Let me preface this by saying that this is my first post so I apologize if I’m not posting in the correct forum.
Let me begin by saying that I am, by nature, an over analyzer and worrywart :p. To give you a bit of background about myself, I was born and raised Catholic, but fully didn’t understand the beauty of the Catholicism until I attended a Catholic college. There, I had a very eye-opening experience of God’s love for us that completely re-defined how I viewed my own life and life in general. With that being said, ever since I came into my faith more fully 6 years ago I’ve been praying for my future spouse, as I do feel called to marriage. I did my best during my time of being single to grow in my relationship with God and become the woman God has called me to be. This hasn’t however been without struggle, as I’ve watched my close Catholic friends find wonderful spouses and kept wondering why God would put this desire in my heart for a Catholic man for nothing.
I had been deeply upset about my current state of being single, but realized that for it was still my time to be single and decided I needed to stop being bitter and openly accept that. During this time, I had reluctantly joined a secular dating site (after many tries on Catholic dating sites) at the encouragement of a friend. I was doubtful that I would find a truly Catholic guy on such a site but low and behold I started to talking to a Catholic guy who, in his first message, told me how nice it was to find someone else who was religious on the site. I was VERY hesitant about beginning in a relationship with him and he waited for a solid month and a half while i made sure I felt God was calling me to this. During this time he made it very clear that he I was worth waiting for, regardless of whether or not I chose to date him. I felt God tugging on my heart, telling me to just trust him and so I did.
We hit it off basically instantly. I’ve never been too comfortable relating to guys but things with my boyfriend are just easy. He is so much fun to be around, makes me laugh, he is so respectful of me and chivalrous (opens doors, helps me with my coat ect) and values my purity and wants to be chaste until marriage. He’s confided in me about his parents nasty divorce and explained to me how overcoming the anger from that taught him what marriage is supposed to look like. He too came more into the faith in college- made his confirmation in his sophomore year. Within our first week of dating we were talking about how much we love being Catholic, how amazing the mystery of the Eucharist is. I really can see a deep love in him for the Church-he altar serves regularly, is a member of the Knights of Columbus and attends retreats.
So we’ve been seeing each other for about 5 months…hes 27 and I’m 25 and we agreed straight away that dating for the sake of dating is silly and that we hope that we are called to be married (although neither of us are in any rush). I’ve been realizing that our faiths are very different-which instinctively I know- I know that everyone is on their own faith journey and experiences God differently. When I say that our faith lives are “different” I mean that I’m more “emotional” about my relationship with God-I’ll never hesitate to tell a friend how much God loves them. My boyfriend describes himself as being more “intellectually Catholic”-where the “emotional” side of things don’t resonate with him as much. I think he tends to relate more to the things that touch the senses-ie incense during Mass, visiting ornate cathedrals, a little bit of Latin thrown in during Mass those sorts of things.
I’ve been struggling lately because I worry that the spiritual side of our relationship is lacking. I have sort of these preconceived notions of what Catholic relationships are supposed to look like ie: the guy leading prayer, going to Mass together every week, going to adoration together, praying the rosary together. A lot of these views come from my friends relationships and me thinking that that’s what is supposed to happen. I worry that I’ve sort of idealized what a relationship is supposed to look like and that I have totally unreasonable expectations. We’ve gone to Mass together once earlier this month, after I explained that I was upset that we hadn’t gone yet and I felt like he didn’t want to go with me. He assured me that that’s not the case but that he has gotten so used to going by himself and that he didn’t realize it was upsetting me so much.
I’ve also been trying to encourage us to pray together more. When I brought up prayer together initially, he seemed nervous at the idea, and told me that he never prayed with his roommates in college, while I did quite a bit, so praying with another person doesn’t phase me at all. I initiated and led a brief prayer together this past weekend. I asked him multiple times beforehand if he was sure he was okay with it (because I don’t want to force him into doing something he really isn’t comfortable with) and he said he was. We’ve had REALLY open communication basically from day 1 so I think he would tell me if he really was uncomfortable with it. I told him that I’m not trying to push the prayer thing but only trying to get us more comfortable with it so that we have a good foundation if we are to discern marriage later on.
I’ve been really anxious that because our prayer preferences differ so much that it is a sign that God wants me to break up with him because he isn’t “holy” enough. This thought that deeply saddens me as I feel I can be myself around him, see so many fruits of the Spirit in him and feel inspired to love more authentically, more like Christ. I wonder if I am undergoing a spiritual attack because I feel like God wouldn’t judge someone for being “not holy enough” because God knows we are not perfect.
I apologize that this is so long winded. Could anyone shed any light at all on this? Thank you