Is God trying to tell me something through the catastrophe of my romantic life?

I am at such a desperate point that I have to wonder about something. Basically, for reasons I don’t understand, I’ve always had this burning desire for marriage. I’ve prayed more than all my friends combined but all that happened was one unhealthy engagement and then about five different incidents that are completely insane. They all go like this:

Guy in community starts dropping hints out in groups about interest in me. It’s someone I kind of like and this makes me pay attention. Flirtation continues and gets more serious and we have some spiritual connection, we think. They like that I’m devout and stuff but also fun.

I wait for something to happen. Nothing does. Through flirtation and indirect ways they continue to hint and I know they aren’t all perverse sociopaths just stringing people along for sheer pleasure. Most are guys who have been hanging out a lot in community but not dating. Once or twice I’ll get a real invite, like to swim or come to dinner, but I follow up and it’s like I never existed. One of these flirtatious was so intense it was to the point of intense passionate emotions and everyone around us really mad we werent together. But whenever I try to make anything happen it’s like there is an actual physical block and bringing it to reality is really painful.

I am healing from a lot of childhood trauma but I still know people who have that that still have a loving husband. I am feeling a lot of despair because the one guy I was really falling for, my friend, that has taken me for walks and talked about marriage and stuff, just ignored my text when I followed up to an open invitation to hang out.

I have never met anyone else who has my situation. IE, repeated incidents of guys pursuing me and I genuinely don’t think they are completely lying when they talk about marriage etc. and then acting like it never happened and I don’t exist when I try to make it real.

Guys will hang out w me and more or less admit their feelings and declare to some extent they desires…and then refuse to have a real conversation or in some cases be my facebook friend. I know about the “rules” or whatever, but trying to follow a formula for how girls should act also never got me anywhere. So texting someone to follow p an invitation should not be some taboo thing that gets me dumped when two days ago he was acting really into me.

I feel like I am repellent to people and am just a failure as a woman.

And yes, I pray all the time to have Christ be my only spouse for right now and fill in that void.

I am losing my mind and have asked God if he is allowing the evil one to attack my love life and let me be so humiliated as to basically go insane because he wants me to go in religious life or something.

I know it’s a vocation and not an escape from the world. But I do not understand why it is so hard for me. Even people who went through the same traumas I did growing up don’t have this problem.

My spiritual director laughed when I said sometimes I feel like being a nun just to prove to these guys that are doing this insane mind games that I am worth more and don’t need them. I know this is not a reason to enter religious life. But what if repeated inexplicable failures (I am pretty, nice, fun, devout, and it shouldn’t be this hard) are the Lord’s way of drawing me to something greater? I don’t know.

The dumb thing is that I like men and would miss them, and I’ve never even discerned religious life in an active way by going to a retreat or something bc I didn’t think I would like it and I felt like I’d feel trapped.

But also at this point I feel the same way about marriage, single life, or consecrated life. Like any commitment is terrible. Lol. Yet I keep allowing myself to fall in love even though I pray every day for the Lord to guard my heart. And I pray to have feelings for people who aren’t going to marry me taken away, and they aren’t. And I pray for a husband and I get these torturous humiliations. And I pray for the desire for marriage to be removed and it isn’t.

I feel abandoned by God that I wasn’t born into a catholic family but instead to abusers which is now why I can’t love and be loved. I know I will be grateful for all this in heaven but it’s really hard when you have a death wish here because the psychic pain is so strong it physically hurts your body.

So…what does He want. I am so confused. It is not supposed to be this insane. Is he trying to tell me I have a call to serve Him alone in celibacy?

I am healing from a lot of childhood trauma but I still know people who have that that still have a loving husband. I am feeling a lot of despair because the one guy I was really falling for, my friend, that has taken me for walks and talked about marriage and stuff, just ignored my text when I followed up to an open invitation to hang out.

I will definitely pray for your discernment. You sound very similar to my ex wife in a lot of ways. Unfortunately she is now my ex wife, mainly because of how her unresolved childhood trauma affected how she did relationships. (I had my own things to add to our break up of course, but this was a major factor).

She always wanted to be married. I think she had that strong desire to be loved, protected, taken care of, and despite my very best efforts I never was able to quite feel her needs.

If people sometimes feel you are “needy”, then you would be in a similar situation to my wife.

I say all this, to encourage you to get a lot of help for yourself. Work on yourself and be confident in your identity whatever that is. You need to look at marriage as a place where you will GIVE as much or more than you receive. I would just caution you, if you are looking at marriage to help you heal, then you will be starting off in a difficult place.

So take it for what its worth, but I just felt like sharing my situation might help.

God Bless!


It is clear you are suffering. I hope you are able to trust in God. Try to be patient with yourself. I believe healing occurs on God’s timetable, not ours.

I strongly suggest you focus more on your own personal growth and less on dating/courtship and marriage. You do not seem to be in a real good place right now. My limited experience and observations indicate romantic relationships tend to be destroyed by excessive internal wounds, even though many people desperately seek them as a means of eliminating the pain. Furthermore, the people generally attracted to that desperation and insecurity are probably in need of serious healing themselves. Relationships between the two I believe are not likely to be successful.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not in any way trying to paint a gloomy picture. If God’s plan is for you to be married, then that will happen if you trust in Him, and you are open to His plan. Be patient. Work on growing into the person God wants you to be. If you need to run into the arms of someone, let that be Jesus.


I don’t think you sound desperate. I think you have a great desire to love and be loved. I have no answers for you. In fact, I am in a similar situation myself (being born into a psychologically abusive family, failed relationships, no desire for another vocation, etc).

My confessor told me that if the desire is in my heart, then the vocation of marriage will one day be fulfilled. I wanted to doubt that piece of advice, but several others on CAF assured me that my priest’s words were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Try to remember that and don’t lose hope.

I will pray for you, sister. God bless.

In my experience, when we stop trying and looking, it is then that things happen. Maybe you should just forget about dating for a moment. Spend time with men but in a friendly way, without the romance elements. Don’t pursue them. Just relax. Be yourself. And go to Adoration. That always helps with life challenges.

I wouldn’t read too much into this. Sometimes (most of the time) guys are pretty clueless (I know I was). The fact that a relationship hasn’t blossomed for you yet probably shouldn’t be taken as a “message” from God.

As Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Give it time.

I will keep you in my prayers, and reccomend you give St. Raphael the Archangel a little nudge.

I don’t think that you sound desperate. And I don’t think that just because you have trauma in your past means you are needy. And this saying that “when you stop looking for it, it will happen” - who the heck ever came up with that one to begin with? What else on earth does that same advice apply? Faith? Virtue? No way.

I think your experiences are actually pretty common nowadays. People just don’t know how to date in a healthy way. The one thing that might be possibly you, and that you should be attentive to, is if you are attracted to the same type of person who caused the trauma of your past. I.e, if the trauma was a emotionally distant parent, then you may very well be attracted to, and attracting, emotionally distant men now, men who like to flirt but are unable to go further. It’s just something to think about.

There is a book called “Finally the Bride” by Cheryl McKay, a christian screenwriter, that I think might give you a lot of consolation and help normalize your feelings. She married at 39, but started writing the book in her early thirties when she had no prospects for marriage, so it’s written in “real time”. She did not have a single date for something like 7 years in her thirties, then met her husband and was married six months later. Her husband wrote the last chapter.

thank you for your replies. i still feel really alone. the guy got around to responding and we hung out but now he just ignores me and this time doesn’t have any excuse. it’s not personal he’s just really weird and a loner and i know him from a really weird situation. ok, why do i like him? i don’t know. i have so many trauma issues and mystical problems that i don’t know how i can live in reality. i pray to God that I stop loving him or that we get together happily. he loves me too but it’s like putting two sick people together blind leading the blind. and the cognitive dissonance of what is in our hearts vs why my life never happens in time and space is really unbearable.

i feel like everyone is picking on me. it’s pretty lame. i would love to have a real family.

i pray to God I fall in love with someone who is good for me. this guy is kind of ruining my life fast cause I have something with him that is different from with anyone else, and the situation is so dire since he’s so insane and unstable just like me. Maybe my cross to bear is to be in love with someone that can never happen in reality. seems to be the story of my life. i have a friend like that, who has that situation. i don’t know.

please pray. i’m in a black mood and think all my friends would be happier if i left forever, and so forth. i get this way at times.

oh yes i have been told for years to work on myself and not worry about dating. ok, i have been doing that for years more than all my friends. it gets to the point of like…can i have my own life now, or am i not fully human like everyone else, still need to be walled up in a hole “Working on myself” before I’m allowed to have just human contact, let alone love, while other people are starting families in spite of all their issues?

well, i wish i could just stay in a hole and not need people. people like me desperately need people but completely lack the ability to form an attachment.

i sort of think God just wants me to suffer and die in this life and that’s it. for souls. fine with me i just wish he would let me know either way what His plan is.

This, 100%.

Just a thought…

I’m not sure God gives people a strong desire for something, then blocks their ability to achieve or obtain that role.

What I have noticed in my own life, and in many testimonies of others, is that God gives us a desire, as part of our growth towards that role. For instance, someone who has not really thought much about missionary work but starts to feel more and more attracted to the possibility. If we lower our guard, and ask God to show us his will, I believe he does just that. He also helps us want what he wants.

I hope I’ve made sense.

This thought came to me as I read the first sentences of your post: “…always had a burning desire for marriage.” This really struck me, as I have never had a burning desire for marriage, and I’m married! If anything, I never dreamed of being a husband or a dad and hesitated quite a bit before getting married because I wasn’t sure it was for me.

These days, I love my wife, I will never be a parent, and I struggle always with the deep down sense that God may have had a different destiny in mind for me. It’s hard sometimes, being active in the church, serving people as best I can… yet often I am overwhelmed, like someone who spends time with a person they love but know they can never be with.


If you are looking to be filled and loved by someone else you will not find it. If you are looking for someone to rescue you it won’t happen and if it does it will end in disaster.

Try looking for someone to partner with. Someone that you give as much as they do, someone you can invest in. I think if you switch your focus a bit from “wanting” to “searching” for someone to Partner through life with then you may be surprised with the results.

From experience.

Generally, the average non-believer is responding to the need for God when they look for a mate. Until they find God, they will continue to be disappointed since no one can replace God in our lives. We need only one savior and it’s not our spouse.

A relationship between two persons of faith, who already have a relationship with Jesus, can work out fine.

(Source: several books, christian counselors, priests, nuns, preachers and if I remember correctly, my mother!)

I did this over and over without realizing it. In my teens and twenties, I went from “Oh I’m so happy! I met this girl…” to being miserable and feeling sorry for myself again and again. I would watch sad movies, listen to self-absorbed rock music, and buy into the whole “tragic love” thing that we get from Hollywood. Check out the crowd walking out of the theater after “Titanic.” Every woman thinks they are Rose and the perfect man of their dreams has just been swallowed up by the cold chop of the sea! Give me a break! Looking back, I can see that I spent most of my time thinking about myself, how I felt, what I wanted, who I wanted…

Sometimes we wish God would speak to us in a thundering voice from heaven but we refuse to hear what he is already telling us very clearly through scripture and our church. If we read the Bible we would know a whole bunch of stuff that God would like us to be doing and a bunch of stuff we shouldn’t be doing. This would go a long way towards physical and emotional well being. I’m guilty of all of this.

Speaking for myself… I know if I had been reading my Bible and going to church way back when, I may have been a bit busier praying, doing volunteer work and praising God and spent a lot less time drinking and worrying about the future.

It was foolish and ignorant of me to assume I could have a lasting relationship with a woman before I had begun a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Last but not least… I understand that you’re feeling down about this junk. Smile! God loves you, we love you and it will be all right.

[FONT=“Tahoma”]Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.[/FONT]
(Romans 8:37-39)

I know I will be grateful for all this in heaven but it’s really hard when you have a death wish here because the psychic pain is so strong it physically hurts your body.

I’ve been slowly recovering from depression recently, and your pain reminds me of the depression I’ve been through. And it sounds like your suffering is not something that can be solved with just a spiritual explanation. My advice would be to try to find a faithful Catholic therapist to talk with, especially about the pain and feelings of suicide!


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