From Dating to Marriage with Coffee Meets BagelJump To Recipe
Remember when online dating was, well weird? The last decade or so, that stigma has vanished because in today's busy culture, online dating has become one of the most popular ways to date. In fact, nearly 40% of couples met online, according to recent research.
My advice to the single ladies out there, regardless where you meet a guy (school, work, mutual friend, dating site, etc.) really take the time to get to know him. The good. The bad. The ugly. It also goes both ways-its not a one-sided job interview, the guy is determining if you are his ideal mate too. In this post I am going to discuss my experience with online dating.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel is a dating app that was featured on Shark Tank by three sisters from San Francisco. The Kang sisters developed the company in 2012 after seeing the need for a serious dating app, not just casual dates or hooking up. Coffee Meets Bagel is designed especially for women users who are searching for quality over quantity. The goal of Coffee Meets Bagel is to match people together who are serious about dating.
I found my “everything bagel” 😉 in 2018, so please excuse if some features on both platforms have changed since. Coffee Meets Bagel is free, with the option to upgrade to get some premium features. I never paid to buy extra “coffee beans”, as you could earn beans for free on voting for people’s best pictures, following them on social media, or referring friends to sign up. I liked CMB because of its algorithm where they curate smart matches based on the individual’s preferences. Each day at noon, they would give me five “bagels” (which are their suggestions for me), and I could either pass or like. If I liked someone, they had 24 hours to like/pass on me. If your bagel likes you back, you have 7 days to chat with them. This is also nice because if you don’t hit it off with someone, you aren’t plagued with seeing them in your recent conversations after the 7 days. I think it is a cordial way to move on to the next candidate, and they can’t reconnect with you. 🙂 If you were wanting to have more options than they suggested that are tailored to your preferences, you are able to unlock more Bagels by spending 250 beans. There is also a Discover section where there are more men to browse through, but they most likely aren’t your cup of tea. However, you can adjust your Discover filter. You can filter by age, height, distance, ethnicity, religion, and education.
Coffee Meets Bagel vs. Christian Mingle
Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) is a dating app open to the general public, coffee lovers or not. 😉 The app focuses on providing users (aka bagels) with a limited number of curated matches each day, aiming for more meaningful connections. To download the app is free, the platform has both free and premium features, where premium features are available in 1,3 or 6 month subscriptions. I liked CMB because it allowed me to filter down the results of guys I wanted to meet based on location, religion, age, height, and education. You can message your matches, but only for 7 days, which I think is a great boundary to have in place. If you have talked with someone consistently for 7 days, then it is about time you make a move and get their number. If you don't get their contact information, the chat closes. This is also good in case you don't want to feel awkward if it just doesn't work out.
As of 2024, their pricing is as follows:
- 1-month: $34.99 per month
- 3-months: $25.00 per month
- 6-months: $20.00 per month
Christian Mingle is a faith based online dating platform. Christians of different denominations such as Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran etc. can create an account. There is an "other religion" option and "not sure yet" option for users as well. I didn’t like that on Christian Mingle any guy could message me who was outside of my preferences. Also there isn't any "fire under your tail" when it comes to messaging someone. What I mean by this is that you could message someone for weeks, and then it goes nowhere. I wish they had a time limit so that if you are serious about someone, you have a set time to get their number. Christian Mingle also doesn't really have filters to narrow down what you are looking for in a person, but you can search for guys that are a close match to you. Christian Mingle has a free version, but it can't get you very far because with the free version, you aren't able to send messages. Christian Mingle requires payment for 1, 3 or 6-month subscriptions.
As of 2024, their pricing is as follows:
- 1-month: $42.99 per month
- 3-months: $24.99 per month
- 6-months: $19.99 per month
Tips for Online Dating (for ladies)
- Try 1-2 app/websites that work for you.
- Meet up in public places during the day.
- Don't rely on the person to drive you.
- Don't bend over backwards to make the date happen, or meet up with the guy. (know you worth!)
- Share your location with a friend/family member when going on a date.
- Beware of overly flirtatious men - if they are sweet talking you, they are well practiced.
- Trust your gut. If the date felt weird, or uncomfortable, don't pursue it or keep entertaining him.
- Be upfront about your beliefs, goals, desires, even if you are realizing the guy doesn't share them/approve of them. Better to weed out the guys that don't work sooner than later.
- Have a good time! If the date doesn't turn into a second date, remember that perfect latte or the delicious ice cream flavor you got to try.
- Don't get discouraged if a guy you are messaging goes no where, that is the downside about online dating - the ghosters!
What I Was Looking for in Online Dating
I will be honest, when I first signed up for online dating, of course in the back of my mind I wanted to be married, but I think I mostly was excited to go on dates. I took a break from online dating, and did some work on myself. When I came back to online dating, my mentality changed and I was looking to find my future spouse! I’m grateful to God for bringing my husband into my life. After feeling as though I would never find a husband, and going through seasons of doubt, or wondering if I would have to settle, God came through.
I desired a man who valued purity as I did. The Bible is clear on God’s standards when it comes to intimacy, and I wanted to please the Lord and wait until marriage. (1 Corinthians 6: 13&18, Hebrews 13:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 are some examples). I wanted a man who was kind and loving, someone who didn’t take life too seriously and could make me laugh. The Bible says a merry heart does good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22). Laughter really is like a medicine, and it can be a huge help in difficult times. I wanted a man who would be a leader, and follow God. I wanted a trustworthy man. My Pastor’s wife said she knew her husband was the one for her because he was so in tune with God and had a genuine desire to please the Lord, that she knew he would not do anything to harm her or hurt her heart.
At first I was against online dating. I somehow felt that if I went online to date (end goal to find a spouse), I was robbing God from providing me a husband. Where this fallible mindset came from, I couldn't tell you! People meet their future spouse in all kinds of ways - mutual friends, work, church, etc. Online dating doesn't make meeting someone any less special or any less organic. Don't put God in a box, He can work in any capacity, culture, time zone, or platform! All we have to do is have faith in Him and trust Him to provide and guide us to our spouse. I had to realize that the man of my dreams isn't going to fall on my lap, or show up on a white horse at my house (although I did hope for that when I was a little girl). I had to put in some work too!
Ironically, we both had tried Christian Mingle the year before we met each other on Coffee Meets Bagel. Crazy thing, we actually first connected on Christian Mingle. We talked for a few days, but we never exchanged phone numbers, or other contact information. I thought he wasn't interested, and also I didn't want to keep paying for Christian Mingle. Over a year later, we both got on Coffee Meets Bagel, and low and behold we were able to match. What are the odds of that happening? I am telling you God can do anything! His timing is best.
I was nervous at first to admit I remembered him from Christian Mingle. After all, I figured he didn't want to get to know me better in the first place, so I wanted to play it safe. To my relief, he remembered me and brought it up! He told me the following year at the time we were messaging, he got busy with work and meant to message me, and then when he finally got around to do it, he saw I had deleted my profile.
It was super special reconnecting with him. I didn't know much about him, so it was meeting someone brand new, but familiar all at the same time. This time we made sure to get each other's numbers right away. We got to talking and later I found out that one of my best friends from high school worked with him for years! Also, I knew his sister from the youth group that I volunteered at. What a crazy coincidence! Thank you God for positive affirmation!! This was very reassuring as I had two people to vouch for him. They both said incredible things about him, which made our first date less nerve-wracking. We instantly hit it off, and the biggest thing that drew me to him was his declaration of his faith in the Lord.
We both were exceedingly intentional about meeting the one we were going to marry, so we naturally dived into deep topics that typically come up after months of dating. We both were glad that we discussed serious topics early, so that way we were 100% sure we were compatible and meant to be together. We brought up the topic of marriage right away, and both were in a life stage of wanting to get married. Six months later, B proposed, then 13 months and 8 days from the date he proposed, we got married!
God's timing truly is perfect, although it may not be our timing, I am so grateful I trusted in God. I know in both of our lives, God had stretched us and molded us into the people we are today. When you put your trust in God-He is faithful and will honor his children. Ephesians 3:20 was a promise that came true to me. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (KJV).
We aren’t perfect by far, but we are two individuals covered in the grace of God. Each day we thank the Lord for his blessings and mercy, and we strive to live in grace and forgiveness.
The Single Life to Married Life
I think all my years of being single, and going through life’s struggles "alone" has taught me to lean on the Lord. I believe God needed me to be single a little longer than I wanted so I would rely on Him, before relying on a guy. Don't get me wrong, my single years were beautiful years. It is much better to be single than to be married to a wrong guy.
For years, I’d hear people say marriage is tough work, and marriage is hard. However, as I see it-all beautiful things of value take hard work. I don’t see work as being a negative word. I think of a beautiful garden that takes years of consistent watering, pruning, and care. Yes, you have to work in the garden, but that work is well worth the results.
Marriage is about putting in the daily effort. I know life gets tough. I know there are bad days and there are good days, but one thing is for certain-God is always the same. Simply put, I know if B and I continually seek God, keep Him at the forefront of our marriage, and are constantly work on our marriage, we will be just fine.
Tips on Finding the One You're Going to Marry (Spend a lifetime with!)
Know what you want.
Keep your standards high, and do not be willing to settle. It can be easy to ignore red flags because you really like someone. Ask yourself-can I live with this trait for the rest of my life? Do I truly understand I can’t change someone? Red flags don’t change. Try your best to be emotionally strong and know what you are looking for in a guy before you decided to start dating and getting your heart involved. For me, I was so over dating games, getting emotionally attached, or just meeting cute guys for fun. I came to a point where I was a stronger person spiritually and mentally and I was willing to be firm with my beliefs and what I was looking for in a man I wanted to marry. (This helped quickly rule out the guys I was not interested in on CMB).
Understand that you may not find your spouse in the time frame you are hoping-and that is okay. For me, it took a year and a few flop dates to find the one! It is much better to be single than to be married to someone you would regret marrying in the long run. My dear friend Berlyn who was a bridesmaid in my wedding said: “waited time is not wasted time.” I was 27 when I got married, and although I wish I could have met B sooner, I realize that both he and I weren't ready to meet each other. We both had to work on ourselves. We met each other at the perfect time - we were both spiritually stronger, more financially stable, and had matured significantly.
Develop yourself in the interim.
What kind of wife do YOU want to be? Do you have baggage that you need to work through? Do you want to learn a new skill? Do you want to overcome a fear? Your single years are glorious years to fine-tune the lovely lady you want to become or develop. And just because you’re married, doesn’t mean you are perfect either-always work on becoming your best self. 🙂 I am not saying you have to have "arrived" before you meet the one. Not at all! What I am saying is spending your single years investing in yourself. It is important to know your worth. It is crucial to know you are loved, accepted and valued whether you are single or married.
Remember that finding your “other half” is not going to complete you or make you better or happier. If you aren’t happy now, you aren’t going to be happy in marriage. Happy people are attractive people.