Memoirs of a Shut-in Single
Dating online has helped me build friendships and grow spiritually.

Note: The following is a slightly edited version of a letter sent to me by a single man in God’s Church. I felt it would be beneficial for everyone to read. ~Joel Hilliker

I had heard of an Armstrong College student who had been really good about dating because he took a systematic approach to dating and made sure he was treating each girl equally. I decided to take a similar approach, since his worked out so well for him.

My minister recommended an age-range to stay within, so I started at the youngest and am working my way toward the oldest within that range. My strategy was that the girls would get more mature as I went along. But along the way, I forgot that was the plan because the girls have all been very mature and very fun. Carrying out the plan became more about making sure I am getting to everyone than about comparing maturity levels. Besides, I am not exactly the most mature person in the world, so who am I to judge?

I have had some minor struggles with time zones and such. But where there is a will, there is a way. And being a shut-in single, I have a very strong will to get some fellowship! Any way I can have fellowship, and have people to talk with who are in God’s Church, is of great benefit to me!

And wait—I’m serving? Dates … with women … is serving? Yeah, count me in! I feel like I get a lot out of dating. But the more I make it about them, and the more I apply myself to having a service attitude, the better the dates have been!

Dating has taught me a lot about how selfish I am. I have learned how rough my edges are. I have learned a lot about many spiritual matters as well. These girls seem to know a lot—I am so impressed! I am reading the Single-minded for God booklet online, and I always seem to be learning a lesson in my life at the same time I am reading about how to overcome it. God works these things out so well.

I have heard a lot about girls writing guys off and guys writing girls off. I feel like if a girl is the type to write a guy off, then she is not my type. I like the type of girl who doesn’t write guys off. Sometimes I date a girl and she doesn’t look like someone I’d be the most attracted to, but then she has so much spirit and so much joy, and I end up having a better conversation with her than with the prettiest of girls.

I was asking two girls a week, and usually getting one response—one date. But the reason I was asking two was that I had two free nights. So now, I am asking four dates a week, and hoping for two. Once, I got three! I had to change some plans and miss another activity, but it worked out beautifully!

Then, my little secret: I e-mail the girls afterward, thanking them for the date. This often sparks a response, which means that I get to continue fellowshiping afterward! I have three long e-mails to write this week in reply to those replies.

There are a lot of things I don’t do perfectly in my life. I don’t date perfectly, and I have a long way to go before I am marriage material. But I am in a unique situation that many other singles are not, and that has provided me with some unique opportunities to date, perhaps much more often than most people can.

I feel very blessed to be single in God’s Church. Following the Church’s instruction and admonitions to the singles—which obviously come from God and are based on the Bible—brings so much joy! The more I apply, the happier I am. The more I do—not just hear—then the more success I have.

I probably could go on for twice as long about how great the “singles network” is. I feel incredibly blessed to have the ministry submitting to God and working so hard to help us in the “singles community” of the pcg in what really can be a stressful endeavor if not handled in the proper way. It is such a blessing to have the resources we have. We have opportunities that just didn’t exist just a few years ago. I am always learning, and am having the most wonderful experience!