Am I supposed to date?

Hi CAF Vocations Forum,

Is one supposed to date?

I was interested in becoming a monk or a priest, but seems like that isn’t my path.

I read in a book called To Save a Thousand Souls which was mostly about discerning diocesan priesthood that one ought to discern each vocation (in this context: religious life, priesthood, married life, singlehood) one at a time and in the order I listed.

So as it seems like the first two are out, how do I discern whether my vocation is marriage?

Frankly a part of me doesn’t want to get married, and another part says that I don’t have what it takes to be married. So I think that would rule out religious life and priesthood for me as well, as those require the ability for the lesser vocations as well (as I understand it).


How can we answer this? We don’t even know how old you are, what kind of education you have, what kind of social life you enjoy…
Do you like women? Got any close women friends? Feel compelled to ask anyone out to the movies or coffee?
What you are “supposed to do” is God’s will.
Which, at this point, you’ll have to just wait and see.
Pray for direction from the Holy Spirit daily, and try to make more friends socially, get out around the parish, meet people, and see where life takes you.
Praying that a path opens up for you in which you can be fulfilled and happy, as well as following the will of Our Lord.
Best wishes.

Thank you for your reply, pianistclare.

Two of the happiest, most fulfilled priests I know had girlfriends before deciding to enter the seminary. :shrug:

This sounds like a good topic for an ongoing discussion with a good spiritual director, not Internet strangers who know nothing about you. You’ll be in my prayers.

I understand the quandary. If you were me, I’d explore the reasons why you “feel you don’t have what it takes to be married”. Bring that question to the Lord in prayer and think about why you feel that way, reasons behind why you believe that is true. Ask yourself what things (if possible) you can do to change it. Take steps to follow through. (You don’t have to go crazy with it, just small things to try and do for the Lord) Keep asking the questions, explore the reasons, thoughts, beliefs and put them to the test. Ask the Lord and His Holy Spirit for guidance and help.

I'm not sure there are 'lesser' vocations... each is a called to responsibility and duty, to love as Christ loves, which is no small feat and requires His grace to fulfill.  Taking up the cross is not easy  by any means.   I'm not really sure any Christian can feel that *they* can do what God calls them to do- we should be fearful and apprehensive about whether or not we can and will do it as it is said in Scripture that no one fit for the plow looks back but our desire to please God and our love for God should propel us to try.  

God accomplishes things through us, with our hearts full of love for Him which spills over for others- all for His sake. Our main vocation as Christians is to love God above all else and live for Him. Just focus on that and God should lead from there.

Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.

If that is what you are doing now, you are more than fine with where you are. Be patient. Be content…

Philippians 4:11-13:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

See Post #2.

I would also suggest finding a spiritual director.

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