Very nice post. Thank you!!
Would be nice is if women here would at least grant men the courtesy of a response letting us know you're not interested, if you're not interested. That is the number one issue I have with sites such as this. While we can take a hint, it would be nice to know the message was at least received and considered.
For the virtue of Justice:
Am I aware that people are persons and not abstract factors of production? Do I realize that it is impossible for me to give them their due, as justice demands, if I do not love them?
Do I cultivate friendships or mere relationships? Am I aware that friendship is another name for service?
Saint Paul reproaching the derangement of the Gentiles, accuses them of being people without affection, that is to say who had no friendship (Romans 1:31). Make yourself affable to the congregation of the poor, humble your soul to the elderly, and bow your head to a great man (Ecclus 4:7). St. Thomas the Universal Doctor, states that friendship is part of the virtue of justice.1
Either to seek or to shun society is a fault in one striving to lead a devout life in the world. To shun society implies indifference and contempt for one's neighbours; and to seek it savours of idleness and uselessness. We are told to love one's neighbour as one's self. In token that we love him, we must not avoid being with him, and the test of loving one's self is to be happy when alone. Think first on thyself, says Saint Bernard, and then on other men. So that, if nothing obliges you to mix in society either at home or abroad, retire within yourself, and hold converse with your own heart. But if friends come to you, or there is fitting cause for you to go forth into society, then, my child, by all means go, and meet your neighbour with a kindly glance and a kindly heart. - "Intro to the Devout Life: Society and Solitude" by Church Doctor and Gentleman St. Francis de Sales
Of the difference between true and false friendship:
- Worldly friendship ordinarily produces a grand cluster of honeyed words, a cajolery of small passionate endearments from beauty, grace, and sensual qualities.
- Sacred friendship has a simple and frank language, praising the virtue and grace of God, the unique foundation on which it subsists.
We must have congenial friends as members of the Body of Christ. The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable (1 Cor 12:21). For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (Rom 12:4-5). Therefore, the highest grace does not lie in being without friendships, but in having no friendships which are not good, holy, and true. "Marriage, when rightly understood, is a very real and holy friendship." (Introduction to the Devout Life: On Friendship - Evil & Frivolous Friendship)
This advice was written to and for a married woman, 400 years ago by a bishop known as the Gentleman Saint and a Doctor of the Church. For unmarried men and women, the advice would pretty much be the same.
Working "through the getting to know you process" should fit in the above advice in justice. Neglecting such processes might be a neglect of justice or omission in fraternal communion. Christians are more than just bodies focused on eros. Agape, storge, philia are also important as human beings. This should lead to a more lasting joy rather than to mere feelings of happiness. :) Marriage should have justice and friendship as a foundation, as stated above. It's difficult to skip the foundation stage of getting to know people.
Comments, complaints, etc welcome. This is just some rambling overall. :)
And a really big one; a married man who asks out a single woman. A gentle "no" doesn't always cut it.
But if a nice guy is being sincere and the woman just isn't interested, she should use some tact and decline politely.