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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

02/17/2013 new

(Quote) Patrick-341178 said: It has now been nearly 6 years since my short lived engagement ended. She was someone that I ac...
(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:

It has now been nearly 6 years since my short lived engagement ended. She was someone that I actually met on eharmony, dated for a year and then got engaged. Althought the pressure did get quite intense, I accept full responsiblity for the proposal and subsequent calling it off. It was a very emotionally difficult experience for me that still affects me to this day. (I can only imagine what it is like for those that are divorced or have had anullments.)

The most interesting thing about this woman was she was probably as close to the kind of woman most of my friends and family would have picked for me. She was conservative, a church going catholic, came from a good catholic family, well educated and very kind to others. Just about everyone that met her -liked her very much. But of course with just about every relationship, not everything was perfect. She could be very over-bearing at times, overly sensitive and despite only living 100 miles apart - did not want to move. But all things considered, I thought it made logical sense to marry her as I thought she would be a good wife and potential mother.


When it came time to get engaged, I nearly backed out (which in hindsite I wished I had), but went throught with it. But within days, I knew I had made a mistake and called it off just a few days later. We discussed going back to just dating, but after a year of dating and clearly being in two very different places, we separated for good. The reality was I knew that I really wasn't in love with her and never would be, as much as I had tried to convince myself that I was in love with her before.


Upon calling off the engagement, my family initially wasn't happy but they came to accept it after they realized it was the right decision. In many years of catholic single life, I have been told that you should just try to find someone you are compatiable with and the rest will follow. Upon my experience, I don't necessarily believe that is the case, but perhaps some of you have had different experiences.


So, what do you use in dating: head, heart or some combination of both?

--hide--


This is a tricky questions and it's clearly not one or the the other, but a combination of the two. So the real question here is what is the right combination? I don't have any clear answer to this, but one thing I've noticed when I talk to my guy friends who are about get married is the ones who answer the question, "why are you marring her?" With, "because she is a great girl!" or "because she is a great catch!" end up in more or less unhappy marriages. The one's who answer "because I love her so much!" are normally much happier.


I think is this becouse there is a fundenmental turth that women are made for love and men are made to love.


Now that I'm thinking about it more, the right combination is where the head and the heart connect.

02/18/2013 new

(Quote) Justin-32820 said: This is a tricky questions and it's clearly not one or the the other, but a comb...
(Quote) Justin-32820 said:


This is a tricky questions and it's clearly not one or the the other, but a combination of the two. So the real question here is what is the right combination? I don't have any clear answer to this, but one thing I've noticed when I talk to my guy friends who are about get married is the ones who answer the question, "why are you marring her?" With, "because she is a great girl!" or "because she is a great catch!" end up in more or less unhappy marriages. The one's who answer "because I love her so much!" are normally much happier.


I think is this becouse there is a fundenmental turth that women are made for love and men are made to love.


Now that I'm thinking about it more, the right combination is where the head and the heart connect.

--hide--


That is an interesting insight Justin. I don't know that I agree with your statement that "women are made for love" though - I think women are really great at loving and that it is their fundamental desire to love...but I think you are correct in saying that it is important for the man in a relationship to be in love with the woman, and that perhaps it is more important for him to be captivated by the woman and to be in love than for the woman, because a woman is wired to love the man she is with no matter what. It is probably the case that if the man does not marry for love but more out of a "head decision" that when times get tough he will not have the love to get him through this. So perhaps a woman could make a decision based more on head than heart, because her heart will eventually follow if the man truly cherishes and loves her, and perhaps a man should make a decision based more on heart than head because he will not be able to produce the love and desire to cherish if he did not feel this from the beginning?

02/18/2013 new

Definitely both but at different times. The head to begin with and the heart to follow. You have to know it's the right situation and then also need the undying and unconditional love that follows.

02/18/2013 new

(Quote) Kristen-878108 said: (Quote) Justin-32820 said: This is a tricky questions and i...
(Quote) Kristen-878108 said:

Quote:
Justin-32820 said:


This is a tricky questions and it's clearly not one or the the other, but a combination of the two. So the real question here is what is the right combination? I don't have any clear answer to this, but one thing I've noticed when I talk to my guy friends who are about get married is the ones who answer the question, "why are you marring her?" With, "because she is a great girl!" or "because she is a great catch!" end up in more or less unhappy marriages. The one's who answer "because I love her so much!" are normally much happier.


I think is this becouse there is a fundenmental turth that women are made for love and men are made to love.


Now that I'm thinking about it more, the right combination is where the head and the heart connect.



That is an interesting insight Justin. I don't know that I agree with your statement that "women are made for love" though - I think women are really great at loving and that it is their fundamental desire to love...but I think you are correct in saying that it is important for the man in a relationship to be in love with the woman, and that perhaps it is more important for him to be captivated by the woman and to be in love than for the woman, because a woman is wired to love the man she is with no matter what. It is probably the case that if the man does not marry for love but more out of a "head decision" that when times get tough he will not have the love to get him through this. So perhaps a woman could make a decision based more on head than heart, because her heart will eventually follow if the man truly cherishes and loves her, and perhaps a man should make a decision based more on heart than head because he will not be able to produce the love and desire to cherish if he did not feel this from the beginning?

--hide--


I don't think we are very far apart here, I complete agree with second part of what your saying. If a man is not head over heals for a woman from the get go then it's going to be much harder (though not impossible) to summon the desire to make it work when things get difficult or distractions set it.

I stand by my statement about "women being made for love," but to clarify I mean this in a very basic sense. While we all what to give and receive love, but it at our core women want to be loved and men want to give that love. Women are normally very good at reciprocating that love when they get it and this forms the foundation of the relationship. I've noticed that marriages are happier when the man is more willing to love the woman and giving of himself. I think this is what the bible means when it talks about men being "the leader or the head." It's not talking about gender roles, but what he is willing to give to his wife will determine how loving and strong the relationship will be.



02/18/2013 new

(Quote) So I found myself a sweetheart With the softest of hands We were unlucky in loveBut I'd do it all again
(Quote) So I found myself a sweetheart
With the softest of hands
We were unlucky in love
But I'd do it all again
--hide--
-Jenny Lewis

I reference the above stanza because I think it points out a significant aspect of the whole dating thing: so much of it depends on luck.

If we approach a relationship a bit more abstractly, which is I suppose what we're all doing here, maybe we can phrase the situation like this:

1) There is the oppertunity-event, where you meet another person and there is chemistry and it's awesome.

2) Then there are practical considerations: do we want the same thing? Is it possible that our personal plans will dovetail without too much compromise or sacrifice on either of our part?

3) And then serious reflection is necessary: Can I imagine waking up next to this person for the duration of my life? Am I having at least as much fun with this person as I've had with my best-friend?

And then, there's this jewel of advice: "However bad the relationship starts off, never assume it's going to get better." If you're married, then you need to expect rough sailing, but when you're dating, you're really not going that far out to sea.

02/18/2013 new

(Quote) Justin-32820 said: I don't think we are very far apart here, I complete agree with second part of w...
(Quote) Justin-32820 said:


I don't think we are very far apart here, I complete agree with second part of what your saying. If a man is not head over heals for a woman from the get go then it's going to be much harder (though not impossible) to summon the desire to make it work when things get difficult or distractions set it.

I stand by my statement about "women being made for love," but to clarify I mean this in a very basic sense. While we all what to give and receive love, but it at our core women want to be loved and men want to give that love. Women are normally very good at reciprocating that love when they get it and this forms the foundation of the relationship. I've noticed that marriages are happier when the man is more willing to love the woman and giving of himself. I think this is what the bible means when it talks about men being "the leader or the head." It's not talking about gender roles, but what he is willing to give to his wife will determine how loving and strong the relationship will be.



--hide--


Yes, I think we are seeing it the same way. smile

02/18/2013 new

Donna Reed (as Donna Stone) said, "When you handle yourself, use your head. When you handle others, use your heart." I agree entirely. Thank you for sharing your near matrimony story as well. It can amount to a tremendous amount of pressue, especially when the young lady originated within your home region (30 miles away) and also grew up on a farm. . . everyone says you are perfect and should marry, and that "you're not getting younger," etc.


I didn't use my head in forcing the answers to the questions, though. . . "just how choice-oriented are you?" "Do you really mean that non-Christian faiths offer a means to salvation?" "Why is women's liberation so important to you that the woman ends up running the relationship?"


I had red-flags, but tried to use the feelings of "in love with being in love" to make it work. . . and it didn't, and, in this case, ended badly when I ended it. . .


Use your head. Your heart and body are false warm fuzzies and lust.

02/18/2013 new

You don't choose love...love chooses you.......Praying lovestruck!

02/18/2013 new

First, let me say thanks for the post. I’ve been down a similar road and I know that a choice like that was not an easy one. I think all weighted choices are a bit of head and heart. If your heart (that ole gut feeling) is telling you that something is wrong then you should be pondering why you have that feeling in the first place. It seems like you reached the point where you noticed that it was not going to work and that is a God send. I have a few friends& family members that knew that they were going to be in for a rocky marriage and went through with it all the same. Now they are shadows of their former selves.

As for dating, I’d have to say use the noggin. If you find an aspect of someone that rubs you the wrong way or if something is a deal breaker, move on. There is very little that would/could change those flaws and waiting or tying yourself down in hopes of some metamorphosis is fruitless.

02/18/2013 new

Patrick,

Sounds like in the end you did what your heart knew, but thought it was your head? I've been a therapist for two decades and it's actually our heads that get us into more trouble. We assume the heart is full of lust (that's actually another part of us!). There is no discerning, dissecting, understanding love - it is. It sounds like you value your family and friends and hoped their acceptance would convince you she was the right one - I think your head told you she was, but your heart won out. Oh the lucky girl who makes your heart go 'ZING!', she's out there waiting, let go let God...

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