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
There is a difference between "being in love" and loving someone. The romantic notion of being in love fades, ebbs and wanes. It's not sustainable over the long term. Loving someone is comfortable. It feels right. It can grow if nurtured the right way. I can honestly say that I don't think I was ever "in love" with my late husband. However, I loved him with all my heart. Having had that love once in my life, I know that I can have it again. Was he my "soul mate?" I don't know if there is such a thing but he wasn't it. He was, however, a good match for me. We loved each other and raised 6 wonderful children. We accepted each other for what we were. We didn't try to change each other or pretend we were something we weren't - right from the day we met. He was my best friend and biggest supporter and I hope that I was the same for him.
I'm not looking for the butterflies in the stomach feeling. I had that back in high school. I'm looking for my next best friend. I don't want a carbon copy of my late husband but I do want that same feeling of love, friendship, companionship and acceptance that we shared.
He wasn't THE love of my life. He was A love of my life. I'm hoping to find the next one. However, if I don't, I'll count myself lucky to have had at least one.
Cynthia, you rock. You call it like you see them with courage and I so admire you for that. I know unconditional love first hand and there are some days I wish I didn't. I often wonder if it IS a once in a lifetime gift. I pray to our Savior to blessed with that again.
I agree with Donna, your prespective makes a lot of sense. I do think when we are younger that we all believe in the fantasy of "Cinderella" and when our Prince doesn't show up it can be quite shocking. I also strongly agree with the notion that I want a best friend, a companion and a person that will support my dreams. Of course an attraction to that best friend would be great as well. I have realized as I have gotten older that the Prince is not always the one that we should strive for. But I also do not want to settle just to have someone around.
Of course an attraction to that best friend would be great as well.
Believe me, there was an attraction!
It's funny though. The better I knew him, the better looking he got.
We pray to God for a boyfriend or girlfriend or a member of the opposite sex to spend time with. God has many men or women that would be equally yoked with whoever is praying. (equally yoked--spiritually on the same page), but He does not play favorites. If someone is considered ugly in the eyes of the world, they are not in God's. He sees their heart. He may point two hearts in the same direction, but it is up to them to make a connection. Maybe we should try looking at the state of someone's soul rather then their looks.
...Now I'm going to just look for someone who is a true practicing Catholic, has some chemistry with me and is attractive in my eyes....
Add "and is in my age range and is eligible for sacramental marriage" to what you said and that's my strategy. Once you get out of the 20's you'll find it increasingly difficult to find someone of the opposite sex who meet those criteria -- mostly because they are not free to marry in the Church and not in one's age range. If I added to that that she had to be THE one then I think it would not be do-able.
...."Why underestimate acceptable partners?
....Arranged marriages apparently go pretty well rather than terribly. ....
I work with several people from India and have asked about that. In their view about 75% of arranged marriages go on to be happy and in love with each other. In most cases divorce does not happen. They tell me that part of the success is that couples cannot easily just bail and divorce because their two families brought them together and are involved their whole lives --- IOW their families expect (and apply social pressure to) them to stay married. Divorce is not easy in that culture -- it can be done in severe situations but divorcing just because you are unhappy... the families pressure them to stay together and work it out. And they tell me that for the most part it works. I'd entertain the idea but they usually marry within their race and their families usually aren't hip on inter-racial marriages. My friends tell me there are exceptions but that's the norm.
Following on some of the discussions about everyone being too picky, I found three blog posts I wanted to mention:
"The Myth of One True Love Per Lifetime
"Whoever said we only have one true soulmate?
"One of the greatest challenges I see people facing as they look for a lasting relationship is the misguided search for ‘The One.’ If you are single, ask yourself as you read this whether you truly believe there is one soul mate you’re destined to be with. Thanks to Hollywood films and the rabid Hallmark culture in which we live, we have been socialized to believe there is one – and only one - person with whom we truly belong."
“The one” vs “my one and only”
"One of the more toxic ideas in our culture is the idea of “the one”. This concept is the foundation for women’s sacred path to marriage; once a woman finds “the one”, everything will be right and honoring her marriage vows will be easy.
"It isn’t just others whom women are fooling when they think this way; they are also fooling themselves. Looking for the one to marry and remain faithful to is actually feral female behavior dressed up as self discipline and morality. They have perverted the lifetime marriage concept of “my one and only” by substituting in the Lifetime idea of the perfect man. Due to their solipsism what they can’t see is this perfect man is essentially the same perfect man all of the other women seeking “the one” are looking for."
"Why underestimate acceptable partners?
"The romantic view of romance in Western culture says a very small fraction of people would make a great partner for you, customarily one.
"Some clues suggest that in fact quite a large fraction of people would make a suitable spouse for a given person. Arranged marriages apparently go pretty well rather than terribly. Relationships are often formed between the only available people in a small group, forced together. ‘If I didn’t have you‘ by Tim Minchin is funny. It could be that relationships chosen in constrained circumstances are a lot worse than others, though I haven’t heard that. But they are at least common enough that people find them worthwhile. And the fraction of very good mates must be at least a lot greater than suggested by the romantic view, as evidenced by people ever finding them.
"So it seems we overstate the rarity of good matches. Why would we do that?"