Should Christians Use Online Dating Apps?

Should Christians use online dating apps? What are the pros and cons involved when people use online dating sites? Does the Bible say anything about Christians using dating apps?
There’s no doubt that online dating apps have become very popular in our culture and society today, especially among young people. Dating apps are so popular that as of 2020 an app such as Tinder reports about 1.6 billion swipes per day.

However when we look at other statistics associated with online dating, there are various surveys which reveal a worrisome and dangerous trend.
Many of these trends reveal that the usage of dating apps can undoubtedly accelerate the levels of immorality and allow people to easily fall into various lusts and temptations.

For example, a survey of 35-to-54 year olds revealed some interesting findings and answers regarding why people use online dating apps.
One of the discoveries was that 33% of this age group use dating apps in order “to have something fun / interesting to do”.
Then 26% of this same age group use online dating apps “to have casual sex”.
20% of people from different age groups said they use dating apps “to find non-exclusive romantic partners”.
17% said they use dating apps because they want “to cheat on my significant other”.

Another survey revealed that 30% of all people who use Tinder are married.
Furthermore 29% of people who used a dating app have had a one-night-stand at least once or several times after a “hookup” with a stranger through a dating app.
In the same survey – 18.7% preferred not to say / admit if they’ve had a one-night-stand?


Dangers or Problems With Online Dating Apps

1. Dating apps accelerate sexual immorality rather than genuine relationships
Many people who use dating apps are not looking for an authentic or meaningful relationship. Some are looking for a one-night-stand; others want to cheat on their partner; others are seeking casual sex and fulfilment of sexual fantasies.
Furthermore with online dating apps it is possible for an individual to “hookup” with several people at the same time which can result in trust issues among users. This reveals that a huge percentage of people have no desire to have a genuine and serious relationship or friendship that could eventually lead to marriage. Instead many are using dating apps because they seek to gratify their sexual lusts or desires.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 says: For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality

Not everyone who uses a dating app is single. However the Bible speaks against engaging in sexual immorality such as adultery, premarital sex and even prostitution.
The increasing popularity and usage of online dating sites reveals that sexual immorality will only increase as the popularity of such dating sites increases.


2. People will lie about themselves and about their profile
Social media in general provides many people with the urge to become superficial and pretentious. Therefore not everything on an individual’s online dating app will be totally true. It is easy for people to be deceptive about their true nature and character (and even their looks).
For example, it is possible for a single person to “hook-up” with a married person who lied about his/her marital status. It is possible for a person to claim to be a “Christian” on his/her profile but yet isn’t a true born again believer in reality.
So not everyone on a dating app is who they appear to be in reality.


3. Dating apps constantly puts users in search-and-seek mode
Most social media apps are very addictive from Twitter, Facebook to Instagram. Therefore even online dating apps like Tinder are just as addictive as they motivate users to be constantly searching for a hookup or a physical engagement with the opposite sex.
Due to the convenience of having a match-making app on your phone, the concept of finding a partner becomes like a daily job which could cause impatience, anxiety and a quick desire to fulfill lustful passions.
So the fact that dating apps can register more than 1.6 billion swipes per day is an indication that dating apps have become the daily norm in many people’s lives.


4. Dating apps eliminate organic and genuine relationships
Do dating apps provide room for genuine and organic relationships / friendships, or are they just a quick way for someone to get a “hook-up”?
Many who have used online dating apps have admitted that online dating feels superficial and it can be difficult to cultivate deep connections.
Many surveys reveal that the majority of relationships that are engaged via dating apps have been short-lived. So very few meaningful relationships ever materialize from using online dating apps.


5. Online dating can attract sexual predators & improper behavior
Unfortunately dating sites can be a place where sexual predators search for their potential victims. It is possible to also engage with abusive strangers through a dating app who lack any social media etiquette.
According to Pew Research “some users – especially younger women – report being the target of rude or harassing behavior while on these platforms” and that “roughly three-in-ten or more online dating users say someone through a dating site or app continued to contact them after they said they were not interested (37%), sent them a sexually explicit message or image they didn’t ask for (35%) or called them an offensive name (28%).”


What Does The Bible Say About Christians Using Online Dating Apps?

In general using a dating app is not a sin, just as using Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram is not a sin.
However, whilst it is possible for a single Christian to genuinely meet and have a relationship with someone through the usage of an online dating app – it’s important for Christians to maintain Biblical or Christian values if one uses a dating app.

For example –

  • no engaging in cybersex or sexting;
  • no premarital sex;
  • no committing adultery; if you’re married you have no business using a dating app
  • no lusting or objectifying someone of the opposite sex;
  • no posting pornographic or inappropriate photos of yourself or others;
  • don’t allow usage of the app to be addictive or to become your idol;
  • be respectful and engage people in a manner that represents Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:3 NLT says: Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.

Hebrews 13:14 says: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous

Therefore whilst online dating may provide a fast and technological method of meeting new people or a potential mate – it is important to heed that there are very worrisome disadvantages and trends which appear to be rising due to the use of online dating apps. Whilst there might be a technological convenience associated with dating apps, current statistics reveal that the cons of using dating apps generally outweigh the pros.

The growing trend is that online dating apps may actually promote promiscuity or sexual immorality of all kinds, rather than provide a genuine avenue for well-meaning single people to meet or have a genuine God-fearing relationship.

Ultimately one’s search for a life partner should be placed in God’s hands. If Christians use dating apps, it is very necessary to consistently examine ones motives and ensure that the usage of the dating app does not lead to sin or sexual immorality  instead of the genuine search of a partner.
Furthermore, rather than trusting in a dating app to help find a spouse – we must instead seek God, seek His guidance and trust Him to help find the right partner.