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Online Dating Tips

So you want to get married, but you feel that your long distance relationship suddenly feels like you’re moving farther away from the notion of marriage rather than towards it.

Why does this happen?

Sometimes the physical distance between a couple can create intimacy walls, which only furthers that effect of distance.

In my last post, I talked about unique ways a long-distance couple can get to know each other and thrive in their relationship. However, a relationship can only progress so far through conversation alone. Physical affection is incredibly important, too, and a necessary part of marriage.

If you are in a long-distance relationship and discerning marriage, ask yourself: are you really ready to relocate? If the relationship is to end in marriage, relocation must happen for at least one person!

Here are some of the questions that my husband, Alex, and I considered before relocating and getting married:

What are you so afraid of? Alex helped me identify my own fears of commitment early in our dating relationship. I recognized that sometimes fear is disguised as prudence. No act would be considered courageous if there was nothing to be wagered. However, we are still responsible to respond to these situations in spite of feeling fear.

Alex also pointed out the obvious—that fear is NOT a virtue, and it does not come from God. Right away I recognized my fears as temptations to pull away from something holy and God-given.

Marriage involves dying to one’s own life as we know it in order to create new life with our spouse in union with God. Don’t be afraid of who God is calling you to become.

Through regular self-examination we challenge ourselves to overcome our own attachments and vices, which will prepare us for extraordinary situations like relocation, and eventually marriage. 

Are you ready to give up your life for the sake of another? For most of us, the dying to self happens in many little ordinary ways, but they matter just as much as those heroic headliners. Because Jesus thought us all worthy to give of His own life, we should remember that through Him our life has then been made worthy to give to another.

Likewise, our spouse’s life has been made worthy to receive. Jesus conquered even death, so through Him we can certainly conquer relocation. Marriage involves dying of the single life, and relocating may be a part of that sacrifice, even after your vows. You may find yourselves relocating as a family for the sake of better employment or education. Military families are great examples of this self-denial and detachment of geographical location for the benefit of the greater good. 

How attached are you to your own goals, plans, and ambitions?  Have you made any room to compromise? My husband wanted to be a musician full-time, and I wanted to be a writer. He is now a web developer and graphic designer, and I have been a stay-at-home mom with marginal part-time employment in transcription. Instead of waiting for those earthly goals to materialize before getting married, we instead recognized each other’s talents, dreams, and goals, and then made little steps towards achieving them TOGETHER, under the graces of marriage.

We could have chosen to be resentful towards each other for postponing those dreams and ambitions (or, rather, redirecting them to start a family). Instead we made a conscious decision early in our relationship to choose God over our selves through practicing generosity, courage, patience, and trust, and we rejected the temptations to pride, vanity, and greediness. Since God gave us our gifts and talents, we trusted that He would find ways for us to use them for His glory.

We have always made an effort to be open to using those gifts and talents as God desires, even if the externals are different than what we originally imagined. Alex still sings regularly, but not full-time, and I’m plugging away at writing stories from home. We have also worked on writing songs together, combing both our talents.  God’s ideas are always better than our own! 

What is the worst thing that can happen from relocation? I tend to look at worst case scenarios, because it helps put these sacrifices into perspective. So you may have to change careers or income, and most likely leave behind friends and family if you relocate.

Those same things can happen right where you live now—people can move away, or your job can dissolve. We are not in control of anything in our lives except for our own choices and responses. The flip-side is reminding yourself what you have to gain by relocating.  

If Skype and phone conversations suffice for a romantic relationship, then those same communications should suffice for family and friends until you can see each other again in person.

If you’re more attached to family and friends than to your significant other, then you have to ask yourself, is this person really the right match for me, or am I too just attached to the externals (including other relationships) in my life? 

(This post has been read 1,843 times)

19 Comments

  1. Dave-146273 May 5, 2013

    A great article and everything you say is very true. There are circumstances however as you grow older, Children, Homes, etc., that make it a tad bit more difficult to work through although not impossible. We have to be flexible and continue to place our Trust in God.

  2. Mike-968530 May 5, 2013

    Well said….

  3. Pedyne-248823 May 5, 2013

    Very good article with very good points about relocation. I especially like the point about attachment to friends and family. I think we should remember that our friends and family too are living their own lives and we are not to allow fear to prevent us from realizing the grace/blessing that God has for us.

  4. Veronica-674700 May 5, 2013

    Nice article

  5. Naomi-825244 May 5, 2013

    Oh my gosh! It’s like you have been reading my mind, Joy!!! I’m super scared of the possibility of relocating…something I realized after moving only across town. Dying to self…Dear Lord help me to do!

  6. Martha-543437 May 5, 2013

    Sometime you’re tied to things, that is why you don’t want to relocate…

  7. David-870960 May 5, 2013

    Great article! Thank You! Dependents, are a pretty strong exception, but that’s temporary, and only requires patience, trust, and perseverance.

  8. Jacqueline-198 May 6, 2013

    Well as for me, relocation is not an option, I’m the only child of aging parents and very little family, so if it’s God’s will for me, the man the Lord has for me would understand and relocate to my area, of course, I wouldn’t expect a man to do something that I’m not willing or able to do. God has a plan and NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!

  9. Lesley-158563 May 6, 2013

    This may work for the very young, but unless someone is engaged it makes very little sense otherwise.

  10. Arden-261786 May 6, 2013

    Great article! Relocation is a very serious matter, and if one person is willing to make the move, both people need to know what the other is giving up, in terms of being uprooted and what is expected. There have to be many discussions, and both people have to realize that they should be committed to each other. The uprooted party must make his/her own friends in the community, the rooted party must be able to still do his/her activities, and both parties must support each other in the various goals that each has set upon him/her self. And praying together is a great way of supporting each other.

  11. Angelina-735108 May 6, 2013

    Nice article. thank you

  12. Patrick-872788 May 6, 2013

    I find it sad that social networks within the Catholic community have disintegrated to the point that for many finding someone locally is next to impossible. For two millennia most Catholics were able to meet people without widening their search radii to hundreds or thousands of miles. I’m not begrudging the success of those who found spouses through LDRs. I’m just saying that it should not be a virtual necessity to do so.

    While I appreciate the Catholic Match business I believe it is sad that there is even demand for such a service. The Catholic Church and the married lay community need to examine what their ministries and attitudes are toward single people. They need to ask if they are doing what they can to foster an environment in which single Catholics meet and marry. It’s in their own self interest lest the next generation of Catholics shrinks. Our donations are every bit as valid as those from families. At least throw us a bone with an occasional Homily.

  13. Ray-362908 May 7, 2013

    Relocating is a more serious consideration for “senior citizens” who have deep roots, many of them virtues, like assisting neighbors or volunteering at the hospital.

  14. Meesch-691047 May 7, 2013

    If you believe that God is with you, then relocating is more like an adventure with the Holy Spirit.

  15. Annette-969665 May 8, 2013

    I was in a long distance realtionship for three years. So I can relate to this article. I think at some point love becomes a decision to love. And yes, Patrick there do need to be more ministries to Catholic singles on a parish and diocesan level. Why not start a group? Many Catholics and others I know have met by chance and some in social situations. I wonder if now we are so focused on our work and lives if we give anough time to socialize. Ans speaking for myself, I have a young child so my windows of social time are very limited. So I think online is a great tool to try and if someone is in an area of relocation then just se what happens.

    • Michelle-640571 August 10, 2013

      Annette, our pastor will not allow starting a singles group. I too have children and my windows of social time are very limited as well…. Online after 2 years has yield only one “possibility” who eventually I walked away from because of odd circumstances. I’m not holding out for much here either…. I just can’t relocate for about 3 years more at least.

      All know I pray for all of us… That St. Joseph find the spouse we crave to fulfill us to the measure we can in this life….

      Blessings Always,
      Michelle
      +AMDG+

  16. Mary-732729 May 12, 2013

    I would prefer to not relocate, but if I realized it was God’s will, how could I say no ? :-)

  17. Suzan S. May 21, 2013

    Well I was always told the guy or man comes to the girl..if ong distant it is more for safety reasons the man should travel to the girl. A girl traveling alone to asother country for instant is not a good thing. So in this case I strongly think the man is the one that should do this..

  18. Jillian-1014035 September 26, 2013

    Nice article….

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