Friday, May 2, 2008

Online Dating Services

Today I am particularly moved to write about matching services like and

I have been performing marriage ceremonies for over 20 years and during that time, I have had the opportunity to experience so many different types of connections between couples. At this time, about 30% of the marriage ceremonies that I perform are for people who met on or

Let me make it perfectly clear that this is not an advertisement in any way, shape or form. This article is strictly based on my observations. I’m writing this article because I am moved and inspired by the connections I see in some of these couples. I am impressed and I don’t impress easily!

When I meet with a couple for the first time, I always ask them how they met. Used to be that they would get the red face, look at each other and start laughing and then I would say, “Oh, you met online.” They would say “Yes, but we tell people we met on a blind date”, or “Yes, but we tell people we met through mutual friends”. More and more, they just look me straight in the eyes and with a huge grin, together chime in, "" or "eharmony" or some other online avenue.

I never really did understand that whole stigma around meeting someone online. I guess it came from the few bad apples/experiences that came out. I always say, it’s not how you met…it’s what happens afterwards that counts. People have met their true love in so many different ways. Who’s to say one way is right and another isn’t?

Anyway, back to my discussion of online dating services…

It seems to me that the connection these couples find with one another is so deep. In fact some of the deepest connections I have ever seen have been between couples who have met online. Maybe they take extra time to get to know each other because they want to be especially cautious, having met online. Or maybe they are able to go deeper because many couples spend the time corresponding in writing for quite awhile before they meet.

When a couple contacts me to schedule a consultation, I give them a pre-marital ceremony questionnaire to fill out and return to me before we meet so I can get to know them a little. It gives them a chance to think about things they might not have thought about with regard to their ceremony, their marriage other topics.

Some couples don’t fill out the questionnaire before we meet. Some fill it out together and either bring it to the consultation or email it back to me before we meet. Some take time to fill it out individually and either bring them to the consultation or email them back to me before we meet. And then there have been those couples who are in a category all their own, the couples who met online. They often fill out the questionnaires with so many details, pages and pages about their feelings and thoughts on marriage, their story of how they met and what they love about each other. They tell me their whole life story. Not kidding, some of these questionnaires have come back with 20 – 30 pages of responses. Don’t get me wrong…that’s not what I expect from any couple. The average questionnaire comes back with 3 or 4 pages and that gives me enough of what I need to know before we meet. I usually find out the rest when we meet.

The point that I am making today is that I don’t really understand the stigma around online dating services. Some of the most amazing couples that I have married met on and So I say don’t be embarrassed about how you met. Focus on what you are doing to get to know that person and how you will determine if he/she is your life partner. And if you know someone who is in the process of exploring online dating services, support them in any way you can. It’s not easy to meet people these days and although there are some disadvantages to meeting someone this way, I think the positives far outweigh the negatives.

I would love to hear your stories!

Diana Concoff Morgan, M.A., H.H.E , Minister
can be reached at 925-980-9052 or

10 Tips to Rekindle Your Romance Tip #4 Express Clear Boundaries

10 Tips to Rekindle Your Romance

Tip # 4 Express Clear Boundaries

What is a boundary? In the context of this article, a boundary is where you end and the other person begins. Boundaries encompass the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual presence of a person. In a marriage, or any relationship it is important to acknowledge that you are two separate people with two distinct personalities, two different sets of life experiences, tastes, opinions, perceptions, etc.

So when I say, express clear boundaries, I am talking about verbal and not-verbal communication. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be clear. Don’t give off mixed messages. Do you say it’s ok when it isn’t? Do you not say anything when you need to say something? Do you hope your partner will “just know”? Do you think your partner should “just know”?

Clear boundaries require you to know what you want. Before you can communicate clearly, you have to know what you want so it requires you taking the time to check in with yourself.

Sometimes people don’t express clear boundaries because they are concerned about making the other person angry. Or they are concerned that someone will not accept and honor their boundary. Guess what! You can say what you want whether the other person accepts it or not. In fact, that’s the first step in expressing clear boundaries…not worrying about the response from the other person.

Clear expression of boundaries also includes inviting, welcoming and honoring your partner’s boundaries. Haven’t you ever found yourself thinking, “I just wish I knew what he/she really wanted?” If you are not expressing clear boundaries to each other in your marriage, you are both wasting time and energy guessing and wondering about your partner.

I recommend that you have a discussion about each other’s boundaries. Make agreements about how each of you would like to express your boundaries to the other person and how you would like your communications to be received.

If you’ve been married a long time or even together a long time, remember that we all change as we grow. You may assume that certain things are true for your partner but in fact they have changed. Don’t assume. Be open to that possibility. As you discuss your boundaries in the exercise below come to your partner with an open heart and mind. It’s important that neither of you makes the other wrong for having a certain boundary. (Stay tuned for “What if our boundaries conflict?”) We are all individuals, separate and unique people. And that’s what makes it interesting, right?

Here are some boundaries that you could start to discuss:

Alone time verses together time.

Time together, time together with other friends, time alone with other friends

Spending money

Environment in the home


And the list could go on…you fill in the rest!

As always, I would love to hear your comments and questions!

Love and blessings,


Diana Concoff Morgan, M.A., H.H.E , Minister
can be reached at 925-980-9052 or