I’m Scared of Being Single for the Rest of My Life


Dear Mary Beth,

I just can’t imagine the emotional pain that people experience after searching for a spouse for 25 or more years. They have seen all of their friends get married, but they are still single. I’ll admit, the prospect of spending the next decades of my life without a family of my own scares me a little. Can you suggest ways that you coped with it, to further strengthen my current position of not being depressed from it, or point me to an article on here that talks about it?

— Looking Ahead

Dear Looking,

You didn’t write to me initially, but the good folks at the CatholicMatch Institute asked me to respond to you. I can give you an article that talks about your fears, but I can also give you a living, breathing example … me.

I had my first date at age 16—I’ll be 51 soon. I’ve never been married. So I passed up your 25 year milestone quite a few years ago. I’ve seen most (not all) of my friends get married. And I’ve lived my entire adult life without a “family of my own.”

I am your worst nightmare. Or, at least, my life reflects a path that “scares you a little.”

And I’m here to tell you that it’s really not so bad.

First, the article: For more on my specific story, and how I’ve “coped” with this vast span of unmarried years, read this.

Now, let’s focus on you, a young professional who wants to get married and is a little unsettled at the possibility, however remote at this point, that it may not happen. And, while we’re at it, let’s pull in “Hurting” from last month’s column, who in part asked a very similar question (“Why Don’t I Feel at Peace About Being Single?”), and I promised I’d address that soon.

How do we cope? How do we find peace, when we sincerely desire marriage and haven’t yet found a spouse?

The answer, to me, is simple: we need to let go of the idea that there is only one way to be happy in this life.

I remember being 22. I saw two paths. Marriage, which of course would be happy. And eternal un-marriage, which would be bitterly lonely and awful and lead me to long for the blessed relief of sweet death.

Aside from being a vast oversimplification, that kind of attitude leads to a problem. We ultimately have very little control over whether or not we find that “right” person. But if finding that person is the sole key to escaping a “loveless” life of loneliness and isolation, of course we’re going to get increasingly desperate to find him or her. We’re going to make ourselves crazy. We’re going to cling to the hope that God wouldn’t do that to us, that He simply must have somebody stored away for us, and that if we just say the right novena, that person will appear and we can finally be happy.

But it’s all based on a big illusion. Married life isn’t guaranteed to be happy. And unmarried life isn’t guaranteed to be unhappy. In fact, I can pretty well guarantee that each state of life is going to offer a mix of both.

I will grant you, however, that there is a particular cross to the single life. I get that we were made to “be fruitful and multiply,” and “it is not good for man to be alone” and all of that. There is a certain unnatural-ness to the single life.

So how can we be happy in the single state? For me, that answer has been to put Christ in the center. With him I am never “alone.” With Him my life is fruitful, love-giving and life-giving.

Without Christ, I can’t imagine what my single life would look like. So I pray. I receive Him regularly in the Eucharist. I trust that our Heavenly Father loves me madly, and that He has a plan for my life that takes into account all of my foibles and misstepsa plan for my happiness, and for my salvation. And I try to seek His willnot my ownin everything. Everything.

Not that it’s easy, or that I do it perfectly. But I try. And, to the extent that I succeed, my life is plenty happy and plenty fulfilling.

I think that youand those like youwill find far more happiness in life if you tweak your thinking slightly.

The primary goal of your life should not be to marry. Your primary goal should be to live a life pleasing to God.

So you’ll still be dating. You’ll still be looking for “The One.” But you’ll be doing it in a spirit of trust. Not trust that God will provide you a spouse, which He never promised. But rather that He has a plan, and that as long as you remain in Him and strive to follow His will, He will be with you and your life will be fruitful.

You may find He has amazing surprises in store for you.


 Do you have questions for Mary Beth?  Write to her at marybeth@catholicmatch.com.



  1. Corinna-623958 March 7, 2016 Reply

    It’s hard to take this kind of advice to heart when that’s all you have ever heard your entire life and no matter how good you were, God was completely absent from your life. I basically go through life pretending He is there and cares for me or anyone around me, but I have yet to see that proof or feel His love or presence in any way. I have only ever found comfort and love in people. The only people I know who are happy with Him are the ones who came to follow Him after they already got what they wanted in life and their lives honestly don’t look so different now that they acknowledge His presence than before. I hope this reward in the afterlife is beyond amazing to make up for all the time He has completely ignored most of us here on earth.

  2. Michael-369664 March 1, 2016 Reply

    I read years ago, if you’re not happy as a single person you won’t be happy as a married person.
    I think a little math might help also. Census Bureau found a single woman at 40 has only 1% chance of ever being married, while a single man aged 40 has only a 5% chance of ever being married. I’m now 60, and in my 40s I saw it was very hard to find quality available people to date. Moral–if you feel called to marriage, move on it before 30.. If you wait, you may never land a mate. Marriage isn’t for everyone, but after living alone for almost 40 years I can say it would be great to have someone you love to come home to. My late father said–It’s always later than you think.

  3. Julia-1213067 August 10, 2015 Reply

    I know ppl who married in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70’s. Happy little clams. But the one thing they have the we dont seem to have right now..is…they were perfectly happy and content Before they met their partners. Focus on giving back, smiling, laughing, bringing joy to the needy. Watch what happens……….

  4. Julia-1213067 August 10, 2015 Reply

    Hi, I recently became single again..engagement fell thru my fingers. It is ok bcuz not only do I trust God..I trust myself too. I trust myself to make pretty poor decisions sometimes..thinking I am doing what is good for me when that is clearly not the case. God, flushed the yucky out of my life & I am grateful. Quit looking. Be happy you are alive and well. If you are not making babies, you need to be helping the sick, the poor, the homeless, the hungry. Thst is the purpose HE gave us. Those 2 things…the rest is just fodder.

  5. Michael L. May 12, 2015 Reply

    Hi Curtis–maybe you can’t find valid statistics on marriage rates for folks over 40. I do know from living in the world, anyone over 40 will be in for a very tough search for a partner today. A lot depends on what you’re willing to settle for, ie. how much baggage they’ve got. Ask any woman over 40 looking for quality men, she will tell you it’s not fun. Better yet–read Marry Him by Lori Gottlieb. She cites a number of stats I found alarming. The key point I make is this–look for your partner early and don’t waste your prime dating years 18-30. Too many folks do this, and they end up with nothing at 40 plus.
    You don’t really have a lot of time to close the deal, and if you aren’t looking you will miss the boat.

    • Terri-1150256 August 4, 2015 Reply

      Keep the Faith!! God has His Plan for Each One of Us…
      Some of you sound like you lost the faith…

  6. Kenny-1060544 May 5, 2015 Reply

    I look at it this way… this hunt is the most fun. Seeing and meeting different people, is just fun. I was hoping I was going to married when I was 24 and that just never happened. Oh well i am 44 years old and if I didn’t find anyone by now, I’m not nervous but glad to still do gods will in my life. Maybe ms right is on her way, but I can’t worry anymore, I just want to be,able to still have fun on this earth, even if I have to be single. I never give up though.

  7. Curtis-1032804 March 30, 2014 Reply

    As sad as this story is, I have to argue with the statistics stated at the end. Although Michael means well, those statistics are not accurate. I’ve been reading every statistic on love, sex, dating, marriage, divorce, men, women, and relationships in general. I’ve put six months so far into trying to figure this whole thing out. No luck so far, but one thing I CAN tell you is that there are no accurate statistics in any of the areas I mentioned. Every, and I mean every, study that I have read contained flawed methodology.
    Best I can recommend is to listen to your hearts. No, it’s not the loud voice. It’s the little tiny whisper behind the loud one. It whispers hope.

  8. Michael-369664 March 24, 2014 Reply

    I’ve really enjoyed the comments posted here. I’m 58, never married, and still a male virgin! If anyone can top that, let us know. I knew even as a teen I’d never be married. I’ve met many fine women in my life, but none were ever attracted to me for an intimate relationship. I’ve had only five dates in my entire life, first one at 35, last one at 46. I quit trying after that. I got off to a bad start in life at age due to ulcerative colitis.
    I had this illness until 56, when it became colon cancer. I’ve been fighting that for over a year. I may or may not win the battle. I do know I wish I had a partner as I battle this illness. My siblings, I have five, have not kept in touch with me as suffer through this. I’ve been offered sex a few times in my life by both married and single women. I said no, and I’m so glad I did. As I age up I often feel I missed out or got cheated. But, I’ve also seen many divorces among friends and real emotional trauma many people endure just to have someone in their lives. It is VERY HARD to keep going as a single person after 50. Many of my former friends have died or are no longer in contact. As I review my life I can say now I wish I had tried harder to find a spouse, but my parents did not encourage that option. They wanted me to be a success more than anything else. I did reach that, but illness forced me to retire early. I may never work again.
    With little to fill the void, I could be in for a lot of years of loneliness and isolation. Right now I can barely leave home for even an hour. The dating market after 50 is not very encouraging, and I know there is really no chance of ever being in a relationship now. Women will rarely date men over 55. If you are still under 40 and feel marriage is your calling, do your best to find someone, after that it will be almost impossible. Census Bureau fact–if you are a single woman 40 and up, you have only a 1% chance of ever being married, if you are a male you have only a 5% chance of ever being married. Keep that in mind, and good luck. Online dating was not around when I was young, today you have a world of choices if you start early. As I fade away, I will always wonder why I was taken out of the game so early by a disease I did not cause and which cannot be cured.

  9. Analiza-886982 March 14, 2014 Reply

    Hi Beth,
    You are absolutely CORRECT. I pray God will forgive me for having a relationship with a married man just to HAVE a CHILD. I have no plan to steal him nor destroy his family. I am consciously aware that this is immoral and a sin “Thou shall not covet”. I am turning 40 soon and i came to the point of being a DESPERATE SINGLE and ALONE. I just thought if i am not destined to have my own family, perhaps i am just destined to have a child. I am currently in a dilemma, shall i submit myself in this immoral act or shall i still wait for God’s action?
    I am a spiritual and religious person. I put all my hopes and faith to God and He has provided all my prayers, except on one thing which i have been waiting for long – OWN FAMILY. When i was a little younger, i never worried and at peace if i have not yet found a right person because God is with me and i know in my heart He will provide it in HIS perfect time. I win over any temptations and immoral acts until i met this man who loves me as well. I would give in for awhile to human wickedness for a desire to have a CHILD. He is willing to give me a child and then discontinue our relationship. This decision is a mix of guilt and selfishness for my child but will be HAPPY for having him/her because he/she is truly a GIFT and a BLESSING and i will not be alone anymore. I ask for everybody’s forgiveness.

  10. Stuart-67186 March 13, 2014 Reply

    First of all, let me say that I just turned 50, never married and still single. I can relate to the feelings of dispair that some people here feel because I have felt it myself but than one day I said to myself why dispair over being single? And so I no longer feel the desperation. And it feels good!

    That doesn’t mean that I havn’t given up looking for “the one”, I just changed my expectations a little. For one thing I have found that there are a lot of women in their 40s and 50s who are in the same boat as I am. Of course they are beyond their child-bearing age but still would be in need of a life companion as they grow older. So that is something to bear in mind for some of you who are over 40. Remember that love has no age limit.

    Speaking of age limit, I have not limited my search to just women within my age range. I have discovered unlimited potential in like-minded meeting younger women (20s-30s) who don’t mind dating or even marrying an older guy like myself! I have even met men older than myself who are fathers or children who are in pre-school. Now I do realize that there other factors to consider such age and health and whether will live long enough to see the kids graduate from college, but I don’t think these families really care about that and they seem to be very happy. If you’re 5 years old, you don’t care if your Dad is 30 or 50, you’re just glad he’s there.

    I know perhaps that I have gone on more than I should. But my point is this: don’t place limits on yourself because of age and time because each age has its own grace and opportunities. And also, don’t dispair–keep on trying and explore other options that might come your way. Remember what I said before: love has no age limit.

  11. Joseph-993770 March 12, 2014 Reply

    The article by Mary Beth offers us a valuable lesson. We should not be ruled by our emotions. The Christian virtues are Faith, Hope, and Charity. Faith is of the will. Hope and Charity are of the intellect. Virtues are not based on emotions. Today’s world is all about judging everything based on how we feel.The Devil uses our emotions against us so that he can lead us into fear, despair, and loneliness or commit acts of impurity and violence. I spent many years feeling afraid that I would not find someone to marry. It is not easy when people always ask ” are you married yet?” or when you go to a restaurant and the waitress asks ” only one today?” I was 38 when I married a wonderful women, Susan. We were married for 6 years until she died of cancer. After she died, my struggle was to cling to Faith and Hope and not to fear and despair. Today’s Evening Prayer of the Divine Office starts with Psalm 27. A good Psalm to pick you up when you are feeling down. It ends ” Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the Lord.” This is what our Catholic faith is all about; letting God lift us up when the world tries to drag us down into fear and despair. I am alone again, but I am not afraid of being alone because I know everything works out the way it is supposed to in the end because God doesn’t make mistakes.

  12. Jennifer-1071491 March 12, 2014 Reply

    I think that what has made this path so difficult is finding the one. Some of us have some views that many people don’t consider “normal,” but I have faith that someday I’ll find that special person.

  13. Marge-938695 March 12, 2014 Reply

    I don’t fear being single the rest of my life. I can handle it.
    But I am very, very disappointed.

  14. Jim-1008684 March 12, 2014 Reply

    I would love to be of one-accord leading to a sacrament, especially since the annulment occurred. What is odd is that my oldest is serving on a mission and the other almost becoming there to becoming a fully fledged nun. It is very confusing to me is to see how my children can have strong faith living for God and serving, yet my life has totally fallen apart.. It is hard for me to be single, and not having the family unit and spouse that I loved. It’s hard to be singe, I agree. But it is worse to have your whole life destroyed by divorce. I don’t have the faith that I once had. I have been told that I am a great guy…but don’t see the fruit for marriage, and after 8 years of being single, it’s hard to decide if someone is ‘now’ the right one, and to continue to deal with online dating rejection.

    • Janet-1011234 March 12, 2014 Reply

      I agree Jim. It was very hard on me to have my marriage destroyed by my ex. I am struggling to find my path and have become rather cynical over the last few years. Sometimes I’m lonely and miss being in a relationship. I’ve tried on-line dating a few times but am not thrilled with it. At this point I’m staying on Catholic Match until my subscription runs out just to read the articles. I’ve become very reserved and cautious about getting into a relationship because I’m not sure I can trust my judgment. I am just trying to figure out what path I’m supposed to be on and what God has planned for me. If I happen to meet someone along the way that I want to spend the rest of my life with so be it. If not, as long as I am doing what I believe God wants me to do then I will be content with that.

  15. Ed-501357 March 12, 2014 Reply

    This was a very interesting, thought provoking article. I read all of the responses and can relate to all of the above. It’s very true that it’s not to pleasant about having to go to mass alone and see all these couples whether they’re alone or have kids in tow.

    I too have never been married and have tried all kinds of venues to meet women. Singles Dances, Telephone Dating Systems etc. I’m now CM and while I haven’t had success in the dating department, I do enjoy reading the blogs and responding once in a while. I have had one long term relationship, which I ended primarily due to the fact that we did not have the same values and realizing that if this continued, I basically would have been miserable and would in all likelihood end in divorce.

    Right now I’m 55 and still hoping that the good Lord would put me in the right place at the right time in that this special lady would come into my life.

    To touch on Sandra’s comments, it’s true that most married folk never really consider interests other than their own kids or grandkids and have a very small circle of friends. I have witnessed this firsthand and I really felt like an outcast. That said, I think the best approach would be to enjoy what you have, be it a passion about hobbies or causes, or perhaps getting involved in a ministry at your local parish. I’m personally involved in the Knights of Columbus and trying to help start up a council at my parish.

    So perhaps as Alma suggested, living single and celibate and living only for God maybe not for life, but it may fulfill you in the interim and who knows you could meet a gentleman, who is as committed as you are.

  16. John S. March 11, 2014 Reply

    Hey there Mary Beth, Casa Ra Sur Ra, Youv’e got to dip your toe in before you can get wet! John. PS The waters GREAT

  17. Sandra-963593 March 11, 2014 Reply

    Oh, a few more things, for those of you who “must” find a spouse, chill a little bit. Nothing turns people off more than if they smell desperation on you.

    And you’re right, John: there’s not a lot of morality out there. It’s going to make it harder for people to find good people. Some of these problems are NOT your fault. The world is a vat of immorality these days. Stick to your Catholic standards. Sinking below them improves nothing–and it may make matters considerably worse. Most importantly, it is what God asks of us.

    God bless.

  18. Sandra-963593 March 11, 2014 Reply

    I appreciate everyone’s religious fervor here and have developed some of my own. I am now a practicing Catholic, returned to the fold after a number of years. I dabbled in other spiritual practices–mainly of a New Age variety. These groups never said that I needed to give up Catholicism or not go to church, so no one forced me into my un-Catholic behaviors. When asked what my religion was, I always answered Catholic. I didn’t want to be like those disloyal people who pretended Catholicism never happened to them, OR give that boring, “I’m a recovering Catholic” response.

    During my absence from Catholicism, I had sex and relationships, including one 13-year relationship that ended disastrously more than two years ago. I am 56 years old. Never married. No kids. I don’t plan to have sex again if not married–in accordance with the Catholic Church. But at this point, there’s no grace attached to it, as I am scarcely interested at this age. So I am not eschewing sexual relations, which I could have had since my break-up, in the expectation of attaining spiritual gold. I want to be aligned with the Church, AND I am not interested, and even less interested in meaningless sex.

    I wear the status of NOT having married and had children as a sign and a testimony to my inner strength. Most marrieds live through their children and the grandchildren. That’s it. B-O-R-I-N-G. I don’t think that Catholicism says that we have to be boring. I have a vivid social life and many interests. I am not going to disrupt that for any man–not at this age. He’d have to be amazing for me accommodate any disruption to what I have acquired now. I have done things and will do things that most married people I know can’t wrap their heads around, as they pull out yet another dull series of family photos for others to look at, proving that they’ve glommed onto family in lieu of living their own lives. I mean, what have they done that can’t be done, that billions haven’t done? They’ve have sex and given birth. Other things of this earth are much more challenging. Oh, then there’s divorce. I’ve seen this firsthand. Suddenly, longtime marrieds are at sea. They can’t just follow their half-grown grandkids around all day, and their grown kids are busy. They don’t know how to be single and “not lonely,” single and happy, single and excited to be the master of their respective ships. They impose on their kids weekend after weekend because they don’t know how to reach out to others and have no interests outside of their small circle. They have few single friends who could keep them company and show them how. That’s truly sad to me. I know Catholics aren’t supposed to divorce, but they do, and they end up in this boat, just like anyone else.

    So, I guess I disagree with Michael B’s closing statement. No doom and gloom is necessary in single life. What could be gloomier and doomier than being in a bad marriage. Of course, a good one is great, but there are so few that I truly admire.

    I say, be a happy single, find good friends, enter a ministry–whatever. Just live and love your life. The grass isn’t necessarily greener. The only thing I worry about is who is going to visit me in a nursing home or even bury me. I’ll figure it out. After all, just because you’ve had children doesn’t mean that they will be respectful children.

    • Lori-1045831 March 12, 2014 Reply

      Dear Sandra,

      You hit the “nail on the head.” I could not have said it better. My life included three marriages, all ended in divorce by choosing alcoholic partners. My blessing was the birth of my son who grew up to be a very wonderful husband and father. After extensive counseling I have spend the past 18 years as a single woman. I have turned my life over to God and His will. I ask him to lead me into the path He has chosen with open heart and mine. I now realize that being by myself does not have to mean I am alone. He is always with me. I am leaving my family(taking my 2 doggies with me) to relocate to warmer weather. This will be a real test for me to follow His will and finally start enjoying my life and all that is out there for me to experience. New friends, new community and who knows, maybe a new Catholic relationship.

    • Dale D. April 12, 2015 Reply

      Sandra, you’ll probably never read this because I’m really late in viewing this article. I’ve always loved Mary Beth’s advice. She made me feel hopeful back in the days when I was single. I’m now married, having been so for several years. I follow her here and there and came across this article. I then read the responses and when I read yours I was struck by something you said. You said, “I have a vivid social life and many interests. I am not going to disrupt that for any man–not at this age. He’d have to be amazing for me accommodate any disruption to what I have acquired now.”

      Please realize that the “right” man is not ever going to be experienced as a “disruption”. That right there tells me that you have little to no hope of ever finding such a person. I assure you that such men exist but if you walk around with that big chip on your shoulder (like you have now!), you will certainly not meet him. He will be turned off. What you will meet instead are exactly what you are projecting out there.

      Much luck to you.

  19. Jennifer-977951 March 11, 2014 Reply

    I am totally in this situation. I want to be married so badly- and I’m nearing that big 4-0 and have never even been in a serious relationship. And I am anything but a career gal, so that is not the encouragement to me that it is to some. Not even CLOSE. I enjoy the jobs I have now, but I do not want that to define my life. I believe that family is much more important than any career. As it is, it feels like work, Church, and a handful of activities (all of which I love!) is all there is to my life. I am not unhappy- but I definitely know that I am missing out on something that is important to me, and at times that is pretty tough to handle. The sad thing is that I can’t imagine anything I could change- though of course my Mom thinks losing weight and wearing make up would change my life. I do get that I live in a basically non- Catholic area, but I trust that God CAN make that connection anywhere if it is meant to be.

  20. Michael B. March 11, 2014 Reply

    I’m a man. Mary Beth, although she is a popular chastity speaker, did not touch on a few important human-dimensional and Church teaching points in this answer. I also read the comments. 1. Although I appreciate her general answer, I think that, regarding her statement “Married life isn’t guaranteed to be happy,” I would have to add that, yes, there is no guarantee, but if one has the CALL to be married, there is an acute suffering for his/her vocation for that to not be fulfilled, in the sense, both, of not fulfilling one’s calling and of the agonizing absence within one’s person of not being able to live it out. Yes, despite the fact that it might turn out to be a hellish experience, but, if so, that is the cross within the vocation. Nevertheless, that would be an exception; there are so many good unmarrieds who would work to make a marriage happy and fulfilling. 2. I also think that Mary Beth should state how she personally is called; she may have a unique call. One thing — though I can’t tell and judge simply by reading her answer here — is that she doesn’t give us a clue on her personal experiences of agony or not–perhaps for her, and considering the makeup of her personality, she enjoys the balance of solitude (or she may have a busy social life) and her outgoing ministry, and thereby, loneliness isn’t as intense as it is for others who don’t have her call, gift of ministry and zeal. 3. Which leads us into another area: Factors beyond one’s control that makes fulfilling the marriage call more difficult. But that would turn into a rant for now if I tried to explain! I KNOW that I’ve been turned away for particular things that were beyond my control and could be regarded as virtuous in my having to cling to the Lord despite my family’s dysfunctionality. Then, on the other hand, 4. there lies the fact that a person isn’t getting married for things s/he isn’t changing, not obeying God in small things or bigger sins, or not making personality changes (can be done according to Fr. Dan Sinisi and others). 4. Read the Apostolate of The Laity http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_c…itatem_en.html According to Church Teaching, after Baptism MUST one receive a further vocation into a certain way of life or vocation. There are three states in life in The Church: Priesthood, Consecrated Life, Laity in either the marital or single chaste celibate state. 5. And, lastly, for all you young and idealistic commenters bearing with single-dom who are strong, look good, are liked, have friends, still enjoy being together with family members: It’s easy now, but don’t slack for a minute on the search. Do everything you can to get married while you’re young enough to have children, because when you reach middle age single-hood, if you aren’t situated as married, a priest, in religious communal life, or a ministry-oriented consecrated single, it will be single-doom!

    • Marie-110909 March 13, 2014 Reply

      Totally agree with you Michael. Thanks for your response.

    • Curtis-1032804 March 30, 2014 Reply

      Dang, that was an AWESOME post! Thank you so much!

  21. June S. March 11, 2014 Reply

    Also, marriage is a sacrament. It holds a special place in our faith and enables us to grow closer to God. Would God deny someone participation in that sacrament as His “will”? I think that is a narrow view. It does not mean that we should not enjoy and celebrate where we are in life all the while trusting that He loves us.

  22. Ann-69118 March 11, 2014 Reply

    I always though I would be married but apparently God had other plans for me. I don’t live in fear of never being married or being single my whole life. Fear only holds you back. Enjoy what you have while you’re here. Married couples have their own problems and challenges especially these days so I don’t think of being married as a problem free stress free life if anything you have to deal with someone else 24 hours a day who may have different attitudes or outlooks or even habits that might drive you nuts and vice versa.

  23. Alberto-546988 March 10, 2014 Reply

    I live with this fear as well and my biggest problem is that I have never been able to accept it and I’ll never will. As long as I have faith and blood runs through my veins, I will always continue searching, because I believe in having a family. Padre Pio used to say “Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”

  24. John-1046049 March 10, 2014 Reply

    The more Christ like we become, the more attractive we become and the more likely that we’ll find a Holy Marriage. Put your focus on the Lord and everything else will fall into place…I always had faith, but I relied too much on me and not enough on Him but I’m learning 🙂

  25. Lalique-929042 March 10, 2014 Reply

    I’m with John on that… I don’t think its ultimately about challenging God’s will. But reading this article made me feel absolutely physically nauseous. I do not believe God plans is for a person to lead an unfulfilling life. And I’m quite sure, unless a decided vocation or choice of single chastity.. having otherwise is quite painful. I would refuse to give up on ones dream, and pray every day for God’s fulfillment of that promise and longing for a mate, as put in my heart. And ultimately ask God how I am playing a role in finding my future spouse or partner. I really do believe in prayer, and the answering and filling of that by the many miraculous graces of God. And if God’s choice for me is single-dom , I would think it would done so in a way that would fill me up to the brim as a follower in stewardship of his light.

    • John-221057 March 13, 2014 Reply

      I felt the same way after reading this article. The way I see it is this: If the thought of being single for the rest of your life makes you nauseous and unhappy, then the single life is not for you. But whether or not your potential mates in the world are seeking marriage as a vocation is another matter. Best of luck, Lalique!

    • Curtis-1032804 March 30, 2014 Reply

      Thank you! It made me a bit queezy too!

  26. Anthony-931830 March 10, 2014 Reply

    I enjoyed reading the article. I am 44 and get depressed at times that I am single. While I know the purpose of our life is not to get married. I do not see anything wrong with wanting this for oneself. It is still hard being alone, and it is scary to think that I will never marry. Is something wrong with me? What did I do? are just some of the thoughts that rush through my head as I celebrate another year without a special someone in my life.

  27. Luz-1055440 March 9, 2014 Reply

    Bonacci has a good point. If I convince myself that single life is not for me and adamantly say “I have to find a husband and period” and nobody can convince me that my happiness does Not have to be rooted on THAT and only that, then I would have made myself a miserable person after 40. I think that kind of attitude is blatantly challenging God, my way or the highway… And doing that is pretty much a recipe for being sad, but I guess everyone has a choice. If someone wants to give a try to a different way of thinking about happiness, rather than being so set on a current idea, they have to learn it by themselves. God never offered a life without crosses (single or married) Yet, life is absolutely, beautifully, marvelously wonderful…. And you have the choice to surround yourself with love and share your crosses and joys… You certainly don’t have to be married to do that.

    • John-221057 March 10, 2014 Reply

      This has nothing to do with challenging God, and I think it’s a fallacy to view contempt for the single life in that way. I am very adamant about the fact that I have to find a wife. This is part of the way God made me with anything in life that’s important to me. When I believe in something strongly, I fight until the bitter end.

      The problem is with the world at large today. A lot of people aren’t living a Christian life and this hurts those of us who are as we lose out on a lot of perspective spouses.

      It’s gotten to the point for me recently in which I’m considering a “mail order bride.” My cousin who’s a couple of years older than me did this with a lady from Brazil, and now he’s been in a wonderful Catholic marriage for just over a year. I’m desperate enough to start considering this idea seriously now.

      • Gary-916309 March 20, 2014 Reply

        Hello John,

        When I read your comment I saw the pain in you and desperation. Perhaps I have misunderstood your comments and if so, just let me know, thanks.. You stated “This is part of the way God made me with anything in life that’s important to me. When I believe in something strongly, I fight until the bitter end.”
        I would like to say, God made you for sure, but the culture and environment formed you in many ways you think. The first thing I noticed in your writing was, “I want” attitude. Of course we all have wants but when I see you using words like, “I am very adamant about the fact that I have to find a wife.” I see a this drive you have to please what you want so much that you may not be allowing God to show you the way… God will allow you to do as you want, but in the same token, in you controlling your destiny so much it appears to me you are not allowing God to do his work in assisting you in your goal in 2 ways. 1.) In bringing her to you and 2.) forming you to be the right Holy man. I may have read you wrong and of course I do not know you so please forgive me if my insight is off a bit or a lot.

        It appears to me that you have become more driven with no success yet in finding your spouse. You stated it is getting so bad you are thinking of a mail order bride. That sounds a bit cheap to me. For one, your goal is marriage and you will get to pick a woman that is so desperate to escape her life and she is only there to get out of the situation she is in and so she may not be seeking marriage for the same holy reasons you are. I am not sure how the mail order brides works, my ignorance of that could be coming out in my writing here but that was my thoughts.

        I wonder if you have an inner peace and I ask this because I sensed frustration and even desperation in your writing. I can only say that during this period of your life, sitting in adoration with our true love of our life, Jesus, and giving him your frustration and even giving up your desires and wants and saying to our Lord, “Lord, you know I want to be married so much, so much so that I am finding it hard to say to you that I will accept your will for my life God but I do love you but wanting to say your will, not my will be done but this is hard for me, please help me with this.” In this way, you are being completely honest with God that you want your way so badly but you know you should be open to God’s plan for your life even if it is not what you may think is best for you.. I like to pray the Sorrowful mysteries, when I pray the 1st Sorrowful Mystery, I see a few things Jesus is teaching us. 1.) He is petitioning the Father with His desire, “Remove this last cup.” and Jesus prayed so hard that blood seeped through His skin. This is good, we pray so fervently and hard, but the next part Jesus teaches us is this, 2.) After Jesus prayed so hard he then submits, “But no my will but your will be done.” Here you see that it is fine for us to petition God for what our heart desires but ultimately we should submit our will to God’s will for us. To say God made you is true, but to say this desire of you is truly his forming I am not quite sure I would go with that, I believe that has been formed by those around you and your environment and perhaps a bit of lack of love, for love is to sacrifice and perhaps this is a part God wants you to grow deeper in. I believe if you attempt all this and be perfectly honest and perhaps concentrate on the Sorrowful Mysteries and see how Jesus handled each mystery, and asking God for help you imitate Jesus’s walk in times that are of sorrow…

        I hope my words help you my brother….

        God bless,

  28. Tara-1015701 March 9, 2014 Reply

    I was just thinking about THIS the other day. It scares me to death. I have friends getting engaged and sisters having babies. It is all around me…and I struggle with why not ME? I kind of think that God is waiting for the right time…I don’t know…those are my thoughts. I NEVER want to be alone. I want to be with the RIGHT person who God intended for me. I just prayed to God the other night that I am leaving EVERYTHING in HIS hands now…it’s HIS turn. I am just tired of doing things that aren’t working…

  29. John-221057 March 9, 2014 Reply

    I deal with this fear myself, but I have a different take on it from the author of this column. I refuse to accept I being single for the rest of my life. It feels wrong, and I refuse to live my life that way. If that feels wrong, I guarantee you it is wrong. Finding a spouse is the most important thing in my life, and nobody can convince me that the married life is not for me. I will find a spouse and that’s final.

    • Jay-1056094 March 9, 2014 Reply

      Good for you – I am the same way.

    • June S. March 11, 2014 Reply

      I agree completely. I do not think God puts a desire in our heart only to not fulfill that desire. I also believe that woman as well as men are conflicted and thus why they never find someone. ask, Beleive Receive. I think if someone is called to the single life than that is a different story. However, to want a spouse and not think it will come to be is lack of faith in my opinion.

      • Micah-922121 March 11, 2014 Reply

        If finding a spouse is the most important thing in one’s life, period, your priorities are just wrong. “And that’s final.”

        To argue from the fact that we desire something normally and legitimately, to the conclusion that we WILL have that thing (and why? Because we’re Catholic? because God favors us specially? because God is specially concerned with preventing our suffering most of all?) is just fallacious. “It is not good for man (or woman) to be alone” is the reason why human persons are sexual beings and for that reason most tend to marry. Nothing about that entails that *you*, or *I*, *must* get married.

        “However, to want a spouse and not think it will come to be is lack of faith in my opinion.”

        Two points need to be made here: (1) One can want a spouse and *leave it an open question* whether one will get a spouse. It’s a false dilemma to think you either have to have a certain outcome as one’s only hope or else despair entirely. (2) This implies that if we don’t get something we want, it is just because of lack of faith. This assumption just sets one up for both endless self-flagellation and crushing disillusionment.

    • Curtis-1032804 March 30, 2014 Reply

      So God calls some single people to a celibate life? Sorry, I don’t buy that. And it’s funny, usually these types of articles are written by women. I’ve never heard a man say, ya know I don’t ever want to have sex, cause I just don’t think it’s part of Gods plan. If guys said this, we wouldn’t be so desperate for priests! Just sayin’

  30. Alma-953915 March 9, 2014 Reply

    I sometimes feel depressed seeing others meet someone special to them, but I’ve learned to not envy that. I think God understands where I’m at and that perhaps marriage isn’t what’s best for me. I’d just rather look t it as, well at least I don’t have to deal with the bad things about being in a relationship. I don’t have to worry if someone’s cheating on me, or even being tempted to. I think perhaps that’s my vocation: single with a vow of living a life of celibacy and living only for God.

  31. Terri-838897 March 9, 2014 Reply

    Mary Beth…. You are living proof that God has a plan for your life and uses you to glorify His name. I never pass up the opportunity to read your advice to others which is always so uplifting, inspiring, and spoken straight from the heart. You are such a blessing to Catholic Match. I hope you always continue your work here and God blesses you with the perfect man for you. After all, God’s timing is never our own….

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