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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dating

I don't miss dating. Not one bit.

It's not that I ever took a vow not to date anymore. Since I broke up with my last boyfriend, the one I thought I wanted to marry (and whom I thought wanted to marry me, but I was wrong and he lied), I've only gone out on a couple of dates. They were fine. Nothing weird. One guy was nice enough,a Ph.D who was new in town and just looking to connect with a new social group. I saw right away he was a control freak. He was massively intelligent but defective in both his Catholic genes (was a fan of Voice of the Fuddled and was brainwashed to think they were "orthodox"), and really seemed to have a need to control everyone around him as much as possible.

It wasn't so bad on one date and at a couple social gatherings where we both happened to be present, but of course, that kind of guy, over time, gets worse. Not better. But he did me a favor and moved somewhere else so the dating possibility went elsewhere with him.  Good guy for a friend, but thank GOD for preventing me (and hopefully any woman) from being his wife! 

Other than that, I haven't met anyone I've even WANTED to date. To be clear, I LOVE men, I am very attracted to men, but I also find the pickings very slim. So many single men aren't interested in holiness; even in their 30's, they seem to be into the party scene, refusing to grow up and move on, or, of those who ARE incredible, I seem to have missed the boat. I have to wonder if I'm a rarity in my age group? A woman who truly loves Our Lord...but lives in an age group that has bought so into the secular culture of relativism that they find God, if they believe in Him, to be a hindrance to their hookups?

It's not that I've ever been any beauty at all, and in a thousand years, I wouldn't stand out in a crowd. (I like that, actually.) When it comes to marriage, looks may be a hook to get attention, but it doesn't last. The happiest couples I know aren't the beautiful people worshiped via Hollywood's lens; they're average everyday people who don't stand out to anyone but to each other.  

That's beauty, and that's love.  That's very often holiness.

And that's one of the factors I've considered in my own Vocational discernment.

It isn't about "I'm ugly so I should be a nun."

No.

It's not, "I can't find a decent guy, so I should be a nun."

No. 

Jesus isn't a consolation prize.  To consider Him such is to trivialize Who He Is and what He did to save us...and the fact that He calls and jealously guards His loved ones.  

Discernment doesn't come from deprivation, but only with a focus on love. Where is love to be found? Where is God to be found? What is God's will? Where is Christ most expressed to us, through us to others?

Deprivation, or some perceived and alleged flaw, isn't a part of understanding and seeking what we are called to be.

While we need to understand what we are "giving up", we also need to understand what we are gaining, in any state in life. I have friends who desired to be Nuns or Sisters...and ended up happily married. They saw an ideal, and God revealed His plan, when it was time. They were ready to give up the world, and God revealed to them the way to gain it and eternity entirely.

So often, the men and women who choose and are chosen by the priesthood (for men!) and religious life are subject to diatribes from the world about what they have supposedly "given up". The world forgets that some have tried what the world had to offer and found it...insulting, at best. Dismal. Unfulfilling. Typically the issue, from the worldly point of view, is sex.

People, get over it. You can live without it and be far happier without all the angst it causes.

It IS a deprivation to give up children and family, and for religious, to even be separated from family and friends while still walking the planet. But it's a sacrifice with meaning.

Dating...had no meaning for me. I'm not sure when that happened, but at some point, I just stopped looking or caring.  And that's where God entered in and asked me to look at Him. 

I don't really miss dating. Sure, it was nice to go to dinner and a movie sometimes, and the last guy I dated was a perfect gentleman (THAT was rare!) who didn't expect to be "paid" for dinner. The food, the conversation, the social aspect...that's something that was very enjoyable but I can find that same enjoyment with my friends. 

At some point, I realized there is supposed to be something more.   THAT was the deprivation. 

Some people are called to marriage, and my heart goes out to them as they seek the one God has chosen for them. Long marriages are amazing, and in this culture, it seems so hard for any woman to find a good man, and vice versa.

Sometimes, I realize that I'll never be married, and I'm a bit saddened, but at the same time, I have this sense that it was never meant to be, anyway. From the time I was a little girl, even as I spoke about marriage, I don't think I ever really believed it was something I'd experience.  

Maybe there was a part of me that thought, for awhile, that such a gift as marriage was "too good" for a girl like me.  

It doesn't sadden me, so don't offer "condolences" or "there now's".

There is no consolation prize that you can offer, and I'm not in need of consolation of any sort...none offered by this world. 

If I WAS in need of consolation, however, and if any future-brides out there need help in gaining perspective, I would recommend going HERE. And you may find that your attitude has been properly adjusted.

Or, uh, consoled.

And that's all I have to say about that.
*

(This wasn't going where you thought, was it? And if you haven't, click on the link NOW!) 


Oh, yes, Adoro has a funny bone. 


15 comments:

uncle jim said...

I think you're walking in territories where most never look ... and I think you've found something most will never find

it IS about relationships, yes ... and the ultimate relationship is with God

and even the married among us can find that same relationship and extend it to the spousal relationship ... that is what the indwelling is all about

I believe my wife and I lead each other into such a relationship - and yes I'm sure we have both been distracted at times, but we've experienced enough of the truth to be able to not let them pull us apart [that old 'and the two shall become one flesh' thing]

LarryD said...

Great post - and speaking as a married man, I'm glad I'm out of the dating scene.

And the link was hilarious!

Pame said...

God is the best date you can find ever...
'Never gonna give you up,
never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry,
never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie
and hurt you'
Don't you think? ;-)

Adoro said...

Uncle Jim ~ God HAS to be in the spousal relationship...or it doesn't work. You say "even", but the two of you draw each other to God, and that's the way He wants it. It's amazing to us all.

Larry ~ I'm glad I'm out of the dating scene, too, but for a different reason! (The link scares me...it's all too real...have you TRIED dating in downtown Minneapolis...?)

Pame ~ EXACTLY! He's the ONLY one who can live up to His promises...and has died to do so.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Amen Adoro :)

Hidden One said...

I'm glad I don't live in Minneapolis.

Seriously, Adoro, thank you for this post.

Warren said...

Not even on a Catholic blog are we safe from Rick Astley.

W

Mark said...

According to her blog, Sr Mary Martha actually did become a nun because she thought she was too ugly to get married.

Where a genuine vocation exists that might not otherwise be discerned or followed, God in his providence is very adept at using our less worthy motives - our low-self esteem, in this instance - to give us a nudge in the right direction.

Adoro said...

Mark ~ Sr. Mary Martha may not actually be a nun - she may just be a character, a very believable one.

That said, yes, that's true. However, I was reacting to the "stereotype" that is out there, which I've written of before; the people who aren't good looking go into the convent and into the priesthood.

I'm somewhat saddened to hear that Sr. Mary Martha has unwittingly perpetuated that myth, even tongue-in-cheek.

Maureen said...

You know, I don't think I've ever seen a really homely priest or sister. In fact, the stereotype is more tilted toward "Father What-a-waste" or the schoolteacher nun that all the guys have a crush on.

Of course, joy and holiness are highly becoming to anyone.

Christine said...

I left a life of SSA, and I don't miss it at all.
I never left my faith, but I finally realized I couldn't do both: I had to make a choice. I chose God (rather, I should say He chose me. I couldn't have done it without His help).

Adoro said...

That's what it comes down to, isn't it? Making a choice...for God or against God. There is nothing in the middle. But we can't do even THAT without HIM.

And Maureen - holiness IS very attractive, really transforms people. It's amazing.

Br. Andrew M. McAlpin, O.P. said...

My observations: It is easier to find a faithful woman to date than a faithful man. Why? I don't know, except religion seems to be easier for women to deal with, and so many of the faithful men (like me) enter religious life or the seminary.

Adoro said...

Br. Andrew ~ Wow, nice to "see" you again!

I think you're right...women do seem to find that connection with God more easily, although I think some of that is also our current culture (don't get me started).

And if faithful men don't enter the seminary or religious life...then who will?

Christina said...

My mother never met a Catholic man until she was in her forties. Sometime in her thirties she married my father. It took more than 25 years of marriage before he converted and I think his lack of religious example while we were growing up contributed to my brothers' very weak faith. From what I experienced with my parents, I think it is far better to be single than to marry a non-Catholic or a poorly formed one.