Teen online dating sites are starting to pop up all over the web. Most of the sites claim to be for teen online dating but they are either places for pedophiles to prey upon vulnerable teens or random chat rooms. As Christians go, there are even fewer teen online dating sites that cater to those looking to edify their faith while also seeking a dating relationship. So, it makes sense to be wary of teen online dating sites from the start.
Why Look Online Anyhow?
Many adults use online dating to meet people because they are busy and their social circles tend to shrink as they get older. The advantage that teens have over their adult counterparts is that they have a built in social network in their schools and outside activities. Teens are surrounded by their peers making it easier to make real connections with real people right around them.So, why are teen online dating sites popping up? Well, in some cases a teen might have a very small social circle or want to expand his or her search to those outside the city in which they live. Not surprising, but still it is no more likely that a teen would find a relationship in an online environment than in math class.
Stranger Danger in Teen Online Dating
There are so many dangers inherent in anything we do online, and teen online dating sites present real peril to those that use them. It's a reality that there are people out there who are wired to prey on young people. The Internet provides them with a playing field like no other area of their lives. They can easily present themselves as fellow teens and sometimes fool even the most experienced online user.
It is so important to keep yourself safe online, whether using teen online dating sites or other social networks. There are tips to keeping yourself safe online, including not giving out personal information, being skeptical of what the other person tells you, and guarding your heart. People who will want to prey on you will lie to make you think they are just like you, think like you, act like you. If you feel like you want to make a real-life connection, communicate that with a parent or youth leader. No matter what your heart or emotions tell you, use your head to guide your actions.
Don't Underestimate Meeting Real People in God's Time
Sure, it's easy to say that, if adults use them, teen online dating sites should be a piece of cake, but really there is still something to be said for meeting people in person, too. God has a plan for your life, and dating may or may not be part of that plan right now. It's important to keep Him in mind when meeting people in person or online. Yet, it is easier to gauge a person's faith by meeting him or her in your real life vs. a virtual one.
Also, don't be so impatient. It can be hard to not date while all your friends have boyfriends or girlfriends, but forcing the issue is no way to develop positive relationships, either. Some people turn to teen online dating sites just to find someone to date, rather than looking at developing relationships in a Godly way. It makes it easy to fall into temptations and end up doing something we may regret later.