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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

I am curious to get the opinion of others who are actively looking for a relationship in regards to this topic. Some of it is in reaction to this article that I felt was very accurate:

www.catholicmatch.com

Even in my limited time on here, I've encountered many young women who seem to have the best intentions. They want a man who is faithful, caring, basically all the best traits most of us hope for in a partner. And yet when you delve deeper by talking to them, going on a few dates, etc, you realize that while they want all those things they don't seem to find those qualities attractive enough to view someone romantically. What I mean by that is that they all seem to want perfection. They want the good man I describe, but they also want someone funny and charming and handsome. They want the Prince Charming from the movies even if they claim that's not realistic. They have this desire for a perfect 10 and even if he's a 9.5 they assume that they are risking missing out on the 10 that is right around the corner in their mind if they settle.

Now I realize that having these generic positive traits doesn't mean that it automatically creates attraction. What I mean is I understand that being kind and faithful and so on doesn't automatically make someone fall for you exactly like being amazingly attractive doesn't get you a spouse if you don't have good qualities inside you. But it's very interesting to me how people can walk away from that type good of person so quickly and easily, especially when most profiles I see are describing that exact kind of person. To me, love is a choice. I want to find someone that has the important qualities I'm looking for and I believe that over time by building comfort with this person and sharing experiences the love will develop. To do the opposite is backwards to me, but many girls seem to do that. Rather than identify these positive traits and let something develop, they seem to assume that if they don't have butterflies right away that's a sign that it's not "meant to be" even if they have met the greatest man ever in terms of having all the traits they desire. Like the article basically says, perfection isn't there. No matter who we end up with we will be making concessions and sacrifices for the sake of who they are as a person. We can overlook a lot of thing that are pointless and shallow for the sake of having a good person in our lives who makes us better and brings us closer to God.

So I'm curious to see what everyone believes on this topic. Are you going along believing everything will line up perfectly at some point with both a good partner and someone you have a spark with and anything less is a sign to you that you should move on? Or are you looking for the best person you can find and willing to put in some time to see where it goes? Personally I try and give someone all the time I can as I don't believe I'm going to run into someone and instantly fall for them. In fact if I did I would believe those would the shallow kind of feelings that burn out quickly anyway. If you are kind, holy, friendly, etc, I want to give you every chance to connect with me and see what kind of relationship we can build. And I would only ask you do the same for me. But so far, I haven't encountered anyone who seems to understand that concept. So when you meet that person that has all the things you want in a person, will you pursue it even if you aren't head over heels for them right away? On the same note, how long would you give someone for those feelings to develop before you decide it isn't going to happen?


Jun 13th 2014 new

Reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman might help you out in figuring out if love is a choice for -you-. I believe it can be, in a way, as we choose how to love, when to love, and where to love, as an action...but I don't know if we can choose to feel love. I tried very hard not to fall in love with someone, and I did, and 2 years after we've broken up I am still in love with him, and I would really rather not be, because it has given me nothing but grief. In a similar vein, he tried very hard to feel love for me, and failed. Feeling love is not having to think about how, when and where to love someone....driving 5 hours to spend the evening with them seems like the only logical thing to do...cooking them dinner becomes a proud and joyful quest for ingredients instead of a chore...being held close feels like the Holy Spirit in them is one with the Holy Spirit in you (not just comforting, but nearly shocking). It is very special to feel romantic love, and I don't think we can choose to (or not to...); but we can choose to be open to it, by trying, and having patience, and hoping we learn what will and will not please the other. I know a few arranged marriages that turned into deep loving relationships. Unless of course the other person is someone you really just are not interested in at all- then I wouldn't waste the time/emotion/money/etc...

Jun 13th 2014 new

Let me add, that the man I love/d does not whatsoever fit my standard of a great catch. When we met 4 years ago, I had a career, car paid in full, no student loans, and owned my own home. I also had a very close family, many welcoming friends, and the spare money to take him out for our dates....he was in school, no job, no car, lived at his parents', student loans, very rude friends...and a dysfunctional family- I was almost at his house for our first date when he called to say the whole family got into a physical fight and the cops were coming.

None of this had any impact on how much I loved him at first sight, really. Not sure what it is that happens to your brain and heart, but it was beyond any scope of my imagination. I met him here on CM, btw.

Jun 13th 2014 new
I think most of the time, we don't choose who we fall in love with, it just happens. But if that love leads you to the alter and vows, then I believe that from that day forward, you choose to love. Sometimes you don't feel very loving or lovable. You love anyway. Somedays you might feel as if the spark has gone out of your marriage. You love anyway because you know what? It comes back when you make the conscious effort to love. The way you love and how great you love will change and ebb and flow, but you always choose to love. Truth be told, it is pushing through the "hard to love times" that makes love grow stronger than ever.

As for taking time to wait and see whether love develops, I would say definitely give a new potential mate time.I believe too much emphasis is placed on initial "feelings" and whether there are "sparks," rather than taking the time to see whether this other person has the potential to be the kind of spouse you need versus what you think you want.
Jun 13th 2014 new
(quote) Kimberlie-1059215 said: I think most of the time, we don't choose who we fall in love with, it just happens. But if that love leads you to the alter and vows, then I believe that from that day forward, you choose to love. Sometimes you don't feel very loving or lovable. You love anyway. Somedays you might feel as if the spark has gone out of your marriage. You love anyway because you know what? It comes back when you make the conscious effort to love. The way you love and how great you love will change and ebb and flow, but you always choose to love. Truth be told, it is pushing through the "hard to love times" that makes love grow stronger than ever.

As for taking time to wait and see whether love develops, I would say definitely give a new potential mate time.I believe too much emphasis is placed on initial "feelings" and whether there are "sparks," rather than taking the time to see whether this other person has the potential to be the kind of spouse you need versus what you think you want.
Great thread and great posts. Something initially must 'get to me' a bit. It could be what I see in his eyes, or his kindness or character, beliefs or just mannerisms. That peaks the interest and intrigue and then as more and more of the good is discovered, the love blossoms. Just my view....
Jun 13th 2014 new

I'm the type of person who is you looking for the best person I can find and I am willing to put in some time to see where it goes. Having said that, sometimes incompatibility becomes evident rather soon, and putting in time is just the desperation talking.

A relationship is not a process that one person controls. You can have all the plans, strategies and romantic ideals you want, but the outcome is not something you can script.

I don't think that falling in love is something that you control entirely either, although you are allowed to use your brain and make a choice. Something about someone's looks, personality, a set of perceptions that you have about them (which may or may not be accurate) can unleash romantic emotions. So, I would say that in matters of the heart, emotions like to run the show, but sometimes they get out of line, and the brain needs to intervene. I'll stop now as I'm starting to ramble.

Jun 13th 2014 new
Wow Mark-I think this dating has gotten very complicated since I was young and dating. Of course that was years ago-didn't expect to be needing to do this.
actually your topic makes me realize I do have a choice-I don't have to date-I can choose to just stay widowed and alone.
i think the fact that there are many people on this site and many other sites out there that it is all so overwhelming.
How do you know who to contact? How true are the profiles? And no one is perfect. I think you could ask if one believes in 'love at first sight'. I'm not sure if love is a choice or not. I can tell you that marriage is a lot of work-many compromises have to be made. I was blessed with a good marriage-can I find that again? I wish you lots of luck in finding the right mate. Hopefully, you will just know when that special girl enters your life!

Jun 13th 2014 new
Mark, meet Mary. What do you think?

How revealing and honest a discussion you two. Thank you. My two cents...infatuation is very enticing when you are young...once you learn that lesson, you don't want to learn it again because it is so shallow and someone always gets hurt and it may take years to break away from each other.

Love is a choice once you have fallen in love and life happens. This is why the sacrament of marriage of the three fold cord is a necessity.
Just my two cents...





Jun 13th 2014 new
I got this from Scott Peck in his bestseller book, The Road Less Traveled.

Falling in love isnt love. Heres why. When you fall in love

No decision is required. Falling in love just happens.

No effort is required. Falling in love is like. well, falling.

No hard work is required. Falling in love is being bitten by the love bug.

On the other hand, true love requires all three : Decision, effort and lots of hard work. In the Bible, love is a command. You make it happen. Sure true love can only happen after youve fallen out of love. When you begin choosing to love, even if you dont feel like doing it thats true love. And thats the foundation of a lasting marriage.


Jun 13th 2014 new
Falling in love is a state of being -- an emotion and it happens via lots of factors coming together. Love as the action is a choice. And, we choose it or we don't. Some days you don't like your spouse very much, some days you are nuts in love with them. Some days they annoy you to no end. Some days they disappoint you tremendously. Some days they are you hero. Some days they are the most amazing person you ever met.

But, each and every day, you wake up and you choose to love them, no matter what else is going on with them or around them or with you. So yes love is a choice.
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