The right way to move on

I’m not sure if this is the right forum to post this in, but I couldn’t find one that it seemed most appropriate.

I am an unmarried woman who for all of her life has been overeager for marriage. I’ve been dreaming and planning my wedding since I was four.

I do recognize this as a problem. I long for a placent heart and as of the past few months I’ve taken measures to not encourage my overeagerness for marriage. I mean, I used collect photos of wedding dresses on my computer just for the fun of it. I have now deleted thm all. I also avoid watching romance movies – granted they’ve nausiated me for some time now and I’ve recognize for a long time that they give a very false notion of love.

I’ve been trying to focus on the ever present and how I can serve God today. I have noticed that I am less restless when I am serving God in ways I feel most capable in. For instance, last year I volunteered with a ministry called “Ministry to Mom’s” where I helped out a local homemaker 3 hours a week, cooking meals, tutoring her children and what not so she could run errands. My stipend was free laundry! :thumbsup:

This year I’ve been volunteering my time assisting with the Youth Ministry program at my parish.

I don’t tend to meet many devout Catholic men. I still hope for marriage, but I feel that whenever I find one of those rare virteous men my feelings get all exagerated. I try to stifle it by focusing more on what has already happened rather than what could happen and by giving time before I admit outloud that I like someone.

But as of currently, there is a man I do like very much. Last month, it did come out that we are both very attracted to each other, but these feelings for each other came out so quickly from us meeting that it does seem wise to try to slow them down. I mean, I do see the wisdom in this.

At the time, I felt that there was no reason really not to date. I told him I wasn’t proposing marriage to him. I just wanted to spend the time to get to know him and see what would happen. I just wanted the assurence that if things went a different direction, we’d be open about us going a completely different route. Granted, that’s my impatience coming out, as it was really his place to formally ask to start a relationship and not mine.

But somehow this lead to a holding hands, cuddling on the couch deal. In the end though he felt that he wasn’t in a place where he could enter into a relationship the way he wanted to and how concerned he was about hurting me, especially considering we didn’t know each other that well. Then for some reason he came over the next day to apoligise again for supposedly using me by holding my hand and putting his arm around me, though he was like “I do like you and its more the physical. I just didn’t realize how needy I am.” I was confused because it was what he had said the previous day and was a bit redundant.

So we’ve been friends since and I am very impressed that it hasn’t become a “We’re acting like we’re dating but saying we’re not.” type of situation. He’s backed off on the flirting he was doing before that whole confession of feelings, and so have I.

The problem is, I find myself thinking about that day way too often and not with regret. I realize we didn’t do anything sinful, but still we aren’t in such a relationship and its still rather motivating this whole “When will he change his mind and ask me out?” It wasn’t at all like a rejection. It was more like a “I’m not ready to date. Let’s be friends for now and if when I feel I’m ready to date and if I still feel this way toward you but with better reason to feel that way, then I’ll ask you out.”

I have been very impressed that the whole thing did not ruin our friendship. We’ve been able to act very naturally around each other, though at times I think we’re sitting in seperate chairs rather than on a couch together to avoid the temptation of grabbing the other’s hand.

I just know here that I can’t be sitting here waiting for him to decide to date me especially considering its not guarenteed to happen. Its not like there are other guys around to get to know and hang out with though, plus I don’t feel a person should be in this constant searching for romance mode. I feel like in my activity, I am just living my life as a single woman as I should, but that part of my heart is just waiting for him to change his mind.

I know how it is to be overeager for marriage. I was too, until recently. It is good that you recognize that this can lead to disappointment if you do not deal with it.

Let me give you some advice from a male point of view. First, it sounds like you are almost afraid to get close to this man because of your previous overeagerness for marriage. Just because you have been too eager in the past does not mean you still aren’t being called to marriage. I for one know that I’m being called to marriage for sure–but not right now. I think it is good for some people to stay single for a little while before getting married. I think God lets this happen to some people because He knows that it will result in them having a better marriage in the long run. Maybe you fall into this category. Pray for faith that God will lead you to your vocation, whatever it may be.

Now, for something on the practical side of things: I’m not so sure this man you like is a good choice for you (based on what little you said of him). Speaking as a guy–if a man really is interested in you, he will NOT wimp out and use the “I’m not ready to date” excuse. He will ask you out. Even if he is nervous about it (as I always am, every time), he will find a way to come up with the courage to ask you out. When a man says he’s not ready to date, he means one of two things: 1) He is in fact interested in dating, but not you; or 2) He is honestly not ready to date. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t get your hopes up for this guy.

Also, you say you don’t meet a lot of good men lately. Could it be that having met this one guy is causing you to be overly hopeful about him? I know I’ve had that happen once before. If you ever meet some more men, you may see that what you thought were feelings of attractiveness was really just a reaction to your previous loneliness. Just a thought.

Okay, now that I’ve got you all depressed, how about something uplifting: Good Catholic men ARE out there. They may be few and far between, but rest assured that if you are called to marriage you will meet a man who will make the best husband for you. I personally know quite a few guys who are interested in keeping and developing their faith, as well as fully living out the sacrament of marriage. Sure, you may have accepted your single status for now, and that’s great! But it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be alone.


There isn’t really much to add because it sounds like you already know what you should be doing. It is definitely best to keep busy and try not to dwell on things. I don’t want to give you any false hope but my husband and I were in a similar situation to the one you describe. We had both just gotten out of bad relationships and were great friends. At some point, things got moving too fast so I put the brakes on our relationship because I was not ready for another relationship. I gave him the old ‘let’s be friends’ speach and we proceeded to distance ourselves from each other with an occasional phone call. He was actually devastated at heartbroken. This was in August and by the time January rolled around we decided that we would start dating. That was about 9 years ago. During the time that we were apart, he and I both went out with other people and focused on ourselves so that we would be better prepared when and if we entered a relationship. All I can say is back off and let things happen. If it is meant to be, you both will know eventually.

I think maybe you are focusing on this man because he ‘is there’, if you know what I mean. Someone to think about, to imagine being happily married with.
I was told by a dear friend who is a priest, that God gives us these desires to be married and the like, so lets assume that it is your calling to be married. God will provide. I was a single mother of four beautiful chidren. My husband left when my youngest was 5 months old. She is now 11, almost 12. For about 6 years after he left all I could focus on is surviving. I got a lot closer to God. I couldn’t even contemplate another relationship. Then I met a few men who were just friends and started to wish I wasn’t alone. The feelings of wanting to be married were then SO strong and I knew that I had to keep them in order or I was in danger of making a mistake, just for the sake of ‘being married’.
My husband now is a wonderful man, but we have many problems. He was not a catholic when I met him, but became one. He does not really understand his faith but I do pray that he will take it more seriously.
We both have many issues, from past relationships and I sometimes think that I just ‘wanted’ to be married.
Sorry for telling you my life story, I guess all I’m saying is that we can tend to be too hasty when we want something so badly. Try to think… In God’s good time and realise that he has given you these desires (although sometimes we exagggerate them or dwell on them too much, almost make marriage an idol… well I think I did that, in my case) And continue to pray for God’s Will in your life. I used to pray when I was dating my husband…
God if this man is not for me, take away the feelings I have for him. They never went away…

God Bless you and pray for a suitable man to marry.

One last thing… there are catholic singles websites. An alternative way to meet nice catholic men.

[quote=lontas]Now, for something on the practical side of things: I’m not so sure this man you like is a good choice for you (based on what little you said of him). Speaking as a guy–if a man really is interested in you, he will NOT wimp out and use the “I’m not ready to date” excuse.

I second that. The “I’m not ready to date” generally means one of two things:
He lacks the masculine qualities of decisiveness women are attracted to.
He is lying.

[quote=the-3rd-parent]Let’s be friends for now and if when I feel I’m ready to date and if I still feel this way toward you but with better reason to feel that way, then I’ll ask you out."

Better reason? What is he waiting for? What better reason to start a dating relationship than you’ve already told us - mutual attraction?

Don’t sit back and wait for Mr. Sensitive to make up his mind. His pussy-footing around is a big sign that he isn’t the man you need - at least he sure isn’t acting like it. Enlarge your circle of friends. Just because you have a goal in mind of getting married doesn’t mean you should keep a narrow circle. Get involved in activities that will allow you to meet more people. You can be chaste and meet people at the same time.

I am one of those who can relate to you. I had felt ever since childhood that I was destined to marry. I thought I would marry young, but that didn’t happen until I was 28.

[quote=lontas]I for one know that I’m being called to marriage for sure–but not right now.

Lontas, I’m guessing you’ll hear a different call when you meet a fine, eligible woman.

Yes, there are Catholic singles sites, but they haven’t been much of a help. Its more of a place to get hit on by men who are way too old for you or who have serious mental problems. Granted, I did meet the guy I was speaking about on there, but it was rather different. I got an email from him and he was like “How have we never met? You’re from such and such location. Do you know Mary and so and so and so an so and so an so.” And I did. Second email he asked to meet me and I hadn’t even finished reading his profile. I had been to busy to do more then even skim his emails.

I don’t think he was giving me a chalk out excuse. I do believe he was sincere in how he felt. He did get rejected by a number of girls before he met me. One of them was a household sister of mine and that was only about two months from that rejection before he met me. In fact, I think the fact that we bluntly came out with how we were feeling kind of made him rethink how he was going about this because he did say when he sought to meet me he was setting himself up for “Maybe she’s the one.”

He said the one thing that is a major red flag to him is that I suffered from social anxiety disorder. We’re both introverts. I think he wants someone to push him out of his introvertedness. He is seeing a councilor for his insecurities and is constantly trying to push himself into more and more social situations.

Whereas, I’m kind of content with who I am as an introvert. This is how God made me and there are virtues that go along with it. I think the self esteem issues I had were more with me looking at my personal attributes as some problem that needed to be solved. I was completely looking to change who I am rather than to acknowledge the strengths God had given me and learn how to best serve God through their use. To me, socializing is about serving other people, not about trying to fill your own social needs and drawing attention to yourself. Its about just loving those who God puts around you. So I do volunteer with the Youth Ministry program, but I do also spend a lot of time at home with my family. I do live with them but not just because I’m broke and it saves me money but because I love them dearly and if I moved out, I’d still be at my parents’ house all the time. My parents and siblings are my best friends and its most important to me to keep those relationships the strongest.

The only thing that bothers me is will my lifestyle prevent me from from meeting someone. I have a social life but its not geared toward a lot of people around my age group.

[quote=the-3rd-parent] The only thing that bothers me is will my lifestyle prevent me from from meeting someone. I have a social life but its not geared toward a lot of people around my age group.

Even introverts get married. Shoot, I’m an introvert according to Myers-Briggs. Some people who work with me would be surprised to hear that. I’m kind of loud there sometimes and have a reputation for not being shy about expressing my opinion. But it is really a performance. I’m “on” at work.

On my days off, I don’t leave the house if I don’t have to. I enjoy a quiet house where I can do my solitary things. My wife tends to work on my days off, so I get a lot of alone time lately.

Volunteering is great. Are you also employed? Statistically, most people meet there spouses at work (in spite of the ever present threats of sexual harassment accusations). You don’t necessarily meet catholic men only at church.

Again, don’t waste your time waiting on this guy. If he comes back around, fine. But do you really want to be with some guy who is looking to change him? That’s a lot of pressure.

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