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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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Too picky

May 24th 2013 new
I was discussing finding a relationship with a less religious friend, and I starting talking about how looking for someone with a strong faith really cuts down the dating pool. It was then suggested that I may be too picky and be looking to fulfill a checklist more than find a soulmate. While I don't agree with the assessment, it still got be thinking.

It feels wrong to go into a relationship if you know the morals don't match at least mostly, but at what point is it not accepting someone for who they are because they don't meet your ideal? What point is it hoping they'll change or compromising your beliefs? What do you let go and what do you hold as a requirement? At what point is it being too picky or and at what point is it settling?

Examples that come to mind are one person being committed to chastity and the other desiring to be more sexually close (though maybe not actually having sex), one being pro-life and the other being pro-choice, or one being practicing in their faith and the other not or being if a different faith.

So there are a lot of thoughts here so start where you like. Im still trying to make sense of it all.

May 25th 2013 new
(quote) Daniel-726519 said: I was discussing finding a relationship with a less religious friend, and I starting talking about how looking for someone with a strong faith really cuts down the dating pool. It was then suggested that I may be too picky and be looking to fulfill a checklist more than find a soulmate. While I don't agree with the assessment, it still got be thinking.

It feels wrong to go into a relationship if you know the morals don't match at least mostly, but at what point is it not accepting someone for who they are because they don't meet your ideal? What point is it hoping they'll change or compromising your beliefs? What do you let go and what do you hold as a requirement? At what point is it being too picky or and at what point is it settling?

Examples that come to mind are one person being committed to chastity and the other desiring to be more sexually close (though maybe not actually having sex), one being pro-life and the other being pro-choice, or one being practicing in their faith and the other not or being if a different faith.

So there are a lot of thoughts here so start where you like. Im still trying to make sense of it all.

This is a deep and complex question.

Some random thoughts:
1. How do you know when you have enough evidence to decide if a person is right for you? Someone who seems "not religious enough" may, on closer inspection, turn out to be more religious than you are comfortable with!
2. No one stays the same forever.
3. You can -- and should -- teach each other, esp. about morality.
4. An ideal is only that -- something to shoot for but probably never achieve.
5. People who respect each other, respect each other's values. Where it's chastity, pro-life issues, whatever, a person who cannot honor your preferences is not a good match -- regardless of whether she/he shares them.

(I married a 5/7 former Presbyterian liberal Democrat...who by the second year of our marriage was a 7/7 conservative Catholic Republican!)

In my experience, what is in the heart is what counts. Many folks who are Bible-thumping, 7/7 Christians have no kindness or generosity in their hearts. sad
May 25th 2013 new
I have friends who have spouses that do not attend church with them or are of a different faith. They seem to have strong, supportive spouses and good marriages. Thus it is possible, and neither have compromised their values, morals or faith. I have not asked how they worked it out, but part of respect is accepting someone for who they are and what they believe.
In one case the wife eventually converted. Her own decision.
May 25th 2013 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said: This is a deep and complex question.

Some random thoughts:
1. How do you know when you have enough evidence to decide if a person is right for you? Someone who seems "not religious enough" may, on closer inspection, turn out to be more religious than you are comfortable with!
2. No one stays the same forever.
3. You can -- and should -- teach each other, esp. about morality.
4. An ideal is only that -- something to shoot for but probably never achieve.
5. People who respect each other, respect each other's values. Where it's chastity, pro-life issues, whatever, a person who cannot honor your preferences is not a good match -- regardless of whether she/he shares them.

(I married a 5/7 former Presbyterian liberal Democrat...who by the second year of our marriage was a 7/7 conservative Catholic Republican!)

In my experience, what is in the heart is what counts. Many folks who are Bible-thumping, 7/7 Christians have no kindness or generosity in their hearts.
Marge, you are always so eloquent!

I think sometimes we confuse ourselves when we have all the expectations of the person we're going to marry. Not just faith expectations, but a whole slew of desires for dancing, humor, sports affiliations, etc. That's when we get too picky. There's a thread here about women rashly turning down men, and I think men do it too! Thinking, oh they might be too X for me, without ever talking and trying to get to know the person more thoroughly.

Furthermore, the point of marriage is to make each other better Catholics and to get each other to heaven. No one is going to be perfect. A seminarian friend of mine told me that a long time because he was worried about the same thing in my heart...being too picky. In the end, if two people are open to Christ transforming their lives and love each other, I think different levels of "piety" or "religiousness" can be worked with.
May 25th 2013 new
I think we have to be careful when we discuss important issues/circumstances with secular individuals. They view the world with very different lenses. Add their non-scriptural viewpoint to all the tainted messages media saturates us with, then the next thing you know, it's all got you thinking.....and considering (possibly) that "they" have a point.

We are called to guard our hearts and minds. We are called to be equally yoked, and that even means those who we consider good friends. And yes, Jesus DID hang with sinners, but His purpose was to change them and save their wretched souls, not seek advice from them or condone their behaviors.

And be very careful, Satan wants us to water down our faith life. He wants us to compromise our morals and values, and gets us to do this by incorrectly and regularly using the concept that if we aren't open to things/people, then we are "judging" others.

Stay strong, don't compromise. Find yourself a sweet, faithfully strong Catholic woman so that together you can help each other enter heaven via that narrow road. So together, you can raise children to also serve His purpose. And so together, you can help others to see the light and stop the premarital sex, pro-choice, etc. sinful (keep you off the narrow road) behaviors.
May 25th 2013 new
(quote) Daniel-726519 said: I was discussing finding a relationship with a less religious friend, and I starting talking about how looking for someone with a strong faith really cuts down the dating pool. It was then suggested that I may be too picky and be looking to fulfill a checklist more than find a soulmate. While I don't agree with the assessment, it still got be thinking.

It feels wrong to go into a relationship if you know the morals don't match at least mostly, but at what point is it not accepting someone for who they are because they don't meet your ideal? What point is it hoping they'll change or compromising your beliefs? What do you let go and what do you hold as a requirement? At what point is it being too picky or and at what point is it settling?

Examples that come to mind are one person being committed to chastity and the other desiring to be more sexually close (though maybe not actually having sex), one being pro-life and the other being pro-choice, or one being practicing in their faith and the other not or being if a different faith.

So there are a lot of thoughts here so start where you like. Im still trying to make sense of it all.

Let me start by stating that the reason behind dating would not be to find a fun person to keep me occupied.I would be looking further down the road for a future spouse.I wouldn't want to come home to someone who is abusive. uses coarse language.Would the children and I be forced to watch shows that are inappropriate or against the Catholic Church?Then there is the contraceptive issue .Am I going to have to change what I know to be the best to please my spouse even though there may be health issues and avenues that would lead to divorce?.How would I deal with conflicting ideals given to my children and how does that help them?

There may be some who convert during marriage but I have seen that it was those who were willing to do things like go to Catholic Mass and events.

Just a few thoughts
May 25th 2013 new
(quote) Daniel-726519 said: I was discussing finding a relationship with a less religious friend, and I starting talking about how looking for someone with a strong faith really cuts down the dating pool. It was then suggested that I may be too picky and be looking to fulfill a checklist more than find a soulmate. While I don't agree with the assessment, it still got be thinking.

It feels wrong to go into a relationship if you know the morals don't match at least mostly, but at what point is it not accepting someone for who they are because they don't meet your ideal? What point is it hoping they'll change or compromising your beliefs? What do you let go and what do you hold as a requirement? At what point is it being too picky or and at what point is it settling?

Examples that come to mind are one person being committed to chastity and the other desiring to be more sexually close (though maybe not actually having sex), one being pro-life and the other being pro-choice, or one being practicing in their faith and the other not or being if a different faith.

So there are a lot of thoughts here so start where you like. Im still trying to make sense of it all.

For me, a commitment to the Faith is imperative. I am not saying there wouldn't be weaknesses but we support and encourage each other in following the Truth. If this is too picky -which I do not believe it is- then so be it. 'Know thyself' and if this is who we are, then we can't sacrifice or set that aside for a relationship.

May 25th 2013 new
Some great points have already been raised, and if I may add some random thoughts:

I went to Catholic school growing up. Not all of my classmates were pleasant people; some were horrible bullies with nasty personalities. I shudder to think how they got that way . Would I want to hang out with any of those people socially today even though they were Catholic? Ummm, the answer is a big NO. I wish them good luck in life, but we arent sharing our time if I have any say in it. So, I am open to meeting someone who is kind, caring, respectful and possibly not Catholic.

The catch there is that I am not open to leaving my faith. So, I want to be married in a Catholic Church, have any children that God blesses us with baptized in a Catholic Church and receive their other sacraments, and attend Mass regularly. If the other person will pull me away from that, forget it, we are not right from each other.

May 25th 2013 new
I think the problem with being "too picky" is not one of having a vision of a particular future that we would like to have, rather it is a problem of having way too many "must-haves" that no one on God's green earth could ever qualify to be that person's potential spouse.

There was a thread on here a while back where people were saying that a non-negotiable must-have was that their potential match tick the box "My faith is a part of my daily life", and that "My faith is important to me" wasn't good enough for them. I nearly fell off my chair. Perhaps people clicked that because they don't attend daily Mass at this time, or perhaps they had been going through a stressful time and had not been making time for daily prayer, but still attended Mass weekly. The person could still be a God-fearing, faithful practicing Catholic, but that wasn't good enough for them.

And for all those people who insist that "My faith is a part of my daily life" are the exact words that they want to hear from a potential spouse, God bless you, and I'd like to introduce you to a match that was sent to me via CMs Match Portrait: that individual answered "My faith is a part of my daily life", but did not attend Mass at all and was 0/7. That's how accurate an indicator the "My faith is a part of my daily life" tick box on Catholic Match is when someone sets up a profile but is neither serious about their faith nor about seeking a Catholic spouse.
May 25th 2013 new
My thought has always been that I wanted someone who has a stronger faith than I have.. I have found such a man, daily Mass guy who is never far from his rosary.. He will be the spiritual leader in our house.. There are so many more important reasons to reject someone.. How about addictions or abuse?
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