We live in a culture of widespread abundance, at least in material terms. Most of us can easily access plenty of food, transportation, technology and housing.
So why do we look at everything in our lives from a mindset of scarcity? We often look at the wealth we don’t have instead of looking at the blessings we do have. We even have this outlook in our search for love.
When we experience a break-up, we panic that there might not be another chance at love. I suspect that’s what’s behind all the angst we put ourselves through. We ask ourselves, and others, what went wrong and why. We give so many extra chances to a match who is wrong for us, because we want so badly to have someone in our lives.
I thought many times, “I have to make this one work out. I have to, otherwise I’m going to be alone.” It certainly led me down a path of failed relationships. This set me up for a lot of disappointment and hurt.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
But I know I’m not the only one. I see it in the women’s message board on the forums. I see it in discussions with my friends. The mindset of approaching dates and relationships as scarce, is downright self-destructive. We can’t possibly approach anything in our lives as if it was our last chance.
Let’s go back to the example of material things: no one goes around thinking, “I have to get this season’s iPhone 5; otherwise I’ll never have another phone.” No one asks her friends, “Why didn’t I catch that bus? What went wrong? Maybe the bus just isn’t that into me? Time is running out; who knows how many other buses are out there? Why is it so hard to find a trustworthy bus?” Come on.
One place where this mentality is overtly obvious is on TV. One of my guilty pleasures is the TV show, The Bachelor. To me, it’s the most unfortunate portrayal of the search for love. All the contestants are young, attractive, accomplished and marriage-minded, but those 25 women competing for one man, talk about how he is their last, or only, chance at finding love. I do take into account that the show is scripted; but even so, this is an accurate reflection of the reality I’ve experienced.
There’s no reason to think that being in a relationship vs. being alone and lonely are our only two options.
One way to approach the search for a relationship is to keep in mind that God truly wants our happiness. As Catholics, we believe that God will provide. And many of us do approach the search for relationships that way. But many of us don’t. That is what saddens me. God does provide, always, in every area of life.
Even if there are few Catholics in your area, or the search for love yields few potential dates, God will help you discover his will. Maybe not now, but when the time is right, God will provide. Time is not running out; we’re working on God’s time.
Instead of thinking, “a good man/woman is hard to find,” or “there is no one here for me,” we could start thinking, “the right person will show up when God thinks I’m ready.”
There are enough iPhones, enough food, and certainly enough buses available. In fact, this society has more than enough; we are abundant with blessings. It is no different with relationships. God has already blessed us abundantly. Believe that he will always provide.