Love relationship and discernment


#1

Dear friends,

I’m sure this question is asked quite a lot of times, and for asking this yet again I apologize.

This is a possibility that I may have a relationship with a fellow college student. The reason I said “possibility” is because I’m going to meet her, a mutual friend, and a couple others in a sort of “group meeting” so to speak. So nothing is for sure; I can tell you in a week, one way or another.

However, let’s assume that our feelings are indeed mutual. Now, some of you may know that, for the past year or so, I have had a vocation calling to the priesthood - the Dominicans, specifically.

Now, obviously I can’t have both a vocation to the priesthood and a girlfriend.

What do I do? What should I do?

Like I said, our relationship isn’t quite known yet. And since we’re meeting in a group, perhaps I can assume that she is careful (which is certainly a virtue; rather have someone who’s overly cautious than overly reckless).

Any and all help will be appreciated. Heck, just saying “see how it goes,” will help me. But I almost feel torn at the moment.

Peace.


#2

Well the whole point of dating is to discern marriage so I guess the question you need to be asking yourself is whether or not you are ready to stop discerning the dominicans and start discerning marriage by pursuing this girl's heart. Now, of course this is easier said than done. A question to think (or pray) about would be: Would a relationship with this girl bring me and her closer to Christ?


#3

Thank you for your response.

Can anyone else give me some advice?

Peace.


#4

[quote="The_Scott, post:1, topic:253680"]
Now, obviously I can't have both a vocation to the priesthood and a girlfriend.

What do I do? What should I do?

[/quote]

Scott,

It's normal to consider marriage and a lifelong commitment to another person.

You can be a married man and a deacon. You can be a married man and a Dominican tertiary. But you can't be both a consecrated religious and/or a priest, and also be a married man. None of us can have everything.

This is why discernment is hard, because there's no decision we can make that doesn't also come at a cost. If it was a good choice versus a bad choice, discernment would be easy and would probably take all of ten minutes. Instead it usually takes years, and at one level, never really ends.

Nevertheless, life is full of possibilities. You need to determine which path you're being called to, and which path God is telling you will bring you the greater peace.

I don't think you'll find much help in this respect from total strangers over an anonymous internet forum. ;) If you don't already have a spiritual director, try and find one; if you do, take this to them, not to us.

Prayers and best wishes.


#5

I’m going to take a different angle Scott. Please check this resource out: newlife.com/

This Christian ministry is all about relationships. You’ll find excellent resources on their website along with the opportunity to purchase books on “dating”. I highly recommend Boundaries in Dating under the category singles and dating. I’ve read several of their books and I’m a frequent listener of the question and answer program they air. Who knows, maybe you can find their books used on ebay.

:gopray: Saying a prayer for you that God’s Wisdom will guide you in this wonderful journey we call life.


#6

Hi, Scott. I am in the same boat as you are, believing that God wants me for His Church and that that is where I belong yet I also longing for a woman in my life. Just last week, I saw a very beautiful girl at college. I didn’t have an opportunity to even talk with her yet I am already infatuated with this young lady. I do not know what to do. I keep trying to find her again and have even asked God to let me see her again. But perhaps what is scarier than if I were to never see this beauty again would be for the two of us to meet and truly fall in love (though not necessarily on the same day!), and well, you know what can come of that.


#7

Does anyone have any advice regarding what to do about infatuations?


#8

[quote="The_Scott, post:1, topic:253680"]
Dear friends,

I'm sure this question is asked quite a lot of times, and for asking this yet again I apologize.

However, let's assume that our feelings are indeed mutual. Now, some of you may know that, for the past year or so, I have had a vocation calling to the priesthood - the Dominicans, specifically.

Now, obviously I can't have both a vocation to the priesthood and a girlfriend.

What do I do? What should I do?

Peace.

[/quote]

If you meet her, be honest with her about the discernment you are going through, and the possibility of a call to the priesthood and not to expect much from you.

Be upfront about it. And pray for guidance, especially from St. John Vianney to help make clear what you are being called to.


#9

[quote="The_Scott, post:1, topic:253680"]
Dear friends,

I'm sure this question is asked quite a lot of times, and for asking this yet again I apologize.

This is a possibility that I may have a relationship with a fellow college student. The reason I said "possibility" is because I'm going to meet her, a mutual friend, and a couple others in a sort of "group meeting" so to speak. So nothing is for sure; I can tell you in a week, one way or another.

However, let's assume that our feelings are indeed mutual. Now, some of you may know that, for the past year or so, I have had a vocation calling to the priesthood - the Dominicans, specifically.

Now, obviously I can't have both a vocation to the priesthood and a girlfriend.

What do I do? What should I do?

Like I said, our relationship isn't quite known yet. And since we're meeting in a group, perhaps I can assume that she is careful (which is certainly a virtue; rather have someone who's overly cautious than overly reckless).

Any and all help will be appreciated. Heck, just saying "see how it goes," will help me. But I almost feel torn at the moment.

Peace.

[/quote]

Hello Scott,

I'm also currently discerning a vocation to the priesthood and I too have run into this situation. The only advice I could give you is to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. I used to have this crazy idea in my head that if I was meant to be a priest I would never find a woman that is perfect for me. Well that idea was shattered and this woke me up to the reality that there are a lot of priests that gave up having the perfect woman as a sacrifice to God to do His will and answer His call. In fact one of the priests I talked to had the perfect job and perfect girlfriend but the calling he said was one of a higher love and that he found this answer through a lot prayer.

As Christ said come to me all who are heavy burdened and I will refresh you so Scott go to Christ in the blessed sacrament and ask Him to refresh you with His guiding light so you may see His will for you.

Pax domini sit semper vobiscum


#10

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:7, topic:253680"]
Does anyone have any advice regarding what to do about infatuations?

[/quote]

Yes my advice is to be very cautious! I had an infatuation with a girl and it did not go well because infatuations especially when you don’t even know the person are not based on reality. Believe me what you think is perfect is far from it so pray to God for wisdom and prudence. Only God knows what is perfect for us and so we should always pray to find out what that is.


#11

[quote="The_Centurion, post:10, topic:253680"]
Yes my advice is to be very cautious! I had an infatuation with a girl and it did not go well because infatuations especially when you don’t even know the person are not based on reality. Believe me what you think is perfect is far from it so pray to God for wisdom and prudence. Only God knows what is perfect for us and so we should always pray to find out what that is.

[/quote]

Thanks for the insight.


#12

Thank you for such wonderful responses! You've helped a lot.

So we've met today, and nothing of great interest really happened. We were together with a group of about 10 other people from my campus. We went around the local park and fed the ducks, and drew on the sidewalk with chalk, then went to the playground nearby. Darn college kids! :p

Anyway, like I said, nothing of great importance happened. We did hold each other's waist, stuff like that.

Something I didn't realize, however, is that she is (probably) slightly mentally handicapped. That's certainly not an impediment. In fact, I almost see it as a way for me to further help! Didn't Pope Benedict XVI recently say that he can see Christ in the mentally retarded? I can't find that quote...can anyone help me with that?

I just wanted to give you a small update, for what it's worth.

Peace.


#13

Depending on the level of her mental disability, she may not be intellectually mature enough to ever have a relationship. Be very careful. If you are not, you could end up hurting someone very, very badly. Also, if you are wanting to be a priest, you have to live an intentionally chaste, celibate life (this typically means no dating) for a period of time (usually 2-3 years before entering seminary).


#14

Both of your points are very helpful, for sure.

Honestly, the only thing I’m basing her disability on is the way she talks and (slightly) how she walks. I may be jumping the gun and judging her, though. I certainly don’t mean so. Either way, my point is that her disability (if she has one, I should emphasize) is by no means severe. It’s probably only something very little.

Regarding your second point: I’m only 22 years old. Let’s assume that the relationship lasts 3 years (my only past relationship lasted 5 months, so 3 years may be too much). In 3 years time, I’ll be 25. According to the Dominican Province of St. Joseph (in the eastern US), I must be 20 to 35 years of age. That’s at least another ten years. I’m young - perhaps too young to really be worrying about these!

Thank you for your advice, though. It helps!

Peace.


#15

Small (but important) update:

So I talked to her today. She said that, even though she had the best time last Friday, and she loves my sense of humor and personality, she would prefer if we stayed friends. She said this in the nicest of ways, so there's no heartbreak feeling from my side! She probably feels great about herself, though, since she knows that I like her. That's a great reward by itself. :)

So it seems all this worry was for nothing, at least for the time being.

Peace.


#16

Well maybe it isn’t a mental handicap but a pysichal one that affects her way of speaking and or motor skills. Just see how the relationship develops which will take time.And even if you find someone else, don’t despair. You can be a lay member of the Dominicans,or Franciscans, Carmelites or several other religious communities.Some of the saints were married and were lay members.St.Elizabeth of Hungary belonged to the Franciscans,and there are I’m sure other examples. This is something to think about and my advice for anyone considering the priesthood or becoming a nun.And some religious communities,even for women have lay members who can help the community in their work,etc.


#17

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