Are You Dating On God’s Time or Your Time?


Catholic singles often get asked the dreaded question. “Why aren’t you married yet?”

For many it is a hurtful question that is hard to answer. Many of you would like to respond, “None of your business!” or some other sarcastic response that would teach that person a lesson.

Many of you respond with grace by answering: “God hasn’t introduced me to my spouse yet.” or “It’s in God’s time. I’ll just allow it to happen.”

While this response is very true that it is in God’s hands, do we really think about what that actually means?

Now don’t get me wrong, it is important to trust in God, but are you allowing God to do his work or are you being passive and ignoring the things that are holding you back in the first place?

How can you tell if you are dating on God’s time or your time? 

To be dating on God’s time is an active process. It means you are actively engaged in the search and the discernment process.

When you are actively involved in the discernment process two things need to happen. You need to:

  1. Gather information
  2. Bring that information to God

Discernment doesn’t mean sitting around and waiting for God to drop a spouse in your lap. It means actively looking for people, social events, opportunities to become a more complete version of yourself and looking for ways to live out a more meaningful life. You bring all your fruits to God and ask him to show you how to be open to the relationship he wants for you. This is hard work!

It is clear whether a person is invested or not. If you are sitting back and assuming that God will let it happen, but going along on your regular routine you’re not dating on God’s time, but on your own time. You are intentionally holding something back.

What are you holding back?

If you have discerned that you are called to marriage then you need to put everything on the table. You need to give everything to God and hold nothing back. Put yourself into an active discerning mindset. Pray: God, I’m all in. I’m going to help you along by presenting opportunities that can help bring this person into my life. But I also know that through this process I am growing closer to you and becoming the best person I can be. 

How can you become that best gift? 

To become the best gift that you can give to God and your spouse, it is important to have a process that you can use to do the deeper work on yourself. When you are wrestling with these big questions, it is helpful to have a someone in your life as a sounding board or as a person who can give your helpful resources and unbiased feedback. Many people think if you are going to counseling there must be something wrong with you. But that is not true at all.

Big life questions are hard to figure out by yourself. It is good to have another person with whom you can work—whether it is a professional counselor or a spiritual director—who has your best interest at heart. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. It shows that you are committed to a process of getting all the information you can get.

What are your blind spots? 

It is important to work with someone who really has your best interest in mind. It needs to be a faithful person that understands discernment and can walk with you through the process. You need someone who is not afraid to say the hard thing to you. Are there past hurts? Do you have fears? Do you need healing?

We all have blind spots that get in the way. It is helpful to have an outside observer who can help you to address any baggage, get rid of the barriers and do everything you can to cooperate with God’s will. Having that outside perspective can help you to focus your efforts in a way that you never thought about doing on your own.

God can use your efforts and every avenue to bless you—but not always in the ways we expect.

It is important during this process to be really open to what God is asking you to do. Don’t wait for a gift-wrapped spouse. Focus on growing closer to God and allow yourself to be delighted by his surprises.



  1. Teresa-1318033 May 30, 2017 Reply

    I’m with Monica and Alex. This article was patronizing and said essentially nothing. “Put yourself out there. (Duh!) See a counselor (such as myself – what a coincidence! Discount if you mention this article) cuz you’re probably messed up. Trust God. (Original!) and…………not much else!

  2. Ann-69118 September 13, 2016 Reply

    I gave up looking kept getting interest either from guys with a different moral center or guys not really ready or really wanting a relationship. Example last date back in April spend a half hour telling me how selfish he was and he wasn’t open to life.

  3. Lucy-1321083 August 28, 2016 Reply

    God’s timing is the best.

  4. Joe-1351518 August 28, 2016 Reply

    I’ve tried just about everything and have always come up empty handed. I often get the opinion that women don’t really want a good man. I hate to sound like I’m egotistical but I am old world values and morals. I always treat women with kindness, respect and love. It just seems that I’m deemed “not worth it” because I am not the greatest looking guy out there or that I have a “bad boy” attitude.

    Do women truly want a man that treats them as a gentleman should treat them? That’s the big question.

  5. Shirley-1362337 August 28, 2016 Reply

    When one start to search, disappointments and other feelings makes us more careful sometimes almost give up. For being a conservative like me i felt ashame anymore for i am looking for my second and last love. But my faith is stronger than my fear. God will lead us.

  6. Nicole-1362579 August 28, 2016 Reply

    I definitely feel like this makes it seem easier than it really is, being single and putting yourself out there for people to approach you but without “putting yourself out there “.

  7. TinJoy-1361349 August 27, 2016 Reply

    As of now, I’m searching for my better half..

  8. TinJoy-1361349 August 27, 2016 Reply

    I believe in God’s perfect time….However, I also believe that being single yet happy and contented is also in the hands of God.

  9. Nicholas-1207352 August 27, 2016 Reply

    Attractive people are single because they want to be single. Period.

  10. Alex-1327501 August 27, 2016 Reply

    Patronising nonsense!

  11. Monica-922786 August 27, 2016 Reply

    This is ridiculous. Sometimes, even if you are involved, men don’t step up. Men don’t approach women. Yeah, I could ask guys out, but that is so uncomfortable. Especially if I’ve been pretty forward in expressing interest in having a coffee or some other event. In my opinion, yes, one should not expect their spouse to fall into their lap but it’s still ridiculous to tell folks that it will be ok if they just get involved more. I think churches should step it up too and encourage single parishioners to mingle more but hosting events specifically for this purpose but in a bit so cheesy way.

    • Alex-1327501 August 27, 2016 Reply

      Hi Monica, if you were in Ireland I would step up.! x

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