Besotted Catholic wants advice and prayers


#1

Hi all,

I’m a single orthodox Catholic (I’ve always been single) who has recently gone through a premature mid-life crisis of sorts. I’ve been on a sickness benefit for years (I’m obsessive compulsive) and as such, at 29 I still don’t have a career. I fear that I have wasted my 20’s (in fact such was the state of my depression recently that friends of mine almost had to make me eat.) Being single and unemployed has afforded me many opportunities for personal development, such as prayer and furthering my education, and yet I am at the end of my 20’s and fear that I have nothing to offer. It’s not all bad, I am a published poet, and my conversion from cradle Catholic to orthodox Catholic was during my unemployment and gave me heaps of time to read articles at places like catholiceducation.org, the forums here, and read good books. I finished my university degree shortly before turning 21, but have been drifting ever since.

Recently I had the privilege of befriending a young single orthodox Catholic woman who’s holiness caught my attention in Church last year. I think about her all the time now that I’ve met her, but don’t know exactly what to do. In fact, meeting her and talking to her was what triggered the crisis - now that my heart has ‘acquired a target’ I worry that I’m not where I should be in life. I would like to write her a short letter complimenting her on her holiness and inviting her for a coffee, but fear that it may be too bold a move. When she’s around, all I want to do is talk to her, though I worry about being seen as (for want of a better way of saying it,) following her around. A consequence of my mental illness is that I twitch a lot, especially when I get stressed, excited, nervous (or way too much caffeine) and worry that I might be scaring her or that she might find me a little offputting. I also fear that being unemployed may put her off, since she may get the impression that I’m not going anywhere.

It is my sincere hope to marry one day, and that woman I marry will be an orthodox Catholic who seeks holiness first and foremost.

I am praying about this and praying for her daily.

Your advice and prayers are most appreciated, especially prayers for peace in my heart.

Andrew.


#2

Andrew,
I don’t post much, but the more I read your statement the more I just gotta tell ya you are normal. EVERY GUY is intimitdated my a potental spouse and feels this way. Keep working on your poetry as a sideline, find any job that works with your compulsions, and just go and talk to her. If she likes you , she likes you. If she don’t, well, move on. Let the Holy Spirit do its job, just open the door, and enter into it with the attitude of ‘Thy will be done.’ Faith, Amigo!


#3

Andrew,

I would simply say that you are facing what most face when the approach of a new relationship is on the horizon. Will it happen? Will he/she say yes? Will they like me? Questions abound, but at some point you have to push that aside (I know easier said than done) and simply take that next step. Something simple, as you mentioned coffee. I would recommend just talking with her after mass. Keep it simple and light, very casual conversation. Meeting for coffee (preferably decaf :D) and simply talking and getting to know each other would be a great start.

As for your position in life, I would say that your career should not define who you are as a person, you define who you are. Do not let your career, or lack thereof shy you away from this girl. Continue to pray about this situation, pray for her and be confident.


#4

Don’t worry about it. I was depressed and wasted my 20s with vigor. Granted, I feel a little bit behind now at 34, but after the slow and steady application of backbone and prayer, I’m getting things in order. If I can do it, anyone can.

As far as your illness goes, well, I’m not completely sold on every mental disorder diagnosis. I was diagnosed with A.D.D. and depression by a couple of different doctors, but I refused to take any drugs. I was determined to become a stronger man, or even A MAN, without them. Now, sure, I can be distracted by shiny objects anywhere near my peripheral vision, but by identifying my “handicaps” I was able to work around them.

Eventually I found a holy woman who I felt like I had nothing to offer. She’s now my wife and still seems to think highly of me. I can’t understand exactly why, but anyway, my point is that it’s only “too late” when you’re dead.


#5

Andrew…
You know what women like in particular? A guy who is not afraid to make the first move (or is, of course, but does it anyway).
Just do something… whats the worst thing that can happen?

Oh yes… by the way. Have you talked to her? because if you havent then you should not give her a note… that would look like you chicken out and place the initiative with her… (I know I would not like that)… Go straight up to her in some way… and just be honest with her… if she is pious she is also humble.

Good luck brother :slight_smile:
Ps… you may not have a job… but some girls love it if they can find a poet… a poet indeed is rare these days :slight_smile:


#6

Go ahead and keep chatting with her after Mass. Invite her for coffee afterwards sometime. Don’t do the note thing–that would seem weird and less manly to me.:shrug:

If you like someone it’s better to take steps forward sooner than later. The worst thing that can happen if you ask her is that she’ll say she isn’t interested. The worst thing that can happen if you don’t ask her is that you’ll spend a great deal of time and emotion on someone who does not want to reciprocate. It’s best to know if you have a chance before it becomes much more important to you than it is to her.

Good luck! :thumbsup:


#7

Thanks so much for your replies, All of them have been very helpful.

My plan for giving her the note, if I did, would be to give it to her during the course of a one on one conversation.

I have had a few conversations with her, including one on ones. I wonder if I should just tell her during the course of a one on one conversation what’s on my mind. Should I invite her to coffee first? (Actually hot chocolate would be better - she doesn’t seem to be a coffee drinker). Should I just open up and be honest with my thoughts about her, then invite her to coffee? Maybe I should give her a free copy of my book and ask her out for coffee to get her feedback on the book? (Oh how devious of me :smiley: )

She may not realise this, but she’s inspired me to be more serious about wearing my brown Scapular and Miraculous Medal, so even if she turns me down, it’s not all bad, right? :slight_smile:

Holiness is my heart’s deepest longing, and she appears to have plenty of it. Personal holiness is the primary reason I want to be married - if I can marry a wonderful and holy woman, then our holiness can rub off on each other. She’ll be someone to pray the Breviary with and attend Daily Mass with.

P.S. She’s also a literature type, which for me as a mathematics graduate is rather attractive :slight_smile: Personally, I never intended to become a poet, but a crisis of faith years ago not only pushed me “home to Rome”, but it also made a poet out of me.


#8

wow…
okay brother… remember this lady is a sinner like all the rest of us including your self. a woman needs love and respect and acceptance just like a man does.
there are many aspects of love that are heroic… thats why God is Love and He is the source of it… all kinds of it that are true.
To be attracted to holiness is totally fine just as long as you remember you are dealing with a human being, not an angel.
Have interest in her… not what you can get from her.

Yeah… ask her out for coffee… let it be casual… and dont ask her to read your book … tell her you have written it and say you’d love her oppinion on it if she feels like reading it some time… and then move on to the next topic.

be sensitive to her signals… treat her as a friend and no one is gonna get hurt :thumbsup:


#9

Do NOT paralyze yourself with too much analysis. There is ultimately no code or sequence of words/actions that will unlock gates or open doors.

Just be–not “act like,” but BE–a good an holy man, and then be yourself. A good sense of humor also goes a long way.


#10

Just invite her for coffee and then see how it goes. Don’t spring your feelings on her right away, that is too much. Just get to be friends first, get to know her as a real person, and don’t idealize her, because no one can live up to someone else’s ideal. Take it easy and natural and see what develops. And pray about it.


#11

Hi again, and thank you all very much for your advice. I have carefully pondered all of it.

My plan is to simply invite her to coffee after Mass or something, but I’ll save inviting her until I’m talking one on one with her. The “note” idea has been canceled.

It can be painfully hard to simply place these situations in God’s hands and simply trust Him and His perfect plan. I have prayed hundreds of times over the last year that God’s will be done [regarding the possibility of a future spouse], in His time and according to His plan, that I not idolize anyone, and for peace in my heart. The trouble is, of course, that when I come across someone who may be a potential spouse, I panic. The reason I thought about a note is because I wanted to be absolutely sure. If she were to decline my invitation for coffee, is it because she’s not interested? or is it because she’s too busy at the time, or because she’s a student and short on cash? or maybe I accidentally put her off? Maybe she’s as nervous as I am?

Her holiness is not the only thing that attracts me, in fact why I’m attracted to her is something I cannot understand myself. Holiness is what made me notice her in Church last year, though it was last month when I actually got to talk to her for a decent amount of time that infatuation really kicked in. Now I think about her all the time. My heart sure knows how to confuse me :confused: :banghead:

What I need most of all is the grace to trust in God’s plan. Every day I pray for that and for peace in my heart, though in my situation, as I’m sure you can guess, it’s easy to get nervous and panic. Does God have a wife in mind for me? Is it who I suspect it is? Will God’s plan for a wife for me be accomplished with my cooperation? or will it be in spite of me?

I’ve never dated before, in fact I’ve never asked anyone out, so this is a whole new world for me. That’s why I’m so grateful for all the advice I’ve been given here.

Pray for my backbone! When the time comes to ask, I’ll sure need it :wink:


#12

Only one piece of advice I can offer - if you do get the chance to talk to her, and things start to go well, find a good time fairly early in the relationship to tell her about your disorder and your limitations, if she says she’s cool with it, leave it at that!

I spent a long time in a relationship with a woman who thought I was amazing, and I could never understand what she saw in me, I thought I had nothing to offer her. I am often down, and have anxiety and self-esteem issues. Anyway, I kept pushing the issue, telling her how awful I was, and asking why she puts up with me, even exaggerating my problems to some extent, and, well, eventually I convinced her that I really was too much of an emotional wreck, and she left me.

If she accepts you, accept her, and learn to see yourself as she sees you. If she doesn’t accept you, move on, there will be someone else for you. You’re really not as bad as you think!


#13

Hi again,

Looks like I messed it up :crying:

I kept praying for a one on one with her, so that I could invite her to coffee. She lives half way between the Church and the railway station, so I walked with her, and decided I’d ask her to coffee when we parted company. Unfortunately, just as we reached the building where she lives, she asked me that I not walk with her on her way home too often, it makes her uncomfortable. I told her I was worried about making her nervous, and she said she’s not nervous, just uncomfortable. End result: plan thwarted. The only reason I walked with her was to ask her to coffee, then leave her alone. Now I don’t know what to do about it at all. I now suspect that there is no point in going any further with this. If she’s uncomfortable about me walking home with her, then asking her to coffee would probably make her more uncomfortable.

She said it very sensitively, though. She said what needed to be said (which I am very grateful for), and I doubt that it was possible for her to say it without hurting me.

Making her uncomfortable was the one thing I desperately tried to avoid, and frequently I would keep out of her way to avoid making her uncomfortable. Now I’m depressed. I’m better now, but early yesterday morning I fell apart emotionally - my worst fear was realized. Of all the people who trust me and enjoy my company, I fear that she may not be among them - I may have accidentally pushed her away. I can’t handle that thought. I think weeks of built up emotion came gushing out and I basically lost control.

I’m more depressed than anything else, but there’s a deep frustration there as well. I am very content with being single, and infatuations are one thing I don’t like - they confuse me. When I spotted her in the Choir a couple of weeks after I joined, I knew I was in for problems, since she had caught my attention months earlier. How to behave around someone you’re nervous about??? Inevitably I did meet her, got besotted, and now I’m stuck with feelings I don’t want.

I’m emotionally cut up and feeling like an idiot. I’m stuck with emotions I neither need nor want. I’m tired of infatuations causing me these emotions. I enjoy being single, I just wish my heart would take a hint and leave me alone. Once again, as has happened in years past, my mind and my heart are on the verge of war. What part of “no” does my heart not understand?

My sisters are both happily married, but in their single days they both had times when they had to put up with some guy that wouldn’t leave them alone. I would rather be hit by a bus than become one of those guys, so being told I’m making a girl uncomfortable is unbearable for me.

I’m probably blowing this out of proportion, since it may have only been that one thing that made her uncomfortable.
I’ve probably made things sound a lot worse than they really are. I WILL recover and am already doing my best to move on. I just need to vent at the moment. I don’t blame her for anything, my frustration is entirely with myself. I just hope I haven’t done anything to cause her to distrust me.


#14

???

What in the world inspired this criticism???


#15

I hope my last post didn’t come across as over dramatizing things so I thought I’d let you know that I did get over it, it just took a couple of days. I’m in a good mood once again. I think it was just one of those days when a couple of months of built up anxiety and emotion got the better of me, and I needed to vent.

One one hand I still feel stupid for going about it the wrong way etc. and still worry about what she thinks of me, though on the other hand I think I have a renewed trust in God’s plan for me. Maybe this ‘episode’ was just part of the learning process. Emotions are a big part of who I am as a human person, they’re an amazing gift from God. They’re also a big mystery that can introduce complications that I’d rather not have to live with :(.

But that is life.

Thank you all for your support, advice and prayers. :thumbsup::tiphat::hug1:


#16

Sweetie,

Deep. Breath. Speaking as a female, I can tell you that it doesn’t seem like you did a thing wrong. You went about things entirely the right way; she responded by telling you how she felt. What she said was a bit ambiguous; she may have meant something as simple as she is uncomfortable with you going out of your way to walk her home. You never know. We are funny creatures sometimes, saying things that are perfectly clear to us but utterly confuse the opposite sex. Keep doing what you’ve been doing; be friendly, but not overly so. If the time seems right, go ahead and ask her to join you for coffee, then you’ll definitely know where she stands.


#17

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