Hi, all. I originally posted these words in the Vocations forum, but I figured I’d get specific answers here.
Hello. I’m new, so forgive me if this is long. At 25, I have been feeling the attraction to marriage, and not just because I don’t want to be lonely or want to have kids. I truly believe it’s the best way I can serve God using the gifts He’s given me.
I’ve had a few short-term (about 6-8 weeks) “relationships” that went nowhere and now I’m praying for the right way to find who God intends for me. Lately, I’ve been attracted to the idea of courtship, and my roommate’s book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” made so much sense and diagnosed what went wrong in previous attempts at relationships.
Courtship preserves chastity, which I’ll admit was a struggle (but not abstinence. gotta love Catholics-only dating sites) in previous attempts at relationship, despite limiting myself to Catholics on reputable dating sites. But the process characterizes the way I envisioned dating: talking, laughing, praying and learning about each other without pressure for anything.
But I have two huge doubts I need help overcoming.
- Some modes recommend not spending any time alone together or even when going out in groups to not focus on each other too much. I get what that recommendation protects people from, but I keep thinking that that process hinders deep communication that will be necessary for the long haul and doesn’t prepare you for the realities of a decades-long marriage (communicating about life-changing issues, overcoming the rough patches, and seeing people’s true, private behaviors/emotional responses and not just what they show in public). So what behaviors or signs did you get from your spouse that you could trust you could make it through?
2)My best relationships have been with guys who are friends, but in modern terms, we’ve “friend-zoned” each other, meaning there’s no romantic desire or interest in pursuing a potential spousal relationship. A lot of definitions of courtship sound like you have a guy friend or, even worse, treat the guy like your brother (Grad school has forever tainted my mind with all the Greek psychosis that can cause). So how do you make sure that when you’re acting just like friends, you don’t inevitably “friend-zone” each other, especially when (most likely) both people have only known conventional dating?
Thanks for reading and any commentary you can provide!