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Single – and facing the Christian dating scene at 35

Looking round my church circle, I discovered the tally of eligible bachelors came to ... zero! HopefulGirl was about to go dating ...

The story behind Hopeful Girl's book Would Like To Meet (BRF, £6.99) may make familiar reading ...

Finding myself suddenly single at 35 came as quite a shock.

It was one thing coming to terms with being dumped by my fiancé. It was another to prayerfully decide I was ready to love again, only to take a look around my church circle and discover the tally of eligible bachelors came to … zero!

I didn’t want to marry a non-believer, and I’d heard rumours about the lack of marriageable men in the Church – four single women to every single man (six to one by the age of 50).

But it wasn’t until then that reality hit home. Unless I was going to start eyeing the youth group like some predatory sugar mummy, I was going to have to look further afield.

I wrestled with whether to wait on God to deliver the man he had planned for me, or to be pro-active about meeting suitable people.

I decided on the latter, and soon discovered a network of people taking the same approach: Christian dating websites, speed-dating, singles parties – the works.

Convinced Mr Right was just around the corner, I threw myself into the Christian singles scene with gusto. Surely, within the year, God would guide me to the love of my life …

As the readers of my column in Woman Alive magazine know, it didn’t quite work like that. During my four years on the Christian singles scene, I met the good, the bad and the slightly scary.

My endless tales of disastrous dates made me the dinner party entertainment amongst my friends.

There was TinyMan, with the secret girlfriend; HaughtyMan, who was just looking for a housekeeper; SkinnyMan, who turned scary when I broke the news that I wasn’t his girlfriend; and a host of other colourful (and commitment-phobic) characters. Oh, and I made some lovely friends too.

Would Like To Meet is the diary of my journey on the Christian singles scene. First and foremost, it’s intended to be entertaining and to reveal the funny side of Christian dating. But there’s a serious side too.

Being single in the Church is often no laughing matter. I hope church leaders (and the happily married in general) will get an insight into life for the singles in their congregations, and how they can ease the load (or at least not add to it).

And chaps, don’t be put off by my book’s feminine cover – you can get it on your Kindle for the inside track on how single women think!

The good news I want to share with my single sisters is that there are good Christian men out there looking for marriage – but you may have to sift through a fair few unsuitables to find them, so be ready for the long game.

As for me, did I find my Mr Right in the end? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Here's a sample from the book ...

Tuesday 29 December

My fellow cyberdaters may have unreasonably high expectations, but my brother also has lofty ambitions for my love life.

“Right, let’s have a look at these losers,” he announced, settling down to browse my ‘favourites’ file on the Christian dating website. “Nope, too old. No, his arms are puny. Works in insurance? No way!”

It’s nice that my brother has high hopes for me but, as far as he’s concerned, nothing less than an international male supermodel with an award-winning science career, Olympic medals for athletics, and a Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work will be good enough.

“Do you think you might be setting the bar too high for potential suitors?” I asked.

“No,” he replied. “I don’t.” And he snapped the laptop shut.

The good news is that there are good Christian men out there looking for marriage ...

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