'Approach Anxiety' Input, personal experience, or how I met my partner stories would be greatly appreciated!


#1

I am not really sure if this is the most appropriate place for this thread. I'll give it a shot and see if I get any hits.

I am a reasonably attractive 23 year old Catholic man. I am fairly confidant that I am called to the married life. I have spent a few years discerning the religious life with the help of our Blessed Mother and her Holy Rosary but I just can't seem to drop the thought of having children of my own and a wife to grow close to the Lord with. God could have other plans for me... but at this point I believe that I am meant to be married. Haha... but herein lies the problem! :shrug:

Like many young men I am absolutely crippled by 'approach anxiety'. If I see an attractive women I find it incredibly difficult to approach her. My efforts in the past have often gone south after they realize that I am Catholic. Now, I am primarily interested in Christian girls... ideally Catholic ones. That doesn't making approaching a cute girl after Mass or in a Catholic book store any easier. Ideally if the other person is a Catholic you can find yourself in the same social circle, but that isn't necessarily the case. It is becoming apparent to me that God probably isn't just going to drop a good Catholic women into my lap (though in His Grace he may). A likely scenario is that I will need to show my partner that I care enough to approach her.

I have performed a few searches online about 'Approach Anxiety' but many of the results view sex as the end game not spirituality. I know that nearly everyone has dealt with this issue at one time or another so plenty of people should be able to 'chime in' on this discussion. Any input, personal experience, or how I met my partner stories would be greatly appreciated! Let me know how you turned up your game and started your Catholic relationship! :cool:

Grace and Peace,
Thomas


#2

Thomas, welcome to CAF! :wave:

Boy, do I ever know what you're going through! High school and my first two years of college could be described as a sort of semi-paralysis when it came to women. :o The thought of approaching a girl cold turkey was mortifying.

What worked for me was to find a community of Catholic young adults via the university's Newman Center. Rather than focusing on the perfect come-on line or on making a spectacular first impression, I could focus on Christ and on forming friendships with many people (male and female). Eventually, some of those friendships turned into something more, and eventually, one of those relationships led to marriage. I discovered that I was really a pretty big flirt once I was comfortable around a girl. :o

Time helped, too. As I grew older and dated a couple of girls, I found it much, much easier to approach women.

I really wouldn't recommend simply approaching random women, however attractive they might be. If the girl isn't a committed Catholic, she's doing you a favor by not being interested in you. In my younger years, I thought in much the same way: "It would be nice if the girl was Christian, ideal if they were Catholic, but it's not a dealbreaker." Now, I cannot imagine ever marrying a non-Catholic. Marriage is hard enough without having different faiths! ;)

It really is a good idea to be friends first. My wife and I were friends for four years (during which time we both dated other people) before we started dating. It was very helpful to start dating someone I already knew so well.

I'm not sure if my thoughts are coming together into a cohesive whole or not. Hopefully I said something that is helpful!


#3

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