How to handle singleness and strong desire for marriage?


I’m almost out of college, never had a boyfriend, never gone on more than one date with any guy, and I’m not going to get physical (even in a chaste way) with someone whom I’m not dating.

I believe marriage is my vocation. But it’s really frustrating because I want marriage and that kind of love more than anything, and sometimes the desire for that is overwhelming. I don’t foresee marriage—or even having a boyfriend—happening any time soon.

A friend told me I need to fall in love with God before falling in love with a man, and I am falling more and more in love with our Lord; but there are plenty of people not in love with God who are in relationships, and admittedly that frustrates me.

I know many people struggle with the ache of singleness. How can a single person deal with a relentless desire for marriage?

Thank you!


Everyone has this feeling (some are more aware of it than others). We were made for communion.

So go to marriage in public married life and some go to marriage through the religious life.

What you’re feeling is a feeling that humanity feels…we’re all called and formed for it.

Your friend gave great advice. And in the meantime it’s permissible to have healthy relationships with others. Don’t tie yourself up with 1 individual…but be open for healthy, well-ordered relationships.

What you’re feeling is normal.

Whatever you do…keep God informed (talk to Him about what your thinking, doing, and what’s happening)…this will continue to help u grow in your relationship with Him. Just be sure that whatever you do, you do with and for God.

God bless.


Focus on death.

…in your prayer and contemplation, that is:thumbsup:

It sounds morbid, but I will admit that focusing on my own mortality is (one of) the way(s) I personally deal with the feelings of loneliness.

I guess the question I would have though is why you haven’t dated previously… not that one needs to date before graduation, but it certainly is easier to find potential spouses in a setting where there are thousands of people your own age…:smiley:


That sounds frustrating.

It’s hard for men, or women, to meet devout partners in this day and age.

If one were going to try, one could go to, say, the Newman Center, or other Catholic groups, on campus.

Maybe you have already done that, but it’d be good to take advantage of this scenario of being surrounded by folks probably near your age. College is one of the best places to meet people, because there are so many of every kind.

It might be worth it to try to join some clubs, go to events, especially where you have something in common.

Good luck! God bless you! :thumbsup:


I know just how you feel. Take it one day at a time. Be open to God’s will in the present moment, whatever it may be.

I sometimes think to myself, today, God has called me to be a single person in the world, and that is what I will do. Offer your ache as a little sacrifice to Our Lord. He likes it when when we can offer him little sacrifices.

Jesus Bless you very MUCH!


Really, you focus on death? Wow! It sounds curious.


Oddly enough, I actually do this :smiley:

It is a useful stratagem whenever I’ve had a particularly bad day and am feeling quite low-“It’s perfectly OK that so and so turned you down, because on a day not distant you’ll both be rotting piles of meat”

However, this line of thought only works when applied within the framework of “optimistic-pessimism”.


There’s a study out that shows that, if a person of average attractiveness asks someone else for a date, completely at random, there’s at least a 50% chance that the person asked will say yes. A lot of average people do better than that.

The situation is a bit more complicated for women than men, in that men usually should just ask women for dates fairly forthrightly, whereas women often would prefer to get the guy to ask (and yeah, if that works it works better). However, given the general social incompetence of all young humans in our society, I’d say that the way to get more dates is to ask more guys. Yes, it’s embarrassing. But no, you don’t want to be lonely, so just get out there. Ask ten guys for dates and record your results. (Obviously, I’m not advocating that you pick total random strangers! But ask some guys who seem okay.) :slight_smile:

I would also say that the way to meet more guys so that you can know who you want to ask (or have ask you) is to join more social groups, teams, clubs, hobby groups, activist organizations, whatever. The more people you know and who know you, and the more people you know who share your interests, the more likeable guys you will have to pick from. The more female friends you have, the more they will try to set you up with their cousins, etc.

Having at least one really strong hobby or interest will also help you deal with the pain of loneliness and longing for marriage. Brooding doesn’t help, but having other stuff to do - that does help.

Go to Mass every Sunday, of course! You will meet people and they will be able to meet you.

If you get a job and you like your coworkers, it’s also acceptable to ask around to see if any of them have relatives, friends, etc. whom they might want to set up with you. Heck, they will probably ask you about this, long before you ever think about it.

Do not regard every first date as potential great romance and tense up. You’re supposed to be getting to know the guy, and vice versa for him. Do something fun together. A good guy won’t try to push you into anything. If you run into a bad guy, there’s always taxis or 911.

The more dates you go on, with different guys, and the more people you know in general, the more you will get to know about people and about yourself. The more comfortable you are with yourself and others, the more guys will find you attractive and want to get to know you. You will also be better able to spot guys not worth your time, vs men who are real gems.

Talk to St. Anne, the mother of Our Lady, and Our Lady herself. They are Jewish ladies. Of course they will matchmake for you! :slight_smile:

You’re at a good age to look around, and it’s very likely you’ll find a good husband. Good luck, God bless, and good hunting! :slight_smile:


Another idea is to do volunteer work…or a group…or for the Church.

College campuses are normally LOADED with activities, stuff to do, places to go, social events. Try some. What do you have to lose?

Insofar as loneliness, I try to find some kind of outlet, like volunteering, which puts me with people AND gives me a sense of purpose, all at the same time.


Don’t get me/us wrong. There is really NO substitute for a man, a husband, a partner.

Still, part of it is learning to be happy without a man, if necessary, easier said than done.

Ironically, when we figure this out, love might arrive at that point.

Hobbies are good.

In the meantime, till Mr. Right comes along, I’d encourage you to try, also, not necessarily for romance but for friendship,…in both guys AND girls. Then, if Mr. Right takes his time coming to you, (and yes, sometimes he does that) you will at least have made some good friends, hopefully. :wink:


Jesus say’s (ask and you shell receive. It always works but you must also take action and be patient.

Everything that I need in adult life all came from God but I wasn’t patient thinking it wasn’t going to happen but you know what it did.

I wanted a newer and better car and ask god for help and he helped me.
I wanted to purchase a house but was having a lot of difficulties but you know what God helped me.
I wanted someone special in my life and I also asked GOD and thinking it wasn’t going to happen but you know what it did happen and you know what I do not deserve this young women at all. I reckon she can fine someone way better then me.

So ask Jesus for help in finding someone. Ask him to put someone in your life that you will have no doubt that he/she is the one. Be patient because it may not happen right away but take action. You cannot just sit and wait. You must do the search and God will placed them where you may search. Try Cathoilic match it worked for me but I had to be very patients and found someone who wasn’t far away from me. If it can work here in Australia then it can work in the USA.


Simple answer (although you probably don’t want to hear it): Do something about it.

Make an effort to get out there and find someone. Go to single’s events. Go to church functions where you’ll meet other people your age. Sign up for an online dating site. Take the initiative. Make a move if he’s not.

You’ll have some bad experiences, horrible dating stories, and heartbreaks. But, God willing, you will eventually find the one you’ll spend the rest of your life with. Being single sucks, so you have to do something about it.

Hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, but I was in the same situation earlier in life, so I can relate :slight_smile:


Thank you all for the replies! It’s very appreciated. I suppose I shouldn’t be so passive… but as a girl, you expect guys to make the moves and when that doesn’t happen you start to feel kind of helpless.

I didn’t really meet guys in college until I began meeting people through church last year. Several whom I’ve met have girlfriends. I did become friends with this one guy who I had a big crush on; he seemed like just the kind of guy I’d want as a husband (yes I think that far) and he is so holy! We’d chat at least once a week when we’d see each other, and I thought we both liked each other, but he never asked me out. Frustrating.

Anyway, I get involved in Catholic events sometimes, but I know I can make more of an effort and do more.

So again, thank you all for the advice; it helps. :slight_smile:


Firstly, I would like to thank you for your input on the question I posted. It sounds like you and I are in similar situations, so I can relate.

Now, I do not intend to be rude or judgmental, but I am going to be blunt. It sounds like your desire to have a boyfriend is selfish. You said:

Don’t get me wrong, God made us to desire companionship, particularly with the opposite sex (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5, Eph 5:31). But God calls us to love and desire Him before anything else, including the love of another. You are not ready to date until you allow Christ to be the center of your life. God already loves you more than anybody in this world ever could. Let God love you, and all your pain, worry, and loneliness will melt away in His burning desire for you.

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

Let God’s will guide your life. You sound so certain that marriage is your vocation, but are you sure that marriage is the vocation that God has called you to? Have you spent time in prayer asking God to reveal your vocation to you? If the answer to these questions are both “yes”, remember that in marriage, God calls the husband to serve his wife, and the wife to serve her husband. The purpose of marriage is not to fulfill our desire to be loved by another, but rather to serve the other, particularly to bring him/her closer to God. If you have not allowed Christ to be the center of your life, how are you going to bring your future husband closer to Him?

This is true, many people date without truly knowing God. These people probably do not see a relationship as sacrifice for the other, and may not have marriage as the end goal in mind. In modern society, it seems the most common reason people date is simply because the other person makes them feel happy right now. These relationships will not last. Successful relationships come from sacrificial love that bring us closer to God. We not only need to feel happy with the other, but we also need to make the right logical and prayerful decision for the sake of our soul, and an entire lifetime together in marriage.

You are correct, guys are supposed to step up and ask girls out. I’ll admit, as a guy, this is something I have failed to do. But as a fellow introvert, it is just as difficult for me to initiate a conversation as it is for you. I understand that it is difficult, but if you see a guy you’re attracted to, go talk to him. And if you want him to ask you on a date, drop some hints. (E.g. “I don’t have anything planned on Friday night. What are you doing?”)

It’s great that you seek husband-worthy qualities! We should indeed be thinking about marriage when we’re dating, or even considering dating somebody. If you already know that you’re not going to marry somebody, then what’s the point of dating? It will only end in heartbreak for one or both people.
But be wary not to idolize or idealize a guy. Idolatry: God always comes first - if anything else comes before God, it is idolatry. Idealization: When we become infatuated with someone, we tend to only remember the positives and dismiss the negative about them.

I know much of what I’ve said may come off as judgmental or presumptuous. Please understand that I only want you to allow Christ’s immense love for you to fill every corner of your life and bring you joy. I will pray for you, that you may find happiness in the vocation that God has called you to. May God bless you!


This is what I do whenever anxiety and worry about the future overwhelms me. I focus on death and the fact that it could be just around the corner. You see we are not guaranteed tomorrow so this forces me to concentrate on meeting God and saying yes to His will for the present moment. I also give thanks for the gift of the present moment along with all its attendant blessings.

This way of thinking helps prepare us, I think, for living as an immortal where there is no past or future and only the present.



Where is that picture from, anyways?

Not your bedroom, I hope. :stuck_out_tongue:


Well thank you for your long, thoughtful reply as well. :slight_smile: It’s very appreciated, and gives me more to consider. It does seem like we are in relatable situations.

I do agree with everything you have said. I know marriage is about service and sacrificial love; although I suppose my desire for it is more selfish because I think it will make me feel happy and whole, when marriage alone can never achieve that. And yes I do pray about my vocation, and will continue to do so.

Again, thanks for the considerate reply and I pray that God may bless you and guide you in your situation as well.


@Lamentation @Sarcelle That actually is a very valid point. Good to maintain an external perspective, knowing everything on earth will pass. Thanks for the idea. :slight_smile:


Glad to be of help.

I actually was convicted of this when I underwent a series of hardships in my life and I realized that I had been an ungrateful creature who had been blind to God’s blessings in the past. I had focused on what I did not have and wanted to have instead of what I actually had.



Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Rome, Italy :thumbsup:

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