I don't really feel called to marriage anymore, in fact I don't feel called to anything


#1

Okay, so let me start with this. I'm a 24 year old guy and live in a somewhat rural area, though i'm close enough to larger cities for excitement (about an hour). Anyway, last night i went on a date with a girl I met on Catholic match. While she was an awesome girl, i find myself not really interested and I don't know why. In fact i'm not really interested in anyone. I'm talking to a few other girls kind of testing the waters (no dates yet since one of them is from farther away), but i'm not really strongly pulled towards anyone.

I also feel like my desire to be married has kind of gone away. While i do not like being single, I accept that it might be an option, and i don't feel as sad about being alone (a little down yes, but I go on with life). I know part of it is that i used to feel a lot of pressure to get married (a few of my Catholic friends are already married, and are a year or 2 younger than me), but it's also simply a little bit of depression. I'll admit i''m more of a melancholic person, but to be honest, I find myself wanting to focus more on other things. I want to reconnect with some of my old friends, I want to find a better job (right now I substitute teach and work at a grocery store, so a job with more pay and benefits would be great especially since Student loans are a pain :(:ouch:) I also want to focus on some opportunities this summer since I plan on either teaching Totus Tuus in a neighboring diocese or entering a Masters program where i'd actually get to teach in a Catholic school while getting my degree (for nearly no cost :extrahappy:)

So does this mean i'm not called to marriage? I don't want to be a priest, that i'm sure, and I don't want to join a religious order, but I'm starting to feel like being a lay minister or evangelist would be something i'd love and be good at (I like Church history, and theology is something that I'd love to get into). Granted I'd need to get a lot better prayer life (my biggest struggle, really now all i do is weekly confession,and Mass, i don't pray nearly enough). I just feel like i'd rather focus on me.


#2

find a good spiritual advisor to discuss this with.


#3

Personally, FWIW, I think it sounds like you are not called to marriage right now. If you currently feel called to focus on your job and friends and (not least!) your spiritual life, maybe that is what you are supposed to do right now. I wouldn’t try to make permanent decisions about it either way. Just make sure that you keep it in prayer, so that if the calling comes a little later, you won’t miss it. :slight_smile: And never forget the calling that all people share, which is the calling to be a saint.

–Jen


#4

Thanks. Your answer makes total sense. Though I am worried what would happen if I missed my call


#5

[quote="WildCatholic, post:4, topic:319563"]
Thanks. Your answer makes total sense. Though I am worried what would happen if I missed my call

[/quote]

I would suggest that you get a spiritual director. That might help you a lot. Also, God will meet you where you're at...For example, there are couples who find the one God intends for them much later in life. If you pray and frequent the sacraments, I don't think you will have to worry about missing your vocation since you are open for His direction in your life.


#6

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:319563"]
Okay, so let me start with this. I'm a 24 year old guy and live in a somewhat rural area, though i'm close enough to larger cities for excitement (about an hour). Anyway, last night i went on a date with a girl I met on Catholic match. While she was an awesome girl, i find myself not really interested and I don't know why. In fact i'm not really interested in anyone. I'm talking to a few other girls kind of testing the waters (no dates yet since one of them is from farther away), but i'm not really strongly pulled towards anyone.

I also feel like my desire to be married has kind of gone away. While i do not like being single, I accept that it might be an option, and i don't feel as sad about being alone (a little down yes, but I go on with life). I know part of it is that i used to feel a lot of pressure to get married (a few of my Catholic friends are already married, and are a year or 2 younger than me), but it's also simply a little bit of depression. I'll admit i''m more of a melancholic person, but to be honest, I find myself wanting to focus more on other things. I want to reconnect with some of my old friends, I want to find a better job (right now I substitute teach and work at a grocery store, so a job with more pay and benefits would be great especially since Student loans are a pain :(:ouch:) I also want to focus on some opportunities this summer since I plan on either teaching Totus Tuus in a neighboring diocese or entering a Masters program where i'd actually get to teach in a Catholic school while getting my degree (for nearly no cost :extrahappy:)

So does this mean i'm not called to marriage? I don't want to be a priest, that i'm sure, and I don't want to join a religious order, but I'm starting to feel like being a lay minister or evangelist would be something i'd love and be good at (I like Church history, and theology is something that I'd love to get into). Granted I'd need to get a lot better prayer life (my biggest struggle, really now all i do is weekly confession,and Mass, i don't pray nearly enough). I just feel like i'd rather focus on me.

[/quote]

You're 24 and you have plenty of time. Your ideas for jobs and service and reconnecting with old friends sound great. I spent my 20s living in different states and enjoyed the experience.


#7

My first thought reading your post was " This person is a bit depressed". then you went on to admit it.

Remember: whether your calling is to a Marriage, or to a celebate life. Whether it is to be a biological father, or to be a spiritual father or brother to many,
Whether it is to work as builder or a Doctor. It will not change with the whims of your changing moods and passions like the weather.

A Call to marriage is not based on the Feeling of being in Love with someone. It is about wanting to committ to and be unfailingly faithfull and committed to a person for the rest of your life
You can guarintee that that feeling will fade, and may dissapear entirely at times.
But Love is not a feeling, it is a deliberate Action. It serves the interests, needs and desires of the other person - it is not the self gratifying feeling of wanting to be with another person because you like them of "Fancy" them

The same also applies to the celebate vocations. you do not stop having a vocation just because you spotted someone you fancied, and become infatuated with them.
Whether you are married, or celebate, these moments are the temptation to be unfaithfull to our vocation. they are not an indicator that our vocation was wrong or has changed.

There is a reason the marriage vows include the line "Forsaking all others". If fidelity naturally easy it could be assumed without swearing to it.

You are at a stage of discerning your vocation. you imply that you have assuemed up to this point that you are probably called to a married life, but are curently doubting that.

A good key to discernment of a vocation is that it is a call which does not go away with time, It may wax and wain during the discernment process, but over time it grows and deepens (like a river). Feeding it makes it grow and deepen. exploring it makes it grow and deepen.

You mention ideas of Lay ministry. these are not mutually exclusive to the married life!

Seek spiritual direction from your Parish Priest, or a suitable localy available organisation.
many Monastries will provide this service. so will the Knights of Saint Colombus and the Opus Dei, as will many other organisations.

This will be helpful in dealing with your melancholy, and in discerning the path le Lord is calling you to.


#8

Wow. Just like me. I'm glad I'm not the only one.


#9

Thanks, I’ll admit i need a spiritual director as well. I asked my priest about finding one and he didn’t suggest himself (he suggested i look elsewhere, telling me to call the diocese). I don’t know where else to look though.

I also like your point about a vocation not waxing and waning. I’ll admit that i’m not thinking of giving up marriage (though i question it), but more that I give dating and looking for a spouse a break. Like i said, i’d rather just live. I realize that when I overplan things and look to hard, nothing works, where as if I simply let god work, things get better. This was especially true with my opportunities this summer. Last year I applied for the same position, but told people I planned on a teaching job, and still wanted to look for jobs in the summer. Whaddya know, I didn’t find one and I spent a miserable summer at home. So I tried to improve things. I have my two jobs. I go to confession every week. I’ll admit its tough finding other catholics (I live in a very Catholic area, but there just aren’t really faith sharing groups around, and most people are Way older than me). Anyway, i applied for Totus Tuus again and mentioned how i’d rather let God work through me, than me trying to plan and do all the work, and thanks to that and the prayers of my friends, i was offered a position.

I guess my point is that I have a problem with over planning. I just need to let God work rather than force things on him. I think the same is true if i’m called to marriage.


#10

Ask for a copy of the diocesan almanac / directory.
There should be phone numbers and contact details for all Catholic organisations, and other suitable people.
I’m sorry your parish priest gave your the brush off. it was his responsibility to ensure that you are looked after by the most appropriate person. He is your Pastor, and has as his primary responsibility, the welfare of your soul (along with all his flock).

Your diocese is likely to have a website, and they usually contain an on-line version of their directory.

Look for organisations like:
The Neocatececuminal Way
The Opus Dei
Any traditional Order of Priests, Nuns or Brothers, who have a house near you.

Any other major lay ecclisial movement.

another idea is go talk to the Parish Priest of the next parish over from your own.

A bit of ringing around will turn up some group active in your area, but your Parish Priest should have been able to direct you even if he is truly too busy to give you one hour a month himself.


#11

I wouldn’t say he brushed me off. I just don’t think he really knew what to do. My parish is mostly older Catholics who probably never asked for spiritual direction and he admitted he didn’t know much. I didn’t ask him to be my spiritual director. I’ve thought of it, but I think there are more… suitable candidates


#12

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