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HOD SELECT: Online Dating Crash Course


Hannah Brencher

Today we’re throwing it back to HODC 2023 and Hannah Brencher is giving us a crash course in all things online dating as well as telling her story in it all! 


Hey hey heyyy Heart of Dating famm! We’re coming at you with a mini-season! Today we have a bit of a throwback for our episode but one we think you NEED to hear to start off this mini-season all about ONLINE DATING!! Hannah Brencher joined us for the Heart of Dating Conference 2023 and seriously took us to SCHOOL on all things online dating! Let’s jump into this episode, you might want to get a pen and paper because she gives AMAZING tips and advice. 


Whether you’re on dating apps or not we can’t deny that there’s still a stigma in the church and outside the church around online dating. 

Online dating can be HARD. It can be fun, but it can be hard. 

Hannah isn’t pro or against apps. They’re neutral, they’re a tool that can help you meet someone who is also looking to meet someone. She doesn’t want to push you to do something you don’t feel comfortable with. 

Regardless of how we feel about dating apps, God is sovereign over the apps and He’s sovereign over your story. 

Hannah wants to challenge you to think about what you ACTUALLY believe about online dating. Whatever you believe about online dating is going to affect how you go into it. 

 It isn’t about HOW you meet it’s about WHO you marry! 

Hannah’s mom told her that if it starts with an explosion it usually ends in an explosion. 

If you do your relationship right then, how you met will become the LEAST exciting thing about your story. 

Hannah shared that she was on all the dating apps for all the wrong reasons. She was believing a lie that God wasn’t working so she should be. 

It is important to know your WHY and test your MOTIVES.

Ask your friends to get involved in it. Don’t do it in isolation. Don’t do it in shame. 

She would compromise herself in online dating. Saying it wouldn’t matter if someone wasn’t a Christian as long as he respected her. She tried to compartmentalize her faith. She realized she couldn’t do that. 

Then, she thought that as long as he talked about God then everything else didn’t matter. It didn’t matter if he didn’t respect her, saw her as an equal, or didn’t have a job. 

We have to be able to figure out our non-negotiables. These need to be a list of values not superficial things. 

You need to look for the 3 C’s. God is the umbrella in all of this. Chemistry, Capacity, and Calling.

Chemistry - Are you attracted to them? 

Capacity - When stuff get’s hard what does that person do? 

Calling - You don’t have to have the same calling, but you need to be on board with each other’s callings. When they tell you what their calling is in the beginning, believe them. 

You are NOT going to miss what God has for you. 

Hannah started to REALLY work on herself!

She got serious about her faith because she didn’t want to talk about meeting someone serious about their faith if she wasn’t serious about her faith. 

She started a workout group in her neighborhood with some friends because that was a passion of hers she had just let slip. 

She started plugging more into the church and community. 

She said YES to doing things and showing up while she was single. She babysat and filled in the cracks for her friends who were going through a hard time in marriage. 

She embraced her singleness and every time she felt desperate or alone instead of retreating back to the dating apps, she wrote a letter to her future husband. 

She learned in that season that she had been doing things so wrong because she didn’t actually need someone to complete her. She was complete by herself. She needed a compliment. In order to find a compliment she needed to know who she was and what she brought to the table. 

App Etiquette

Be upfront about what you’re looking for. Put it in your profile because people will broadcast what’s important to them. 

Establish boundaries. Boundaries with yourself because if you’re not careful you’ll start checking the apps all day long. Reserve some time throughout the day to get on the app and then monitor yourself. 

Apply wisdom. If we ask for wisdom it will be given to us. Invite God into the apps. 

There’s a difference between online dating and online relationships. Get off the apps as quickly as possible. 

The goal of the app is to delete the app. People who don’t decide to delete them after a certain amount of time, that is a red flag and a conversation needs to be had. 

Don’t marry them in your mind. 

Take breaks when needed. 

Bad dates will happen. Bad dates exist on and off the apps. 

Ladies, it is okay to make the first move. Your initiating does not mean you’re doing the pursuing for the rest of your life. 

Meet them in public places. Video date if you can beforehand. 

Don’t knock them after the first date unless there are glaring red flags that you can’t get past. 

Treat others how you would want to be treated. 

Hannah wants to leave us with a quote from her friend Ashley.

“Dating apps are not the best they can seem cold and hard and trivial at times. I had some less than lovely experiences using them in college and my first two years post-grad. For a long time I swore them off bound and determined to meet somebody in real life but I'm so glad I listened to other friends who had dating app success stories. Lucas McKenzie Whaley is the cutest, most giant, sweetest human being alive. And because of the internet, I get to be relentlessly loved by him until we are old and wrinkly and gray. Which is why I tell every single guy and girl I know to give dating apps a chance I extol the virtues of bumble nearly once a week to someone. Dating apps are not the best but the humans using them sure can be. The internet has given me some of my best friends, some of my best surprises, and greatest gifts so it only makes sense that God would use internet to give me my greatest love and the best gifts of them all.” 

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Hannah Brencher

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Hannah Brencher is a writer, TED Speaker, and mental health advocate with a heart for building leaders. She is the author of 3 best-selling books- Fighting Forward, Come Matter Here, and If You Find This Letter.

She is the founder of More Love Letters-- a global organization using the power behind social media to write and mail letters to strangers in need across the world. Named as one of the White House’s “Women Working to Do Good,” Hannah and her work have been featured in publications such as CNN World News, the Wall Street Journal,, and Glamour among dozens of others. Hannah lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Lane and daughter Novalee.

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