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.
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So many wonderful responses. Thank you very much. I have no intention of giving up, it was more or less an observation that I found rather puzzling.
I'm a bit of a curious one. Computer programmer, geek of all trades, but also someone who enjoys camping, kayaking, sailing, swimming and biking. Not so much expecting an answer as much as positing a quandry to the world. There are two dating sites I frequent: Catholic Match is one, and Geek2Geek is the other. Personally, I prefer the style and layout, and inhabitants of CM. When I search through people in my area, I see plenty of kind individuals listed, but unfortunately no one seems to identify as a gamer beyond enjoying the occaisional movie. On the other hand, when I go to gk2gk, I see plenty of matches for women who are into Harry Potter, Doctor Who, video gaming and the like, but not one, not one who is Catholic.
This raises an interesting (if false) dichotomy. The appearance is that being geeky and being Catholic are mutually exclusive, but I don't buy that. Am I putting too much weight into common interest? I was always taught (and I firmly believe) that there can be no love without friendship, and friendships are formed on the basis of common (or at least compatible) interest. Religion is something I can't compromise on in a relationship (I tried once and it didn't end well, even though the Church would have allowed the wedding), but on the same note, I feel someone who isn't a geek is going to be put off by my hobbies, since roleplaying, gaming etc carries such a social stigma to it.
Am I crazy, or am I making this harder than it has to be?
Well, to answer your questions, perhaps! Honestly, Craig, I am confused. Is your profile up to date? It says that you are unemployed. If that is the case, it seems you would want to rectify your employment situation first before embarking on looking for a girlfriend and or wife. Or, am I wrong? Have times changed that much?
I do know quite a few gamers. Sadly, I cannot think of any that are in good Christian relationships. So, perhaps you are correct. On the other hand, my dad always talks about how much he loves auto racing. He spent a lot of time in the pits as a crewman. He married and says that we, the kids, got in the way of his hobby. He still enjoys auto racing. He once owned a track where we were all employed. He enjoys attending races and watching them on tv. However, I doubt his hobby takes up as much time as it did when he was single. My mom used to go to a few races with him. I have a brother and a son who share his interest.My dad is 76 and most of his time is spent at work with Sunday afternoons to tinker on cars.
Isn't there a verse in the Bible about putting away young man's things?
I did update my profile, but I've been waiting for it to actually go through the tubes to take effect. I'm employed as a Systems Programmer for a weather forecasting company, and have been for some time. I'd assume around the Christmas vacation that the updates will be a bit slow.
For the sake of an academic debate, I would have to disagree with you about the young mans things; I am one of the ones who sees Video Games as an art form. It depends on what you play really, just like any medium there is trash, which is what most of the truly violent ones are (the ones I don't bother with). But the best ones, and the ones I mostly mean are the ones that use the interactive nature of the medium to evoke emotions that couldn't be done with books or movies, or to tell a twisting narrative that couldn't be achieved otherwise. Perfect example: The Mass Effect series builds your story over time, such that each decision you make impacts the remainder of the experience. The narrative you follow is tailored to your choices, some of which at times can be emotionally gripping, heartfelt because unlike in a book, the decision falls to you. Others present stories deep enough that they have been the subject of literary debate in academic circles (To that I cite Xenogears). I guess the point I am making is that they are not necessarily young mans things any more than reading a book is. :) Sorry if I went on a bit, I always find it an interesting subject to talk about when someone asks if games are for kids.
Craig, and maybe Greg as well - just tossing in my $.02 here as an older fella who built and programmed an Altair 8800 shortly after earning a Chemistry degree. I do not know if you're crazy, but yes, you ARE making this harder than it needs to be. I'd suggest not leading with the 'geek' label, or for that matter, ANY label - every label carries with it positive and negative associations, and labels are inherently limiting, to the person who wears the label AND the person who reads it. Your self-labeling ends up not only limiting you but to a great extent creating who you are; we self-label when we WANT to be what the label describes.
Just out of school, and working in a geeky field - I designed, built and programmed custom-designed automated analytical systems - I took inordinate pride in my 'smarts', labeled myself as a 'nerd' (this was the mid-70s) and in so doing succeeded in isolating myself from people who were every bit as intelligent and capable as I was, but worked in different fields. After a few years I figured out that my work need not be my identity - and it's clear from your profile, once one gets past your self-identification, that there is a great deal more to you than digital intelligence.
People are seldom if ever just one thing: you're a very bright young guy who does athletic, outdoorsy things, is serious about his faith (bravo!), is articulate, writes a fair stick (NOT common for 'geeks') and works in a technical field. That description of you is SO much more interesting than 'geek'. I respectfully suggest that the social stigma assoicated with gaming, role-playing and the like stems from the implication that grown men and women spending time in these activities - identifying these as significant in their lives - are somewhat less than mature and probably not great marriage / family material. Every stereotype has its origin in observable truth...and this would apply to yourself and the partner you seek. Lisa is, IMO, absolutely right on with the scripture she paraphrases.
Perhaps this is a good time to consider a review of your priorities. If marriage in the faith and starting a family have become more important than being a 'geek', and all that label implies, then you might consider doing something risky and and out of character: depart from your comfort zone, i.e., the company of other 'geeks', and develop your other interests by seeking the company of people who do those things. Your boundaries will expand, you'll develop new interests from meeting people you would otherwise no have met, and thereby increase the probability of finding friendship based on common (new for you? maybe!) interests. Take off the 'geek' armor, Craig, and find out who God made you to be.
This is a brilliantly written post, and I had never considered it quite like that. While my observation pertained more to others on the site. I think you may be on to something about the labels I've applied to myself without even realizing it. I've always considered myself more or less a geek; I don't drink, I don't smoke, the bar scene isn't really my thing for those reasons, but when it comes to my personal electronics I've almost reached a point where the toaster can tell the fridge to defrost the bread because it heard from the TV I was hungry for toast, if you know what I mean. It's been that way since grade school, back when half of the houses electronics wound up hooked up to my desktop (and I had no concept of power bills). I play games, enjoying them as an art form, and while I certainly wouldn't call it the be-all and end-all about me, it is a hobby I enjoy.
You've given me a lot to think about, thank you.
P.S.: Actually knowing what an Altair 8080 is (if only in brief mention in one of my courses), it must have been amazing to work on the frontiers of science like that, back when all of this was new. Did you ever think it would grow into what it has?