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Single Living

Some time ago, I read an article titled, A Lost iPhone & A Chance Encounter, written by my friend, Chris Easterly, who described a very serendipitous meeting one Saturday night with a pretty woman, originated through his finding her lost iPhone. It’s a great article and one that makes you stop and think about the “what if’s?” that all of us experience from time-to-time.

In the story, Chris reflected: Maybe I played it too safe. After all, we can’t expect God to work in our lives if we just stand back and do nothing. Or as an old preacher friend of mine said, “God can’t steer us if we’re not even driving the car. How often we just sort of plow through life, never entertaining and many times not even recognizing the opportunities that stare us in the face until it’s too late. This is a great point to consider as you search for someone special… Are you also missing some opportunities for love?

Personally, I think there was a time when I was single and dating where I got into the habit of making instant decisions about a potential date based on one conversation we had. I may have found the guy attractive, but somewhere in that first chat, there was that one thing he said—something minor and forgiveable, of course—but it was something I considered to be a flaw and did not fit inside the mold of the perfect man I was upholding. That little snippet of the conversation made me cross him off my list of possibilities. It was almost as if I was seeking out flaws instead of actually being open to getting to know him. Admittedly, this is not a great way to find a date.

Everyone should have their criteria—their list of negotiables and non-negotiables—when it comes to finding the right person to marry. But what if, like I was, you’re being a bit too hasty? Is it possible that you are missing out on some incredible relationship simply because the profile of the person you’re looking at lists something that isn’t on your list of negotiables? For example, gentlemen, maybe you’ve come across a profile of someone you find attractive and has many of the qualities you’ve been looking for, only to find she loves the one thing you definitely don’t—NASCAR. Is she off your list? Or maybe, ladies, there’s one gentleman in particular who appears in all your searches, and he’s local, he’s handsome and comes across as very genuine. But, he’s said yes to 7/7 of the faith and morals questions and to you, this seems extreme. Is he off your list? These are all off-the-top-of-my-head examples, but you’re probably seeing my point…

People are much more than a 100-word or so profile description, much more than just a snapshot that may or may not represent them well. But more importantly, every single one of them are worth getting to know.

Am I proposing you take the time to get to know everyone on CatholicMatch? Well, that would be silly, now, wouldn’t it? But I am proposing that in your search for someone special, you take the time to at least have a few conversations with the ones who don’t exactly match up with your “dream date” list. Who knows what can happen from there? Maybe your faith can be enriched through encounters like this? Maybe you can come to a deeper understanding of someone else’s circumstances? Maybe you can fall in love with someone incredible?

In the movie Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams’ character, Sean, offers Will some sage advice:

You’re not perfect, sport. And let me save you the suspense, this girl you met isn’t either. The question is, whether or not you’re perfect for each other.

So in connection with meeting potential dates, this advice translates to two ideas that are very basic in nature, but practically considered radical in our current society; being patient with others and not passing judgement. I think these are two good rules of thumb when searching for someone to date.

Some people say dating is an art form; you learn how to “wow” someone of the opposite sex. That may be true, but I believe dating is rooted in love for other people. Not just romantic love, I mean neighborly love, too. Being open to others whose lives are not mirror images of your own, listening to their stories, getting to know them for who they are. Love for souls is the foundation of every romance.

I welcome your questions and comments at asklisa@catholicmatch.com.

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15 Comments

  1. David-364112 November 11, 2013

    Great article. Thanks for these words of wisdom!

  2. Anne-993442 November 11, 2013

    “whether or not you are perfect for each other”!. I love it. We do need to listen more and then watch more as the other may surprise you!

  3. Cindy-502270 November 11, 2013

    Fabulous article with great points of being open minded. As the saying goes . . . you can’t judge the book by its cover. It takes opening it up and finding out. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ann-69118 November 11, 2013

    I think folks are more carefull these days due to the dangerous times we live in. While meeting someone off the street and giving them your number might work in at movie in reality it could be quite dangerous.

  5. Julie-631165 November 11, 2013

    That was beautiful! It is important to make distinction between non-negotiables and negotiables. Also my question as I read and revise my own profile and read men ‘s profiles…. is it a an inviting approach to share a little tiny bit of yourself and then write “if you are interested—send me a note” ? Or does that just create too much mystery that it turns people off?

  6. Lori-1020607 November 11, 2013

    The article is so true. No one is perfect and we have to except that with whom ever we meet because we are not perfect either.

  7. Frank-990200 November 12, 2013

    I enjoyed the article. We are more than our profiles. I am reminded of the note on the desk of a Director of Religious Education: “It is hard not to love someone once you hear their story.” I joined Catholic Match because I am still discerning God’s will in my life. It is about the people one meets along the way and listening to their stories.
    Thanks.

  8. Patrick-341178 November 12, 2013

    I dont know many guys that would disqualify a woman for loving NASCAR, lol, but I get your point. But, I am sure the example you used with the 5/7ers probably goes both ways. The reality is 5/7ers should probably date 5/7ers and 7/7ers should date 7/7ers, than everyone wins. Those questions and answers really should be non-negotiables.

    Where I agree more with what you said is how people tend to disqualify over seemingly trivial matters (like the NASCAR thing.) What I have found on this site is there are two very different levels of courtship with someone here: pre-meeting and post-meeting. I have had a number of dates from this site that have only lasted 1 date – maybe 2. Yet, I have found myself scratching my head as to why in most of the cases.

    Clearly, there is something that women look for right away, a spark or a certain romance, that I don’t think men necessarily do. Surely, if I dated someone for a reasonable period of time, maybe a month or two and felt nothing, that would be reason for concern. However, I dont think women are as patient. There are clearly sparks they need to feel right away or many just walk.

    Maybe some women could enlighten me on this. Perhaps it is “that little snipet of conversation” you mentioned in your dating example.

    • Lisa-727959 November 12, 2013

      Patrick,

      Thanks for your comment. One question… don’t you think it’s possible that a 5/7 person could get to know a 7/7 person and have some conversations that could bring understanding and lead them closer to their faith? Or possibly a 7/7 person who got to know someone who did not answer yes to all the questions and realizes that growing together in the faith would make a relationship all the more exciting? After a few dates, if it just doesn’t work then part ways but you’re both enriched because of the experience. And if there are sparks, well…

      Just a little food for thought.

      - Lisa Duffy

  9. Esther-532964 November 13, 2013

    Very good article. It is hard to find a match. I try to keep an open mind. I believe most people do to. The morals and values part is what is important to me. Do they believe the same way I do. I wish more men were 7/7, and liked women who were 7/7. This is a Catholic match web site. I thought more men would be 7/7, and would want a 7/7 woman. I will keep praying.

  10. Michelle-1003676 November 13, 2013

    Thank you for your insights. I am currently chatting with a lovely man from Canada, and getting to know him is such a blessing. I do not know if he will be the one for me, because he is living on the other side of the globe. But everytime when we skype, getting to know him better is a magical feeling. He is not on my absolute ideal list, but I took the initiative to start a conversation with him.

    He is 7/7 and I am a 5/7, he responded my messages, and he is very humble. So yes, he is leading me nearer to God, because he leads by example. What a blessing.

  11. Michael-410923 November 13, 2013

    I don’t think one date is sufficient. I’m guessing that some people think there is a bigger chance of a 7/7 and 5/7 having one date only? I think both being on Catholicmatch are aiming for the same thing, but have different ways of going about it.

    Individualism is the biggest problem. I don’t think profiling someone helps. If a 7/7 is important, what if that person had recently become convinced of 7/7? Or a 7/7 divorcee? What if the 5/7 was simply acknowledging past practices during a time of stress, or would be happy to settle down and live as a 7/7? Who decided upon the 7 questions, anyways?

    I went speeddating. Extremely shallow and stressful but kudos to the participants for getting up to bat! I think the mistake was not joining a group afterwards where there was more informal discussions…one could talk more within a group. Maybe the #1 choice (made after a glass of wine and 8 minutes of talk) turns out to be silly or maybe another person makes a more enthusiastic response. Happens.

    Perhaps Catholicmatch could offer a group outing or two. ‘Register for bowling night’ without any ‘big date’ imperatives. Might offset the silly ‘you’ve been matched with someone 1,000 miles away’.

    • Rob-362135 March 31, 2014

      Michael, CM does not arrange any events, they are always planned/organized by members. If you’d like a bowling outing in your area, you should plan it. I’d suggest checking for interest first in the Member Meet-Ups forum. Good luck.

  12. Ana-829195 November 17, 2013

    In this difficult time that we are living we have to notice the person little by little because then they will show you a lot of surprises. God Bless you.

  13. Rob-362135 March 31, 2014

    Great advice for us all to heed… “being patient with others and not passing judgement”. I’ve posted in the forums a few times that we need to give each other a break, to not end communication or decide the first F2F was the last F2F. Just as nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes… a bit of nervousness is also common in a first F2F. If something was said or done that seemed a little off, give them another chance.

    Lastly, I want to comment about the fact that some people look for a spark or chemistry (whatever that means) to be present on a first F2F. If you feel comfortable enough to meet in person, why not agree to get together a few times before making that determination. It takes time to get to know someone once you begin to see each other IRL. Again, we are not perfect & everyone appreciates a second chance.

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