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Dating & Relationships

“We’ve been messaging for weeks and still nothing. I just don’t get it.”

I was browsing the clearance shoe rack with a pair of college girlfriends last October venting about CatholicMatch member Mr. Take My Time who unbeknownst to me would later become my Mr. Right. It was only after I made the first move one week later through a casual “So…do you want to meet for a drink after work next week?” message that our relationship began.

I took the lead out of fear that our online relationship would never converge with real life, putting me, as a woman, in an untraditional role as the initiator, though only for a moment.

Gender roles, especially in the dating and marriage scene, can be very controversial, especially when we begin throwing out Scripture references like Ephesians 5:23 that proclaims a husband is the head of a wife or the previous verse infamously included in many wedding masses that says wives should submit to their husbands. If a man, according to Scripture, is the “head of a wife,” well then us CatholicMatch ladies should be sitting back with our feet up waiting for noble CatholicMatch men to make the first move, right?

According to Scott Croft, a contributor to Focus on the Family’s “Boundless” webzine, the answer is, indeed, yes. He wrote in his 2005 post:

“I think it is part of our job as men to risk rejection and be the initiators of dates and dating relationships, and if you wait until she has gone out on a limb and made her interest known, you’re asking her to take the risk instead of taking it on yourself.”

Croft goes on to say that a woman pursuing a man sets a tone in the relationship for reversed biblical roles in marriage:

“The much wiser course in a dating context—both for purposes of evaluating a potential spouse in biblical terms and to lay the groundwork for a biblically sound marriage—is for the guy to model godly initiative and leadership with the woman’s good in mind, and for the woman to respond to that leadership.”

Reading Croft’s article as a strong, independent, 20-something was challenging. I know that I have the capacity for the same level of leadership skills as any man, just as I can vote, succeed in the business world and support myself financially. But I also know that God has created men and women inherently different. Men are called to provide and protect, while women are called to love and nurture among thousands of other things. We are the most fulfilled when we address these basic truths along with the unique calls God has set on each of our hearts.

This article sparked passionate banter in the “Single Living” forum from all sides of the spectrum:

“Take charge,” Meg-920823 posted. “I don’t want to be in charge; I want to be open and encouraging, but I want the man to be the leader.”

“Help us out,” David-364112 pleaded. “If you’re interested in a guy let him know. We’re clueless.”

These posts remind us that even in our 21st century culture, we still desire a form of traditional gender roles. Does that mean that women have no voice? No. Does that mean that men are dominant? Of course not. It means that we have to work together to meet our needs. Women can’t take a complete hands-off approach to dating and expect a man to know she’s interested, just like a man can’t call all of the shots and expect a woman to be happy. We can, however, make choices that set us up for holy and happy marriages.

So CatholicMatch men—Pursue us. Ask us out. Be the leader God is calling you to be. But don’t be surprised if we step up if you don’t. We know what we want, and we won’t let fear or old-fashioned beliefs stand in our way.

(This post has been read 2,405 times)

33 Comments

  1. Meg-920823 December 18, 2012

    Good article and I will send a smile, but I want to see if he knows what he wants and is willing to pursue it. Either a woman is worth it to him, or she is not. Risking rejection shows that a man is comfortable in his own skin and can take the tough things that often happen in life.

    • Meesch-691047 December 19, 2012

      Very true! In addition, few things make a girl feel like a beautiful lady than a man who not only shows interest but pursues her in a respectful manner :)

  2. Tessa-694373 December 18, 2012

    “Real Men” are VERY FEW these days…they don’t raise real men anymore…it seems all the good ones are taken…all that is left are the leftovers the divorce men if they were so great and good husbands why are they divorce….

    • Brian-278516 December 18, 2012

      Tessa even if true (although I am not sure it is that simple), I believe there is often to much lamenting by both sexes on how the other is failing rather than focus energy on those people who will make a good spouse.

      • Victor-544727 December 18, 2012

        You’re absolutely correct, Brian! Exhibit A: the fora. Social mediums and modern culture make it so easy to avoid looking into a mirror but rather assign blame to the most convenient target, which usually ends-up being the opposite sex.

    • Michael-780154 December 18, 2012

      Tessa, your post stings. :-) I am a divorced man, so of course, I must be TERRIBLY flawed.

      :-)

      Or perhaps I’m a really great man who made a terrible mistake in judging character when he married his (ex) wife. Maybe I’m a great man who has learned a lot about people and grown tremendously in my faith and character the past 10 years.

      I have had the privilege of meeting some divorced women who are simply AMAZING. Would I dare hold their divorce against them and not even consider them as a potential mate? Heavens no! Some husbands cheat. Some wives mislead as to their intentions prior to marriage. That leaves LOTS of GREAT potential mates out there for those of us who are seeking. Heck, I’m giddy with excitement just thinking that there are a few ladies out there who have (also) learned from their experiences in their first marriages and who now understand and want a lasting marriage the second (and final) time.

      Michael

  3. Tessa-694373 December 18, 2012

    Trust me…I met the so call good spouses…there is reason they are divorce…it really is hard and challenging to find a good man to spend the rest of life with in God’s grace in today’s society even on CM..this site is not very good and disappointing…can’t believe how many divorce men are on this site and how they lack believing in God’s teaching or Catholic Church .

  4. Tessa-694373 December 18, 2012

    PS
    Just like any other business…Catholic Match just wants your money…they don’t care what kind of person you are…

    • Victor-544727 December 18, 2012

      Well, that would be because Catholic Match IS a business. And, if Catholic Match wants to stay in business then the good people who own and operate the site need to procure revenue on a consistent business. These are business people, not priests, psychologists, or doctors. There’s no litmus test required or exam to measure one’s knowledge of Doctrine as a requirement to join this, or any site. Nor should there be. It wouldn’t be their place to judge one’s moral character – you can do that just fine by simply looking into a mirror. That’s a very unrealistic and unfair expectation and responsibility to place on anyone let alone a business operator. That responsibility is yours, not theirs.

      • Tessa-694373 December 18, 2012

        I guess that is why atheists are on catholicmatch too

    • Michael-780154 December 18, 2012

      Tessa, I disagree. Catholic Match seems to be trying to uphold some pretty strict guidelines. The site is a terrific resource for those of us who are divorced and not annulled. It has been a true blessing–even though I’m not in a position for a romantic relationship right now (pending annulment decision), the friends who have helped me here have been blessings.

      So…. just my $0.02.

  5. Tessa-694373 December 18, 2012

    Well than you are saying CM is no different than match.com and all the other online sites…so they are false advertising….bottom line they should just have a site for divorce people and one for never married so us unmarried people don’t have get all the gripe of why we don’t havean interest dating a divorce man…someone sloppy seconds as some people have put it

  6. Candace-587406 December 18, 2012

    I think this article is eye-opening, and something I wish all the men on this site could read. I met a guy recently on Catholic match that I was excited about getting to know. I thought he was interested in my profile, but he would never take charge. As a result, we haven’t talked in over 2 weeks.
    I do think whoever takes the initiative in a relationship sets the tone for the rest of the relationship, and I don’t want to be with a man who is passive. I even went to this Christopher West event, and after the presentation, this girl in the group stood up and shared how she felt non-secular men were more friendly, as far as asking for dates, than Catholic men. I wonder…but I hope that is not the case!

  7. Paul-908757 December 18, 2012

    I find this interesting. Women want the men to take charge but I can’t tell you the number of women that I’ve talked to as well as guys I know on this site who are sick an tired of pursuing women who have one excuse after another. “I’m not ready for a relationship, I am not really looking right now, I don’t know what I want” or my favorite “I’m just too busy right now”.

    Let me ask you something, women always say “Real men aren’t common anymore” to paraphrase the blogger as they go off on how they want a chivalrous guy. Well I’d like to flip the question, if guys are supposed to be chivalrous, what are women supposed to be? Right now, especially on this site, I see a lot of self serving women who won’t take the time or won’t give a lot of guys the time of day.

    It goes both ways, you can’t demand a great guy, expect him to do all the work of pursuing, while you yourself are not in any way put together emotionally, spiritually or mentally. Ask yourself, why do you think you deserve a great person? How many people have tried to message you or chat with you that you instantly deleted or declined? You can say all you want that a guy who is willing to risk rejection is comfortable in his own skin, but after a while it gets pretty old even to the most arrogant among us.

    • Daniel-640238 December 18, 2012

      The key there is letting those women go man. You can’t fight it. If you can look at yourself and say you acted like an honorable man and a women acts like this, it says more about her than you. Which is not to be judgmental, women have to go through a process and learn as we do. Not that I have this all figured out haha, but given myself a lot of grief over situations like this. Let it go and the match will be there for the right one.

    • Meesch-691047 December 19, 2012

      I am sorry that you have so much frustration regarding this issue. However, take comfort in the fact that many women on this site and real world are just as frustrated. It isn’t a man or woman issue, it is a human dynamics issue. We are meant to form meaningful communities and relationships and not run through acquaintances like a fast food restaurant. All relationships, not just dating, take a degree of patience and perseverance with not only yourself but with everyone who is placed in your path. Our seed of faith in our Lord, our dreams, ourselves, and in the people we love or will love must continue to be nurtured daily! Yes, there is discouraging experiences, but they do not dictate or define our own self or destiny UNLESS we allow them to. I invite you to not allow those disappointing interactions to define your approach to women. Rather, take each experience one person at a time with the time you have given to you. Hope this helps… somehow… even just a little ;)

    • Dave-146273 December 19, 2012

      Paul,

      nicely said without pointing any fingers to either party. We just have to remember our “preferences” for the person we’re hoping to be with are as unique as each of us. Put forth the effort in trying to get to know someone, respect if there isn’t a “mutual” attraction, wish them well and continue on.

    • Justin-32820 December 20, 2012

      HI Paul,

      I think this has become an american culture thing. American women thought through our culture expect a lot from a Man because they deserve the best. As a result women tend expect a lot form a man and give little in return. But that’s not true of all women and as the saying goes, you have to slay a few dragons to get to the princess ;)

  8. Thomas-752330 December 18, 2012

    I met a few nice women here. Just so happens long distant relationships are hard to work out. And I’ve learned that when you’re taken the knocks on the door just dont stop! Chuckle:) And for a side note. Get rid of the bad attitude.It certianly shows

  9. Tom-925515 December 19, 2012

    Tess did u ever think that some men just made a mistake in marring the wrong woman with mental health issues or drug or alcohol problems more than men r not honest

  10. Marian-904978 December 19, 2012

    I am all for the guy initiating a meeting but If they don’t do it in a reasonable time I will invite the guy Myself. Catholic Match is for both genders and we’re on line here seeking each other.

  11. Billy-88650 December 19, 2012

    for you ladies, they should have a “slap” or “punch in the face” emotigram for you to send men when they don’t take the initiative. ha. be patient, the right guy will pursue YOU.

  12. Marian-904978 December 19, 2012

    I pursued to view Tessa’s profile and I RECEIVED A MESSAGE THAT HER PROFILE DIDN’T EXIST OR HER PROFILE NUMBER WAS WRONG

    • Javier-614247 December 19, 2012

      I also looked up Tessa’s profile n got nothing. I think she’s a fake plus if she wants to put down all men why doesn’t she post a photo.

      • Donna-83441 December 20, 2012

        She likely pulled her profile after she was challenged on her assertion that all CM wants to do is take her money.

  13. Paul-908757 December 19, 2012

    My intent was not to be negative. The point I’m trying to make is if women want to be pursued they can’t put up an impenetrable wall. I notice in almost every success story that CM highlights is generally the same. “Girl wasn’t sure what she wanted or wasn’t sure she was ready for a relationship and guy through much patience and sacrifice finally won her heart….they are now living happily ever after. Rarely is it ‘They clicked had a great connection and they both did their part equally and things worked out”.

    I will say many people have this fantasy person in their mind that they’ve convinced themselves is their ‘type’ so if someone else comes along who may be a bit different that person will convince themselves that this can’t possibly be the right person and then use the excuse that it’s because it wasn’t their type or some other lame excuse.

    • Thomas-752330 December 20, 2012

      My reply was for Tessa about having a negative attitude.

  14. Bernadette-874299 December 19, 2012

    I’m all for a guy initiating contact, too. It seems a lot of us girls are old-fashioned in that way. However, if you’re going to talk to a girl, might I make another suggestion? If you’re really interested, but aren’t able to meet her right away (because you’re in another state, for example), at least make the effort to get to know her through more than just messages here on CM, or e-mail. Ask for her number, talk to her on the phone and on skype, if possible. It lets her know that you’re a take action kind of man, and it also lets her know that you’re serious about getting to know her, and that you hope to see her as more than a pen-pal. :) Good luck to all of you on finding your perfect someone. He or she is out there. You’ll meet in God’s own time. <3

  15. Andrew-290721 December 20, 2012

    I will lead if a lady is willing to follow. Finding a lady willing to follow me has been impossible.

  16. Sue-906387 December 23, 2012

    I firmly believe that it takes 2 2 Tango. Hence, for any relationship to start, it takes 2 Motivated souls. Otherwise, nothing will happen if this step is not taken seriously.

    By reading all the success story of online and offline couples, they all had One single thing in common, both man & woman were Motivated and interested in each other.

    I believe before we sign up to a dating site, we need to do some soul work on us and so that we give the best of us to the other. Hence, it would be wise to invest in that area, rather than just passively sign up and expect God to solve all your problems.

  17. Mark-876658 December 23, 2012

    I’ve felt the need to share my two cents. One issue with regards to asking women out is figuring out if a woman is interested. I tend to take the stance of if she’s polite to me, then I’ll ask her out. My repeated rejections have made me really question myself as to how to get a woman interested in me and caused me to have a lot of uncertainty. I start to ask myself questions like “Is it too soon / too late to ask her out?” or “Should I invite her along to a group outing a couple of times before asking her out on a date?” I know this is not how a man is to be but it’s difficult not to think like this due to my repeated rejections.

    It doesn’t help when a supposedly Catholic woman turns me down by asking me what indication I had she was interested in me. Another instance is one where I asked a woman out and she turned me down politely. However a few months later when she was talking about a guy who asked her out and she turned down (I don’t know who she was talking about, it could be me for all I know), she stated she couldn’t believe the guy asked her out as if the guy is suppose to be a mindreader. A third instance involves a women I was interested in but did not ask out. A friend of mine was talking to her and brought my name up in conversation, and her reaction turned to disgust. I confronted her on it and she didn’t deny it.

    My advice to women is to be polite to men, and if you’re not immediately interested in a guy don’t blow him off in a conversation. You should understand that men are the ones who deal with active rejection by getting turned down, whereas women deal with passive rejection by not being asked out.

  18. Steve-111719 December 28, 2012

    I’d love to take the lead personally. Now, if I could just get one of the CM ladies I’ve sent a message to to actually respond to my message, then we’d be getting somewhere. :wink:

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