Sharon Hodde Miller is a writer, student, wife, and mom to a precious son and a little fur-baby chihuahua. She enjoys writing about faith, culture, gender, marriage, and new motherhood. She is a regular contributor to Christianity Today's blog for women, Her.meneutics, as well as Ungrind.org, CultivateHer.com, and her own blog, SheWorships.com. She currently lives just outside Chicago, where she is working on a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. Follow her @SHoddeMiller.
I am a Christian who is weirded out by Christian Mingle.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Christian Mingle is a Christian dating site known for its audacious tagline, “Find God’s match for you.” In the last year, Christian Mingle has grown in notoriety thanks to an extensive marketing campaign. The ads are all over television—especially “Christian” programming like The History Channel’s The Bible–and the ads frequently appear on my Facebook sidebar as well (probably because I’m a Christian, though I am not single).
With its bold tagline and slightly awkward name, it’s no surprise that Christian Mingle has become a popular brunt of jokes. Occasionally trending on Twitter, the hashtag has appeared alongside snarky comments like,
It’s a good thing God licenses his romance database to #ChristianMingle.
I just saw a commercial for #ChristianMingle.com and I couldn’t help but think they should change it to firstbaseonly.org
Back when I was single gal, I became tangled in one of those vague and confusing relationships that was terribly undefined. Although we acted like a couple, the terms were never very clear. He wouldn’t commit or even talk about committing, but I felt like I was his girlfriend. We spent tons of time together, talked all the time, and seemed incredibly close. And yet, we weren’t “official.”
One day I talked with a male friend about the situation. I wanted a man’s perspective, and I hoped he could shed some light on the predicament. Once he heard my story, his response was simple and flat: “You’re his girlfriend place-holder.”
When my husband and I first began dating, he was 23 and I was 27. I was extremely embarrassed about that gap.
In fact, I was so embarrassed that I pretended like the age difference didn’t exist. Soon after he friended me on Facebook I deleted my birth year. I never talked about my age, and I avoided subjects that highlighted our age difference. This went on for weeks.
But eventually I couldn’t hide from it any longer. It was 2008 and I needed a date for my five year college reunion, so I asked him to come along. As we walked into the building designated for my graduating class, he glanced at the graduation year and casually remarked: “2003. That’s the year I graduated from high school.”
And I felt like a cradle-robbing old lady.
I would like to say that I got over the age difference that night since he clearly didn’t care. But I didn’t. I continued to feel weird about it and dragged my feet for a long time. I thought the age difference was awkward, and I was afraid of what other people would think. I had always imagined I would marry someone older, not younger. This wasn’t the plan!
In a 2005 article for the New York Times by Ayelet Waldman called “Truly, Madly, Guiltily,” Waldman ruffled feathers by admitting that she did, in fact, love her husband more than her children. As a result of her confession, she experienced a major backlash, fielding harsh criticism and accusations that she was a bad mom. The response was so great that she later wrote a book titled Bad Mother in 2010.
For a lot of parents whose worlds revolve around their children, Waldman’s admission was unfathomable. After all, you hear stories about mothers lifting cars off their children—like some sort of superhuman mothering power—but there aren’t many stories about wives rescuing their husbands. Moms behave like mother bears when someone messes with their cub, so I suppose people interpret this behavior as a form of prioritizing. If superhero strength is any indication of Mother Nature’s intentions, then women are supposed to love their kids more than their husbands.
This stereotype is what freaked me out about having a baby. Pre-pregnancy, I loved being married and I adored my husband. We traveled together, had adventures, and enjoyed one another’s company every day. Our relationship was fun and intimate and life giving, so I didn’t want to mess it up. Would kids ruin it? Would our son’s birth mark the beginning of a gradual growing apart? Would we become one of those couples I see sitting in silence at restaurants because they have nothing to talk about anymore?
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
Follow Dating & Hookup on Instagram
Follow Jess on Instagram
Follow Becky on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter