I have been discerning for around 4 years now. I have visited many orders and narrowed down my search to a few that I could see myself joining. I am 26 years old and a school teacher. Throughout my discernment I have found it easy to focus because I have not been in a relationship with anyone. I was planning on furthering my research and entering this coming August, but now my plans are changing. After having years with no prospects an amazingly wonderful man falls into my life. Nothing on the radar (since I’m not looking) and 9 months before I hope to enter a convent this man jumps into my life.
I decided to go ahead and have some fun and just date casually. We both like country dancing so having a dance partner sounded great. We got to know each other and enjoyed dancing. He works out of town during the weekdays so we spend evenings talking on the phone. This of course is a blessing because it forces us to really get to know each other. It has been about 4 months since we started dating and I see multiple paths for my life.
I have told him about my discernment and he is supportive of me finding out what God is calling me to do. He is just glad that we have the time now to get to know each other. He is a man called to marriage and his goal in life is to raise a wonderful, loving family. He will truly make a wonderful husband and father some day. I, on the other hand, have different goals. I have always wanted to be radical. I have never wanted to settle down and have a family. For me, it seems like family ties you down and makes it so you cannot help others as much. You are bound to your family. I think I want to be a missionary or a sister. I know I need to be actively helping and volunteering in order to feed my own soul. This dating experience has opened my eyes to the blessing of having a family. His family, including extended family, is so close and in constant contact. I have never experienced family this way, nor seen a marriage that held as much love as those in his family. This experience is messing with my own opinions on family and marriage.
I know God has placed me in his life for a reason. I don’t know if He just wants to show me what my other options are, or if He is actually telling me to wait. I long to be the one for this amazing man, but I also long to be fully devoted to my Beloved. I feel torn. My soul is not content without God, and I mean without constantly being able to love, and serve, and grow in the spirit. I felt so sure of my path months ago, and now I feel lost. How do I keep discerning when I am dating? How to I figure out if I should continue to pursue this relationship or end it? How do I know, with a sure enough sign, to decide ANYTHING? I am stuck in between two worlds and I don’t know which one to dive into. I have spent the past 4 years of my life fully invested in discerning, should I at least take the next few months to see if marriage might be my vocation?