Wow dating and discernment is scary


#1

I want to post the following article from Catholic Match (shortened a bit). It was about red flags in dating and knowing what to do when you encounter them in relationships:

We tend, instead, to divinize our own feelings. We assume that if we feel a certain way, it must be God speaking infallibly to us. I find that many, many people talk about something being “God’s will”, when it’s clearly only their own will with holy water sprinkled on it.

What is scary is the part I bolded. I'm pretty sure, after talking to people and my psiritual director and applying elements from The Spiritual Exercises to my life that I am called to marriage and academia. But then I see stuff like that and panic because I can't tell if I discerned correctly even though I logically know that I have.

The other problem is that when I read stuff like this and consider dating I don't know how it'll even work. I have no dating experience and I fear that I will either horribly butcher any attempts at marriage and end-up in a bad marriage or that I'll never succeed; everything seems so difficult! And when it comes to discernment there is so much uncertainty that I cannot even begin to see how I'll ever make the right choices or decisions because everything is too confusing!

What should I do?


#2

Thanks for sharing that quote, thats really deep stuff!

So, for this being my first post on this site, I chuckle at my response.

Usually the first thing a Priest/Religious brother says and the last thing I want to hear is...

"Pray about it."

Sure, I would love to just hear God say,"Go, do this now and do this later.." But that is not God's way. He speaks to us in the quiet and silence.

I'm only 22, and I have about 4 solid years of questioning what God wants me to do with my life, but I've also found that advice from above is the best advice I can pass on.

Also, God gives us gifts and talents and he wants us to use those to build up the Church in our own way, not in someone else's. He wants us to (in the words of Matthew Kelly) become "the best versions of ourselves" and I believe the best way to do that is to take our best gifts, give them to the Lord, and let Him work in our lives.

Also, I love hearing the scripture verses which talk about good trees bearing good fruit and bad trees withering away. God will produce a bountiful harvest if we let Him into our lives.

So Lotuscars, I say "patience" and "pray about it" :thumbsup:


#3

Yes it is scary!!

I sometimes try to avoid reading stuff like your quote from Catholic Match. Those things only cause me to doubt and second guess myself. I'll turn a pale pink flag into scalding red.

What stuck out to me in the quote was the word "feelings". I have had to remind myself periodically that feelings are subject to change...and quite often. I think it's one of the reasons why there are so many divorces. People get married, reality sets in and they think that because they don't have "those" feelings of love anymore that they need to divorce their spouse.

There is always a risk of ending up in a bad marriage. It's like driving a car... there's a risk of getting into an accident. Everything is a risk in life.

Just keep in mind that no one is perfect.


#4

I wouldn't worry too much about that, LotusCars. You have thought about it, prayed, talked to your spritual director and done some fruitful reading. Marriage is the vocation that most people are called to. I wouldn't doubt yourself. If God was calling you to a religious life, he would tend to make his will such that it wouldn't elude you.

I think the advice on Catholic Match is more geared towards God's will in the smaller things. People sometimes get caught up with little signs that they interpret to mean God is willing them to do some particular thing or marry some particular person. You still have to use your head, because it's not likely that God is going to call us to be with someone who treats us badly, or to have one particular career that we have to stick with, or one college we have to go to even though it is financially difficult, etc. We tend to have many options available to us in following God's will. We should choose those things that don't go against Church teachings and which don't contradict our sense of reason or justice.

Honestly, I don't think God micromanages to the point that we have to meet and marry the one person that he has in mind for us. We have choices and free will. That is God's will.


#5

I know what you mean! It can be pretty scary. I'm much like you and have absolutely no experience with dating. It worries me a little too and I'm afraid I'll be absolutely clueless about it and mess everything up.

You're not alone, at least. It helps to know people are in the same boat. :)


#6

[quote="dulcissima, post:4, topic:187042"]
I wouldn't worry too much about that, LotusCars. You have thought about it, prayed, talked to your spritual director and done some fruitful reading. Marriage is the vocation that most people are called to. I wouldn't doubt yourself. If God was calling you to a religious life, he would tend to make his will such that it wouldn't elude you.

I think the advice on Catholic Match is more geared towards God's will in the smaller things. People sometimes get caught up with little signs that they interpret to mean God is willing them to do some particular thing or marry some particular person. You still have to use your head, because it's not likely that God is going to call us to be with someone who treats us badly, or to have one particular career that we have to stick with, or one college we have to go to even though it is financially difficult, etc. We tend to have many options available to us in following God's will. We should choose those things that don't go against Church teachings and which don't contradict our sense of reason or justice.

Honestly, I don't think God micromanages to the point that we have to meet and marry the one person that he has in mind for us. We have choices and free will. That is God's will.

[/quote]

Thank you! This is so true!


#7

This probably isn't helpful, but I tend to see "God's Will" in terms of His clear mandates as expressed by the Bible and the Church, and otherwise "ex post facto" sort of.

In other words, if I am considering what profession I will pursue, I need to think about whether it, or parts thereof, provide unreasonable risks to me in terms of violating God's law, and if it meets the particular gifts I have been given. But once I find myself in a particular situation, I feel it is then "God's Will" that I be there. "Bloom where you're planted" and all that. Now maybe where I find myself is not so good from the standpoint of following God's law, in which case I have a duty to extricate myself if I can. If I believe in Providence (and I do) I have to accept it that there is something about my situation, however dire, that is in some way meant for my ultimate good. But I still have the obligation to dig out, because it is not God's will that I suffer or be in a state of constant temptation.

I think sometimes of Job and reread it. I like the parts where God asks Job where Job was when God laid the foundations for the mountains or if Job knows Leviathan's (whales') pathways in the sea. In other words, God is telling Job he cannot possibly know all of God's purposes, and human wisdom is not sufficient to disclose them.

Sometimes we "get it" and sometimes it is not given to us to "get it".


#8

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