My boyfriend broke up with me to go to seminary school


This is my first time posting, I’ve been having a hard time dealing with this on my own so I wanted to get other people’s input to see how to deal with this situation. About two months ago my boyfriend told me he thought he was being called to the priesthood and said he would be leaving for school in three months, so we broke up.

Shocked doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. We had been together about a year and were so in love. He was such a wonderful boyfriend, very caring and giving. All of my friends and family as well as his pretty much thought we were made for each other. He always talked about our future and getting married and our kids, etc. I felt safe with him, because of how much he talked about our future and how much I could tell through his actions that he loved me. So him telling me this pretty much crushed my whole world.

He said he first felt the pull a few years ago, but never mentioned it to me because he wanted it to go away and was scared about how it would change our relationship. I felt so sad, not only because I was losing him but also because he had never shared this very important part of his life with me.

We cried for a long time together and I told him I’d support him even though I was sad. I know he has many doubts about what lies ahead and whether or not he is truely called to be a priest. He tells me it’s not a choice and and that he wants to be with me and prayed for the feelings to go away but they won’t, so now he has to go to school and find out whether or not this is truely what he’s being called to do.

I’m having a tough time knowing how to digest all of this. I should mention I’m not catholic, but I’m very strong in my faith and have a close relationship with God. I don’t want to stand in his way and want him to fully focus his attention on what he’s feeling called to do, but I don’t know how to view this or really understand it. Any advice about what to do and how to move on would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Keep praying for God to give you the comfort, to help you get through this. I have never been in a relationship, But I guess it may be hard. Coming from a person who is planning on going to seminary next year, he probably has alot on his mind. And probably telling people is very difficult. And he probably tries his best not to hurt anyone. But there comes a time when we must trust in God, and give to him of ourselves. That can be marriage, or religious life and priesthood.

I will keep you and Him in my prayers!

Keep praying and trust in God’s plan.

He has to follow this and figure it out. If he stayed with you he’d always wonder.

Not to say most men don’t become priests when they go to seminary,. but some don’t stay. My next door neighbor is an ex-seminarian. He also has a wife and kids…

Pray that he finds the path he’s meant to be on, if it takes him back to you…then it takes him back to you.

Wow. What a difficult time for you. I have no advice but prayer and to honor your own grief and possibly anger. I wish he had been more upfront with you.

There was a young woman in the 60s, I think, named Delores Hart, she was a successful young actress, predicted to have a huge career, engaged to be married to a wealthy man she apparently loved very much. . One day she walked away and into a cloister. No one heard from her again for, well, 30 years or more, I guess. She gave an interview near the end of her life.

I tell you this not because I think it will be comforting but in hope it illustrates how very compelling God’s call can be. If you can try, maybe you can think of your pain as a sacrifice to the Lord, as a gift of Love to Him of the love you shared. You must be special to have kept him at your side so long.

God bless you abundantly and guide him in his discernment and formation.

What a difficult time you must be going through. But luckily, it sounds like you have supportive family and friends who will help you through this ordeal.

Although your boyfriend seemed like the real deal, he wasn’t able to be honest enough with you to share his mixed feelings regarding the relationship. That might have been a problem down the road because a relationship that leads to marriage needs to be based on total honesty.

I can understand your boyfriend wanting to answer the calling to the priesthood, if that is his calling, and only time will tell. For me, personally, most people who have a calling on their life, have it when they’re very young. Is it possible that your boyfriend was going through a spiritual dilemma instead?

Since this young man has chosen to follow his path, I only hope that you will at some point, begin to follow yours. Too many times, we put our lives on hold, but life goes on and the sooner you get back on track, the sooner you will find your life starting to come together.

I don’t mean to make light of your situation, but with the support of your family and friends and God, you will make it through.

God Rocks

Thank you everyone for your advice and prayers.

He’s 28 and I’m 25, so he is a little bit older to be making this decision. He said he’s been feeling the pull for the past three years, but that is also at the exact time he started getting close to God and regularly attending mass, etc. He went to Spain for World Youth Day about a month before he told me all this, so I’m sure that also put him in a spirtual high.

Regardless, he’s going in a month. Is it best to keep in contact or is it better to completely cut off communication while he’s discerning? I want him to figure out what his calling is and I want to get on with my life too if we are not meant to be together. If it were up to him we’d remain very close, but I just don’t think that is a good idea but I still want to support him in this decision.

I think your instincts are right on. He needs to focus on where he is and you need to move on with your life. His desire to keep contact makes me wonder about his motivation. Being “very close” to a woman you are in love with while in formation is a recipe for disaster for both parties, IMO.

I would advise no contact. If he is to truly discern his vocation he should be free from distractions. Also, very importantly, you should not be waiting around, available, a safe bet. It is not fair to you. It sounds like he wants to have it both ways: a woman waiting for him while he is figuring things out. Not good. I know how hard it is to break up with the person you love but it is even worse to be kept waiting and not knowing what’s on the cards. Protect yourself from more pain.

God bless.

Her name is Dolores Hart and she is still alive. Here is her story from Wikipedia:

It might be best not to write to him to often. As a friend, you could write to him once a month or something just to check in, but not every week. It might be best to ask him what would be best for him. For some it could be a distraction, but he probably doesn’t want to lose your support and friendship. I agree that remaining very close would be hard and even weird. But you should remain friends! Who knows, maybe God’s will is that he goes to seminary so as to see it’s wrong for him! God’s will will work it out!
God Bless both of you!!!

God has a plan for all of us and sometimes it may be hard to grasp, but it is never a bad situation that he puts us in. If you were not meant for each other then you can look forward to what God has in store for you. If you were truly meant for each other then this time apart will strengthen and reaffirm the love that you have for each other, and God will lead you back together.

Trust in God and he will make your will his will.


Well, I do have to say it was rather rude of him to not tell you that he was at least feeling a pull, and not only that, but to talk about your future with you when he wasn’t sure if that’s what God had planned out for him.
There really isn’t much you can do though other than pray for him that he will be able to discern his call and live out God’s will, and pray that you will be content with what he does. It may take time, but also maybe consider that God has something for you in store as well :slight_smile: You never know :slight_smile: The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I swear, sometimes I think I’ve absolutely lost my mind because He has done some incredible work and I am simply in awe of how absolutely wonderful God is :slight_smile:
But I think that’s really what you can do. Prayer can be so powerful and comforting :slight_smile:

Keep praying for him. I realize that this is difficult. If you can, offer to be friends with him. If he is feeling the calling to do this, let him try and see what happens. I was in a small group where a speaker spoke. He was an ex-seminarian. He was dating this girl but he felt the call to the priesthood. He went for a couple of years. He remained friends with his ex girlfriend and then after a few years, it became quite apparent that it wasn’t his calling so he left the seminary and married his ex girlfriend. His time inside the seminary greatly helped his spiritual life. I don’t know if this is going to happen to you. I can only encourage you to pray for him, be a friend for him, and seek God for guidance in your life. Maybe God wants you to be with someone else or maybe you and him need to be apart for now because there are things, you both need to learn that you cannot learn by being a couple.

God works in mysterious ways. Therefore put your trust in God and see what happens. In the end, God knows what he is doing, even though we have no clue what he has up his sleeve.

Good luck,

I agree with other replies. Keep up your friendship, but don’t feel that you should or have to wait for him. This could be his true vocation and if it is, you will need to move on with your life. Trust in God, He truly does work in mysterious ways.
I will keep you in my prayers.

I don’t think she died.

The Reverend Mother Dolores Hart is Prioress of the Abbey (since 2001), but she remains a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, having in recent years become the only nun to be an Oscar-voting member.
In Hart’s honor, on October 4, 2008, “The Holy Trinity Apostolate,” founded by Rev. John Hardon, S.J., sponsored a “Breakfast with Mother Dolores Hart”. Held at Rochester, Michigan’s Royal Park Hotel, Hart told her story: “He Led Me Out into an Open Space; He Saved Me Because He Loved Me: The Journey of Mother Dolores Hart to Regina Laudis”.

Since 1963, when she joined the Bethlehem CT monastery, she disciplined herself under the Rule of Saint Benedict. At the breakfast, actress Patricia Neal and Maria Cooper Janis, the daughter of Hollywood leading man Gary Cooper, inter alia, spoke.[9][10]

Hello there,

What eventually happened? Did you move on? Do you still keep in touch?

I am currently in almost exactly the same situation. I’m 25, he’s 28, we’ve been dating for many years, etc.

I’ve grappled and prayed for over a year now and I feel confident that I will be able to move on and lead a fulfilling life, and though there is that hopeless dream that he’d go off to the seminary, become a better person, and eventually come back and be a great husband and father to our family, I’ve come to understand that it is pretty unrealistic.

I am very interested to see how your situation turned out.

Thank you.

God’s more important to him than you. Let him hear what’s in store for him.

I think one version of the old saying is, “If you love someone, let them go.” In this case you’re letting him grow. If he does become a priest don’t think of it as you’re losing a potential husband, think of it as the world is gaining a shepherd.

I agree that he should have been upfront with you but that said, what’s happened has happened and there’s no point in dwelling on the past.

It’s good that you want to support him and I think for that reason you shouldn’t cut off all communications or not remain close to him. Obviously the relationship between the two of you is going to be different and you shouldn’t see yourself (or let yourself be seen as) some sort of back up plan. that said, seminarians aren’t called to cut themselves off from the world - if anything, the opposite is true. As a seminarian myself, I know just how much I rely on the company and support of good friends - male and female - who I know and trust and in whose company I can relax because they just see me as me. Good, close friends aren’t distraction for seminarians - anything but! I’m not suggesting that the two of you should be e-mailing each other constantly (everything in moderation), or counting down the days until you’re next together; but just walk beside him and be a friend.

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