of helping create a new normal. What’s your vision for a new normal?

I ran across a survey run by the Pew Research Center. Of course, I found it online!

Here’s some of their conclusions:

  • Online dating has not only disrupted more traditional ways of meeting romantic partners, its rise also comes at a time when norms and behaviors around marriage and cohabitation also are changing as more people delay marriage or choose to remain single.
  • 12% say they have married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through a dating site or app.
  • Online dating is especially popular among certain groups – particularly younger adults and those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB).

These stats can affect your business because of the age and lifestyle changes you need to get up to speed with. Depending on YOUR age and experience, cultivating an appreciation of their process, their choices and their unique view of the world is super helpful.

In a very real sense, you’re an authority figure who can convey acceptance, support and kindness for whatever their situation is. You’re more than someone who get’s paid for helping them share their vows with each other.

In short, being an officiant can be more than a gig. It can be an honored profession.

How? No matter how they met, you’re the one who helps affirm for them that their love makes the world a better place.

Check out the article from the Pew foundation:

The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating


The article is quite interesting. Does it seem like it could affect you? If so, how? I’m curious because we’re in the process of innovating a new culture around marriage and revisioning a profession that also makes the world a better place.

Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your take on online dating.


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Rev. Crystal







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