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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.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael

OK, time for some edutainment.

So your college friend / bowling buddy / co-worker is in a relationship, getting married, the whole deal. And you are pulling your hair out: "What am I doing wrong?" "Why have I not found anyone yet?"

How do you approach courtship, relationships and dating? Are you genuinely seeking someone in order to build a life together? Or are you frustrated because you haven't found someone who fulfills your wish list? Or have you built your hopes and dreams on top of a house of cards that comes tumbling down after the first gust of wind?

Observations, tales from books and movies, and personal stories (no need to divulge names) are all welcome.

Feb 15th 2014 new
I don't have a wishlist. Preferences? Yes, but no wants that are going to cloud my view. Whenever I I try to look for something specific it either takes ages to find or I don't find it at all. I know this is a cliche, but the best or most precious things in my life were found when I wasn't looking for them.

I know I've said this time and time again but it's worth repeating: what God knows that I need spectacularly outshines anything that I want. He has proven this to me time and time again, most especially in regards to men. That's why I have to continue to put all of my trust in Him, even though it may be hard at times. God and I evidently have different ideas about timeframes. :-)
Feb 15th 2014 new
When I was in my 20's and a Protestant, I created a list based upon a book that I'd read. I put the list away, and only looked at it one time and that was when I converted to Catholicism I changed "Must be a Christian" to "Must be CATHOLIC." (it was in red ink as opposed to black so super important) I put the list away again. About two years into my marriage to my late husband, I was digging through some old boxes and I found my list. As I read through it, I realized that my husband ticked every box on the list and some of them were quite detailed. God knew exactly the desires of my heart and He knew the man that I needed to marry then. My only unfulfilled wish? My husband could not dance. At.All. But he tried and I loved him more for it.

Now, as I enter a new chapter in my life, and I open up to the idea of remarriage, I don't have a wish list, but I do have a set of standards, and of course, specific circumstances that contribute to the types of men I would consider for a mate. Namely, my children are first and foremost in my mind when I think about the future, at least the near term future as they are still in the "growing up" phase of life. It's not that I want a man to love my kids more than me, but it's really important that he be as in love with my children as he is with me. I am not worried about it though because I know that God has my back.
Feb 15th 2014 new

What a great message so far: trust in God!

I'm wondering if I need to work on my thinking on this as wish list fulfillment is not necessarily the opposite of building a life together. scratchchin

However, a lot of times our wish lists just get in the way. Maybe we need to put them away and not look at them so much.

Feb 15th 2014 new
The biggest obstacle to finding a match is our own expectations. God always surprises us but our rigid expectations prevent us from recognizing the person he has sent to be with us. Sometimes the best match is a diamond in the rough rather than someone who's perfect in all regards.
Feb 15th 2014 new
(quote) David-364112 said: The biggest obstacle to finding a match is our own expectations. God always surprises us but our rigid expectations prevent us from recognizing the person he has sent to be with us. Sometimes the best match is a diamond in the rough rather than someone who's perfect in all regards.
I think you are right David. I know that as I have matured, finding a mate isn't about a set of lists, and it isn't even about the romanticized idea of love and marriage. I learned in my marriage to my late husband that the single most important quality to making our marriage and relationship work, was our strong commitment to our faith and to seeking out God's will for our lives. Going to Mass, praying together each night, encouraging each other through our spiritual reading, mutual respect for each other (no trying to change who the other person is but loving them as unique individuals), those were the cornerstones. Then it made all the other fun aspects of a marriage even more fun. The truth is, I never would have chosen my husband if he'd been lined up in a room with other men and I was relying on my idealized picture of my "mate." But, God put us together, and as I always tell each other, we were neither of us perfect, but we were perfect together. That's what I am looking for again, someone willing to travel together with me as I work out my salvation and hope for Heaven.
Feb 15th 2014 new
Praying Once upon a time, in a land far far away....that used to be me especially after I felt I got close to having 'something' work out etc, however after much hurt and disappointment I learned, that God has a plan for me, better than anything I could ever imagine for myself, so I let it all go and pray for discernment, guidance and to be open to His will, my wish, that I'm not dead before it ever happens! tongue wave
Feb 15th 2014 new
I can add a very recent encounter that I hope will lend encouragement.

I am just in the door after a wonderful evening at my friend Mike's and his new bride's home. They invited about 30 of his friends -- and becoming her friends -- over for a beautiful dinner. Mike is in his early 60s. We've been acquaintances for more than 10 years. He's been an eligible bachelor around town -- accomplished, financially stable, cultured, articulate, possessing a wry sense of humor, educated, and very generous with his heart to his friends and community. Over the years we saw him through several of girlfriends, but we all agreed none were right for Mike. He happily went about his life, traveling, taking up yoga, lovingly taking care of his mother in her last years (with the help of his three sisters), and generally being a wonderful member of our little community. He kept his private life low-key, so none of us were privvy to whether he was seriously "looking" or content to remain a bachelor.

Suddenly, "A" was on the scene. She was a totally different kind of woman from the other ones. He told me one day that the part of her that set her apart from the others was that she loved being Catholic and, being very traditional, even made the sign of the cross when they drove past a cemetery. We don't know the full story, but we think they met online (not this site, as far as I know). She just was perfect.for him, and we all knew upon meeting her that she was Mike's match. Many of us attended their small, beautiful wedding last March. She has brought such joy to Mike's life. He was a happy person before, but since marrying "A," it is as if he has come into full bloom. He radiates contentment and tangible love. He is just so tickled to have found her. We are all crazy about her.

The proof of how "building a life together" is really the point of marriage -- as opposed to meeting requirements on a wish list -- was when I walked into their home tonight. I'd done some gardening work for Mike over the years, and had been in his house, It was always comfortable, neat, and reflected his tastes, but I always thought it would benefit from a woman's touch. Well, "A" has certainly contributed that. LIke Mike, the whole house glows with warmth, attention to detail, and love. She managed to add her things -- some paintings she did and many other touches -- without totally altering it (something I've seen in other relationships). Mike's home has become THEIR home. This dinner was the first party they've thrown together, and I couldn't stop grinning with the pleasure of seeing two people so rightly matched, so fully themselves and so totally together. It boosted my hopes that people who are past the blush of youth can find real love and build a life together. (She is my age - mid-50s.) With "A," Mike attends Mass weekly (he always liked being Catholic and talked frequently about it, but it took getting married to a person for whom going to church was just a natural part of life to get him back in the swing of regular attendance.

I don't know if Mike (or "A") had a wish list. Maybe as I get to know her I will feel it might be appropriate to ask for the details of how they found each other. I do know that I have had to admit, through trial and error, that I am not the best judge of what I need, and that I have to turn it all over to Him who gave me a wonderful life, led me to His Church, and has a plan for me. I finally feel I have a foundation on which to build. Most of all, I want to find a partner with whom to promulgate the life-giving ways of our faith - to be small parts of the "new evangelization," and to help people find their way to this nourishing and beautiful faith.
Feb 15th 2014 new
A great story from Hope - thanks!

I wonder if there isn't a false dichotomy in the title of this thread. Of course the goal is to build a life together, but unless some of the items on the wish list aren't present in one's prospective partner, will the motivation to build a life together with that person be sufficient?
Feb 16th 2014 new
(quote) David-364112 said: The biggest obstacle to finding a match is our own expectations. God always surprises us but our rigid expectations prevent us from recognizing the person he has sent to be with us. Sometimes the best match is a diamond in the rough rather than someone who's perfect in all regards.

I tend to agree, although I would add sometimes the best match isn't even a diamond in the rough - they could be perfectly polished and shiny, and because we want shiny-platinum, and not shiny-silver, we pass on the opportunity.

While we all have dealbreakers and have a right to those dealbreakers, but it's not the dealbreakers that do us in. It's the fantasies.

How many first date stories have you heard where it is over before it started because their expectations for a first date (location, length of time) are not met? So, he picked McDonald's for a first date, and she wanted to go somewhere else, does that really mean it is over and forget it? There are lots of worse places than McDonald's, but if it doesn't meet the "fantasy" standard, forget it.

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