I notice a theme here


#1

Whenever a single person, or someone who is about to start dating, comes here, they are really anxious and want other people to answer all their questions. Should I ask her? Should I ask her father's permission first? What if he says no, should I still ask her? How long does it take before it's reasonable to propose? Should I be worried that we don't go to the same parish? Should I be worried that all my friends are getting married and I'm still single? Should we kiss before we're engaged? Should I buy her gifts, or is it too soon? Am I too young to be dating? Am I ready for marriage and parenthood? Am I wrong not to be too marriage-minded about dating? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! I'm really stressed about dating!!!!

Then all the people who are married or in relationships post to say 'relax', 'stop worrying', 'stop over-intellectualising', 'being desperate is a big turn off to the opposite sex', 'pray, it will happen in God's time', 'pray, but also listen to your heart', 'you sound really down, that's a big turn off to the opposite sex', 'one step at a time', 'hey, this dating thing shouldn't be so scary!'

I notice myself doing it. When I was single, my posts looked a lot like the first paragraph here. Now that I'm in a loving relationship, they look a lot like the second.

I think there's a secret to let single folks in on here - chaste dating isn't really that hard. I mean, it's difficult sometimes when you want things to go further, but as long as you are both committed to wanting the best for eachother, it's not that hard. If you both care about eachother, and are on the same level, i.e. you're not chasing someone who's not interested, but have similar life goals, it will just work itself out. Yeah, hard stuff might get in your way (like being in a long-distance relationship on two different continents and suddenly needing to find out a lot about immigration law!) but generally, if you are in love and know where you're going, it will work itself out. Your relationship won't be exactly like one you read in a book on Catholic marriage, and it won't be exactly like that family at your parish who you look up to, but it shouldn't be, because you're both unique human beings.

Sometimes I wonder if we make marriage too complicated in Catholic circles these days. By placing it on such a pedestal, we make it all about us and not about the grace that the Holy Spirit gives in the sacrament. Imagine trying to make a confession that was all about being sure that you were the one who had made perfect amends for all your sins, you'd never make it. Instead, we go to the sacrament of reconciliation focussing on the forgiveness we've already received through Christ, and it just works. Think of all those couples of your grandad's generation who married at 18 and were perfectly happy all their lives together - they didn't have a whole bookshelf full of the Theology of the Body, was their marriage any less grace-filled and sacramental? (I'm not disrespecting the theology of the body, it's fantastic stuff, but the heart of marriage is not how much of it we know, but how much we love eachother in the Lord.)

So, basically, my post ends in the way all the smug people in relationships on this board end, by saying 'chill' to all the worried singles.


#2

1st. I'm not in a relationship.

BUT I think you're wrong. It's not about acting smug. It's about growing up. The more you grow, the more adult you are the more you see that the frantic worrying, the hovering, the panic is WORTHLESS.

When you are in a relationship you can see what you couldn't as a single person. That combing your hair a certian way, or having a certain job, or other minor things aren't important.

And yes, your relationship will be different. But you shouldn't be disillusion. Sometimes intercontinental marriages will work but they require an enormous amount of sacrifice and often alot of money. One of my good friends who's like an uncle to me married a woman who immigrated to America when her dad was in the military. All her brothers and most of the rest of her family stayed in the phillipnes. They visit there frequently. They decided as soon as their youngest graduates highschool that they're moving there. He must leave his entire extended family, all the friends he made in 50 years of life....and go to a different country. It's tough. And they don't pretend it's not.

Those in relationships, especally relationships that haven't lasted a year, need to be careful offering advice. They are in a poor place to do so. It'd be like a toddler teaching a baby how to walk. It's just silly.


#3

[quote="DL82, post:1, topic:206207"]

I think there's a secret to let single folks in on here - chaste dating isn't really that hard. I mean, it's difficult sometimes when you want things to go further, but as long as you are both committed to wanting the best for eachother, it's not that hard. If you both care about eachother, and are on the same level, i.e. you're not chasing someone who's not interested, but have similar life goals, it will just work itself out. Yeah, hard stuff might get in your way (like being in a long-distance relationship on two different continents and suddenly needing to find out a lot about immigration law!) but generally, if you are in love and know where you're going, it will work itself out. Your relationship won't be exactly like one you read in a book on Catholic marriage, and it won't be exactly like that family at your parish who you look up to, but it shouldn't be, because you're both unique human beings.

Sometimes I wonder if we make marriage too complicated in Catholic circles these days.

[/quote]

I think you raised some good points. Though with the first it's hard to find people these days who are willing to date someone "not putting out" weather you're male or female.

I do agree that most people tend to worry and make everything more complicated but back in the day they didn't have time. People spent most of their time working and just doing daily chores which left a let less time to worry over their relationship....just taking care of the kids alone and making ends meat were the major concerns of years past.:shrug:


#4

LOL. So nice to read this coming from you. Congrats on finding someone special and on mastering the art of the chill.


#5

Yes, well, the married people might all be saying "relax", but some of us are also saying, "Thank you, Lord, that I'm old enough that I will never, *ever *have to date again, if I don't want to." I find this a great relief.

I didn't think it was that hard to find somebody that I thought would make a good husband for somebody, and I didn't find it hard to find somebody who wanted to date me. Finding somebody that I thought would make a good husband for me was another thing altogether. Let's face it: a lot of otherwise fine people do not want to wait for marriage to start their sex lives. They think you have to be either repressed, a little nuts, or stuck in the wrong century if you do. Once you've had a few relationships break up because the other person found waiting too frustrating, it can get discouraging.

If there is a secret to "relaxing", I guess it is willing to be single for as long as it takes to find the right person, even if though you know "right" doesn't mean "perfect" and that the right person might never come. It helps to know that while it does happen, it is pretty rare. If you cannot make yourself believe that you can have a good life without marriage, though, then the long-shot possibility of having to choose between a poor spouse and none at all can be scary. When that happens, you have to make optimism your choice, because it doesn't fall into your lap.

I liked the saying, "There isn't a scraggly horse out there, but that you can find a scraggly horse to tie him to." You only have to find one, after all. That helped me a lot. I certainly understand the temptation to get discouraged, though. I think it is very understandable.


#6

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