House Rules

A few guidelines and tips for using Ave Maria Singles:

  • Describe yourself truthfully. This should not be a superficial appraisal of yourself, but you should describe yourself as accurately and fully as possible. The same goes for your life plan, and the things you enjoy doing. Filling out your profile is best discussed with somebody you trust (who can verify your objectivity about yourself). Honesty is important!
    • It does not benefit anyone if you lure an interested person onto a wrong track. Describe who you are, and not who you would like to be. Also, any obvious characteristics or traits should be mentioned up front. People don’t want to be lured into spending a lot of time online getting to know you, only to discover that you’ve misled them (once you meet in person). Every human being has his flaws and weaknesses. You don’t need to exaggerate or focus on them, but you should present them realistically. Consultation with a trusted friend can be helpful as you prepare your profile.   
  • A picture says more than a thousand words. Posting one or more high quality photos is very important. Profiles without a picture are viewed much less frequently! Your photo should be well-taken and highlight your attractiveness, but at the same time should not deceive an interested person.
    • A good picture is integral to your profile, but it is not ideal to upload a picture just for the sake of having it posted. Not every picture is suitable. Choose a picture that represents you authentically and well. Holiday pictures with scenery are less suitable - such pictures are good as memories and for the sake of showing friends, but not for strangers on whom you want to make an extensive and good impression. Unsuitable also are pictures in which you are not easily recognizable because the photo is too small or too dark. The picture should be natural and not artificial (that is, not edited or photoshopped). Your face should be clearly at the center of your main profile photo. Here it is also recommended that you seek the advice of a person whom you trust... or even seek out a professional photographer to help you.
  • There’s no rush! Don't expect too much too soon from an interesting contact! Emails can express a lot, but they’re only a starting point. And they can also deceive! By all means, look forward to the next message and a possible personal meeting, but don't get hung up and place all your hopes in it (something that hasn’t yet been proven in real life). At the earliest, fall head over heels in love after the first meeting!
  • A good place to start conversations is to seek out those things you have in common. Hobbies and sports, books and movies, role-models and heroes, are often great topics to spur discussion. Be careful with sensitive topics. You have to consider the fact that you do not yet personally know the person with whom you are communicating. Some members pour out their hearts on the second or third message, and don't realize that they are over-taxing the other person and trying to fast forward through levels of intimacy (levels of sharing that most people wouldn’t even offer in real life on the first few dates).
    • Honesty is very important in a relationship, but you should develop a sense as to which topics are appropriate, and when it is too early to broach certain subjects. When a personal meeting has taken place, and you have discovered that there is chemistry on both sides, you can dig in to the more personal topics. During an in-person meeting, it is much easier to be responsive to the reactions of the other person, and to resolve potential misunderstandings.     
  • Politeness is also important, even if it is tempting to hide behind anonymity. Personal questions should always be answered, even if it is to tell someone you’re not interested in starting (or continuing) a conversation. A polite "No, thank you" is always better than no answer at all. Especially as Christians, we should lead with good example in such matters. It can be very discouraging when each time you check your inbox, you are only further disappointed to realize that the other person has still not responded. In the absence of charitable communication, false hopes (and frustrations) are nurtured.
    • Consider what is important to you, and apply the same standard to other members. When you give a short reply to a person – in an honest and friendly way - you show the person that you respect him, and that you take him seriously. This way you create a friendly and pleasant atmosphere for the whole community. Here are a few examples of how you can politely decline someone’s invitation to be in touch:  "I am in contact with somebody else at the moment, maybe I'll contact you later!" or: "Thank you for your e-mail! I'm sorry, but I don't think we are a match. Blessings and kind regards!" etc.
  • First dates should not take place at home, but rather in public places (and such locations would normally be chosen by the woman). It is important that the date takes place in a setting where the woman feels safe. Your personal address should never be shared prematurely. If somebody agrees to make a journey of several hours for a date, he will usually have to stay overnight in that city. In this situation, it is necessary to just bite the bullet and pay for a hotel.
  • During a first date, if you notice that the other person is not a fit for you, express this (respectfully and politely) sooner rather than later, so that the other person does not hold on to false hopes. It is a sign of maturity to be honest and charitable in such situations. Likewise, it is also a sign of maturity to accept these decisions. Even if these moments are difficult and awkward, remember to look ahead and trust God.
  • Keep in mind that the Internet is only a second-rate meeting place. Instead of constantly spending your time on social media and dating apps, it is better to be among people, and to allow yourself to be formed by them in a positive way. For most Catholics (in higher populated areas), there are many regular and worthwhile events for singles to attend. Have courage to participate in them, and then trust that God will guide everything else. 
  • We try our best to keep superficial flirters (or people that have different motivations) away from Ave Maria Singles. Should someone stand out as particularly unpleasant or ill-motivated, we ask that you report this to us as quickly as possible!  
  • Incorporate your search for a partner into your daily prayer life. God sees the depths of our hearts. No hair falls from your head without Him knowing. And even though He knows us better than we know ourselves, He wants us to ask Him to fulfill the desires of our hearts. So pray for the right spouse on a daily basis ... and then place complete trust in God as you go about your search.
  • Should you get engaged and married through Ave Maria Singles, we would be very happy to receive a short message sharing your story, along with a photo or two!

Technical notes

  • Be aware when choosing a user name:  spaces cannot be used, and letters are case sensitive. Don't use your real name (e.g. JohnDoe77), because the username will be visible to everyone!  
  • Be mindful when uploading photos: profile pictures look better on the site if they are square. Keep in mind that it is not possible to upload more than 6 photos. 


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