Online Dating Is Not Netflix Dating


I read a lot of feedback from customers through help tickets, forum posts, Facebook and Twitter, and we get a host of great ideas on how to improve CatholicMatch.

But one of the most persistent observations I encounter among this feedback is that singles become frustrated because of a misguided approach to and use of a dating website.

The whole idea of romance is a complicated, messy subject. There are hundreds, if not thousands of books on the subject, endless blogs, and countless TV shows—online dating can’t possibly change that because it can’t change our humanity.

Yet I see so many CatholicMatch members use online dating in a manner that ignores the fact that they are dealing with a human issue and not simply a technological one. Thus, I read responses about how they are frustrated the man or woman they have “dialed up” through the website is not instantly appearing before them.

It is not uncommon for me to read feedback where from singles who are discouraged about not being able to find the “right person” or from those who feel as though the response of users on the site is not the way they think it should be.

If you want to see how things don’t always work out the way people intend, just read some of our members’ success stories; they are filled with descriptions of how they were looking for something but found real happiness in an unexpected way.

Rapid search results

Because the web has changed the way we find things, it is not illogical to think that it has also changed the way we view the pursuit of a potential spouse. Searching for a product on Amazon or information on Google or a colleague on Facebook all reinforce the idea that you can plug in certain criteria and you will get exactly the results you want.

While this approach works for electronics or vacations, it is rarely so simple when dealing with your future husband or wife. This is especially true for people of faith who understand the role God plays. While technology brings many benefits, it can allow us to focus on what we want rather than what we might need. As a result we can devote too much thought to others’ traits and not enough on improving our own.

Technology is a wonderful thing, and I am sure the thousands of couples who found their spouses on CatholicMatch and other singles websites are grateful such an online service exists. But technology is just a tool; it is up to us to use it in a beneficial and healthy way.

The next time you are sifting through profiles, remember: This is CatholicMatch, not Netflix, and newest members are not like newest releases. Unlike the movies, which are designed to provide two hours of entertainment, meeting the right guy or girl is a completely different type of search—delivering a happiness that can’t be measured by clicking on one to five stars.



  1. John-631925 May 19, 2011 Reply

    I’m also wondering how may folks out there are limiting themselves to communicating with only one person at a time. The purpose of this site is to meet different people, perhaps make arrangements to meet one or more in person, then if something seems to “click” during a meeting, pursue that relationship to fruition. If it does not work out, it does not work out, but in the meantime, you’ve hopefully cultivated several friendships. The key is to find and cultivate a relationship with the person who is right for you and you for him/her. One person at a time could last for years…..

  2. Oscar-32186 May 18, 2011 Reply

    After years of sending messages and emotigrams, I finally got to meet someone in my town. We went out for lunch, to a movie and twice to Mass, for about 12 hours of personal contact. And one day later she e-mails me that she knows me well enough to be sure that I’m not the right person for her because of my intense personality that suffocates her. She goes on to say that I am a kind person, but kindness is no the only thing she is looking for and asks me to never try to contact her again… Now I am really dubious about keep looking on line… maybe at least I’d get a no to my face… God bless!

  3. Tammy-492301 May 16, 2011 Reply

    I often think the confusion comes in to play because, users see SO MANY profiles and they initially think – Wow! So many choices! … and they discount the people who do contact them because, their interest lies in other profiles. Individuals dismiss the notion that the profile of the person they’re interested in may be dating someone else, taking a break or any other multitude of reasons. Then they become disallusioned when the profiles they clicked on don’t provide instant results….. all the while ignoring the people who do contact them.

  4. Nancy-213198 May 15, 2011 Reply

    There are very few people on this site that live in my area. That is my only complaint.
    Thank you.

  5. Marie-575233 May 15, 2011 Reply

    I like this story.On line dating is certainly complicated.Only face to face contact can substantiate whether or not a relatioship has potential.

  6. Karen-667935 May 13, 2011 Reply

    I find that a lot of men on CM are like a lot of men I meet in person. They are most interested in a woman’s physical appearance and often times, if a woman is not thin and beautiful, she is not given a chance. I am no super model nor am I attracted to men who are. I am not jaded or angry either…it’s just an observation I have made. I tried CM once and wasn’t crazy about the site. I would get notifications that I had mail yet my mail box was empty. The men I reached out to and said “hello” to never responded. Sure, it’s nice having someone in your life but being single has perks too. I’m sure it’s a nice site and that it works for some…I just have had better luck at other dating sites. Peace to all.

    • Eve-112836 May 18, 2011 Reply

      If beauty were the only requirement for finding love then there would be a whole lot of single people. Look at the success stories. I’ve yet to see only super models on there. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think calling all men superficial is not fair to yourself. Whether you realize it or not what you’re in essence saying is that you do not believe you are beautiful enough to find love. Blaming others, especially the opposite sex, for being single is not going to get you far. It’s a lot more productive to ask yourself what it is that you can do to be a better person. The one meant for you WILL think you are beautiful but you have to believe it yourself.

  7. Marion-618636 May 12, 2011 Reply

    If someone sends me a message or emotio gram, I always respond. It takes a lot of courage to try to reach out to someone you don’t know and I don’t want to minimize someone taking that first step by not acknowledging it.

  8. Matt-686319 May 12, 2011 Reply

    I think one of the things theat perpetuates this behaivor is the lack of necessary information in profiles. For example, there are numerous single parents out there, how about questions such as: How important is it that your match have (or not have) children already? If so, is there a maximum number threshold… Another example is geographical. Again, on a scale of 1-10 rate your preference for dating someone in this town or county vs other surrounding. In many places in the country (within 25 miles) could translate to an hour and a half away….
    Like other sites, CM must balance specificity with number of matches, but greater specifics will translate into less, but more meaningful contacts… P.S. As for me, I always respond to anything I am sent. I don’t feel obligated to respond to those who simply “viewed me” however b/c I assume there was something in my profile that didn’t interest them…

  9. Paula-540974 May 12, 2011 Reply

    I really liked this article. We are now living in an age where technology enables us to get anything we want instantly but that’s is now how human relationships work. There are these things called feelings and emotions that technology has nothing to do with and thank goodness for that.

  10. MariaElena-485060 May 12, 2011 Reply

    I agree with each and every one of you who posted…..a simple reply (interested or not) is the humane thing to do…put yourself in the sender’s shoes, wouldn’t you want a response either way? Personally I’m discouraged at these sights but I stay on CM hoping that God will send me whom he wants for me….

  11. Marty-244468 May 11, 2011 Reply

    good article i agree with that

  12. Angie-584510 May 11, 2011 Reply

    Our odds to find the right person increase by trusting God and daily prayer. At the end God has the last word and His time is perfect. I can only see the advantages CM has to offer as a venue to meet Catholics. The rest is in God’s hands. Count your blessings and let God be your matchmaker.

  13. Bel-559366 May 11, 2011 Reply

    I agree but I would like to make excuses for them. One, they might not have enough money to renew their account.  Two, they might be out of the country for a long holiday and wanted to disconnect to the world for a while. Third, they might be very busy in their occupation. But as sons and daughters in Christ we should always remember the second commandments of love “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Our simple act of not replying to our brothers and sisters is like not replying to God.

    Ave Maria everyone 

  14. Derek-506209 May 11, 2011 Reply

    I also agree and this post made me think of air traffic controllers who day in and day out look at ‘blips’ on the screen. Those ‘blips’ are thousands of people on aircrafts and not just some computer game.. I think that if anyone is on a site such as this, they should remind themselves that there is a human being out there somewhere and not just a picture in a catalog.

  15. Beverly-527244 May 10, 2011 Reply

    I agree, and since many people are mistakenly taking that technological approach, they forget that they are dealing with people’s feelings and human emotions. When I am “casting” in my search, that is sending a quick note, an emotogram, etc, I might say to someone, I would like to hear back from you either way, why is it so hard to make the effort to post SOMETHING, ANYTHING but NOTHING. Hearing nothing makes we wonder why are you on the site in the first place?

    • Sandra-3610 May 10, 2011 Reply

      I too am wondering why there is such a lack of response. I have sent emotes, quick intro emails and find that many people didn’t even bother to browse my profile. Why be on a dating site if you are not going to use it? For those who can’t think of a reply, Catholic Match even provides a standard “thanks, I’m not interested” response but no response at all is baffling.

      • Josh-196444 May 11, 2011 Reply

        I’ve found if I get a view–let alone an emote–it’s better than nothing. I get the notifications forwarded to my email, and that helps. But I’ve viewed so many profiles and I’m thinking the girls probably get so many “JoeSchmo-353533 has viewed your profile!” notifications they don’t even bother to go through them all.

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