Christina Ries recently asked, “Why is it so hard to find a spouse?“
Specifically, a good Catholic or Christian spouse, a spouse who shares my values, my interests, my hopes and dreams.
Joanne-75060 offered this insight: “I think it is hard for some but not for others. For people who have social anxiety or difficulty making decisions, who don’t get out enough, are easily discouraged, analytical, particular, or distracted, it is more difficult.”
Joanne has hit on a key factor in determining the ease – or difficulty – some men and women have in finding their soul mate: temperament.
Each temperament faces a different, unique challenge. If you are aware of your temperamental biases and tendencies, you can (perhaps) eliminate at least one stumbling block to finding your future spouse.
Cholerics have a tendency to jump into the deep end with both feet. Even when they don’t know how to swim. They can think (sometimes mistakenly): this is The One! Then, they pursue the poor unsuspecting victim, er, potential spouse with a vengeance. They might move too quickly and make rash decisions.
If you are a choleric, I would advise caution; though you hate to wait, and are 100 percent positive you are right, pray first. Then get some solid spiritual advice from a trusted priest, good friend or relative.
Reflect some more.
Melancholics have a strong romantic streak. They are looking for their own Cary Grant or Deborah Kerr. Melancholics also have high ideals and a strong perfectionist streak. They have a list, and they are checking it twice.
If you are a melancholic, a little flexibility and impulsivity can’t hurt: Go ahead and reply to that guy who left you a message on CatholicMatch!
Take a chance, go on a blind date, let your friends set you up with someone.
They flit from one potential partner to another. The grass is always greener somewhere else. If you are a sanguine, remember to look beneath the surface. Go on several dates before you decide that there is no possibility for a relationship.
Also, you might scare a potential partner away by talking just a little too much. Sanguines always have a funny story to tell, but sometimes being the center of attention means you aren’t paying enough attention to those around you.
Finally, the phlegmatic may not find his future spouse because he never worked up the energy to ask someone out. Phlegmatics can suffer a bit from low self-esteem: they don’t want to take a risk because they might be rejected.
They might take too long before admitting their interest in someone. And if they take too long, they may lose the opportunity! They can be overly cautious and even a bit dull.
If you are a phlegmatic, I would suggest: stir things up a bit; take a chance and take the lead; make some crazy plans; tell someone you are very interested in him or her.
Whatever your temperament, finding a spouse requires knowing yourself and having the humility to face your strengths and weaknesses.
St. Catherine of Siena put it well: We need self-knowledge to have humility, and humility to be capable of mature, self-giving love.