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Single Living

About three years after my husband, Steven, passed away, I began to seriously consider dating again. 

I missed the intimate daily human contact – things like pillow talk, that last good-night kiss, shared secrets, and the language of love that exists between spouses.

When I first joined CatholicMatch, I thought long and hard about how to fill out the “seeking” section of my profile.  It originally displayed as follows:

I am seeking a true friend and fun-loving companion on the journey. He must be a good listener, caring, kind and honest. Must have an awesome sense of humor and be proud to call himself a Catholic. He must place faith and family at the top of his daily priorities.

I wrote and revised that seeking section several times before I came up with what you see above.

After a few rewrites, I began to laugh at myself and the idea popped into my head that perhaps it’s not the seeking section that I should be concerned about at all. But instead, I should probably be concerned with the area of my profile description where I share things about myself.

This got me to reflect on what qualities of my own had fared poorly in my marriage, due to my naïve attitude as a newly-married teenage bride. I began to wonder what I would improve upon if given the chance.

I remember back to the early years of my marriage. I was a starry-eyed small-town girl madly in love with a farm boy who thought the sun rose and set with me. In addition to being in love, we were best friends and would remain so until Steve’s death.

Like any young lovers, we assumed that marriage was and always would be about passion. Neither of us had ever paused long enough to wonder what came after the “horizontal mambo.”

About two weeks into our marriage, a chink appeared in Steve’s knight-in-shining-armor garb.  I walked into our bedroom shortly after he had left for work. I noticed a pair of dirty underwear lying right in the middle of the floor and thought that he had probably forgotten them, so I put them in the laundry. Then the next day, another pair appeared again in the same place. 

You know what they say, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!” 

Well, I would just have to address this little matter with Mr. Tess at supper. I distinctly remember that evening because he flung a term at me that has stuck to this day; he called me “Mrs. Clean”! 

We had “words” and the next thing I knew, we weren’t on speaking terms for the rest of the night.

By the next day, we decided to kiss and make up. Over the next 29 years we would have many spats. But there was always one constant in our marriage, which was a deep love and respect for each other that supported all the little faults that turned up from time to time.

Somewhere around the time our 25th wedding anniversary rolled around, Steve and I had decided that it didn’t pay to argue any more. We had a mutual understanding that when one of us was angry and wanted to vent, the other would listen. When the listening session was over, we would laugh at ourselves and have a little make-up session. Talk about the value of listening!

I also remember that a relative by the name of Fr. Mike gave us the perfect framed Bible verse for our 25th anniversary.  I do believe this verse is the key to a long and happy marriage such as ours. Here it is:

Love is patient and kind. 

Love bears all things,

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things. 

Love never ends. 

-1 Corinthians 13    

So, now I had an ah-ha moment and began to think about the value of patience in my long and happy marriage and how I could work to change that area of my personality to make life more pleasurable and less stressful  if I ever had a second chance at love again.   

Enter Mr. Right. My initial face-to-face meeting with this kind CatholicMatch member was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday in Milwaukee, Wis.  This drive would be a little over an hour for me and a good hour and a half for Mr. Right. 

I got to the agreed meeting place a few minutes early and just as I was driving into the parking lot, my cell phone rang.

It was Mr. Right, apologizing for being late and stuck in traffic. Of course I assured him that I was fine and would see him in a little bit. Two phone calls and 45 minutes later, as I was reading a book, Mr. Right came up behind me, stooped down and introduced himself. 

I want you all to know that I will be eternally grateful for learning the value of patience, as bells, whistles and fireworks were definitely going off when Mr. Right spoke my name and throughout our five-hour conversation.

Because I looked inside myself first and asked the question, “What qualities of my own can I improve upon?” my profile now reads “In a Relationship” and here is how my seeking section reads today:

I have found a true friend and fun-loving companion on the journey.  He is a good listener, caring, kind and honest, has an awesome sense of humor and is proud to call himself a Catholic. He places faith and family at the top of his daily priorities. My life has truly been blessed!

Last Saturday was the end of a truly long and hectic week in my life. I was mentally exhausted and would have loved to see Mr. Right, but I knew that he was ill with a bad virus and he needed his rest, not a call from me.  I was practicing the art of patience.

Yet to my surprise, late in the evening, I received a call from an ill Mr. Right, asking how I was fairing. Now ladies and gentlemen, that’s how I spell love!

I urge you to review your own profile today just as I did, because the love of your life could be right around the corner. Will you be ready?

 

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12 Comments

  1. Carmine-441334 September 2, 2011

    I have to agree with you,it takes patience and understanding on bothparties and I think if you have that you both will have a fine time together.
    CAD

    • Barb-505508 September 3, 2011

      Thanks Carmine! Patience is definitely a virtue.

  2. Jim-397948 September 2, 2011

    The Soul Mate Prayer
    Heavenly Mother, Father, God, Most Gracious and Loving Creator, I ask that You abundantly Bless me with my perfect soul mate, a beautiful soul that is for our highest good and may we experience our greatest joy together!
    I now hold the prayer and vision of this Blessing and Gift for my soul mate to enter my life all in perfect divine timing!
    I give thanks now as I KNOW AND TRUST in You and Your Blessings.

    Mother, Father, GOD, I stand in Faith KNOWING this Prayer right now is bringing my soul mate into my life.
    I stand in FAITH as I remember that to have faith inside my heart, is sufficient to manifest MIRACLES and Your Blessings.
    I thank you now Beloved God Creator for all the Blessings I have received and for the Blessings yet to come!

    AND SO IT IS……..AMEN

    • Barb-505508 September 3, 2011

      Dear Jim,

      What a wonderful prayer! I’m sure your lovely lady is right around the corner. Here’s hoping the two of you meet very soon, enjoy each other’s company and live happily ever after.

      Blessings to You!
      Barb

    • Maria-696350 September 3, 2011

      What a wonder life you’ve experienced! and, Jim, thank you so much for that prayer. I will say it every day. You clearly will receive your answer and you have a beautiful soul. Don’t ever change.

    • Aida-740057 May 1, 2013

      Good St. Ann Please bring me a man. ( I read this in prayer, closing my eyes)

      Reading the articles make my heart becomes lighter. I am downtrodden, sad today. I broke up with my boyfriend who is a player of women. I am crying actually and felt.the loneliness of being alone. May be I am sad because I love him or may be we are not meant to each other..The story is so lovely, inspiring and life giving it ease my pains and suffering.

      I lift up myself to God in prayer that I will be detach from my hurts and past relationship, and I will be attach to God’s immeasurable Love that never ends. And Good st. Ann Please give me an honest man, caring, kind and loving. In Jesus name, through the intercession of Blessed Mother Mary Amen..

      P.S
      Bless your heart to the author/writer. You did a very good job.

  3. Pearl-95477 October 1, 2011

    ah…”patience”. what if he has different objectives in the search? as a woman, how many more years i can afford to await so that i can bear my own baby?

  4. Pam-780076 December 22, 2011

    One of my husbands sayings was, “we love happy endings”. This came to mind reading your blog.

  5. Gina-782661 April 7, 2012

    my huspand also passed away 3 years ago and yes i do belive we need lots of Patience trust understanding and bealive in oneself. the lord his my shapard he will not abandon me. i trust in him i give my holy self two him . GODBLESS.

  6. Gianna-569105 December 1, 2013

    My husband passed away five years ago this month. Never thought I could find wholeness and contentment living alone. Funny how when the distractions of life are removed, Jesus and the saints come rushing in to comfort and accompany you in your loneliness.

    I have to admit with each advancing year, there is always that teensy little worry that the “older” you get the less desirable you become. Oh well, the only consolation is….he’s getting older, too!

    Wow! Seeing couples at the grocery store sharing menu plans, in church close and cuddly and just anywhere gets tougher and tougher to handle sometime. Anyone else feel that?

    Entering the single world after not dating for 37 years is nothing short of weird. Who knew???

  7. Patty-978706 January 6, 2014

    I am a widow of 5 years and married when I was 19. To be out dating at 60 and to be able to find a good honest man is somewhat of a challenge. So I think patience is needed but honesty is to.

  8. Eleanor-465110 January 12, 2014

    Thanks Barb for your post. I have been a widow for 8 & 1/2 years. I truly needed the encouragement I found from your sharing, especially tonight. May God continue to bless your journey.

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