College kid, broken heart


#1

I have a great sense that God is leading me toward a married life (though I will always consider the vocation of priesthood. I pray often in hopes that I will do God's will.) I feel that I would be a loving dad and husband and want to raise my children in a loving, supportive, nurturing Catholic household, but my inner doubts think differently.

You see, my last relationship of 2 years has left me in much doubt about ever finding anybody special. I hate these feelings of extreme sadness and lately it has not gotten better. 9 months have already passed since our break-up and I've been trying hard to get back on my feet and try again. In August I moved to my university and I've tried going to events set up by the clubs on campus to meet new people and maybe finding a wonderful woman. Well, maybe I'm just not lucky. It also doesn't help the the majority of students that attend my university are Lutheran.

I go to Mass on Sundays hoping to find a cute girl in the pews (not that THAT is my main focus when I worship. It never should.) I can't help but think that I'm one of the very few young parishioners (being 21.) I have prayed to God about this situation and I understand completely that he is not a "wish-granter" as if I could summon a genie from a lamp and that I should contemplate and listen to what He has to say.

"Oh you'll find her. Give it time" some of my friends would say, or "She's out there. You just gotta look" others would reply. Maybe I'm too young to look for a serious relationship that I hope will lead to Holy Matrimony. Perhaps Maybe I should just give up trying because I'm just a poor, broken, emotionally strained college kid?

What am I doing wrong? Should I give up? Should I continue to try? Am I looking for love in all the wrong places?


#2

I think that you, and so many others, are confused about the "relationship" word. It is overused and therefore causes many false concepts and disappointments.

You would like to marry and be a father one day? Continue to do those things that prepare you for that: finish school, get a job, save money....A smart girl would not be looking to get attached to someone who is not ready to support a family. The best married men I've met were, in their bachelor years, well into their careers with the down payment on the home ready, before they started to court someone. That was a lot of years alone before they started the dating scene; yet now kids are hooking up in fifth grade...

You do sound young, hurt, and lonely. Get counselling. Spiritual counselling. Psychological also. Find groups of people. Hang around more Catholics. Make friends with the not-so-cute girls. They might be incredibly fun. They might introduce you to your future wife. They might BE your future wife. Open your mind. Learn to dance. the old fashioned ballroom and swing style...or folk dance. Enjoy being single. One day you'll be a father and wonder why you spent your single years feeling so despondent.


#3

Auntie A is right. You are lonely and broken hearted. I'm assuming you are under 21 years of age. You have not finished your education,and you haven't even started a career.
Please finish what you've started.

Yes, there are many that have someone special and you don't. It isn't easy being alone but everyone is alone at one time or another and others are even alone while in a relationship. This is your time to explore what interests you. Make a bucket list of what you want to achieve in the next year, and in the next five years. Focus on that.

Right now you appear to be focused on one thing finding a new girlfriend. You have little control over that. You do have control over your education, spirtitual life, health and exercise, and a hobby. Spend an hour on each every day or every other day for a month and you'll be a different person at the end of 30 days.


#4

This.

You are young and should be concentrating on getting the best education you can right now. A girlfriend will come. You can pray about it and ask God to send someone, but maybe this is not the time for a girlfriend for you right now. Be patient and polish yourself up to shine like a diamond for the right one that will come one day. May God bless you and guide you. :slight_smile:


#5

StGeorgesSquire, this is a serious reply, right now there is a mate out there for you who God has handpicked. Many, many people feel just as you do, you are not alone. At the risk of boring people to death as I have posted this before, if you would go to the web-site PrayMoreNovenas.com you will see an encouraging story about two people who were waiting on the hand of God to lead them together. John-Paul and Annie were married this past year after praying and praying for a mate. Annie prayed novenas to St. Ann for over 2 years before they met and now they are running this vastly growing group together. Be patient, pray hard, keep your heart open, God has a plan for you for sure.


#6

I prayed to St. Joseph to send me someone like him. It took 3 years of praying and me finally giving up hope to finally realize I already knew my husband. Maybe you could pray to Mary? Ask her to send someone like her into your life.

I was a single mom at age 17. Every boy I met only wanted one thing from me. I had made that mistake before--I wasn't interested in making it again. My husband (now married for 15 years) was so non-judgmental about my past. We met and formed a friendship when my son was about 6 months old. I never expected our friendship to turn romantic or that he would ever ask me if he could adopt our son. The whole time I was praying to meet someone just like St. Joseph, this wonderful man was already there in my life. I never imagined this wonderfully devout Catholic man (who was a proudly a virgin) that attended Mass each week and took care of his parents would accept me, a sinner, as his girlfriend, let alone his wife. On top of that, we were living in a small southern town, and this was 19 years ago. I am white, my husband is Mexican. It's not so uncommon now, but NO ONE in our town dated outside of their race then. You see, sometimes our perfect match is right there in front of us and we can't even see them. My best friend, a young migrant farmer who babysat for me when I was at work and at school, who sent all of his extra paycheck to his family in Mexico, who says he never wanted to get married, who is now an NCO in the US Army...our 8th baby is due next month. It will work out exactly as it is supposed to be. I didn't expect the man St. Joseph picked for me, but I'm so glad he is the one. Ask Mary to send you someone like her and then be open to the possibility that your perfect match is not who you expect her to be. She may already be in your life.


#7

Don't close yourself to possibilities, that's my advice.

You may be feeling a bit gloomy or a bit hopeless at the moment and that's quite natural and understandable, but the best thing you can do is not sink into this despair but get out there amongst people, whether you feel called to marriage, single life or priesthood. We are social beings and we need human contact.

So engage with those around you. Make friends. Meet new people. And be open to the promptings of God without expecting anything in particular. Relax about it and things fall into place. Stress about it and you'll get stuck in a psychological rut.


#8

You have already received some great advice. At 21, you are still quite young. The best advice I can give is to relax and enjoy your life as it is now.

If my math is correct, you dated someone from 18-20 and are just now recently single, for really the first time as an "adult". You are at a very formative phase in your life. Learn to be an adult by yourself. That's really the best gift you can give your future wife.

I know what you're going through. I had intense feelings of wanting to find "the one" and get married from second grade on. So times of singleness, especially in college, were tough. The best thing I ever did was to let go of it and put it in God's hand. I started small by (at the advice of my spiritual director) saying that I wasn't even going to consider dating anyone until such-and-such date. It basically gave me 9 months to be free from worry about this. It was a very spiritually fruitful time for me. And I emerged a much better person on the other end.


#9

I know how you feel.
I received a prophesy at age 18 that I was to be a Husband and a Dad. I didn't meet my wife untill I was 29 years old. we got married when I was 32.

I spent years before I was ready to marry "dating" people who were wholly unsuited to me. I dearly wish I had not done that. I have left a stream of broken hearts, and suffered the same my self.

When you date someone there is one of 2 possible outcomes:
You'll get married or
You'll break up (often leaving a broken heart behind).
"Dating" should only be courtship. a discernment of a possible marriage partner. not casual sexual relationships. - those only lead to STD's broken hearts and unplanned pregnancies.

Successful Marriage is a most likely outcome among people who court for 18-24 months before tying the knot. If you are not likely to be ready to marry a girl within a foreseeable and reasonable time period you need to question your motives for dating.

If you do develop a strong romantic to someone, but are not ready to marry them you will most likely spend the time yearning to fulfill the relationship in a way that is only appropriate or right after exchanging wedding vows. Our culture will tell you not to be a prude and get on with it. You will either tear yourselves apart trying to be "chaste" by misunderstanding that term, and thereby risk damage to your sexuality, OR you will sin more directly by failing to remain chaste in thought word and deed.

The church advises Chastity for all the faithful. (celibate, single or married).
Chastity is the virtue of approaching your entire life and all ones relationships with a virtuous approach to sexuality.
here's an example. A Celibate person is not being Chaste by getting flirtatious and romantic with others. That breaks chastity long before the people end up alone together with no clothes on.

Ditto with a Husband. He is chaste when he consummates his marriage with his wife, but breaks chastity if he flirts with the pretty girl in his office or down the pub.

He nurtures his wedding vows of fidelity by avoiding the occasions of such sin. - not by putting himself into the way of temptation.

The same applies to the young single person.
You foster chastity, by forming meaningful friendships with many people, and seeking out friendships with other Christians (where possible Catholic Christians, but also other committed Christians who also love the Truth) who can support you in your desire for a virtuous life.
All your relationships should be chaste. that means truly platonic; not flirtatious and seeking self gratification.

Form close meaningful friendships. ones that are loving. - i.e. ones where you are giving your time and resources for the betterment of your friend just for the sake of love.
By practising this love and this chastity you will be a far better husband when you finally meet your future wife, and when you become her Husband.

Remember: In the Latin and Greek, the work "Love" in English is often translated from the Latin word "Charitas", which also includes the English meaning "Charity"

Our popular media use the word love to mean "Eros" and "Amor". Those are a small sub-set of love, and if divorced from "Charitas" often fail to be Love at all.


#10

Thank you all for the beautiful, thoughtful, and helpful advice! I am curious though as to whom should I go to for spiritual therapy? I know this may seem like an obvious question, but I’m new to my parish and not sure who would be the most helpful.


#11

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:10, topic:311539"]
Thank you all for the beautiful, thoughtful, and helpful advice! I am curious though as to whom should I go to for spiritual therapy? I know this may seem like an obvious question, but I'm new to my parish and not sure who would be the most helpful.

[/quote]

I always try to see my priest, but if it isn't possible and there is a deacon or a nun available that would work too. Being male, I'm not sure you would feel as comfortable speaking to a nun as I do, but I don't know for sure (since I've always been female).


#12

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:10, topic:311539"]
Thank you all for the beautiful, thoughtful, and helpful advice! I am curious though as to whom should I go to for spiritual therapy? I know this may seem like an obvious question, but I'm new to my parish and not sure who would be the most helpful.

[/quote]

Your parish priest should also be able to direct you to a qualified catholic therapist who can provide the spiritual therapy at the same time as one or more of the other issues. that of course depends on local availability and your ability to travel.


#13

Not to make light of you, but I was pretty sure when I was 21 that nobody else had it as bad as me either!

It sounds trite, but when you give it over to God, place your fate in His hands and stop worrying about it is when things will change for you.

Yeah, I wouldn't have believed it at your age either! True anyway though...:thumbsup:


#14

[quote="manualman, post:13, topic:311539"]
It sounds trite, but when you give it over to God, place your fate in His hands and stop worrying about it is when things will change for you.

[/quote]

What can I do to do that? It seems so difficult to me and I feel like it's much easier for everyone else. I want to. I need to. I should let the Lord take care of me. Why does it seem so hard?


#15

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#16

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:14, topic:311539"]
What can I do to do that? It seems so difficult to me and I feel like it's much easier for everyone else. I want to. I need to. I should let the Lord take care of me. Why does it seem so hard?

[/quote]

Easy. It's done by having faith in God.

Make a conscious decision to not worry about it and instead to allow God to guide you whatever way he sees fit. Next time you feel yourself thinking about it and getting down, say to yourself "Stop this. I'm letting God take care of me" and turn your attention to something else.

Not only will it ease your mind, but it'll make you more productive in other areas of your life.


#17

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:14, topic:311539"]
What can I do to do that? It seems so difficult to me and I feel like it's much easier for everyone else. I want to. I need to. I should let the Lord take care of me. Why does it seem so hard?

[/quote]

Because you're young and that struggle is nearly the entire purpose of human existence and if you were done already it would be time to die and go home to heaven! Suffering and lonliness are one of the major ways we learn how much we need God. Believe me, we've ALL been there. Don't give up.


#18

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:14, topic:311539"]
What can I do to do that? It seems so difficult to me and I feel like it's much easier for everyone else. I want to. I need to. I should let the Lord take care of me. Why does it seem so hard?

[/quote]

Don't compare your insides with others' outsides. You have no idea what they struggle with. You may think "Well, So-and-So looks so serene and tranquil, and seems to trust God," but on the inside, So-and-So might be going through a living hell.

Welcome to life as a human being. Since Adam and Eve, we've been able to convince ourselves that it's better/more expedient/easier to trust in our own understanding than in God's provisions for us.

Try this. Take it only one day at a time. Every morning say out loud, "God, I trust you to take care of me today. I am giving You my worries, fears, concerns, hopes, dreams and aspirations - use them however You will." Of course you will still start to worry, fear, etc. but once you start saying that or something like it, every morning, then during the day, when your mind starts to churn, you can just remind yourself, "I am turning all that over to God for today, He can handle it."

Another helpful tool is a "God Can." Take an empty coffee or other can, cover it with decorative paper or paint it. Cut a slot in the top if you want. Every time you think of a worry or fear, write it down, say a prayer, and put it in the can, for God to take care of. It may sound silly, but it works. Whenever I start to fuss over something, I just remember that "God Can" take care of it. And He is, in His own time.

Some people give themselves a worry allowance. They sit down and spend 15 minutes doing nothing but worrying over whatever concerns come to mind. But when that 15 minutes is up, it's over and they are not allowed to continue to fret any more. I do not do this - I find the more time I give to worry, the more I think about worrying, you know?? So I would spend that time in prayer or reading the Bible instead. But I really like the God Can instead.


#19

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:14, topic:311539"]
What can I do to do that? It seems so difficult to me and I feel like it's much easier for everyone else. I want to. I need to. I should let the Lord take care of me. Why does it seem so hard?

[/quote]

Pray every day.

Don't brood by asking God to stop you thinking about things, but ask God to give you Direction and fulfillment in other ways.

Pray today taht the Lord will remove your fixation and unhappyness with this issue, and fill you with the zeal to make yourself ready for your Vocation (whatever that may be)

Readyness for a Vocation of marriage could be:
Practical
The best education / vocational training you can get, for a Job that is not going to cause problems raising a family.
A good credit rating so you can get a mortgage when you're ready.
lack of debt / plenty of savings. (for that mortgage)
Personal
A well developed emotionally balanced personality, who is nice to be with... not just for a "Date" but someone who your mates would be glad to have as a housemate / roommate. - in ways which will translate when your housemate is the person you have just married and will spend the rest of your life with.
Be fun to be around socially. Have good meaningful friendships, which are loyal and moraly just.
Spiritual
A love of God. A desire to Love Him above all else, and to Love all his Children.
A good, improving knowledge of God, form reading His Scriptures, The Catechism, and other inspired texts (i.e. the works of the Doctors of the Church and other Saints), and the
writings of the Magisterium of the Church.

Foster the Virtues. Patience is especially important for a husband and Dad.

Pray to the Lord to make you ready.
Pray to the Lord to show you his path for you.
Pray to the Lord to bring it to pass, and to keep you on His Path.
Pray to the lord that he may let you see and recognise your wife (or other vocation) when you meet them. (He told me outright in that clear inner voice "She is the One!)


#20

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