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Dating & Relationships

Years ago, I was visiting my youngest sister and happened to see a framed picture of one of her friends. She was a drop-dead gorgeous blond woman embracing a man whom she was obviously in love with, but who was far less attractive. I mean, he wasn’t even in the ballpark.  I never would have imagined the two of them together. ”Oh, that’s her husband,” my sister explained, noticing my disbelief. “Yes, they are an odd fit, but they’re one of the happiest couples I’ve ever seen.” He must have some secret to keeping her, I thought to myself.
 
On the flip side of that coin, I know a woman who has a very attractive husband – the tall, dark, and handsome type – yet she is not someone you would typically picture him with. She is overweight and doesn’t do much at all to make herself look attractive. Despite all this, her husband treats her like a queen! He showers her with affection! I’ve observed the two of them and their love for each other is apparent. Both these examples break through all the stereotypes many of us have. So, what is their secret? What is it that makes these seemingly unconventional relationships work?
 
The three secrets all couples should know and live sincerely in their relationships – even the couples who are perfect fits, are: 
 
  • Knowing what your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse needs and giving it to them
  • Understanding the differences in the way men and women communicate and incorporating that into your relationship
  • Being willing to change yourself instead of trying to change your mate
 
Let’s tackle knowing each other’s needs, first.
 
Ladies, a man needs to believe he matters more to you than anything or anyone in your life. More than your girlfriends, more than your past relationships, more than your career. He also needs to know that he makes a difference in your life and in society. Many times, men don’t try to make a difference in society because they don’t feel they matter at home.
 
He needs to be appreciated for the things he does, the things he says and especially what he stands for. In your relationship, do you ever take the time to observe him carefully and pay attention to his characteristics and strengths? If you do, excellent. You’re on the right track. If not, make this a priority and start letting him know that you appreciate these things about him.
 
Men, women want to be complimented on their appearance, of course. But, they want to be loved for more than their outward appearance; they want to be loved for all their gifts and talents. A woman has an intense desire is to be everything to the man she loves and she wants you to recognize this and love her in a multi-faceted way. She also needs to believe that you thinking of her all the time and that you can’t wait to see her again. 
 
A woman needs a hero; a man who is confident in who he is and his strengths. A man who places her first in his line of priorities (after his relationship with God, of course).  A woman wants physical affection, but is more affected by your words and the way you speak to Happy Relationshipsher.
 
As I write this, I know you might be thinking, “Yeah, but what about…” and I know this topic deserves much more discussion than I can put in a blog post, so I invite your comments. And please remember you can always email me at asklisa@catholicmatch.com. I look forward to discussing any of these topics with you.
 
Next post, we’ll talk about understanding the differences in the way men and women communicate. Until then, count on my prayers for you!
 
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27 Comments

  1. Stephen-725391 June 15, 2012

    Lisa,

    I want to re-affirm to you that my sanity in this insane separation/divorce/annulment DRAMA of mine is due in great part to your story/counsel/encouragement/prayer.

    What you write is a fairy tale. Yes, there are instances, the theory of large numbers sustains it, that there will be some relationships that will experience this.

    40 years ago when I ‘married’ there was a short meeting with the priest (I didn’t even do that) before you stepped off the cliff into oblivion. This Blog that I read last night (12 hours ago) ripped open every wound I had been working to close/heal over the last 4 years.

    I don’t know, other than my mother (I have no personal knowledge of your relationship with your husband, so I would only be assuming – not cool), but my observation is that women DON’T and men are – how did you put it – “Many times, men don’t try to make a difference in society because they don’t feel they matter at home.” Exactly, in SPADES, because of how they treat men.

    And as far as the Church goes – overall, from my observation, it is WORSE that WORTHLESS.

    BUT there is something else that bothers me – from your list:

    1) “He also needs to know that he makes a difference in your life and in society. Many times, men don’t try to make a difference in society because they don’t feel they matter at home.” After the man is thrown to the curb and somehow ‘MAKES A DIFFERENCE’ notwithstanding the woman who has thrown him to the curb. In that instance, he know that all he is or has become is a ‘meal ticket’ to the next one. True or not true?

    2) “He needs to be appreciated for the things he does, the things he says and especially what he stands for. In your relationship, do you ever take the time to observe him carefully and pay attention to his characteristics and strengths? If you do, excellent. You’re on the right track. If not, make this a priority and start letting him know that you appreciate these things about him.” Is it so abhorrent that a man who has ‘made it’ may be jaded to the motives of a new woman in his life? He’s proved all these things, they are obvious that is faux appreciation. How can it be otherwise?

    3) “Men, women want to be complimented on their appearance, of course. But, they want to be loved for more than their outward appearance; they want to be loved for all their gifts and talents. A woman has an intense desire is to be everything to the man she loves and she wants you to recognize this and love her in a multi-faceted way. She also needs to believe that you thinking of her all the time and that you can’t wait to see her again.” Given 1) and 2) is effected by the first woman that threw you under the bus, Maybe the place for a guy to look is on Millionaire Match? How is she going to or even try to show a man these thing – one is obvious the rest problematic.

    4) “A woman needs a hero; a man who is confident in who he is and his strengths. A man who places her first in his line of priorities (after his relationship with God, of course). A woman wants physical affection, but is more affected by your words and the way you speak to her.” Or a MEAL TICKET!

    You asked.

    Stephen

  2. Lesley-158563 June 16, 2012

    I’ve noticed you commenting at every opportunity on this website, and while I am sure it must be difficult to be divorced, I’m not sure lumping it all into a religous issue is the correct tactic if you truly want to improve your lot. Have you considered committing yourself to secular therapy to fully explore your multiple evident issues. It may relieve some of your obvious stress….

    • Stephen-725391 June 16, 2012

      Lesley, With all due respect – You have no understanding of the stated policy of two (2) Popes, Leo XIII and Pius XI in like titled encyclicals – On Marriage! Read them and then come back and comment on MY issues. By the way, Dr. Laura, a well know secular counselor, is cited by name and title in my profile as being VERY good in her advice!

      Stephen

  3. Tessa-694373 June 16, 2012

    This is good example why women who have alot to offer don’t want to date “divorce men” they are jaded and resentful of women…

    • Stephen-725391 June 16, 2012

      Interesting comment – I have a very good friend (widower), Catholic, 74, who has advised me to get off CM and go find a nice Protestant woman – they don’t come with all the drama and Catholic Guilt attached.

      Clearly you are NOT listening to what I am saying.

  4. Lisa Duffy
    Lisa Duffy June 16, 2012

    Dear Stephen,

    I know you’ve been through a terrible time, but that doesn’t negate my statements in this article. These things are true and a lot of people have sincere desires in wanting their relationship to be the best it can be. I know I do!

    People want to understand what makes a relationship last. The bottom line of this article is that a true appreciation of your partner and what he or she needs is a key factor in having a long lasting relationship. I am sorry you did not experience that in your marriage and sorry this was so painful for you to read.

    - Lisa

    • Stephen-725391 June 16, 2012

      Lisa,

      Thank you and I know that is EXACTLY what you are giving – a blueprint, a plan to follow. How many men and women, never married or divorced or even widow/widower, have never seen or been given or believe this plan. You have certainly stated on many occasions that this society, this culture rails against this plan and support for such plan hardly exist – lip service is paid sometimes but in the end – support for it ends up as ‘tail end charlie’.

      May be next time around!

      Stephen

  5. Dominic-864113 June 16, 2012

    I think 99.9 percent from .1 percent of abuse allegations of priests is untrue THEY ARE INNOCENT a priest could be an atheist or jargon or satanist trying to invade our church.
    This is unacceptable wound pain a priest fondeling someone wouldnt seem like he’d be a pastor priest if he would if do such a thing he knows is wrong What abuse ??? no pun intended. Are u sure ur not making this up in your head whoever this is no pun intended again.
    I want a real woman, one who could hold hands with me, say good things to me, I’d do the same.

  6. Tessa-694373 June 17, 2012

    Hey Stephen,
    I get what you’re saying….you are bitter and seem hateful because you made the mistake of marrying the WRONG woman and as you say used you a for “a meal ticket” please consider counseling it may help YOU work through all this anger…

  7. John L. June 17, 2012

    Ladies, what you don’t understand is our culture has lied to you. You’re missing the whole point that (I think, and correct me if I’m wrong Stephan) is that women need to completely rethink the men in their lives. Let’s say you are faithful, which I assume many of you are. So you go to Mass on Sunday and frequent the sacraments, you pray every day, you dress, act and speak modestly and study Scripture and Church Teaching/Tradition. Is this enough? In a perfect world, yes. However, just turn on your local news and you’ll find that we live in anything BUT a perfect world. Popular culture has infected women’s minds far beyond just cleavage in every commercial and tanning booths, that’s just the surface. The heart of the erosion of true dignity between partners happens when terms and morals are messed with. Now men play a huge part in that, no argument here. But, women play a big part too, and there are many examples.
    For instance: When a man commits adultery, it’s called CHEATING. And when family, friends and parishioners of that couple find out about the sin, they come short of lynching the poor man in the town square or Church courtyard and hang his body on display for all to see what happens when you stray from your wife, regardless of any circumstances or situations. If a woman cheats, however, for whatever reason, it’s called a “love affair” or just “affair” and sadly, is all but celebrated and hailed as an achievement for every wife out there! The reason could be as simple as, her husband didn’t thank her for dinner one night or he forgot to pick up some laundry detergent and that’s a good enough reason to sleep with the next man you see! You NEVER hear of WOMEN actresses in Hollywood and their adulterous ways in the tabloids, do you? But if any man who is any kind of celebrity even LOOKS at someone not their significant other, he’s fried on the next episode of Entertainment Tonight!!!\
    My point is, just because you don’t “dress to kill” or read Cosmo every week doesn’t mean society hasn’t left its mark on you. Here’s some things all women need to understand about men, and yourselves:
    1.) As crazy and insane as it sounds, yes, you CAN be wrong from time to time.
    2.) Men need to be loved, but respected. We are providers, not cows to be milked for money and genes.
    3.) We hate listening to you complain about your bad boyfriends, then object to us when we have the courage to not only tell you to dump his butt, but humiliate us with rejection when we ask you out on a date ourselves. Isn’t our friendship deserving of at least one Dinner and a Movie?
    4.) You need to understand that we are visual; we cannot just reach into our necks or backs and “unplug” the sensory nerve that causes us to look at women, or you, if you’re dressed less than modestly. We fight this battle as best we can, and we all hope to conquer it one day with God’s grace, but help us by doing your part and don’t crucify us when we fall.
    5.) We are JUST as excited to start a family as you are, and we are willing to be open to life in marriage, but we aren’t willing to be used in the name of “Natural Family Planning” so you can have all the kids your heart desires. Sex, for us, isn’t just a baby factory; it’s much, much more.
    There are many other things to know, I might share them as these posts go along, depending on how these are received. Prayers and Love to all of you!

    • Stephen-725391 June 17, 2012

      John and everyone else – Words of wisdom from the late Andy Rooney

      ANDY ROONEY(CBS) has a good take on women my age – some true-some just funny. THIS IS HIS QUOTE:
      “As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:
      A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, ‘What are you thinking?’ She doesn’t care what you think.
      If a woman over 40 doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it’s usually more interesting…
      Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.
      Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.
      Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.
      Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
      Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
      Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.”

      (The following was added on the above quote – It’s great!)
      For all those men who say, ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? here’s an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage! “

      • Lisa-727959 June 17, 2012

        Love the humor, Stephen!! Thanks for adding that :)

        • Stephen-725391 June 18, 2012

          Lisa,

          It was getting deep but there is a thread of truth in it also!

          Stephen

      • Tom-995241 December 3, 2013

        Does anyone know if Andy Rooney is Catholic? Just wondering.

  8. Tessa-694373 June 17, 2012

    What kind of people do you hang out with???
    Cheating is cheating regardless of who does it man or woman….Hollywood is not reality and why would you bother wasting your time reading about the moral-less celebrities anyway….
    When a woman says she wants to be “just friends” she means just that and if you are any kind of Decent Man you Should respect it…not try to ask her out because she broke up with her boyfriend….you need a clue or you need to look for quality women to date not desperate ones…

    • John L. June 17, 2012

      Tessa, it’s obvious that all youre trying to do is start fights with everyone who doesnt see the world the way you do. You didnt listen to a WORD i said, did you? You didnt even pick up on what I wrote, and i took time to make sure i was a clear as possible. So let me address what you so emphatically (and rudely, i might add) called me out on:
      1.) I wasnt saying that Cheating isnt cheating for women, i was saying that’s what the WORLD says. Cheating IS Cheating, regardless of who does it. I agree 100% it’s wrong. But in many people’s eyes, a man cheating is 50x worse than a woman cheating.
      2.) I dont pay attention to Hollywood, however, I do notice the headlines on the magazines and tabloids while checking out at the Grocery Store and other places. (By the way, not ALL celebrities are moral-less, such as Eduardo Veratigui, Neal McDounagh, Andy Garcia, Sylvester Stallone, Stephen Baldwin, Bailee Madison, among others.)
      3.) How DARE you insinuate that I’m not a decent man, YOU DONT EVEN KNOW ME!! I wasnt saying I’d ask the girl out 15 seconds after she broke up, but dont expect a guy to listen to you moan and complain about your ex for 7 months then, when we have the courage to ask you out, you reject us like we’re some kind of worm. If we’re that bad, why’d you complain to us and confide in us in the first place!?!?

  9. Tessa-694373 June 18, 2012

    You missed the point a woman who confides/complains/moans to a guy about her boyfriend or ex boyfriend has put that guy (YOU) in the friend zone and in case you don’t know what that means is that woman has NO intention of ever dating you or kissing you or anything….and since you insult me I would say from your photos you are in the friend zone alot and bitter about it too…good day….good luck!!

    • John L. June 18, 2012

      And from your responses (Seriously, when did i ever once insult you? Copy/paste my exact quote in context) I can tell that you’re just like most Catholic girls, you wanna have your cake and eat it too. But thank you for proving my point exactly!! You said, and I quote:
      “A woman who confides/complains/moans to a guy about her boyfriend or ex boyfriend has put that guy (YOU) in the friend zone ”
      Where is the idea of “Friend Zone” in the Bible? Does Catholic Tradition speak of “Friend Zones”? Did any Popes write Encyclicals or Apostolic Letters on the issues surrounding “Friend Zones”? I didnt see anything, and I studied Theology in College AND High School, which means you picked up this Idea from the Media, Culture and Secular society, thus proving that even though you may not DO what Secular girls do, you still THINK like they do. I’ve had dozens of friends of mine who were in the “friend zone” as you call it, who are now happily married. Because, you dont just see someone and immediatly fall in love, we arent built that way. A lasting friendship needs to be built and sustained before romantic feelings will foster. “Friend Zones” do nothing but show the guy that he might have everything that girl would want, except she doesnt have the courage and will to take the risk and date him, she wants him to be around to make herself feel better, but wont give him ANYTHING in return, only anger and excuses when the guy tells you what you should do or gives you advice. Trust me, I know how this game works……

  10. Tessa-694373 June 18, 2012

    WOW-no wonder you are single…the Bible doesn’t say women have to take any guy who comes along in our life to be our husband…you need help…some people (men) are just friends and other we marry…if people would not settle when picking SPOUSE they would be less divorce and happier marriages…PS I don’t get my info from media….it is life experiences…TALK TO YOUR PRIEST!

    • John L. June 18, 2012

      “WOW-no wonder you are single” Insult #1

      “the Bible doesn’t say women have to take any guy who comes along in our life to be our husband” I never said anything like this, nor did I even think this…

      “you need help…” Insult #2 and it seems like anyone who disagrees with you needs help.

      “if people would not settle when picking SPOUSES they would be less divorce and happier marriages”- No, if people serve God more, loved God above all other things and let God turn them into servants in their marriages to their spouse, THEN there’d be less divorce and happier marriages.

      “TALK TO YOUR PRIEST” Ummm, bout what? What did I say that was heretical or in error?

      There is no perfect man out there, Tessa. Face it. Perfect men dont exist, if you want a perfect man, seek out your nearest adoration chapel. That’s the most perfection you’ll ever find in this world, our Lord and Savior. Which leads me to what I wanna end with, with all you’ve said to me, an me not uttering any sort of insult at you in the least (Cus I can see you still havent shown me where I insulted you once) I ask you, Would Jesus say the things to me that you have? God Bless my sister in Christ, I am praying for you.

  11. Stephen-725391 June 18, 2012

    No wonder Lisa wrote this article – there sure is a lot of grief among men and WOMEN out there. Dr. Laura’s books are really good too.

  12. Tessa-694373 June 18, 2012

    I never said there was “perfect man”….where did you get that….I appreciate prayers-thank you.
    God is great and has bless me in so many ways

    • John L. June 23, 2012

      I’m still waiting to hear how I insulted you…….

  13. Rachel-731570 June 19, 2012

    Hi — I hear a lot of bitterness in both male and female responses — wow. I know nothing seems to be as bad as surviving a divorce. What could be worse? But I’m still very hopeful I can follow the ‘blue print’ to become the best wife I can be to the man God has in store for me, if there is one. I know we need to sort through all the baggage from past failed relationships and toss as much as possible or we will only be looking at others through the cloudy lens of hurt and disappointment, anger and pain. I think I’m ready to move on happily. I’m not one of those gold-diggers looking for a meal ticket. I’m not looking at a man to see if he is eye-candy enough. I’m definitely looking at men as friends before they can move to ‘more than friends.’ One thing that does confuse me is the guys who ask me out without really talking with me much first — just meeting me at the office. Now I was married for a long time and so far out of the dating scene, so I’m not up on how these things go. Is it ok to go on a date with someone you’ve never really talked to before, just because they liked the ‘first look’ they had of me? Or is that a sure sign of surface only attraction I’d better avoid? I’ve been separated for 4 years and my divorce just finalized, so I’ve turned everyone down so far — nicely telling them my divorce wasn’t final yet. Now I’m doing the annulment, but I was married 20+ years and want to go about all this right. I read this article and found it to helpful, but need more guidance.

    • John L. June 19, 2012

      Rachel, this is VERY important! Technically speaking, you CANNOT date ANYONE until your Annulment is approved and sealed, or else you will considered “Living in sin.” The priest at our pari9sh told us this, that it’s not just if a divorce woman is sleeping with or living with her boyfriend, because the church doesnt recognize divorce at all, it has no value or weight for the Church, hence, the church still sees you as married to your husband. Once your Annulment goes through, then date whoever you want. But if you date before that, youre living in sin and cannot recieve communion while in that state…. Good luck with the Annulment process and God Bless!!

  14. Meg-920823 May 27, 2013

    Great article and I believe it is so very true.

  15. Rita-933945 July 1, 2013

    great article! i loved it. it helped me to understand \what it means to be in a relationship more…

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