What 81% of Singles are Not Looking For


Sometimes we think everyone wants the same things we do.  We ERRONEOUSLY believe people, even good Christian folks, go on dates to look for a lifelong partner.  We think everyone wants a “Happily Ever After.”

Think again.  New research is revealing only 19% of daters are looking for a person to marry. 

Youza!  If this is true, then about 81% of the matches we get online are looking for something else.

Here are the results of the study taken from Top Dating Tips

For me, dating is mainly about….. ? 

1. Love 21% 
2. Marriage 19% 
3. Friendship 8% 
4. Partnership 6% 
5. Sex 19% 
6. Company 3% 
7. Social life 3% 
8. Romance 12% 
9. Conversation 3% 
10. Sharing 6% 
Have you ever dated more than one person simultaneously ?

1. Yes 53% 
2. No 33% 
3. Don’t Know 13%

Would you like to get married ? 

1.) Yes 44% 
2.) No 12% 
3.) Maybe 32% 
4.) Not again 4% 
5.) Don’t know 8%

Where is the best place to meet new people ? 

1.) Bar 18% 
2.) Club 11% 
3.) Beach 4% 
4.) Church 2% 
5.) Social club 4% 
6.) Mall 4% 
7.) Internet 18% 
8.) Work 22% 
9.) Sport 7% 
10.) Other 9%

So why do you date?

Dating Tip #1 How to Flee Like Joseph


Ever meet a woman (or guy) who seems irresistible?

You are in a dating relationship with them and there is intense CHEMISTRY. Or maybe she lives down the hall and gives you “the look” every time you take out your trash. Maybe it’s your male trainer at the gym whose hands accidentally brush up your side when he adjusts your posture.

They put out the vibe that they are AVAILABLE. READY to RUMBLE. SEXUALLY OPEN.

And let’s be honest, it’s tempting.

But you want to follow Christ. You are committed to walking in purity. You know better, right?

I imagine Joseph felt this way too.

Potiphar’s wife was more than likely pretty hot.

She was a wealthy Egyptian woman and the wife of a high-ranking official. This gal probably had all the time in the world to primp, work out at the “Desert Sand’s” 24 Fitness, and practice the smoky eye with her Cleopatra line of makeup.

She certainly had time on her hands to lust after Joseph, her handsome and well built man-servant.

It would have been easy for Joseph to hook up with her when his boss wasn’t looking.

It’s always easy to say “yes” to pleasure.

When Tim and I were dating, there were many nights where our kisses on the sofa turned into lingering hugs and the temperature rose a notch in the room.

And choices had to be made.

Tim’s favorite method of recourse in those steamy situations?


He would excuse himself to go to the restroom and call me from the car ten minutes later.

Half the time I never even knew he was struggling. A smoldering kiss for a girl doesn’t have the same effect as it does for a dude.

But Tim knew his limits and sometimes running was his only option.

When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph -Joseph ran. And the temptress had such a hold on him she ripped off part of his clothes.

Temptation is like that. It grabs on tight. It wants us to surrender.

But God will give us the strength to flee if we seek him.

It helps to have a plan to deal with these situations BEFORE they erupt.

Knowing your triggers and knowing HOW YOU WILL DEAL with the temptation before it arises will give you the tools to navigate sticky situations.

  • Maybe you don’t drink alcohol on a date with this person -until you make it down the aisle.
  • Maybe you have a group of guys or girls checking in with you and encouraging you to date differently.
  • Maybe you set a curfew and stick to it.
  • Maybe you get a same-sex trainer.
  • Maybe you take a longer route to take out the trash.

Tim and I made it down the aisle without sexual compromise. It wasn’t easy but the truly good things in life rarely are.


Dating Tip #1 -When the temperature get’s hot, FLEE like Joseph!

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this manner no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or a sister.” –1 Thessalonians 4: 3-6






Sometimes this word seems synonymous with single.  So many women come up to me week after week struggling with this emotion.

Sam, does God care about my loneliness?

Does he see my heart’s desire for a relationship?

Does God know I am losing hope?

And I remember those emotions all too well.  I struggled with them too.  The ache of going to bed alone night after night without a husband is still near to my heart.  I wondered if I would ever experience a happy marital relationship again.  Would I ever be free from the nagging insecurity of being a single mom?

God broke through my struggle a few years after my divorce.  After too many bad experiences to count, I threw up my hands and surrendered my dating life. 

Jesus take the dating wheel.

It was a simple but profound decision to let go and let God. 

I finally stopped looking for a husband and started focusing more on Christ and His will for my life.  I leaned into my calling as a mother, provider and minister of Jesus.  And when I eventually put myself back out in the dating realm (many months later), I was a different person. 

My focus shifted drastically from a ravenous man-hunt to a thirsty God hunt and I finally felt freedom from the overwhelming ache in my soul.

God wants you to operate in this freedom as a single person and not only that, he wants to use your newfound freedom to build into His kingdom.  He has called you and set you apart to serve “regarding the things of the Lord.”

In 1 Cor. 7:34 Paul recognizes the unique opportunity single people have to focus their time, talents and energy on serving the Lord.  Now, as a single parent this might mean focusing on more on raising Godly kids or maybe it’s taking the time to serve foster kids. 

Either way, God does not want you wasting your precious moments dreaming about your wedding day.  He wants to use you AND ALL YOUR GIFTS until he creates your wedding day.

I met my husband working in the church bookstore.  Our first conversation was a feisty debate about a seminary book.  If I had not pursued the things I felt called too –service and seminary, I never would have met my sweet man.

Ask yourself…

  1. Do you have a sense of calling and a mission for your life?
  2. Do you have a passion that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning with a smile?
  3. Is there an area in your life God is whispering for you to pursue?

Living in freedom is a choice.  And HOPE-ful is one dating decision away.


Technology and Dating

Working in ministry, we get to meet terrific Kingdom Minded people.  DJ Chuang is one of those guys -DJ is a strategy consultant, ideator and connector. 


We ran into him at Catalyst this year and he asked Tim to contribute to a podcast on the effects of social media and relationships. 

Social media is affecting ALL RELATIONSHIPS –specifically DATING! 

Here is the podcast from DJ Chuang’s Social Media Church featuring Pastor Tim Keller. 

How Technology Will affect Your Ministry: Episode 44

This episode of Social Media Church features a caller’s comment, commentary, and presentation. You can listen to the episode for the comment and commentary. And, the presentation “9 Ministry Issues You’ll Face with Technology” is an audio excerpt of a Chapel message by John Dyer, courtesy of Dallas Theological Seminary – used by permission. 

Read More at Social Media Church

We hope you enjoy it!

–Tim and Samantha Keller

Dating Tips -Single Parent Plus 4


“I’ve decided not to tell the men I date that I have kids. What do you think about that?”

My husband and I were wrapping up a teaching series on love, sex and dating at a local Christian singles group when the woman approached me with her question. 

My mouth dropped open in shock.  “How many kids do you have?”

“Four,” the woman replied.  “But I make a lot of money and I can keep the kids in a separate residence if I have too.”

I shook my head back and forth (and tried to hide the vomit curling in my throat).  “Listen, I’m not sure you want to hear what I have to say about this, but here I go…”


Never conceal your family from someone.  Children are not a fun surprise in an established relationship.  It’s pure deception if you choose not to tell this to a potential date.  And dishonesty is no way to build a solid relationship.

If a guy or gal is turned off by kids then move on.  It only takes one person –the right person who adores you AND your kids.

You are a package deal not à la carte!

Now, if your kids are so difficult they scare all potential suitors away, it might be time for an honest parenting assessment.  Maybe your kids need you more now then you need to date.  I know that’s hard to hear, but it might be true.

There are some seasons where your kids might need to be the priority and dating needs to take a backseat until your family is back on track.  Seek counseling.  Find healing. Get in a support group.  You only have one shot with your kids and divorce is devastating to them.  Do not minimize their hurt or be so self-absorbed you put your desires above theirs.

I shared this all with the woman and she squinted her eyes at me and looked mad (probably because I didn’t agree with her twisted scheming). “I think my way is the best,” she mumbled and stomped off. 

I felt sorry for next poor man sucked into her web of deception.  I also felt sorry for her kids. 

There is HOPE

Single parents looking for love are tasked with a far greater responsibility than most –but the right person will treasure you even more because you are a loving and genuine parent.

Be proud of the blessings God gave you choose to steward their hearts (and yours) well.


Photo Source: sydniewells.wordpress.com

Red Balloons, A Bad First Date, and Just Saying No


I remember the day I met Tad from Match.com at a sushi place for a first date.  (I totally changed the dude’s name for obvious reasons here). 

Tad and I had little in common, other than a love of sushi –in fact he seemed a bit depressed –as if life had sucked the air out of his red balloon.

We talked through dinner, or mostly I talked as he had little to say, and somehow we made it through a whole evening of awkward.

I thought the pain was over.

But Tad liked my balloon.  Let me rephrase that –he liked my energy and passion for God.  Who knows…maybe my high spirits lifted his out of the doldrums?  And so he called me again and again.

And about a week and a half later, when I was on vacation in the wilderness and eating bugs for dinner, Tad mentioned via text he wanted to take me out on his yacht –so I decided to give him a second chance. 

I know how lame that sounds.  I was materialistic –yep.  Guilty.  I fess up.  And even worse, I was SELFISH. 

I never intended to get serious with Tad, in fact I thought he was BORING.  But I moved into a relationship with him and dated him for three whole months –for no reason beyond “I didn’t have anything better” going on at the time.

Not only did I use him (although I imagine it was mutual), I also wasted both our time and energy and his resources.

And that’s the problem with dating without direction –we USE people.

We date aimlessly and spend time with people we never intend to marry.

It begs the question of “why we date?”  The truth is I wanted to be married.  I was looking for a good match and a Godly man, so why did I lock myself up in relational purgatory and take myself off the market?

Was it worth the rides in Tad’s Porsche? Was the loss of my valuable time in the dating realm equal to the painful conversations I had to carry because we had nothing in common? 

NO, NO and a thousand NO’s.  It certainly wasn’t worth the months Tad spent in therapy trying to become the person he thought I wanted him to be -long after the relationship was over.

Reason 187 is this…Don’t Date Someone You Can’t See Marrying.

That doesn’t mean don’t go out on first date or even a second.  Go out and meet lots of different people.  But end it the second you know it won’t work.  And we know pretty quick don’t we?  If you avoid their calls by day 2, that’s a good sign the relationship is going nowhere.

JUST SAY “NO –I don’t want to go out with you again.”

It’s that easy.

It won’t get better on the fourth date.  Sex won’t make it better.  And no matter how hot she is or how much money he has it’s not enough to build a relationship on.

 What do you think about dating someone you can’t see marrying? 

Hookups Leaving Many Young People Unfufilled


Walking into the gym, I glanced over at the Today Show and noticed the topic –Postmodern Dating.  Of course, I immediately dropped my workout gear and ran to the sofa to hear what they had to say.

The interview was with Donna Freitas, author of “The End of Sex –How a Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.”

Donna delves into the life of college students and examines how in the current, feverish sexual climate where the hookup is all important, an entire generation has become completely adrift from the concepts of meaningful, emotional intimacy.

Freitas interviewed hundreds of young people to determine not only what defines a “hookup” but also what was taken from the experience –both in positive and negative terms.

What she discovered was a group of young people disillusioned by a social practice that leaves little room for more traditional dating.  She found many women and men who wanted to disengage from the casual hookup but lacked the essential tools to date and foster true intimacy. 

Dead End Hookups

And here is where I believe she hit pay dirt.  Our culture –both Christians and non-believers do not know how to establish healthy relationship and so hookups SEEM like the only entry way into a dating relationship.  But unfortunately, by introducing sex so quickly and making it meaningless, we have removed the ability to truly know each other and create lasting intimacy; as well as overlooked the necessary investment of time and trust to build a solid relationship.

Singles, young and old alike are floundering in the dating realm and they don’t understand why it’s so disheartening. 

Hooking up is not getting us what we want. 

Freitas found that many young people yearn to go out a real date and be honored with intentional pursuit but they believe they are the only ones out there who feel this way. 

But there is another way…

Try Dating With Purpose

Treat your “date” like your neighbor.  Few people would ever go next door and rip out their neighbor’s trees and drive their car on the lawn.  And yet, our hookups do exactly this with people’s hearts.

We use hookups as a conquest instead of an opportunity to care for others.  We avoid any responsibility the day after.  As soon as sex is exchanged, we flee instead of growing closer.  We rip apart our souls over and over and then can’t understand why it’s difficult to connect with people. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Cor. 13:4-7

When was the last time your hookup encapsulated any one of these loving acts?

Isn’t it time we thought about dating differently?


How to Write a Winning Online Dating Profile


You’ve finally taken the big leap and decided to join the online dating world.  But before you get too crazy winking and throwing kisses online, you may want to consider a few tweaks to your online profile. 

Remember, first impressions are won or lost in about 30 seconds.

I know, I know…you’ve got it handled, right.  You’ve already crafted an awesome bio detailing all of your Christian service, financial prowess and physical appeal. 

In fact you wrote an essay.

You have made it clear you only want devoted Christians, a serious relationship, and you don’t want to get hurt AGAIN.

But for some strange reason you aren’t attracting the type of dates you find desirable?

Have you considered that your own profile might be the reason you aren’t attracting quality dates?

Is it possible that more details aren’t always better –they are just more?

How to craft a winning online dating bio:

  • Get Feedback

Ask a trusted friend of the opposite sex to give you feedback.  Then listen and take great notes.

  • Be Succinct and to the Point

Remember this is an elevator pitch not a college entrance essay.  Keep it brief and don’t ramble on endlessly.  You want to leave a little mystery and a good reason to get to know you better.  And please…don’t be weird!  Quirky is cool, but make sure your eccentric self reads well to the world.

  • Don’t sound bitter

Leave out the comments like, “I’m not here to waste time on trivial relationships.” Or, “I’ve been hurt in the past, tread carefully.”  These aren’t confident and attractive statements and (although they may be true) they don’t translate well on a computer screen without perspective and relationship.

  • Make sure your picture is your best profile

First things first, include one! (But make sure they don’t resemble any of these real life profiles I found)

Ladies, men are highly visual, so don’t skip this crucial step.   A lack of picture suggests insecurity about your looks or that you’re married (and cheating) or that you’re a predator.

Try to keep the picture classy.  Don’t be overly sexy or pose with stuffed animals.  It’s creepy not cute.  Be honest and put up a shot taken in the last six months. Do not post a picture of you 30 lbs ago. 

Do not put up a Glamour Shot or a photo-shopped picture.  Keep it simple and try smiling. No one likes an angry elf.

  • Proofread!

Use proper grammar and spell check your bio before publishing.  Grammatical errors are not appealing and show an impulsive and hasty nature.

These small steps can reap big rewards when it comes to first impressions in the online dating realm. 

 What do you think about Spidey’s profile?  Would you date him? 


Photo Source: datingadvice.com via jen on Pinterest

Veiled Woman Photo Source: thechive.files.wordpress.com via Liz on Pinterest

Fire lady Photo Source: Uploaded by user via ClickTonight on Pinterest

Sword Guy Photo Source: lolimage.com via lol on Pinterest

Spiderman Photo Source: thechive.files.wordpress.com via Rob on Pinterest



Evaluating the “Rate a Male App” -Lulu


I was driving to work when I first heard the news about a new dating app called Lulu. 

And I almost crashed.

Lulu, if you haven’t heard, is an iPhone and Android application that allows women to review the men they date through Facebook.  Let’s just say it’s an overall evaluation of their assets. 

Think “Angie’s List” and then let your mind wander straight into the gutter.

The creator, Alexandra Chong came up with the idea at a post-Valentine’s Brunch two years ago as she sat with her girlfriends and dished on men and relationships. 

Chong claims she identified a need –to create a forum for women to talk about the men in their lives.

Here is what concerns me:

  1. It dehumanizes men.  Women hate to be objectified and yet this is exactly what they are doing to men.
  2. Women need REAL relationships with other women to process male/female interaction.  They do not need another app on Facebook to isolate even more.  Relationships and people are complicated and they cannot be numerically staticized.
  3. No man deserves to have his relational immaturity advertised.  We all make mistakes and it’s simply unfair and extremely immature to exploit another person’s faults –even if they are legitimate.
  4. If a guy has a bad reputation –it will get around.  Trust me.  Facebook can’t compete with how much women love to gossip.
  5. It could cause lasting emotional damage in the wrong hands.  One vindictive young woman could destroy a man’s online reputation. A bitter woman with this app in hand is a recipe for disaster. 
  6. It’s snarky.

The only possible good I see in this app is that a few guys might clean up their act when held accountable by a posse of young women.  Because this app is targeted for college kids in a campus environment, unless a guy plans on changing schools he might want to reconsider treating women poorly if they are all comparing notes.

Chong said women answer a series of questions and then anonymously or privately share the information about the male. Once ratings from the quiz are calculated, Lulu gives the male an overall ranking on a scale from one to ten.

The female-only application is available to students at the University of Florida and Florida State University because Chong wanted to launch Lulu at schools that have strong Greek life, social environment and academic culture.

“We thought those were some good schools,” she stated. “It certainly has been a big success so far, and we’re really happy we came here.”

 “We had a lot of guys trying to get into the Lulu app,” she said. “We decided we wanted to make sure to give them a voice on the app as well. It’s called LuluDude.”

Chong said the mobile Web application, LuluDude, which is yet to be released, will allow men to manage their Lulu profile and see their ratings.

The Bible gives it own warning in Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

Ladies, I imagine a male version of this app is already in the works -so tread lightly before you critique.  Only God knows our heart and no app or program could ever quantify a changed life.

What do you think about Lulu?  Would you use it if it were available?

Is it Ever Ok to Date a Friend’s Ex?

I remember the day well.  I was standing on the side of the football field watching my seven old son battle it out on the first day of hitting at football practice.

My girlfriend (a single mom) looked over at my brand new ex-husband who was coaching the boys, then glanced at me at me and sighed wistfully.  “You know, if he wasn’t your ex-husband I wouldn’t mind going out with him.”

Huh?  Awkward!

I gave her “the look” and my friend wisely chose to zip it and never bring it up again.

But in a world of broken marriages and relationships, these questions come up all too often.

Is it ever acceptable to date a friend’s ex?

Every situation is different, but here are some considerations to keep in mind…

  • How close is your relationship with the friend?  Are you willing to risk tension?  Good friends have each other’s back… they don’t blind side them with a secret relationship.  Having a conversation with your friend before pursuing the ex shows respect for the friendship and consideration of their feelings.  It also shows maturity.
  • How long has the relationship been over?  If it’s been years (like a high school relationship) it may not be a big deal, but if the divorce or break-up is painfully fresh, you may want to reconsider opening this can of worms.
  • Did the relationship with the ex end on good terms?  If your friend dated in an honorable fashion and the pain of the breakup is minimal, they might even recommend their ex to you as a better personality fit. 
  • How healthy is the ex?  What were the reasons they decided to end the relationship?  Do your homework.  If addictions, abuse, adultery or serious character defects caused the breakup, then stay far away from the charming train-wreck.  You were warned.
  • Would your friend cringe if you got married?  Could you hang out with your friend without it being too uncomfortable? Would she poison his popcorn if you came over for a Super Bowl shindig?
  • Ask yourself why you want to date them?  Is it because there is a true relational spark (beyond the physical) and you can’t help yourself, or is it possible you are passively getting back at your friend for an unspoken hurt or disappointment? Search your heart, pray about it and make sure YOUR intentions are above-board.

In more recent years, two of my girlfriends chose to date an ex-boyfriend of mine(strangely enough…the same guy).  But because we were all on good terms, it never became an issue and the friendships have stayed strong even though both of the women ultimately decided to end the relationship. 

What do you think about dating a friend’s ex?

Photo Source: heartit.com via Lisa on Pinterest



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