Attention, all single ladies searching for Mr. Right! Whether you are in your twenties, like me, or returning to dating later in life, online dating is where it’s at—but sometimes, it’s hard. Where do you start? Is it even worth it for a Christian woman to sign up for a secular dating site or app? (In my humble opinion, yes. You may be surprised by the amount of Christians you find there.)

Sites and apps range in the effort required to build your profile. Some have you answer countless questions and compose very detailed paragraphs about yourself, while others can be easily constructed on your phone in less than five minutes. Ultimately, you just have to pick the option that works for you and hope for the best. But not Tinder. Just don’t do it.

I honestly don’t have much long-term dating experience. I’m 28 and have been single for most of my adult life. The main reason for this is that I’m picky. I believe that guarding your heart is just as important as protecting your purity. I’m a person who loves deeply, and I don’t do “casual dating” well. So why am I writing this article? Because I’ve been active in the online dating world for the past several years, looking for someone to share my life. I have been on numerous first dates, but fewer second dates and even less third dates. During this time, I’ve compiled two lists to help me discern when to run and when to pursue. You may find these lists to be basic, but let’s be honest, ladies: Most of us have bent or broken one of these rules at some point. And that’s okay; there’s no shame here. I certainly have, so we can all do with a reminder. I hope this helps you separate Mr. Right from Mr. Not-for-You—and avoid potential heartbreak from the start.

SWIPE LEFT . . . Beware!

  1. If he says he’s a Christian but doesn’t go to church or have a personal relationship with Jesus.  No matter how attractive he is in other ways, this is THE ULTIMATE DEAL BREAKER. (See 2 Corinthians 6:14.
  2. If he has no written component to his profile. This is a warning sign that he’s not as invested in finding a relationship as you are, and your time is valuable!
  3. If his sole extracurricular activity is working out. He’ll probably be more into his body–and yours–than into your personality or heart.
  4. If he continually forgets what you’ve talked about and asks you the same questions more than once. It would take about five seconds to scroll back through your conversation, so take that as a red flag.
  5. If he doesn’t respect your physical and conversational boundaries. Don’t compromise yourself on the off-chance it could work.

SWIPE RIGHT . . . Pursue!

  1. He asks YOU questions.
  2. He mentions his faith in his profile—and talks to you about yours.
  3. He respects your boundaries and is candid about his own.
  4. He remembers the details of your conversations and communicates in full sentences.
  5. He is attractive to you not only in outward appearance, but also in his ideas and lifestyle.

I know what you’re thinking right now. If I follow these guidelines, there won’t be anyone left! I have that thought every once in a while. Then I tell myself, “It might be true today, but maybe not tomorrow.” The question is, do I want to spend my time serial dating, or save my emotional energy for someone I could really build something with in the long-term? I, for one, am willing to keep trying and hold to my standards because I want to find my guy. I believe that God’s best plan for me personally includes a husband. So I pray for guidance and discernment. I ask God to prepare my heart. I ask God to prepare my future husband’s heart. I wait patiently. But I also act in accordance with my desires. You have free will, and you should use it—wisely.

Leave a note in the comments if you have thoughts on online dating or additional tips for single ladies.