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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Uh no. Oh come on, do you really think I meant that only men should only treat women well? Please, I meant it within the context of what I was stating about having not only respect for one another, but also a special regard in addition for what Catholic theology regards as the personal dignity of others --- which takes into account their gender.
Gentlemen--I'd like to know why you don't respond to women? If you've already found your special someone, why not just go off the site for a while?
I've had more success on the secular sites, sorry to say.
The men who don't respond either missed the communication, which is possible, or they just forgot about it not knowing what to say, or they simply never learned to be cordial and value that as part of gentlemanly decorum. Now, you are addressing men, so I am doing the same, but this can be said for either gender. However, men do tend to fall by their eyes, and it is possible, perhaps, that men who are less experienced with the fairer gender and or good decorum would look for certain qualities that are more superficial based on certain qualities that would attract a man who is utilitarianistic. I liked that part of what Tom wrote about being careful to not fall for sweet-talkers, but that doesn't mean one should lower their principles as how they ought to be treated.
It could be possible that the internet, since it is so visual and 2-dimensional rather than more like real life which takes more into consideration than just how one looks or what one says, fosters, both in women and in men, a kind of superficial, non-substantive communication or even regard for one another, if even for different reasons per each sex (in general). But just as bad apples come in all shapes and sizes, so do good ones.
If some men get "scared off", it might not be the reasons they suggest. (I think, by the way, some men use the forums to converse with women who they aren't reaching other ways, and women just use the forums to discuss things in general.) If men are being "bashed", I've not seen it. I don't believe my defending the initial poster, who, by the way, did not bash anyone, is seen as intimidating, I find that sort of hard to believe. I know I've been 'scared off' by detractors here and men who play weird games in contacting a woman's friends (who they are in a relationship with) and their friends' friends', etc. and who actually court nearly a dozen woman at a time. Eventually, those kinds have to take a break when multiple women find out and call them on it. I doubt highly that they would make an announcement in the forums if that were ever the case.
Then there are those who leave the forums because they are in a relationship and don't wish to announce it. Some of us may be 'talking' with someone and not disclose it to the world. The only obvious victims are those who say they are having a tough time and get ignored or verbally beat up on, kind of like what's now happening to Melissa.
Imagine Mary thinking of herself as a prize? No. It's not a Catholic thought. Having high standards morally and personally is good. As is being detached in the spiritual sense (enough to discern but not so much that you are cut off emotionally). Being a diva who demands to be fought for and thought of as a queen simply for being born female is neo-feminist propaganda under the guise of a promotion of traditional chivalry and courtship.
Ever noticed how a lot of women with seemingly the highest standards end up with terrible husbands? That's because they've either settled with a loser who whiteknighted them or they got caught in the trap of a smooth talker who had a hidden secret/agenda. I've seen it again and again. The down to earth girls who just want a good man and don't play diva games are the ones who end up alright (secular or Catholic). This 'prize' stuff is passive-aggressive and usually a very forced and strained dating game.
Again, seen it a thousand times. It's a huge thing in the conservative/traditionalist world where a lot of girls are taught that men need to kneel before them and beg for to be their spouse because they've been brought up as angels and appear to know what it means to be a good wife. But in fact, they're often incredibly naive about it all and have a warped sense of the chemistry/relationship between men and women; between husband and wife. Catholic or not, diva types tend to poison their own well because the normal part of them wants a strong man, the Catholic part wants to be humble, but the diva part is attracting the weaklings and men who fulfill her every desire to be the 'queen'. Most young women snap out of this quickly once they realize that nobody wants to marry a diva or some of the men so far haven't been the cream of the crop (which is what they aim for but paradoxically never really reach).
Fight for the woman you love, sure. Slay the baddies and climb up her hair to get into the tower to be the prince charming. But if she's hiring mercenaries to test you and refuses to let down her hair because she just got it styled all to make it more of a challenge well... there are better women out there.
Being a good Catholic gentleman is not about being a puppy to a woman. Men and women were created equal but different. Complementary is what it's about. Advocating 'prize' stuff flips that around. Men can be Fathers. Woman can be Mothers. There is no Jesus without Mary; but Mary isn't going around telling everyone about it. Good Catholic men treat all women with respect, dignity, charity and kindness. If you're interested in someone, you just add in a little flirting and (appropriate) affection.
Being a strong masculine man with honor is not about being a flimsy and flowery charmer. Charm is a good thing; but allowing a woman to make herself out to be a prize makes your charm an end in itself rather than a means to an end (and good charm is a means, but it's not empty or meaningless).
It's great to treat your girlfriend or wife as special. That's a no brainer. It's one of the things I most look forward to when I am married - spoiling my wife (and, one day, kids please God!). But there's an intuitive kind of feeling you register between a woman who is genuinely happy and surprised with it, and who will reciprocate, and a woman who expects it and is waiting for the next round so that she can keep check on how well you're doing in terms of impressing her and flattering her elevated sense of self worth.
Don't ever idolize or idealize a woman (which is what this 'prize' stuff wants you to do).
No prizes, no pedastools. Just simple, Catholic courtship.
Pax to the max.
I've been on CM for...awhile now (years...?) I recently met a wonderful lady here who is originally from what has become my home parish (it is where I became Catholic upon conversion 21 months ago), who also attended parochial school there, who was also born in the same city I was, and who seems like a really great gal. She lives out of state now, and we have met twice. No idea where things will go, but it took awhile before I met her.
Give the site time. You're not spending your money only to meet someone. The forums are a GREAT resource. Use the entire site and give God time to work.
First, the original poster described disappointment in finding a relationship and was reaching out to other members to share that she felt defeated by this process and was considering quitting. My intent of telling her (and all women) that she is a "prize" was simply an attempt to elevate someone that was obviously reaching out for support and needed a huge boost. Nobody said anything about pedestals or being a diva. I simply wanted her to truly understand that her value is not defined by her success in finding a relationship and then went on to share my experience.
Additionally, and of greater importance that everyone seemed to miss, is the message about our abused sisters. There is a definitive relationship between women with low self-esteem and/or depression and abuse. Simply stated: When a woman is not feeling her worth, she is at a great risk for becoming a victim of abuse in a relationship. So, knowing this to be a documented fact, I thought it important to point out that actively searching for a mate while not aware of your value as a woman puts that woman at a higher risk for disaster. NOTE: I am not saying the original poster actually has a self-esteem deficit, BUT, it was clear from her post that she is feeling somewhat defeated, so I mentioned the abuse concern as a point to consider only!
So, just to be clear: I do firmly believe that every woman needs to take ownership and learn our value independent of a relationship. We absolutely should feel that we are a prize (Not a diva sitting on a pedestal, not someone to be won--but "prize" meaning truly CONFIDENT of our God given womanly value) and when we truly feel such internal worth, then, and only then, are we free to develop a healthy relationship.
Again, this thread went way off the map and in review, the word "prize" was definitely the trigger. I hope this clarifies the intention of that communication.