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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

Dec 29th 2012 new

To add just a bit to all the other posts here...I believe there is a place for all of us in the world. As someone previously stated, God does not create mistakes. Be who you were meant to be...that is the greatest gift we can give back to God and the only one we can truly give to the world! Happy New Year!

Dec 29th 2012 new
Excellent advice, Marian!!
Dec 30th 2012 new

(Quote) Steven-381635 said: Hello, so I just wanted to ask this question and get some advice, so here it goes. So I have bee...
(Quote) Steven-381635 said:

Hello, so I just wanted to ask this question and get some advice, so here it goes. So I have been tossing around this idea in the back of my head for quite awhile, at first I just thought it was just me being me when I was in a bad mood. However, lately I have started to realize that it seems to be there quite a bit more. The idea is that I am just so introverted, that I cannot have a real relationship and that I should just stop looking and trying. Now before you all say hey whats with the pitty party just hear me out. I was bullied all the way up to high school this left without the ability to be able to socialize very well, especially amongst my peers. My parents liked to take me to their parties and such, so it is very easy to talk with people my parents age. Anyway back to what I was talking about, this has lead me to feel much more comforable when I am by myself, not out with others and especially when I am in a social/dating scenario. This has left me with the belief that dating and relationships are not for me, however, this is the conumdrum. My mind is saying this is better option. My heart, atlhough, feels this is not the case and continues to want me to try these types of things. Now to it's credit I have tried I have put myself out there many many times, I have definitely felt butterflies before, however, my introvertedness and social awkwardness has just messed it up. So much so that if I am lucky enough to go on a date or meet someone face to face, I can count on one hand the number of times I have had a date two.


So guess my question to all of you out there is how can I get my heart to agree with my mind? As I believe in doing so it will make me a much happier person. Thank you all, sorry if this is so long.

--hide--
Your advantage is that your persecutors are not aware that you've been moving since then. They might even think that you're hateful of them for what they did. But I don't think thst you are...to hate means to leave your persecutors in charge for the rest of your life...it's good that you've forgiven them. St Peters reply from our Lord was 70x7...just krep moving on and don't look back. Everyday is a different day.

Dec 30th 2012 new

clap

Dec 30th 2012 new

(Quote) Helen-450889 said: Excellent advice, Marian!!
(Quote) Helen-450889 said: Excellent advice, Marian!!
--hide--


Thanks Helen. I am guessing you are referring to my longer post? I was trying to get him to see what I have noticed in a few acquaintances recently and that is we do not know how something will or may turn out until we try it. Plus there is practice which can help etc... Practice makes all of the difference. I work in several feilds where practice is key.

Also as Christians we need to remember we are process oriented- meaning we are in a process, a journey, and we need hope and need to learn how to find it as we walk along and use it to get us to move forward.

Dec 30th 2012 new

(Quote) Steven-381635 said: Hello, so I just wanted to ask this question and get some advice, so here it goes. So I have bee...
(Quote) Steven-381635 said:

Hello, so I just wanted to ask this question and get some advice, so here it goes. So I have been tossing around this idea in the back of my head for quite awhile, at first I just thought it was just me being me when I was in a bad mood. However, lately I have started to realize that it seems to be there quite a bit more. The idea is that I am just so introverted, that I cannot have a real relationship and that I should just stop looking and trying. Now before you all say hey whats with the pitty party just hear me out. I was bullied all the way up to high school this left without the ability to be able to socialize very well, especially amongst my peers. My parents liked to take me to their parties and such, so it is very easy to talk with people my parents age. Anyway back to what I was talking about, this has lead me to feel much more comforable when I am by myself, not out with others and especially when I am in a social/dating scenario. This has left me with the belief that dating and relationships are not for me, however, this is the conumdrum. My mind is saying this is better option. My heart, atlhough, feels this is not the case and continues to want me to try these types of things. Now to it's credit I have tried I have put myself out there many many times, I have definitely felt butterflies before, however, my introvertedness and social awkwardness has just messed it up. So much so that if I am lucky enough to go on a date or meet someone face to face, I can count on one hand the number of times I have had a date two.


So guess my question to all of you out there is how can I get my heart to agree with my mind? As I believe in doing so it will make me a much happier person. Thank you all, sorry if this is so long.

--hide--



Hi Steven, my heart breaks for you as I hear the pain of your heart. I totally understand how you feel. I have nothing new to add to all the wonderful advise that has already been given, only to affirm it by sharing my own experience. The fact is (though you may not believe it now) that every person is BROKEN (including those women you are uncomfortable around). Every person carries the wounds of sin (either their own or that which was inflicted by others) in their soul, and every person has essentially two choices for response:

1) to become BITTER, rejecting humanity, expressed either by giving up on trusting people entirely through isolation, or hardening your heart towards others and not recognizing their personhood (which is the response most bullies have chosen - bullies are the most insecure broken people there are).

Or, 2) to allow the pain of sin to penetrate your heart and DEEPEN your sensitivity to humanity, loving persons who do not deserve to be loved. The only way that a person arrives at this second option is to embrace the pain so that you can see the lies dwelling there clearly, and then know the TRUTH about yourself: that you are broken, but LOVED at the core of who you are. And the LOVE present in your soul is GOD. "You are with me always; everything I have is yours." (Lk 15:31)

This is essentially what Jesus, "God's human face" (Pope B16) came to model and accomplish for humanity. He showed us that the way to FREEDOM is not to avoid the thing we most fear, but to enter into it and thus cause the suffering of our brokenness to be transformed into LOVE.

I will be honest, Steven. While I did not verbalize the decision you've articulated here, I made a decision to avoid relationships as a young person too. Instead of really discerning what God wanted for my life, I decided to choose what I believed was safe and would not expose me to further pain. But PRAISE GOD that my safety was shattered even in the safe little world I carved out for myself. I believe deeply that no matter what we choose to do (vocation, job) during this life, God's primary desire is to TEACH US HOW TO LOVE. That's it. That's the secret to understanding life. I want to encourage you not to turn your back on this exciting proposition! This is where the "drama of the human person" (Pope John Paul II) occurs!

I leave you with two of my favorite quotes on this subject:

"Although I have lived through much darkness, under harsh totalitarian regimes, I have seen enough evidence to be unshakably convinced that no difficulty, no fear is so great that it can completely suffocate the hope that springs eternal in the hearts of the young. Do not let that hope die! Stake your lives on it! We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his son." Pope John Paul II, WYD 2002 Toronto

“The mercy of Christ is not a cheap grace; it does not presume a trivialization of evil. Christ carries in His body and on His soul all the weight of evil, and all its destructive force. He burns and transforms evil through suffering, in the fire of His suffering love. The day of vindication and the year of favor meet in the paschal mystery, in Christ died and risen. This is the vindication of God: He Himself, in the person of the Son, suffers for us. The more we are touched by the mercy of the Lord, the more we draw closer in solidarity with His suffering - and become willing to bear in our flesh "what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ" (Col 1, 24).” Pope Benedict XVI

God bless you.

Dec 30th 2012 new

Hi, Steven. I can't add much more to all of the great advice that I've read here. Your experiences are practically identical to mine. I was bullied badly all through school because of my weight and the fact that I was smarter and had better judgment (in most things) than my peers. I refused to join the Boy Scouts and made lame excuses for not doing so. I hated team sports and PE class. I was far more comfortable among adults. I have never had anything remotely close to a serious relationship. I could go on, and I'm trying to keep this G-rated.

I'm more than twice your age, and I won't give up hope that I'll meet a wonderful gal--and be OK with it. It takes effort, given our past, but it'll be well worth it. Let's pray for each other.

God bless!

Dan

Dec 30th 2012 new

Steven, I get where you're coming from, I was homeschooled until 8th grade and bullied badly for my weight and intellect, but loss at basic school mechanics (I didn't know how to operate a locker, never been in a lunch line, no sense of fashion and was practically mute...) and the memories will hurt for the rest of your life, but it has helped shape who you are today.

Nobody in the whole world and beyond will ever be as good at being you than you are :)

If you want to keep to yourself for a time, do it. If you want to go on a date after a while, do it. Try not to think in black and white: this way or that way is best for me. To embrace yourself, examine what you want to do in the moment, for yourself. Love can complicate things to an amazing degree! So if you have ambitions, focus on those for the long term, and your own comfort zone for the short :) In that way, you will discover your own limitations and abilities, and will be able to consider applying them in interpersonal situations. I went from being an extreme introvert (12hrs video games/day, going out as little as possible, not a single date for 8 years!) to LOVING being with people, dating, hitting clubs and bars- and for awhile there I was actually *popular* :o like, people I didn't even know recognizing me out and about by name, and asking me to their parties. I moved and let that slip, but it was fun because I embraced it at that time. Just remember that you are always you, and God gives you experiences to help you in the long run, not hurt you :)

Jan 6th 2013 new

bump!

How is everything Steven?

Jan 7th 2013 new

Steven,

Where would humankind be if we only listened to our minds?

As one who was an introverted, and tall and very thin youth, bullied from junior high through much of high school, I can only say don't give up. Bullying certainly has a way of messing with our minds and hearts. I had a difficult time dating as a 20-something, and eventually "settled" on someone for the wrong reasons... ignoring the numerous red flags in the short time we dated. Now I'm suffering the effects of divorce, praying an annulment will be granted so that I can move on and live a real, Catholic, marriage.

You're still quite young. Now is a time to focus on faith devlopment (as I am doing, since I can't date right now.) Try a young adults group, and seek the mentorship of faithful Catholic men in your life. My faith has grown tremendously since finding the Church after my divorce, and while in limbo as I await an annulment decision... and, along the way, I've been able to grow socially.

We introverts bring LOTS to the table, and make great husbands. We just have to work harder to find a suitable wife, and have to work harder to win her over while dating.

Keep the faith. Put yourself out there, but don't be heartbroken if things don't work out as you wish. Try other settings where you meet different people. Find other ladies who you CAN talk to. Yes, this DOES take much effort (I drive 45 minutes to attend a Young Adults group in another town, because it provides the social interaction I need.) At 25... you have years before you should even think about sweating not being married.

The only way to overcome social awkwardness, that I have found, is to get out in social settings with groups of people where you can watch, listen, and practice social skills. I hate football, but have had to learn to enjoy it and even watch games because EVERYONE here in Tampa is crazy about football and expects a fellow to be able to talk about "the game". Find out what your peers are interested in, and take a passing interest so that you can carry the conversation, too.

Hope this helps... it is the best I could do for having tried to write immediately after rolling out of bed. :-)


Blessings and prayers,

Michael

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