romance advice


#1

OK, so my boyfriend and I have been together for almost eight months and he is amazing! He is the perfect gentleman in every sense of the word, a faithful Christian, an awesome friend, w/e. Though he is not Catholic, he ends up defending me against anti-Catholic accusations (he’s a history expert, so he doesn’t believe a lot of them anyway), and he and I agree on morals, family, etc. The only drawback is that we have a long distance relationship. What should we do to make sure that God’s will is our first priority in our relationship? I pray for him, me and our future spouses every night and we have definite boundaries (not even passionate kissing till marriage, etc.) But what else should we do?


#2

I’m not sure what it is that you are seeking. You certainly don’t want to impose restrictions for their own sake, nor are you looking for an oracle to determine what’s God’s will with regard to you and your boyfriend. So what is it? :wink: Are there any problems or anything that visibly needs improvement? :wink:


#3

I’m just saying, how should we determine what God wants, without letting our emotions blind us from God’s will. Yet, that seems confusing because aren’t emotions part of dating relationships? Also, how do we accomplish this when we’re as far apart from each other as we are? We don’t keep restrictions just to have them, we want to have a pure relationship and lead each other to God. I’m also thinking about the future, as we’re both college bound. How will I know what God wants from me for this? I feel very optimistic about the two of us but I don’t know if that’s what I would like to think or if that’s God telling me we’ll be fine.


#4

It sounds as if you are doubting yourself. You wonder if loving this man is simply your desire and not God’s. Maybe you feel a bit insecure and worried because he is not Catholic. Maybe you worry you are betraying God by being with this man.

There’s really no neon sign, unfortunately. God rarely smacks people upside the head and I have yet to receive a powerpoint presentation on what to do in life. :smiley:

On a serious note, whenever you start wondering if you are doing God’s Will, that in itself is usually a little heaven sent prompt. If this man is strong in morals, protects you from attacks against Catholicism and is so Christian, why are you so worried about keeping God #1 in the relationship? Shouldn’t that worry be the most assuaged? Shouldn’t it be the least worry?

Maybe you are worried that he is simply playing you? (Perhaps even subconsciously on his part). What if all this nice-nice religious stuff is really just because he is in love with you and not with God?

BTW, what is his faith journey right now? With so much receptiveness to Catholicism and good morals, he must be open to accepting Christ’s teachings.


#5

Wow, you sound very mature and level headed. I wish I could say the same about myself at a younger age;) .


It seems like your main concern is to follow God’s will, even if that means that this is not the guy for you or that you are not being called to the vocation of marriage. That is a great attitude!


So, figure out what is important to you in a spouse. Try to list things without considering your boyfriend (I know, easier said than done). That is why I love the idea of a young girl listing the important things for a future spouse to be/have before she starts dating. Keeps the emotions from clouding good judgement.


Then write a list of the things you consider to be important in order to be a good wife.


** Ask your boyfriend to do the same (both lists). Then you can talk about the things you both find important and if there are any disagreements you can either work them out now or leave (whatever the situation warrants).**


As for the long distance thing…just take it slow. You both have the right attitude about marriage, so focus on your immediate future (making college plans etc) and put marriage on the back burner. Once you are both in a place where marriage is becoming the number one priority, then you can work out the logistics and find a way to spwnd more time together during the engagement.

**As I started writing, i felt like I had something to say. But now I realize I may be just rambling with a very tired mind, lol. Feel free to ignore this post;) **

Malia


#6

Feanaro’s Wife, your post was very insightful, I have no intention of ignoring it:)

My boyfriend is Protestant and he is skeptical of some Catholic teachings such as Purgatory, Popes, etc. and wonders why we do some of the things we do (Midnight Mass, meatless Fridays, etc.). Yet, he defends me from anti-Catholic accusations and recognizes that I follow Jesus and live my life according to His Word. He also agrees with me on Catholic morals (no contraception, absolute purity, etc.) and is curious about some aspects of my faith. We get into some interesting discussions.

I have doubts because I hope that no matter what happens, we’ll always be friends, even if we don’t end up together. I also wonder about the difference of faith, as I’ve heard a lot of negatives about interfaith relationships (kids will grow up indifferent, too many compromises, etc.) I guess I also feel like I don’t deserve him, like he’s too good for me, because he always comes up to see me, but I don’t go to see him (mostly due to finances right now, but I feel bad for not visiting him). He also is so wonderful to me and shows that he cares, treats me like a lady, etc. and I don’t feel that I’m good enough. Maybe I feel insecure, I don’t know, but I am questioning alot.

Thank you guys:) I think I know why I feel this way now.


#7

I guess I also feel like I don’t deserve him, like he’s too good for me, because he always comes up to see me, but I don’t go to see him (mostly due to finances right now, but I feel bad for not visiting him). He also is so wonderful to me and shows that he cares, treats me like a lady, etc. and I don’t feel that I’m good enough. Maybe I feel insecure, I don’t know, but I am questioning alot.

I could have written this post many years ago. I think Fearo’s Wife’s post nailed the issues and I won’t repeat them, or the advice she gave. He loves you. You are worthy of his love. Now you have to decide whether the fact that he isn’t Catholic is a problem for your future. Pray hard about this. Pray for his conversion. As for a long distance relationship – my husband and I were apart three years before we married, It was hard at the time, but looking back the separation really strengthened our relationship.


#8

Better than that ending up with a Liberal Catholic ™ who doesn’t have a clue either way. Can he at least see the logic in some of it and, without necessarily agreeing that your points are valid, see that they aren’t coming from a pope’s vivid imagination but are in good faith derived from scripture and tradition?

Yet, he defends me from anti-Catholic accusations and recognizes that I follow Jesus and live my life according to His Word.

That’s good. :slight_smile:

He also agrees with me on Catholic morals (no contraception, absolute purity, etc.)

Good. My last ex broke up with me because of what difficulties disagreeing on such matters would create in children’s upbringing.

and is curious about some aspects of my faith. We get into some interesting discussions.

That’s also good. Maybe if he agrees on morals, defends you from accusations and is interested in some aspects of the Catholic faith, maybe he’s becoming receptive to the idea of conversion? Even if not, then he’s “at least” (in quotes because it’s not actually little ;)) open-minded and considerate and wants to know more of what you believe.

I have doubts because I hope that no matter what happens, we’ll always be friends, even if we don’t end up together.

Might the desire to preserve the friendship interfere somehow with the growing of the relationship? With my last ex, we were more dedicated to preserving our friendship than our romantic relationship. Maybe that’s part of what made us split up in the end.

I also wonder about the difference of faith, as I’ve heard a lot of negatives about interfaith relationships (kids will grow up indifferent, too many compromises, etc.)

I hear you. Compromises are a pain. As Catholic spouses and parents, we have the obligation to bring children up as best we can - which means as good Catholics as we can make of them, basically. At least you don’t seem to differ on moral issues. Is he ready to have his children brought up Catholic? This doesn’t mean he needs to be cut off from what you share, but on what terms is he with the idea of his children being baptised Catholic and receiving other sacraments in the Catholic Church, going to confession, believing in Real Presence, accepting papal authority and tradition? And the other things his denomination doesn’t agree with?

I guess I also feel like I don’t deserve him, like he’s too good for me, because he always comes up to see me, but I don’t go to see him (mostly due to finances right now, but I feel bad for not visiting him). He also is so wonderful to me and shows that he cares, treats me like a lady, etc. and I don’t feel that I’m good enough. Maybe I feel insecure, I don’t know, but I am questioning alot.

That means you’re considerate. It probably also means that he’s a good man like not many can you find these days. It may also mean you have some insecurity or self-esteem issues (Cheer up and believe in yourself! :wink: But it’s admirable how you can stay humble. :)). If you feel bad about some aspects of how you treat him, maybe change them? Or discuss with him? Another thing you may want to think about is if not him because he’s too good, then what man would you like to end up with? Someone worse than him? :wink: As in, would you like a worse man, with less virtue and more vice, or with more faults, or less Christian? :wink: I think Jesus wants the best for us, so I don’t think His will would be for us to let go of someone too good. :slight_smile: I can tell you, though, that myself, when chasing a girl, I’ve prayed for God to prevent it from developing if someone else would be better for a given girl than I were. On the other hand, maybe you’re getting that feeling because he seems to be more dedicated to and more decided about you than you about him? Maybe you see that he would never leave you and fault yourself for having your doubts about him at times? I think deciding whether he’s the man you would like to marry in the future could help that.

Good luck to you and, well, you both. :wink: God will never leave you alone. Or him. You will always be on His mind and He will have something for you.


#9

Hi Sanctamaria,
do you have a spiritual director? If not, I would highly recommend one (someone who is orthodox in matters of faith and very prayerful). Your spiritual director could be of extensive help to you in what you are telling us because he is one: looking at your situation objectively, i.e. without the many emotions that may cloud the eyes and two: he will know you better as a person (as you meet him regularly) and be able to help you discern God’s will for you in this relationship as well as other aspects of your spiritual life. Peace,

-Alison


#10

Deal first with the “concretes”.

If there is nothing sinful about your relationship, and it is not heading towards something sinful, then you can put this fear to rest.

If he exhibits good behavior. His friends are good people. He loves his family, and his family are good people. Then you can lay these things to rest.

If you’ve dated for a sufficient amount of time that you can expect a “liar” would be exposed, then you can lay this to rest. Some men are good at faking high moral standards for short periods of time.

Perhaps one concrete thing you “should” do. Spend a long time around him on a daily basis (not a nightly basis, ahem). By that I mean, if you can visit in the same town for a month or so. That way you can see each other for a bit every day. The purpose is to get a glimpse of him through his highs and lows. In a long-distance relationship, a person can “fake” themselves fairly easily. They can always maintain composure for a phone call even though they may be under stress. However, if the stress of work/school turns them into an ogre, you are more likely to see evidence of this when you’re with the person. Perhaps, they may be sweet to you, but while they’re driving every other person on the road is a total idiot.

Basically, be with him long enough so that he lets his guard down, revealing what he is really like. If he can hold his guard up for a long, long, time then it’s likely that’s just the kind of good person he is.

Once you’ve got the concrete things aside. In other words with concrete certainty, you can tell yourself that you are doing nothing outside God’s Will (by process of elimination then you must conclude you are within God’s Will). You can pray to God, tell God you are thinking this is “the one for you” and if God has something else in mind to please make it evident to you. Give God some time to answer that prayer. Then move forward.


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.