I just watched a talk from Seek 2019 and I got a little frustrated by it and I just was hoping for some thought from other people. Every now and then, the issue frustrates me and I try to talk about it and I just always felt like the answers were unsatisfactory, or non existent. I’ve had 3 spiritual directors. 2 of them flat out told me they didn’t think I needed them because I was already headed in the right direction and was doing the right thing (the third kind of flaked out on meetings). I’ve talked about it with men’s groups and they’ve all given me encouragement, but not solutions. I’ve had the opportunity to ask the Sarah Swafford directly and she gave me the best answer she could with a line of other people behind me waiting to talk to her, but it wasn’t really an answer (due to details I didn’t have time to give her. Definitely no fault of her own)
To explain the issue, everywhere I turn and look, every talk on Catholic dating, every Catholic book on dating that I’ve read tries to, IMO, drill into the minds of men more than any other idea that “its just a date”. There shouldn’t be fear in asking a woman on a date and there’s no reason not to ask (provided she’s “sufficient” based on what you already know about her) because all you’re doing is getting to know each other better. A first date is just two people hanging out alone and getting to know each other better - no different than hanging out in a group, just with less people. I like this idea. The problem is every time I tell myself this and just go for it, I get rejected. I personally feel based on my experience as though “its just a date” is something that needs to be drilled into the heads of women, not men.
I’m in my 30’s. I have asked more women than I can count on dates. Only one ever told me yes, and she stood me up. These are not weak women or women with incompatible goals. 2 of them are now married to friends of mine and nearly all of them remain in our rather strong Catholic young adult community. If its really just getting to know someone like I’ve been taught, then there isn’t much reason for them to be turning me down 100% of the time.
But not only do they say no, but half of them ended the friendship right there - they haven’t spoken to me since. One hasn’t spoken to me for the better part of 10 years, even after spending the last 4 years at the same parish and getting set up by the algorithm twice on the same dating website. And the ones that do continue to speak to me, give me those lame excuses like “I don’t want to ruin our friendship”. (to which I think in my head “well, you just did with that excuse”) Its very hard to convince myself anymore that its “just a date” when none of the women I ask seem to treat it that way and just give me a chance.
I am not ugly as far as I know. I am tall. (not that that’s supposed to matter, but it does sometimes) I work hard and am devout in my faith. People like me. Like I said, my spiritual directors have said I’m approaching things right. My friends don’t tell me I’m doing anything wrong. So I’m reaching out to the internet. ANY insight would be loved, dearly, because I’m so very tired of this.