I got married at the age of 29. I just turned 30 this past month.
I didn’t date a lot of men. I totally gave up dating at the age of 19 and stayed in that state for about two years. I fought against any developing interest I’d have for men because I knew deep down my heart was wounded and that I needed God to heal me before I was in any emotional state to be date-worthy. I eventually discerned that I needed to stop squashing interests after two years of that, but overall continued to take a very passive approach to dating. I took the advise of St. Paul:
“Are you free of a wife [or husband]? Then do not look for a wife [or husband]. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries … I should like you to be free of anxieties. … An unmarried woman … is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction.” 1 Corinthians 7: 27-35
My mom however wanted me to meet someone and after I graduated from FUS, kept registering me on Catholic singles sites. I felt this encouraged a discontent heart in myself. I needed to serve God here in the now. But, deep down I knew my heart longed for marriage and deep down I knew I wasn’t meeting anyone to date outside of the couple dates a year I went on with a few handful of people I met on these Catholic single’s sites. I eventually prayed about it and switched over to Avemariasingles so that I could just have a profile out there, maybe search when I knew it wasn’t out of a discontent and restless heart and live the rest of my life not worrying about marriage.
About a month before I met my husband, I wrote in my spiritual journal this: "I hand over to You my desires for a spouse – this time not expecting You to destroy them, but simply entrusting them to You. Here is my heart. Take care of it. I belong to You.” I knew putting it entirely in God’s hands was a way of letting go. Somehow I finally found the grace not to antogonize over whether God would ever call me to marriage. I certainly longed for marriage, but I always felt you could never be certain of that vocation until it was your vocation. It involved meeting someone. Till I met someone, I just couldn’t be sure if my desire was some misplaced emotion or something God had truly put in my heart.
I think its very important not to be restless about your state in life, nor to be envous of what others have. I’ve heard other Catholic singles talk about how they need to get on the ball with finding someone if they know they’re called to marriage. All I can say is that every time I prayed, it seemed very important for me not to obsess about marriage.
Besides, like it or not, marriage is not there to solve your problems. Its a vocation of service, not a solution to a discontent heart. I think it was wise of God to keep me single so long. I think its wise also when some people aren’t called to marriage at all. Its a very large responsibility. We should all strive to serve God to the best of our abilities rather than waiting for our life to begin after we’re married.