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One concern that pops up frequently in the comments and forums of CatholicMatch is this: “He’s in his 40s and he’s never been married—can he commit?”

The two most common answers seem to be:

1. No. If he hasn’t settled down by 40, he never will.

2. Yes. If he’s in love, all will be well.

As a man who did not get married until his mid-forties, I can tell you this: it can be done, but not easily.

I learned the hard way that you cannot make a 180-degree turn toward a fulfilling Catholic marriage after decades of self-absorption. I lived on my terms, around my own schedule, to my convenience. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about anyone else; it was just that I found it more convenient to put myself first. It was comfortable, and marriage is not about being comfortable. It’s about willing the best and highest good of your spouse. It’s about doing something for someone else, even when you don’t feel like it. That is true love.

It’s also easier to put off marriage when you’re a man. This is a harsh fact of life, but it is a fact.

I wish I could reassure all women and say, “Of course he’ll commit.” But that is simply not the case.

Don’t be afraid to ask him why he hasn’t yet married. Don’t just accept an answer without asking for clarification.

My dad once told me (when I was in college), “Erik, you’re going to meet a million women in your lifetime, and half of them will be “the right one.” Sounds unromantic, huh? The simple truth is that doesn’t take a whole lot to make a marriage. It takes two people of similar values, who are attracted to each other, and who want the same things in life. The big things. If a man tells you he hasn’t met his “soul mate” yet, it means he has been looking for the “perfect woman.” And there is no such thing. He’s been unwilling to face the fact that no one is perfect. Consciously or unconsciously, he’s still unwilling to accept that ALL relationships mean compromise.

Our culture is to blame for most of the false ideas we have about marriage and relationships in general. Being told that happiness is to be placed above all, it’s no wonder so many relationships fail.

Ask him if he has he been discerning his vocation. Hear him out. He may have had a conversion of heart late in life. I did. Talk about your expectations in marriage. Talk about how you would face challenges together.

Don’t think that the hard work is over if you become engaged. Engagement is still a time of discernment. He may seem as if he is on cloud nine all the time he is around you. He may say that you’ve changed his life and he’s finally happy. But the fact is that his life has not yet truly changed. Over time, when the thrill of newfound romance wears off, he will come back to earth, as we all do. As the saying goes, keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterward.

It would be easy to adopt the rule: “Don’t date men who are over 40 and have never been married.” But don’t do that. Ask questions. Discern. Communicate!

I’m one year into marriage, and have never been happier. I can look back now and see how modern culture warped my sense of happiness. I stopped living for myself and started living for my marriage. I abandoned the popular idea of “follow your bliss.” I discarded the incredibly naïve notion that personal comfort and “fulfillment” (whatever that is) was to be put above all else. Until I stopped thinking of my wife as an addition to my life, I was unprepared to start a life with her. I had to die to myself, and start living as half of a new creation. My wife and I are one; the old me is no longer. It’s a daily realization.

(This post has been read 6,916 times)

63 Comments

  1. Bernard-688509 November 13, 2013

    95% of women over age 25 are not virgins.

    Were YOU a virgin at age 40-something when you finally gave up your years of “self-absorption”?

    Didn’t think so.

    Please don’t lecture me, because I held out for the “perfect woman”, when all I ask is that she be MY first woman, and I be HER first man. I have come to believe after all of these years, that being CHASTE and WAITING FOR MARRIAGE MAY HAVE caused me to lose what few women showed interest in me.

    TODAY, I had a 5’10″ 55 year-old woman whose marriage has been “annulled” with three grown children on this site ACTUALLY use an excuse that I had to wait until my age (49) to hear for the first time. She said:

    “I am much older than you, and I am taller than you, and that matters to me”.

    Being that she is 6 years older than I am would seem OK in the adult world, and that we probably will leave this planet around the same time, statistically speaking, but just more LAME EXCUSES.

    AT LEAST THIS WOMAN IS ONE OF THE FEW on this site who ACTUALLY REPLIED to HUNDREDS of initiating messages I have sent to start a conversation online, and might lead t a REAL DATE.

    I have had three dates since joining CM over 10 years ago.

    I won’t get married, UNLESS it IS on MY TERMS, which are called Traditional Roman Catholic.

    In this dystopian culture, I AM A REBEL WITH A CAUSE. One would think that would make me a “catch”. Not to the “modern woman”, Catholic or not. When I do searches on here, usually about 50% of the women do not even believe in ALL SEVEN of the most important CATHOLIC faith questions.

    What is to be thought of NO-CATHOLIC women in the World???

    So, I am glad you found your “perfect woman”, but us CHASTE, and may I sat, VIRGIN, bachelors of over 32 years in my case, are not having that “self-absorbent (is that the correct phrase?)” times of your youth that you spoke about earlier.

    We would get married just to have someone to hold, kiss, cuddle, and make love to, after we are married.

    But, a majority of the women on this site, and 99% of the women outside of this site are far too impatient or whatever their lame excuse is…..I am “too short” (by one inch…) or “too young (6 years)”….

    I never thought I would be getting turned down by divorced, 40+ women, buy the culture tells them to be “Cougars” and waste their time having sex with young guys who want sex, but not a middle-aged relationship partner.

    • Anita-471998 November 13, 2013

      Breathe Bernard Breathe.. It will all be okay..someday.. it will be okay.. just breathe.. May God Bless you!!

      • Daniel-547338 November 19, 2013

        Anita, your comment about just breathing probably added to stoked the fires of his frustration. Kind of like asking someone “Did it hurt?” after they just stubbed their toe badly.

    • Joanna-615441 November 16, 2013

      Wow, this article sure generated a lot of passion. Erik wrote it from his perspective and from his experience. I don’t think he intended to paint all O40NM’s in the same stroke, or to lecture anyone for trying to follow the teachings of Holy Mother Church. He is just giving the women something to think about since that seems to be a question he has encountered.

      As someone who married young, divorced young (annulled young), I too lived my single life for myself. It wasn’t until I was in a relationship at the age of 40 – 45 that I really began to see what it meant to “die to self” and to put someone else first. Since I spent 20 years of my life living in a “me” world, it took some effort to change habits.

      Everyone has a different perspective on what it is they are searching for, some of those things may seem silly, but it is what it is. My current beau is 4 years younger and my height. I wear 4″ heels when we go out so I tower over him and he LOVES it. It is not his stature that is attractive, it is his confidence. Any woman who allows a few years in age and 1″ in height affect her, MAY have her own self confidence issues.

      I am still growing and seeking a fuller relationship with God that in turns opens me up to others.

      Blessings on your search Bernard, don’t let anyone else’s rejection of you affect who you are as a son of God.

    • Paul-858743 November 19, 2013

      You hit the nail on the head!

    • Paul-858743 November 20, 2013

      Dude, “Don’t you know about the new fashion honey? All you need are looks and a whole lotta money.”-Billy Joel, 1980. Is more true today than it was in 1980!

  2. Kathy-730470 November 13, 2013

    Bernard,
    If a woman 55 did not want to go out with you for whatever reasons then she is not the one for you. Having said that whether she is divorced and has children has nothing to do with it. Everyone has their own ideas and thoughts on who they want to go out with. Her thoughts are no more or less important than yours. Live and let live Bernard. I enjoyed the writers view on dating men over 40. I am sorry that you are frustrated with finding someone but please Bernard do not judge others because of what they want in someone special. You do not know the particulars about the writer of this piece and therefore should not be so critical in your comments about him. Pray Bernard to find the one for you. It only takes one. I wish you well in your search. God bless.

  3. Cathy-564420 November 13, 2013

    Great article Erik,

    It can happen but very rare and Congratulations are in order for you Erik! It happened to my older brother too and he has the most amazing married it’s almost sickening;) hehe, jk.

    In my case being on CM for about four years or so, hitting 40 and the never marrieds is tough! They are selfish and independent, don’t have kids so they want their own, and don’t want to share a life with anyone unless it’s as stated above “On their Terms”. They are usually looking for self-gratification and will never commit and they are time consuming to date and self loathing!!

    I see you struck a nerve with Bernard and this proves my case! Bernard is still looking for Ms. Perfect and seems very self-absorbed as in most gents in their late 30s and up never married seem to be. How about maybe ask a lady out. I’m finding dating in my 40s way different than 20 years ago when I first met my husband. I tell ya! I don’t need email or text buddies, I just want a date, LOL.

    Well good luck to all of us singles out there and you too Bernard.

    Great article which totally shows that never marrieds can commit when they put their perspectives in order and use the term “US” and not “Me, me, me!

  4. Kevin-908420 November 13, 2013

    Bernard, wow dude you have a lot of anger and frustration. I am going to do my best to help you out brother. First I say brother, and before you get upset, I am referring to Brother in Christ.

    Bernard, telling the world about how frustrated you are about everything, does NOT usually attract person in general. You may be a big complainer, but if you show the world your worst side, it will not help you at all. I reviewed your profile, to see if I could offer any help. You only have 1 photo, you have not taken the temperament test, and you haven’t asked any questions for women to answer in the interview section. For someone that has been looking “for 10 years” you really haven’t taken the site seriously.

    I do wish you the best, and hopefully you can spread the love of Christ than the bitterness you feel. The Latin mass is a beautiful place for all Catholics to enjoy, and I hope you find someone to enjoy it with you. And no that’s not a “patronizing blowoff”(taken from his profile) but a sincere hope for you.

    • Bernard-688509 November 13, 2013

      Dude, you reviewed my profile TODAY. So you ASSUMED that I only had one photo up there over the past 10 years WRONG!!! The “test” and questions are nothing I need to do on this site.

      A few months ago, I removed the more than 15 photos I had up previously (so, if you knew that I had over 15 photos posted up until a few months ago, maybe your rationale for attracting women would be that I need to take BETTER PHOTOS????) because I am out of here when my membership expires in February 2014.

      Now, dude, I will ask you:

      You look like a Romeo/Casanova. Just what do you do that makes you so successful here??? If it’s works for me, I will buy you a pizza.

      • Kevin-908420 November 16, 2013

        Well first I would change your profile picture. Not that it’s bad, but you want to set a new image for yourself. Perhaps you doing something active?

        Then add 6-8 other pictures of you doing something that drives you i.e. Going to mass, Adoration, Confession, running in the park, building a house….whatever is a passion for you.

        Then change your description to only positive things. Focus on only the positive, because people are making a first impression of you. I mean dude I am trying to be on your side but my first impression was horrifically negative, but this second response is with the idea of you trying. Trying is good.

        Next if you aren’t a Knight of Columbus or in a Pro-Life group etc. then join one, you can meet a lot of great people through these types of events. Finding something in your parish, or a nearby parish that excites you, and start volunteering at these events. Single’s events occur at some parishes and you will want to look into these as well.

        These changes alone will be huge on the impact of your life, but the last hurdle is the biggest. You have to read the profiles of women you are interested in, and send them a positive message. Don’t wait for the one woman to respond, but look over several profiles, and talk to all of them. Don’t be a player, but you send a positive message, like “Wow that’s a cool photo of you doing…..” some will respond, and the best relationships are started with friendships. Finally keep an open mind, tell the world you are this and that, and why this is so important, may all be how you feel but judging others is not the way of Jesus. The whole without sin cast the first stone. Now you may not be interested in someone that does this or that, but if you announce it to the world, and don’t keep an open mind and heart you will miss out on all the wonders our God has planned for you. Because Jesus can’t steer the car, if you don’t get in it.

        These are just a few suggestions but if any do work, I will hold you to the pizza, Pepperoni Pizza preferred.

        • Luz-1055440 March 16, 2014

          Hello to both.
          May I make a suggestion? Please know that I am in no intention to say anyone is wrong. I would say Kevin is making good suggestions and seems to be on good faith, but Bernard seems to be upset by the suggestions. I think some of us, myself included, sometimes feel angry with everyone, but passes sooner or later. I think Bernard has had bad situations hat keep him angry. Bernard, with my best intentions and wishes I Have a suggestion, can you pray that God heals the hurt that people who have not understood you (women) have caused to you? If I am saying something that you find offensive, I ask for forgiveness and pray that God clarifies my words…
          Everyone may have valid reasons to be angry, but anger eventually poisons everything. If I understand correctly, you are still angry. Pray for healing, and if not,pray for God to give you the desire to let go of the mean things people might have done. You deserve peace, God loves you so much. He will give you peace. I hope everyone who reads the conversation prays for Bernard and for everyone who have being misunderstood or who have unfairly suffered in their dating life.
          Blessings to all,

  5. Christopher-570488 November 13, 2013

    It is just people and half of them are below average!

    • Cathy-564420 November 14, 2013

      This was an odd comment. Below average? Hmmm, are you on the upper half or lower half, LOL

  6. Kathy-730470 November 13, 2013

    Bernard,
    You seem very angry. Did you ever hear the saying you get more with honey than vinegar?

    • Daniel-547338 November 19, 2013

      I don’t think his rant was aimed at a potential date. He was commenting on the article.

      • Luz-1055440 March 16, 2014

        His profile has a rant. He sounds like a good person. Let’s prayer for him and for others who have had a heavy cross in dating.

  7. Michael-410923 November 13, 2013

    Erik’s article is fairly provocative. I thought having a divorced columnist on CatholicMatch would be provocative, but this likely tops that. There could be many reasons why a man is of an age and unmarried. Was in school for a long time. Had allergies to cats and kept on meeting cat ladies.

    Bernard has a point that a 7/7 in a midst of 5/7 is upholding some fine standards but has more trouble relating. I think being 7/7 is admirable. I think most 5/7s wished they were 7/7s. I’m sure they would settle down to 7/7. Part of that is going on multiple dates as another columnist mentioned.

    The thing is, internet dating is tough. One-on-one. Most relationships (not just catholic) occur in some sort of community. School. Work. It’s great to see those love stories where two individuals found each other on CM. But, it is stressful for the individuals. One date is an ‘all-in’ proposition when the reality is that multiple dates helps to understand ‘do I want to be with this person a lot more?’ It is terribly individualistic to date and be one-on-one. Building relationships in social groups then asking someone else offers a buffer and a community that may recognize the relationship.

    @ Bernard, I would suggest going to more Catholic socials. Join the Knights of Columbus (just to volunteer, no rush on the insurance part) and meet people. Volunteering will permit one to say hello to women in the Catholic community and discuss nice topics like the charitable work KoC does.

    • Ruth-947500 November 20, 2013

      As a 7/7 person myself, I have concerns about dating someone who is only 5/7, mostly because I would worry that they would become a near occasion of sin for me and/or pressure me into something that I strongly feel is sinful outside of marriage. I have been pressured about sex in relationships before, and honestly, I’m no longer willing to put up with it–it steals my dignity as a human being.

      Besides, when our emotions get engaged in the normal course of relationships, the physical aspect of a relationship can get more tempting (as it should be!). When you aren’t on the same page about where the physical boundaries are, it then means that the person who is 7/7 becomes the PDA police, also an uncomfortable position to be in. Personal experience tells me that being up front about being unashamedly 7/7 usually means that the person who is not 7/7 says something like “God bless.” and disappears. Maybe it is because I am female and 5/7 females are less expectant that sex will be part of the courting process. *shrugs* Those questions are there for a reason, and they seem to be a good way to make sure that you aren’t already out of step on some very important issues.

  8. Michael-339056 November 13, 2013

    As a man over 40 myself, albeit not much over 40, and yes I am a virgin, and can tell you we will commit for the right woman.

  9. Greg-735603 November 13, 2013

    Erik I like what you have to say to a point. That is your story and thanks for sharing. We all have different reasons for not getting married before we reach our 40′s. But I think we can all sum it up with we were not ready or did not see it as something we wanted in our lives at that moment. Maybe we had a bad experience in a relationship, too shy, what ever. I think the important thing is what you said. Just because we are over 40 and never married does not make us undesirable or not marriage material. Thanks for the positive story and good luck to everyone here.

  10. Sinoj-1024817 November 14, 2013

    good to read this

  11. Cyril-981361 November 14, 2013

    If you were a woman I would probably have messaged you and asked you if we sadly dated the same bloke.

    • Tom-995241 November 19, 2013

      Man, that’s some funny statement right there Cyril. perhaps your a comedy writer. you go girl friend.

  12. Ann-69118 November 14, 2013

    Bernard read your own posts and think if you were a woman how would you view someone posting angry message assuming everyone was the same. Best of luck to you.

  13. Brad-15506 November 15, 2013

    I’d take an Over 40 Never Married before someone who was divorced- more baggage and cant sustain a committed relationship. See those assumptions sting don’t they? Author and commenters paint O40NMs with a broad brush and assign stereotypes that are hardly helpful. Truth of the matter is that all of society, Catholics not excluded, are waiting longer to get married. There are many factors, but I doubt that self-absorption is the major hurdle for marriage.

  14. Marc-21531 November 15, 2013

    To return to the article’s main focus on whether a man over forty-years old can commit I would say the following: the type of commitment necessary for a Catholic marriage is nothing less than a total gift of self to another, without reserve. In other words, to truly love and in that regard God, who is love, is our greatest example. That being said, the best way to prepare for marriage, on one fundamental level at least, is to have and nourish a loving relationship with Christ.

    If you have a living relationship with Jesus and are trying your best to be faithful to Him, wherever you may find yourself in your life, then you can rest assured that you will face trials that will test your fidelity to Him. A person who has reached the age of forty or more can surely commit, in my opinion, but what may make it more or less challenging is how faithful that person has been to Christ up until then.

    A person who has been doing their best will have grown as a person and would be more capable of loving, as Christ does, and of being more faithful since they have been tested in the area of love in that most important relationship with Jesus. Of course, if a person has been living all of those years in grave sin and has persisted in making decisions that go against God’s will they may find themselves somewhat ill prepared for marriage. Yet, I believe the author’s account clearly demonstrates that anything is possible with God and His grace.

    In conclusion, let us pray that we may be ever more faithful to Christ recognizing that fidelity to Jesus is truly the most basic preparation for the beautiful vocation of marriage. Amen.

    • Ariana-951487 November 19, 2013

      I appreciate Marc’s perspective. One’s relationship to Christ during singleness is paramount.

      Erik emphasized the self-absorption of singleness, which may have been true in his experience and may be true in the experience of others; but it is not the experience of all. To be self-centered or not self-centered is about one’s personal maturity and a choice to look inward or outward. As there are many unhappily married people and marriages that fall apart, marriage itself is not an indication of a lack of self-centeredness.

      Christ calls us to take up our cross and die daily–regardless of our marital state. Marriage may require a particular type of dying to self, but discipleship always requires dying to self, for the single just as much as the married (and the religious too). Marriage might push some to do this in ways they might otherwise not, but the call was always there.

  15. Tom-542036 November 15, 2013

    Think “mustard seed”. You have to have faith that if it was meant to be, it will happen. Not on your timeline but his.

  16. Joanna-615441 November 16, 2013

    Wow, this article sure generated a lot of passion. Erik wrote it from HIS perspective and from HIS experience. I don’t think he intended to paint all O40NM’s in the same stroke, he is just giving the women something to think about.

    As someone who married young, divorced young (annulled young), I too lived my single life for myself. It wasn’t until I was in a relationship at the age of 40 – 45 that I really began to see what it meant to “die to self” and to put someone else first. Since I spent 20 years of my life living in a “me” world, it took some effort to change habits.

    I am still growing and seeking a fuller relationship with God that in turns opens me up to others. Here’s hoping everyone else does too.

  17. Steven-94269 November 16, 2013

    I read the article and I am in that boat myself. I have discerned my vocation calling and have prayed on it everyday. I hope to find that person in my life to complete one day and pray God will bring that person in my life one day.

  18. Ana-829195 November 17, 2013

    Bernard, look inside your heart and you will find yourself because Jesus is there. God Bless you.

  19. Alice-788574 November 17, 2013

    My great uncle married for the first and only time at the age of 75! He and his wife shared about 15 years together before she died and he followed a few years later. That right there is proof. It does happen. Even to old war-horses and old maids. So I choose to hope anyway.

    • Anita-471998 November 18, 2013

      Wow , is’nt that lovely… and so inspiring to never.. ever..ever give up hope.. 15yrs living together.. who would have thought, we dont need any movies… to make us dream…:) To hope…

  20. CatherineRose-996317 November 17, 2013

    Erik, thank you for tackling a sensitive subject. I think your perspective can go both ways, for women and men.

    I didn’t marry until I was 30. That was on purpose. I’d had a rough childhood in ways and thought that if that’s what parenthood was like, I didn’t want it. Add a desperately broken heart from my first ‘love’, and being single seemed good. Until, at 28, I was diagnosed with cancer, which was completely cured-but left child-bearing questionable.

    It didn’t take but a few seconds to start reevaluating my premises.

    Two years later I married. Three years after that I had a miracle baby girl.

    But boy, was it an adjustment! To live with someone after living alone-it took a few years of marriage counseling to even become aware of the power struggles and learn to let go, to find what was important.

    But I will respectfully disagree with one of your points-about it can be anyone.

    I married what I thought was my best friend. I thought we wanted the same thing, a happy family. I was the sponsor for my husband being baptized into the Catholic faith. I knew it wasn’t a ‘romance’, but since I didn’t trust ‘hot passion’ thought it was safe.

    It wasn’t. It turned out his idea of a family life was not mine, and when he told me, verbatim, ‘Get over it. You married me for better or worse. This is what you got.’ I knew I was in trouble.

    I found out about his affairs AFTER the divorce. He doesn’t even know I know, to this day.

    I believe you didn’t intend to imply ‘just pick anyone’. But whom you choose to commit with is very, very important. You yourself counsel to discern, question, discern.

    I am inspired that you found the one who is helping you live more in your faith. At whatever age. Thanks again for sharing with us.

  21. Sarah-901988 November 19, 2013

    Great article. Not just regarding men over 40, but regarding the tendency to selfishness in singleness, our culture’s warped idea of happiness, and the unrealistic ideals we put on relationships. Marriage is a vocation to make us holy (which takes work, change, dying to self), not just some fairytale-get-all-we-ever-wanted-so-we-don’t-have-to-change-a-bit. Thanks for writing this. Peace!

  22. Rick-648785 November 19, 2013

    Interesting chain; I seldom read these. I thought Alice and Anita’s latter comments were very nice…from a now over 60 never married man…and not what I had in mind 41 years ago

  23. Jack-131359 November 19, 2013

    Bernard is unfortunately the stereotype of the the typical TLM attendee. I know. I’ve attended for 30 years. Fortunately we’re not all that angry at the world. LOL
    Anyone expecting to marry a virgin at 40+ is not in touch with reality.
    But there’s hope for Bernard. There are plenty of such women in the Third World. He could be married off in a week if he really wanted to.
    I did read his profile. That’s a minute and a half I’ll never get back. LOL
    Blessings to all!

    • Tom-995241 November 19, 2013

      Jack, I tried not to laugh at the end of your comment, but was unsuccessful.

  24. Barbara-240710 November 19, 2013

    Your comment, “…it doesn’t take a lot to make a marriage…” tells me all I need to know. It does take a great deal to make a marriage and doing things you don’t like to do because you love someone isn’t the greatest commentary on the issue. In marriage, as in all relationships, there is compromise but doing something just because someone else likes it doesn’t mean you’re doing it unselfishly. I can imagine a lot of pouting and groans and complaints, if not aloud, under one’s breath. What spouse wants that? If I met a man who wanted to go camping under the stars, I would hope he would mean in a fully equipped camper or a nearby Holiday Inn because the idea of sleeping in a tent, in a sleeping bag, with creatures all around and no plumbing, does not appeal to me in the least. if he wanted to sleep outside while I was at the nearby hotel, we’d spend the night apart but would know that the other is doing exactly as he/she prefers. That arrangement works. If you’re 40 and a virgin looking for another virgin, you might find a former nun who’s looking for the same because you’re not likely to find one in that age range who’s still pure of body. That’s a fantasy that will likely never be fulfilled. I want a man who won’t lie–to me or anyone else. If I have honesty and faithfulness, the rest will fall in line. Good luck to the people with expectations they will never see fulfilled.

  25. Donna L. November 19, 2013

    Interesting.. I was 14 years past my second divorce when in 2004 I found CM at age 52.. I was on there for 8.5 years before I connected with my now husband last April 1st. Early on I was committed to give everyone a chance and always remained open to communicating with anyone. I found that Never Marrieds were very unlikely to give me the time of day because of my divorced/annulled status. When the Match Portrait option was opened up, I was getting mostly NM’s so I described Match Portrait as a dismal failure for me.. Larry was a widower and seriously looking for a wife. He popped up on my Match Portrait and is my perfect match.

    I was very active in the CM forums and made a lot of friends on there.. I remain in contact with many through FB. My own personal opinion is formed after meeting hundreds of CM’rs at events.. Women who remain single after a certain age are single because NO ONE ASKS.. I have known many wonderful women over 45 who have never even had a date.. If a man signs on to a dating site with a serious intention to find a wife, he WILL be successful, because there are thousands of women waiting to be asked..

  26. Kimberly-913651 November 19, 2013

    To be sure CM is not for the faint of heart! It is more work than marriage it seems to me.

  27. Paul-99681 November 19, 2013

    Hi folks
    First thing is people are not only all different but so are the circumstances that really shape them and their lives as well and allow me to say that dating or even for that matter having even the chance to have a weekend every now and then just to have a social life and function like a single person is really a privilege that so many take for granted because if your really needed at home and also home happens to be in an area where most people are married or way to young it was a real treat to be around other singles my own age and how I often longed that I could do this and that without taking more planning then a space shuttle launch! So anyway I feel that probably more people then many may realize are no strangers to responsibility who must make sacrifices for their loved ones and are in turn it’s often the very things that make then lousy boy /girlfriends are also what make the best husbands/wives.

    As far as chastity is concerned Mathematical statistics unfortunately support the likely hood of finding someone who practices it but still many do and even in spite of the odds calling it a fantasy or unrealistic only allows it to feed on itself and in effect like speeding because so many other people on the road are doing it and if every one falls into this mind set they all will hence the” generated reality” is speed on this road or get run over!

    Also putting religion aside “for a moment” again because so many other people are having premarital sex we want to “obey the crowd” but still at the same time the same thing in our nature as humans that compels us to do this, the act of being intimate with multiple people desensitizes us too thus down the line removing everything that makes it special by waiting saving it for the right moment and person .
    Just think about it folks, serve lightly chilled then add religion!
    Paul! “Hugs”

  28. Jason-46870 November 19, 2013

    Bernard,

    If I were you, I would change my profile immediately. No one is going to be interested in someone who is so negative. Focus on being positive, and I think you might get better results.

    In any event, I would encourage any man, whether 20 or 40, to just man up and start approaching a lot of girls out in real life. Talk to girls before or after Mass. Talk to girls at the grocery store. Talk to girls wherever you see them, and don’t expect to find the Virgin Mary. You might even have to “settle” for a 5 out of 7 girl or (gasp) a Protestant and work towards her conversion with patience and love. Many girls and guys simply don’t understand all of the Church’s teachings, and that’s why they don’t agree with the Church’s prohibition of contraception and pre-marital sex.

    Good luck to all!

  29. Douglas-902438 November 19, 2013

    society tells us if you are single at age 40 and beyond ; MALE- selfish, weird, untrustworthy. strange, drunk, drug addict, player, mommas boy, socially inept ect, FEMALE; – old maid, spoiled, whiner, selfish , easy, drunk, drug addict, daddys girl, party girl,too- picky, ect, How are CATHOLICS supposed to overcome stereotypes like these and find a spouse to marry? We all probably would like to be married, but it is easier to just quit looking sometimes and just hope someone comes along?

  30. Dominic-981542 November 20, 2013

    WOW . . Erik wrote the topic & Bernard got most of the attention .

    To Eric . . I know most people will say , hay great article you wrote & it may be . . But are you aware the shoes you walked in through life are just your experiences alone . . . . So your topic is good but limited to truth like most all of us are . . There can be thousands of reasons why a man never married up to & over 40 & the same for women . . . i guess Bernard shared one of them with you even though his reasons for being chaste may not be the reason why he never married .

  31. Jimmy-1014928 November 20, 2013

    To Douglas:

    Yes, you are correct in saying that society does tell us all of those things and that is unfortunate. I have always been responsible and mature but, always a late bloomer too in just about everything all of my life. And yes, it is easier just to give up because I did that for years and went out and did my own thing by travelling, fishing and seeing what I could see. Meeting someone and marriage was the furthest thing from my mind during those years. Not until this year did I realize that I just had not been ready to handle a marriage in my younger years and that was the reason that I gave up and not because there was something wrong with me as I had thought.

    Something came over me at some point during this year and told me that I am now ready to handle a marriage. Being a late bloomer or not, I am pushing on and I will find her. Now is the time for me.

  32. Patrick-341178 November 20, 2013

    My feeling is to each their own. If Erik felt his remaining single was into his 40′s was about self absorption, who am I to judge. However, I think his post has a lot more relevance for society at large than singles on this site. If a single catholic man is truly living a chaste life in every way shape, and form according to catholic doctrine, it is hard to accuse him of self-absorption. Sometimes as a 35 year old man, I can’t help but feel resentment towards married couples in their early and mid 20′s, who are free to express their sexuality as catholics in way I am not, simply because they found each other. I know that is not very catholic of me to feel that way, and I try not to, but sometimes I can’t help it. In contrast, the other 99% of adult single men definintely struggle with the notion of why pay for the cow, if you can get the milk for free. That is true self-absorption. I don’t think holding out for the right woman is. I have never really understood why marriage should be all about self-giving and making the other person happy. Sure, that is a large part of it. But, if you are going to make a lifetime commitment to someone before God, in the post spiritual, emotional and physical of ways, shouldn’t it be to the perfect woman (or atleast close to it)? I was once engaged, (albeit briefly), to a woman similar to who Erik described. Yet, I realized she wasn’t the one and have no regrets at all. I think it would have been far more selfish to marry a woman I really didn’t love. So, we shouldn’t lose track that marriage should bring one happiness in addition to the self-giving aspect.

  33. Paul-858743 November 20, 2013

    Erik,

    It can all be summed up like this: “Don’t you know about the new fashion honey? All you need are looks and a whole lotta money.”-Billy Joel, 1980. It’s more true today than it was in ’80!!

  34. Joe-34085 November 20, 2013

    Article like this make it seem like there is something wrong with someone who is over forty and not married, and is not something that should come from a fellow practicing Catholic.
    Could it be it was not God’s will.

  35. Joe-34085 November 20, 2013

    As far as the question of premarital sex. If you are not on the same page on this there are going to be major problems. If you become involved it can cause you to overlook things that will have serious consequences in the long run. It also may get you into hell.

  36. Emily-628945 November 20, 2013

    I thought this article was quite insightful. I have dated several never married men and really didn’t think about the negatives of that until more recently. I liked the fact that their lives were less complicated than mine (with 4 children and an ex husband to deal with).

    Even though I enjoyed them immensely, I found that they could only go so far in building a relationship with me…they WERE “self absorbed” and used to doing things according to their time frame. This showed in their friendships as well.

    I am glad you were able to be more flexible and learned to give.

    I have to admit that I now look at a NM with greater caution and am more open to those who have more practice actually being married and also loving children. Yes, divorced people may have bitterness and other negative emotions to handle but when one HAS gone through that process, there can be great learning and understanding that is just theoretical for the NM.

    Please, God, bless us all in our various walks in life who are struggling/searching/hoping.

  37. Joe-34085 November 20, 2013

    This article states, “The simple truth is that doesn’t take a whole lot to make a marriage. It takes two people of similar values, who are attracted to each other, and who want the same things in life.” Sounds like it is as easy as finding cookies in a bakery.
    As far as two people of similar values, how many people do you meet in the course of year male or female that share your Catholic values?

    +

  38. Keith-725670 November 20, 2013

    I think trying to paint older singles as self-absorbed is foolhardy. While many singles may embrace a life of frivolity, the same can be said married couples, too. Couples can be just as self absorbed as their single counterparts, which can explain why in difficult times, divorce rates can increase.

    Also, for the single, sometimes it just takes a person some extra time to find their place in life. For me, I was in a position when I had to travel a lot, especially as I sought to change my profession from one orientated towards security style work to more of a civilian orientated enterprise.

    Personally, I am against marriage in one’s twenties. As a society, we continually delay adulthood. (Just look at the current failure to launch scenarios when kids don’t leave home or move back in.) Until a person has dealt with life on their own, how can they truly decide they want to spend their life with another. In the end, you have to truly and know yourself before you can give yourself to another.

    • Dominic-981542 November 21, 2013

      Dear Keith , That’s what you got from your growth & experiences but you are wrong in every way . . and divorce . . most people have all the wrong answers to why there marriage failed so they can not learn from it . . sure there are some basic reasons one can see . . for example . . A woman said ” I know marriage failed because my husband was so selfish & unfaithful . . he never had any respect for me ” . . what she fails to see is being with such a man is very much her own fault in every way because of her own faults that can only allow such a man in her life.

  39. JoSie-866218 November 20, 2013

    it seems too many people are into the hot date and not the commitment

  40. Dominic-981542 November 21, 2013

    Can any one commit over 40 . . . That on its own is so nave . . commitment never had any thing to do with age . . . . . . not to mention the stereo type of never married over 40 . . . the hundreds & thousands of people i grew up with who all married young are all now divorced , in fact the only marriage i know is lasting is a couple who married over 40 & this is not to say any think . . there is a large amount of man & woman here who have been divorced . . now why were you not committed .. . .. see nave.

  41. Michael-6813 November 21, 2013

    I’m no longer a paid member of CM, but I first joined when I was 42 in 2002 when CM was known as St. Raphael.net.

    There appear to be an awful lot of sweeping generalisations about single, never married 40+ year olds. We are all, ‘selfish, independent, self-absorbed… ‘ according to what I’ve read here.

    There are a variety of reasons why I have never married, but one important reason is that it is tough these days to find a practising Catholic woman who is loyal to The Magisterium and is 7/7. This is certainly true in England where I live where practise of the Faith has fallen dramatically during my lifetime.

    Being a Catholic Teacher, most of the Catholic women I encountered were teaching colleagues who were older than I and also married. I did what I could to meet more Catholics of my age and outlook by participating in Catholic social events and groups. My first teaching post was in an area of England where the Catholic population was very small % wise. Nationally, less than 10% of the GBR population is Catholic, about 5 million, and of those fewer than 20% actually practice their Faith.

    Some the Catholic women I did meet weren’t focussed on finding a Catholic husband, just a husband and that meant a nominal Christian at best, not a practising one. There is an Indifferentism amongst many Catholics in GBR when it comes to marriage and Faith.

    Also, in my early 20′s I was considering a Religious Vocation so I wasn’t focussed on finding someone.

    By the time the Internet got going as a way of meeting people, I was already in my early 40′s. Before this, I had met Catholic women via advertisements in Catholic newspapers’s classified columns. I had several dates but the women I met I wasn’t attracted to.

    Although I didn’t find a wife on CM/SRN, I did make many new friends, including many Americans.

    I don’t blame anyone for the fact that I’m still single, it is down to myself and circumstances. I’m 54 next month and I resigned myself, sometime ago, that I may never marry. I’m still open to marriage and hopeful, but I don’t expect my circumstances to change.

    In Christ Our King,

    Michael #6813

  42. John-908883 November 21, 2013

    Great topic and a lot of good responses. Just wondering-For those of us that were actually asked ” Why didn’t you ever get married” ? How many honestly answered and really got the impression that the other person listened.
    On that thought ,does it matter so much as “when” or that all of us could be Blessed in our lifetime with one loving marriage?

  43. Jason B. January 12, 2014

    I am a 42 yr old man never married. I find it odd how many women I want are scared or no interest in marriage. (LOL) If you will. But I am to point of marrying myself. I would marry ASAP if the potential partner wouldn’t “run” away all the time.

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