About a year and a half ago, I met a girl. We had been becoming closer and closer as friends, and eventually in June of this year we began a romantic relationship. But about a month ago she decided that we should go on a break. I didn’t agree, but I had to respect her decision. Basically we aren’t together, but we have not foreclosed the possibility of getting together again. We are still friends and see each other often in various places.
Nothing bad had been happening in our relationship. We were chaste, we spent time with friends and with each other, we prayed and went to Mass together every day, and we had fun together. I’m not going to say it was perfect, but we didn’t have any significant issues I can think of. Of course, I am aware that I could just have ignored them.
She rather suddenly decided that our relationship was not leading to marriage, and she said that it was because her parents talked to her and told her that we were wrong for each other. I asked her why, and generally they did not seem to have a reason or think that I was a bad person in any way, but just said that we were not right for each other. Eventually she said some reasons they had, and then she added some reasons why she agreed with them. Although she said she agreed, most of what she said sounded like she was obeying them, not agreeing with them, and her reasons seemed to come out of nowhere.
Anyway, their reasons were: She doesn’t lead the relationship as much as I do, I don’t have a good work ethic, and both of us are spiritually immature. Her reasons were: She thinks I have not fully overcome my pornography addiction, she thinks we fight too much and that I easily anger, she thinks she needs to fix me, and she thinks I am not ready to be a husband or father.
I believe them all to be valid reasons not to get married. But we weren’t about to get married. I’m 25, she is 26, and both of us have two years left on graduate school (her) and law school (me). Furthermore, I think they are exaggerated or invented. She was leading too, just not as much as me. I do struggle with work ethic as a law student, but I actually have two part time jobs in addition to my full time student work despite my mentality. I certainly think I am not able to provide for a family right now, but I don’t think that means that I never will be able to. I don’t know what is spiritually immature about us, considering how much we pray, read books, and attend Mass; it may be because they are Protestant and she and I are Catholic. We don’t fight, we debate and it never got out of hand. I got angry one time at one of our friends, and I believe that since then I have not even come close to it because I am making efforts to not be as critical (it was over a theological point). She never said anything about me that she needed to fix, so I don’t know why she said that, and she actually repeatedly said that I would make a good husband and father, so I don’t know why she said that suddenly either.
I have struggled with porn. Five months ago, I finally admit that I was unable to stop, and I threw myself at the Lord to help me overcome the addiction, as opposed to simply “white-knuckling.” About two months ago I relapsed, but though I stumbled, I did not fall back into the addictive mindset. I have increasingly developed strategies to avoid the temptation (avoiding R-rated movies, putting the computer in an open area, talking to my roommate, exercising) and I have prayed about it a lot. She knows all of this. I’m not saying that it is not a problem because it is. I know that I am vulnerable and she is right to worry about that. I don’t feel like lust has impacted our relationship, though - I really have worked to change how I view women and now I am more gentlemanly and respectful than I’ve ever been. I would tell her right away when something was tempting me and we would immediately deal with it. I did not hide anything from her.
Honestly, I don’t think it’s fair to ask people without first-hand knowledge to judge the merits of our relationship, although I will accept given advice. I feel very strongly that the Holy Spirit has been, and still is, calling both of us to eventually marry each other. I have researched priesthood but I do not think it is right for me. I have tried to force myself to get over her but I can’t deny what I feel deep down is right, and what prayer constantly leads me to. I also know that I have to accept that we are not together right now.
What I would like to know is when I should try to talk to her about getting back into the relationship. I know that I need to put my efforts to overcome porn, be less critical, and plan for my working future into overdrive. I know that if I don’t work on myself I don’t deserve her anyway. What I don’t know is how long it is appropriate to wait. Should I wait until I have good plans in practice? Should I wait until we are nearly ready to marry? Should I just wait until she feels the same way I do? Should I try to convince her parents that they are wrong? Or, after all, should I try to force myself to take some time away from her so that I can truly stabilize myself?
I know I’m asking a lot of advice with little information, but thanks to those who are willing to respond. I am perfectly aware that I might be infatuated, delusional, or silly, but I definitely am not right about everything, and only by getting other, detached perspectives can I understand my follies.
Thanks and God bless you.