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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.
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Jan 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Brian-278516 said: Flattery will get you everywhere. Actually let me set the record straight on a few thing...
(Quote) Brian-278516 said:

Flattery will get you everywhere. Actually let me set the record straight on a few things becuase I am by no means qualified either.

1. I was terrible at dating for a good chunk of my life I was dating the wrong way, focused on the wrong things, allowed to much stuff to get into my head and did not allow my faith to dictate how I carried out my relationships etc. So I am the last person in the world who would ever offer dating advice other than to simply tell people how I screwed up all the time.

2. I have ZERO training in anything related to dating or relationships or marriage. So I speak with no authority and running a dating website DOES NOT make you an authority in any of these areas.

3. Despite my constant inability to date well I had many good examples of how marriages are to be and how hard people have to work at them for success. This is probably what kept me from making a really huge mistake because I at least had some real life examples to compare myself/situation to.

4. I was my own worst enemy. For so long I thought my problem was not meeting the right person (this was somewhat true) but mostly it was that I was not ready to date well and that I could not get out of my own way in order to meet and develop a relationship with someone. The Church does not teach that God gives us "soul mates" at least in terms of how people typically define them. Thus it is quite possible God had put several women in my path that I could have married and carried out His will with but I was either not ready or didn't want to be ready. Fact is I stunk at dating and my idea of how to move from meeting to dating to marriage was completely wrong.

5. I was fortunate to have a friend who also happens to be a psychologist (but not the weird new age secularized kind) who made me look at myself and made me come to terms that I was the primary problem not the women I was meeting. Because I needed fixed I was unable to discern who God's will was for me because I was not tuned in. I allowed my own distorted view become the driving force. I was to selfish, to picky, to distracted, to prideful, oh... and to selfish to even have a chance at figuring things out. Lots of people think marriage readiness is the most important thing. I actually think dating readiness is more important. If the process for getting to marriage is screwed up then you are probably not going to be able to figure out if you are marriage ready. At least I wasn't able to.

6. When you find someone who makes you better and loves you unconditionally despite all your failings don't over think it. I almost did and that would have been stupid. Of course that is easier said than done but I was fortunate.

7. While I am not expert on dating, relationships, marriage or anything related to those areas God didn't make me totally useless. I have always had a good knack for observation and reading people. As such I have been able to offer some thoughts here and there based on those observations over the years of working on CatholicMatch. While I know it is not popular if I have to say my most basic observation would be that singles get in their own way and sabotage themselves more than most of us ever realize. We have a difficult time seeing it because we don't really like to look at ourselves in an objective way or simply can't. That is why if you have a close friend or friends who are willing to tell you the hard things about yourself, take advantage. (Try to make it someone not single.) This is especially true the later in life you are. If I had one major regret about being single it would be that I wasted to much time and allowed to much anxiety into my life worrying and feeling depressed/frustrated with being single. I wish I could have that time back and would have made it more anxiety free.

8. Unmarried people often view marriage as the goal rather than a transition or transformation. I have observed many and probably fell into this trap at times myself thinking, "If I only could get married I would be happy." or "If only I could find the one my life would be great." or "I love my life but I am missing the person to share it with." From my observation this is such a huge trap and I wish more people in the Church understood that unmarried Catholics need direction here along with dating readiness.

9. I never intended to do this as a job (nor did my partners) it was a fluke, luck or providence or a little bit of all three depending on your perspective. But I can tell you that given how long I struggled with being single and wanting so badly to get married helping unmarried people has become a passion. Most days we focus on the "meeting" part and as a business grows you spend more time administering the business then working on the things you love and care about.

But I feel (and so does the rest of the staff) that we have a responsibility to do more to help singles beyond just giving them opportunities to meet and we feel we have and obligation to raise awareness in the Church about the unmarried issues that it faces. While we cannot be experts in all these areas ourselves we can spend the money and time in bringing people together who are. That is why we keep expanding our blog and are getting into publishing more books/pamphlets etc not to mention have begun make efforts in working directly with Church officials to bring more issues to the forefront. There is a real focus on helping the marriage problem in the Church but we think the best way to fix that problem along with strengthening existing marriages is to help Catholics get to the point of marriage and get their via a healthy and more faith-filled path.

Ok I quit cuz I hating writing and I like odd numbers.. :)

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Well, this for sure is very insightful. I especially like the part where you say that you think "dating preparation" is even more important than "marriage preparation". So many of us didn't have parents to guide us here. I think the church could do a better job with teens in this area too. At any rate, I really like what you said and agree on all of it. I also think you are right when it comes to a "soul mate". In my younger days, I wanted to believe in that concept, now I am older and wiser.

Jan 23rd 2013 new

Brian I hope it's not too cheeky to say that the format of the site is not terribly helpful in facilitatinginteraction and presenting people in a more comprehensive 3D type way. I joined last year for a couple months and was struck then on the formatting but having joined again for another few months it really strikes me the missed opportunities just from the formatting. I hope that's ok to say. Its the behavioural psychologist (that's the empirical - science type not the kooky kind :) in me coming out.

Jan 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Marie-801309 said: Brian I hope it's not too cheeky to say that the format of the site is not terribly helpful i...
(Quote) Marie-801309 said:

Brian I hope it's not too cheeky to say that the format of the site is not terribly helpful in facilitatinginteraction and presenting people in a more comprehensive 3D type way. I joined last year for a couple months and was struck then on the formatting but having joined again for another few months it really strikes me the missed opportunities just from the formatting. I hope that's ok to say. Its the behavioural psychologist (that's the empirical - science type not the kooky kind :) in me coming out.

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Do you have some specific suggestions? Because I've tried another site, and that doesn't seem to provide any better way of presenting yourself - although the matching capabilities are supposed to be better - but I really don't know if that's true.

Jan 23rd 2013 new
I can see the getting in your own way. Since joining I have found I am not ready to date and not sure I would want to be married.
Jan 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Marie-801309 said: Brian I hope it's not too cheeky to say that the format of the site is not terribly helpful i...
(Quote) Marie-801309 said:

Brian I hope it's not too cheeky to say that the format of the site is not terribly helpful in facilitatinginteraction and presenting people in a more comprehensive 3D type way. I joined last year for a couple months and was struck then on the formatting but having joined again for another few months it really strikes me the missed opportunities just from the formatting. I hope that's ok to say. Its the behavioural psychologist (that's the empirical - science type not the kooky kind :) in me coming out.

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I am not trying to be cute I swear but I really do not follow you. I am not that smart so you need to break it down for me in simple more. No psychologist voodoo. :)

Jan 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Cheryl-409772 said: I also think you are right when it comes to a "soul mate". In my you...
(Quote) Cheryl-409772 said:

I also think you are right when it comes to a "soul mate". In my younger days, I wanted to believe in that concept, now I am older and wiser.

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Just remeber that is not my opinion. That is Church teaching, my opinion is worthless. Blam Her not me! :)

Jan 24th 2013 new
Voodoo?! It's straightforward really, the format and functions of the site are not conducive at all to people meeting in a way that has dimensions as oppose to a series of variables that mean people are filtered out in a way that wouldn't happen in real life. It's interesting to hear that other catholic dating sites are similar. There is a business waiting to happen there!
Jan 24th 2013 new

(Quote) Marie-801309 said: Voodoo?! It's straightforward really, the format and functions of the site are not conducive at all ...
(Quote) Marie-801309 said: Voodoo?! It's straightforward really, the format and functions of the site are not conducive at all to people meeting in a way that has dimensions as oppose to a series of variables that mean people are filtered out in a way that wouldn't happen in real life. It's interesting to hear that other catholic dating sites are similar. There is a business waiting to happen there!
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I was simply joking around with the voodoo comment. Can you give me an example of what dimensions you think should be on the site? While dating sites have different features and slightly different models they all generally operate the same way. But I am really curious as to what you think we are missing because we are always interested in improving.

Jan 25th 2013 new

(Quote) Marie-801309 said: Voodoo?! It's straightforward really, the format and functions of the site are not conducive at all ...
(Quote) Marie-801309 said: Voodoo?! It's straightforward really, the format and functions of the site are not conducive at all to people meeting in a way that has dimensions as oppose to a series of variables that mean people are filtered out in a way that wouldn't happen in real life. It's interesting to hear that other catholic dating sites are similar. There is a business waiting to happen there!
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The other site I'm referring to is not targeting Catholics but has a "secular" (for lack of a better term) or non-religious focus. But in terms of what is available to the poster in the way of advertising yourself, it doesn't any better functions. And I think the hoops you have to jump through to actually communicate with a person are clunky.

I guess I don't necessarily think it's the CM site that is the reason people don't get responses. I think human nature and perhaps as Brian said, a lack of "dating readiness" might be in play.

Jan 27th 2013 new

The longer I'm on here the more I am getting the idea that all of us need to see new contacts on CM as potential friends rather than potential partners. There is just no way to know from a profile whether you really are interested in a person. One idea I had is perhaps allowing members to post a short 1 minute video of themselves so people can see you as a live person. Has this ever been done on a dating site?

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