How Do I Get Ready for Marriage When I Haven’t Found the One Yet?

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Editor’s Note: Below is a message that I received from one of our readers. This question sums up what many single Catholics are feeling. We’ve asked writer Susie Lloyd to answer.

I’m about to turn 21. I feel called to marriage but I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve never been on a date or asked out or anything. I’ve asked guys out but I’ve only been turned down. I pray all the time for my future spouse. But still I feel so lonely. I try to stay active… I work and go to Mass. I’m also about to enroll in college. I know so many people who are either married or engaged. In fact I know more married/engaged people than I know single people. I would love to see an article written for people who are like me.

Insecurity is no respecter of age. It happens to young, middle, and old alike.

Will I ever meet the one?

Will someone ever love me?

Will I be good enough?

I was just the same at 21.

Like the writer of the message above, I prayed daily for a future spouse. In my case, my prayer was not: “Let me serve you, O Lord, in my future vocation of marriage and family.” I confess that my prayer was more like: “Gimme a good guy and make him cute.”

The problem was I was all about me. But the good news is, marriage and kids have a way of readjusting our priorities. Meeting the needs of others daily grates against our self-love. Picture your ego meeting a cheese grater. There’s your me-monster in a neat pile of teeny pieces.

Strangely, this makes us happy.

But you don’t have to wait for marriage to be happy, the better news is you can begin now. Yes, even at 21.

The writer of the heartfelt message above is on the right track:

I try to stay active… I work and go to Mass. I’m also about to enroll in college. 

She’s not wallowing in her loneliness. She’s doing something meaningful with her life by working. She’s praying. What’s more, she’s about to open up a whole world of interesting possibilities by going to college—learning, developing her talents, and growing as a person.

The only thing she needs to be cautious about is seeing all these things as filler while she waits to really live—that is, until she finds a man to complete her.

It’s easy to fall into that way of thinking but it signals to any potential dates that, no matter what your accomplishments,  you are not happy in your own skin. It puts pressure on a potential love interest. Learning and growing for its own sake, though, makes you into a confident person—a person who “has a life” with or without a partner.

A confident person is an attractive person. Due to our celebrity culture, we are programmed to think attractiveness is all in the looks. Well, in the real world, looks are a big help, but they are nothing to confidence. I’ve met some seriously homely people who pick up friends and attract the opposite sex like magnets on the fridge. Whatever they’re doing, you want to be in on it.

Confidence does not mean forwardness.

Confidence can be quiet, steady, benevolent.Click To Tweet Which brings me to my next point:

I’ve asked guys out but I’ve only been turned down.

Oh dear. I am sorry to hear that. That hurts. If this were my daughter (and I do have four daughters in the same age bracket), here is what I would say.

Did you ever approach a bird in your backyard? You can’t go straight up to it because it will fly away. You have to get it to want to come to you.

Think of guys like that. They have a wild side. Most of them do not expect to be pursued straight up. You’ve got to pique their interests. It usually takes patience.

You can certainly invite them. But it takes finesse. Or at least a reasonable assurance that they are already somewhat interested. So have patience.

Last, I want to speak to this:

I feel called to marriage.

That is a good sign. God puts a desire in our hearts for our true vocation. Whatever it is will make us happy.

If you are truly called to marriage, then do everything you can to prepare for your vocation. Preparing for a vocation involves living your current state in life as best you can.

Marriage is going to require trust. Each spouse will need to trust each other, yes. But mainly, trust in God.

You should be concentrating on what you are supposed to do today—for today’s sake. Embrace it. 

Embrace your life for its own sake—with or without a man.Click To Tweet

God has a plan for you. And it’s not some future plan that you have to worry and fret about. It’s a plan for today. Surrendering to that plan for today and every day will give you the virtue of hope. Hope will do two things for you: It will give you peace and it will make you attractive to others.

People will want to be around you because they will sense—not that you are anxious and need someone to fill your gaps, but that you possess a touch of the divine wholeness. This is what everyone wants. This is what everyone was created for. This is what a vocation is all about—to lead you to be filled with the divine.

That starts today.



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6 Comments

  1. David-1216155 August 29, 2015 Reply

    I found this from Jason Evert – How to Save your Marriage….before you meet your spouse.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMo6DFnBtm4

  2. Susan-1144357 August 12, 2015 Reply

    I am 40 and have also left my profile up for now but have not renewed my subscription.
    I have not even been on a date for about 5 years, I just don’t get asked.
    I have recently received three messages on catholic match from a man who is nearly 70! Now I am sure he is probably a nice person but I would not go on a date with someone who is old enough to be my father!
    I think it is very difficult for the 40s age group, especially women, my theory is that the 40-50 year old men are looking for younger women who have more childbearing years left!

  3. Ann-69118 August 10, 2015 Reply

    45 here and just quit looking for the most part if he is out there he will have to find me. I’ve left my profile up and am open to whatever GOD wants but no I will not chase guys that’s their job. I’m not saying if I was interested I wouldn’t encourage a guy but I’m not going to go chase them. I found if I guy really wants something he’ll go after it. If not then he’s not really interested and it would be a waste of time. 😉

  4. Esmeralda-886137 August 8, 2015 Reply

    You just need to have your faith very strong in the Lord. Your are just 21 you don’t have to be worry because your are too young. Your future wife will come at the time God and Jesus decided. Enjoy for the moment your time and all the good things the Lord is giving you right now. I’m 41 years old and a priest told the same that I’m saying to you. Don’t lose the faith in God. God bless you!

  5. Shranima-980421 August 5, 2015 Reply

    Yes, thank you for the above. Purpose is so very important to keep together and yes, even to move on…

  6. Ferghal-709966 August 4, 2015 Reply

    Hi there just something that i would like to point out reading the above article on How Do I Get Ready for Marriage When I Haven’t Found the One Yet? As i man she does not need a man to complete her , she has to be complete in her self , a man does not need to be drained of himself if she is not complete in herself then its a subtle form of co dependance and that is not fair on the man or if its a woman vice versa . I was a person who never believed in Soulmates til over a Month and a half ago , Listening to a guy give a talk on this subject of meeting ” the one ” which went onto change my whole world view and especially when he pointed it out in scripture . 5 things that are needed for the One , first is Chemistry which is a gift from God bringing two people together through attraction and also personality which combines the couple even though they might not know it yet , second is Connection , God only knows how is do this and of coarse we as people can have connections with alot of people but matched with Chemistry its a Godly thing . thirdly is to be whole as a person , has both parties gotten over wounds from there past weather its father or mother issues not dealt with because i have seen it happen and speaking from experience and also to understand that God can use a person to reach someone to heal which i do know but God knows best on this . Fourth is conformation from God that this is Gods chosen one for your life , and this is where the scripture is held up to prove God is right that he does have someone that will be a Soulmate . It goes back to Adam and Eve . Before Eve is created God gave dominion and Authority to Adam to name everything God had created as we all know but here is the important piece God Knew he needed a helper a companion , God places Adam into a deep sleep which God is saying to us in our fallen state leave this to me cause if you try you will make a hams of it , notice what happens next The Woman is impregnated within the man and God takes from Adam the rib and fashions the Woman Eve , but what is so amazing is when Adam awakens from his slumber he does not even have to ask God who Eve is behold bone of my bone , flesh of my flesh , behold Woman . Adam knew straight away who she was and that is the same with our Soulmate we will just know but also to have faith God will do this , of coarse sometimes a person is under are nose but the veil has not been lifted that is true but the same outcome and fifth is purpose nothing worse than been in relationship only to find your Purpose and the other has not that can cause alot of problems for sure but God is good as we know hope this helps in some way also God Bless and Peace

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