Single Catholic Guy: Wake Up!

[ 117 ] June 25, AD 2012 |

It’s never been a better time to be a single Catholic guy.

Why? Because there are thousands of lovely, faithful young Catholic women waiting for you to step up to the plate and court them!

Yet many Catholic guys are unsure about themselves, uncertain, dithering, wavering, vicissitudening. Stop it! In Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit, you can change this and face your fears, be courageous, bold, and manly. It’s not about being a boor, or having enormous muscles (though it wouldn’t hurt to go work out), or swaggering around like you’re Tom Cruise after a Scientology retreat. It’s about being yourself and living up to who God made you to be.

Consider this blog post your wake up call. My wife and I are writing a book that touches on these issues, but I want to give you the heads-up now so you don’t have to wait. Here are some tips on pursuing a woman you are interested in getting to know more.

First, you as the man need to pursue her. Don’t be ambivalent or ambiguous. Get the wishy-washy words out of your vocabulary. “Well I was thinking that maybe sometime—if you’re free of course and don’t have anything better to do—you’d like to meet somewhere, you know, just for fun and stuff…” No! Even if you are self-conscious, don’t act that way. The worst thing a woman can say to you is “no.” Does that rejection hurt? Sure it does. But if she’s not interested in you, beating around the bush and hemming and hawing won’t change that. And if you do come across as confident (but not boorish), you could increase your chance of a favorable response. Simply find a good time to ask her if she’d like to have coffee with you. There’ll be more on this subject of boldly pursuing the lady in a future chapter.

While you’re single, you may as well learn some manly skills, too. I grew up playing sports and only occasionally worked on the car with my dad or fixed something in the house. As such, I learned almost nothing about these valuable skills. I wished I had now! Now’s the time for you to learn home and car repair, carpentry, pipe smoking, beer making—whatever, just pick some things and learn how to do them. You won’t regret it later, and these abilities are attractive to women.

Manners, dress, and conversation. Regarding manners, learn some. I remember my humiliation when a young woman told me after dinner that she wasn’t used to a guy who blew his nose at the table. Ouch. No one told me that was a bad thing to do. Katie almost sent me home packing because of my atrocious wardrobe choices. No joke. More on that story later, but the point here is that, if you have no sense of style or care about how you dress, find a good buddy who knows how to look sharp and get some pointers from him. I had two great Catholic friends who dressed well and kept themselves looking clean-cut with their haircuts and personal style. I was a moron and didn’t learn from them. I cut my own hair to save money—don’t ask how it looked, especially in the back—wore cologne sporadically, and bought the cheapest clothes I could find. If the button-up shirt didn’t say “wrinkle free,” I wasn’t buying it, because I couldn’t be bothered to iron anything. Now I wished that I had done just a bit more in this area to put my best foot forward.

Your conversation and manners can be exponentially increased from simply reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and then watching the five hour BBC miniseries adaptation. The first time I watched it, I thought it was the stupidest thing I had ever seen. Now I realize Austen’s genius and have read all her books. The books date back a few hundred years to a time when the culture was still Christian and the men were educated and trained in respectful, virtuous ways. Their vocabulary and precision in speech is worth emulating. If nothing else, you will impress any Catholic woman worth pursuing by the mere mention of the book or movie!

Along these same lines, if you have the gumption, learn to dance! Not the gyrating, techno-music club-hopping kind of “dance,” but real dancing: the waltz, the foxtrot, contra-dancing, and so on. These increase your confidence, your hand-eye coordination, and make a big impact on a woman. Most guys can’t dance like this, so you are a leg-up on them (pun intended) if you add this to your repertoire. For our wedding, Katie and I took dance lessons and had a choreographed dance routine set to a Frank Sinatra classic. Nice! One of our friends exclaimed as the dance ended: “That was the best wedding dance ever!” Well, in truth I was a little stiff but I twirled and dipped Katie enough that people were impressed.

Guys, I leave you with this: you have strengths and special skills that others don’t have. Capitalize on them. Sure, try to shore up your weak areas, but know that you will excel in those ways where you have been given talent and interest. So strive to emphasize those and accentuate them, while minimizing the other areas. We are all a work in progress, and though I portray myself as having learned all these things before marriage, the truth is I’m still a novice at many of them, as my wife can tell you. (In fact, I never learned how to dress well, but I made Katie happy by giving her carte blanche to buy my clothes for me and advise me on what I should wear to important gatherings. She’s happy to do it, and I’m happy not to have to think about it—a win-win situation if there ever were one!)

So many beautiful, faithful, intelligent Catholic women are waiting for a Catholic man of substance to come along, introduce themselves, and without ambiguity invite them to courtship. Be one of the blessed guys who steps up and answers the call of God to ask them out.

Your turn: What can Catholic guys do to “put their best foot forward”? And any tips for the ladies would be welcome as well.

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Category: Dating, Men's Issues, Single Life

About the Author ()

Devin Rose is a Catholic writer and lay apologist. After his conversion from atheism to Protestant Christianity in college, he set out to discover where the fullness of the truth of Jesus Christ could be found. His search led him to the Catholic Church. He blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard and has released his first book titled “If Protestantism Is True.” He has written articles for Catholic News Agency, Fathers for Good, Called to Communion, and has appeared on EWTN discussing Catholic-Protestant topics.
  • Abigail C. Reimel

    A wonderful post for young men! I hope many male Catholic singles will take your advice; as a young lady I can say that all of these pointers are right on the money. God bless!

  • http://www.devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/ Devin Rose

    Thanks Abigail! It’s good to have confirmation from a young woman on this.

  • http://modthirtyone.worpress.com Anh

    I’m so glad someone wrote this article! And I think it’s particularly powerful coming from a man. Women can only go so far to make these points.

  • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

    OMG, here by chance. I have never read such misogynist tripe in the life. I am 65 years old and would never describe men and women in such sexist terms. “Pursue” a woman? Give her “carte blanche” to choose your attire? My fellow, we have long left the Neanderthal age and Christ has nothing to do with the pursuit of woman. Relationships are a coming together and a staying together and a working things out together. Cavemen pursue women…human beings are not on a prowl. There is much more to the reality of life than Catholic men pursuing Catholic woman…submission has died a painful death many decades ago!

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like a typical modern, gay, male hiding within the modernist wing of the Catholic church. Ladies, this guy will NEVER fulfill you need for a protective, productive, loving pillar for you and the children you will have. The “traditional” Catholic man is the answer to your needs. He is inspired, guided and motivated by the Holy Spirit. The only rubbish and tripe are the homosexual ravings of a man who criticizes an excellent article such as this. God prescribed a simple plan–through not easy–that guarantees success if followed for a fulfilling life during our short exile on this rock. Don’t listen to this demonstrably false worldy propaganda from these leftover 60-70′s failures. They ushered in an rebellion and are reeping a whilwind of failure, pain, sin and shame in their autumn years. Catholic women, there are conservative and loving men out there who yearn for a good and tradition Catholic woman.

    • http://www.facebook.com/peggy.mccaffrey1 Peggy McCaffrey

      Sorry Phil but your relationship with the opposite sex is all about God. You must have God to keep your relationship alive and well. He is not a caveman cause he speaks of Women as pure human beings….woman do deserve respect and to be love righteously in the eyes God. So wake up and get inspired by God and his awesome power!

      • http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/320/324/324.2/hizballah/ Sons of Ares

        Uh no, seeking a relationship with the opposite sex has more to do with hard-wiring to reproduce, not invoke an invisible person which a total mood killer.

  • Karyn

    This article just really rubbed me the wrong way. Women supposedly are attracted to men who have learned how to smoke pipes, dance, and quote Jane Austen? Really? I think young men would be better served at “pursuing” women less and focusing more on their own faith and character. Women will naturally be attracted to men who show integrity, honesty (which means reading an Austen book because they actually want to read an Austen book), confidence, and a strong faith. And God will bring them together if they are meant to be together – this is no need to pursue a woman like she is an antelope.

    • KevinToTheHeights

      Your opinion is much of what is wrong in the Catholic dating world today. Namely: erroneous theology and feminism

      To say things like “God will bring them together if they are meant to be together” and “young men would be better served at ‘pursuing’ women less’” ignores the fact that we have free will and are expected to use it. We don’t live in a world of predestination, God expects us to take action. You can be the holiest man in the world but if you never make an effort to meet anyone, don’t expect to get married.

      Give up the feminist nonsense you’ve been so indoctrinated with and stop being offended at words like “pursue.” Ironically enough, you are really suggesting the opposite. Men should not pursue, but rather focus “more on their own faith and character. Women will naturally be attracted to [them]“. In other words, the woman should do the pursuing.

      For the sake of our civilization, stop. Your ideology is destroying families and creating and unnecessary tension between men and women.

      • http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/320/324/324.2/hizballah/ Sons of Ares

        You know, when you write stuff like that, we all know you’ve never been in a real, adult relationship.

  • http://lydiapurpuraria.wordpress.com Lydia

    I’m relieved someone is mentioning this issue in a book! I was recently at a wedding where there were a number of gorgeous Catholic ladies and some good looking guys who spent the entire reception on the opposite side of the room. It was like middle school.

    It’s not misogynistic to think goofy, shy, awkward men should try to improve their social skills so women aren’t turned off by them. Pursuit, in this case, doesn’t mean dragging a woman off by the hair. In this case, in this particular subculture, it has to do with the fact that a lot of guys just don’t act. Sure, women initiate, but really, does any woman want to just sit around at a party when, even when she does try to strike up some kind of conversation with a single guy, he hems and haws and apologizes all over himself for nothing? I kind of don’t think so.

  • http://virtuouspla.net/ Colin Gormley

    Mr. Dzialo:

    “OMG, here by chance.”

    No longer buying it. Why not just be honest and admit to being a lurker.

    • http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/320/324/324.2/hizballah/ Sons of Ares

      So much for the inclusion you people like to boast about.

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  • Drina

    Having re-read a couple of Jane Austen’s novels lately, I am with you on her genius in portraying manners, respect, honor, decorum. She has me wishing more than ever that our society was not so casual.

  • richard

    Start now while you are still young and strong.

  • Laurel

    “First, you as the man need to pursue her.” I’m sorry but no, men are not designed to be pursuers while women wait to be courted. That’s not equality. Yes, you should be confident and make your intentions known to your person of interest, but that goes for both (and any) genders.

  • http://manwithblackhat.blogspot.com/ David L Alexander

    I’ve been reading the comments. I learn more than I do reading the article. Honestly, if Jane Austen is worth a man’s reading, it is because of the notions of manly virtue and their inevitable outcomes, as opposed to showing off. And I suppose there are still guys (the politically correct among the boomer generation) who believe that the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius” really did change human nature all the way around. Well, men are still men and women are still women. Men still end up a) doing most if not all of the asking out, b) paying for (all of) dinner, and c) giving up his place in the lifeboat to a woman. I’ll bet you gals don’t mind that last point, do ya now? In fact, you’ve gotten quite used to having it both ways. Yeah, you know we’re on to you. So quit belly-aching just because men want to smoke a pipe. You could do worse. (Hell, you probably have already.)

  • Marie

    Thank you for writing this! Every woman I know, at her heart of hearts, wants to be pursued. We don’t want to wait around and wonder what the heck his intentions are or wonder if we just got asked out or not because his delivery was so wishy-woshy. Thank you a million times over. As a single woman – waiting for a great guy – I couldn’t agree with you more!

    • http://www.marysghillie.wordpress.com Ghil

      What she said!!! Could not agree more!! Please, please guys!! STEP UP!!!

  • Moochie

    I think I may be a bit past the demographic of this article because, as a guy who’s been out there looking, it read like a puff piece for recent high school grads.

    Who am I? I’m college educated, a theater major, very well-read, funny, intelligent, confident, outgoing, socially aware/adept, I know how to dress well, I have very good taste in food/wine/beer/coffee, I can carry on a discussion about anything from politics to pop culture to social issues, I have a number of hobbies (photography, guitar/performing, being active/sports), I know my Catholic faith very well & am very active in my parish (I teach Confirmation at my parish & am the youngest member our parish council has seen for decades), & I work really hard to treat all others with respect. All my buddies shake their heads in wonder that I’m single. Women I work with say I’m a “catch” & don’t get it, either. I’m a really nice guy who’s kinda OK looking. I’m so very ready & willing to step up to the plate. I have the skills. You’d think a guy like me would get at least a few dates. But that’s not the case. Sorry, this sounds like I’m this egotistical jerk trying to blow his own horn. Honestly, I’m not a jerk – I’m a really humble guy. I have a point to make.

    Devin, you make it sound as if there are Catholic women who are just waiting out there for a guy like me, that all I have to do is make myself available & they’ll present themselves. You also make it sound as if it’s the guys who have all the problems in seeking women. Yes, this is just a short article & your book, it can be hoped, will be far more indepth & consider all aspects of this the current Catholic dating culture equally. But, judging from this piece, you are totally off-base. (My apologies if I’m taking your piece wrong based on my experiences. I’m open to fraternal correction.) I’ve been actively looking. I’ve sought out women in various parishes in my area. I’ll drive over an hour for Mass on multiple Sundays to make myself available, to see where the women you’re talking about are to be found. Yet I’m still single.

    In my experience, there are not “thousands of lovely, faithful young Catholic women waiting for (a guy like me) to step up to the plate and court them.” First of all, many of the women who should be as you describe are no longer Catholic – they’ve been stolen away by mega-churches. The majority of women who remain are either pro-choice, pro-contraception, pro-women priests, don’t believe the basic teachings of the Church (they understand them, they just reject them), or any number of combinations of the above & various other common issues we could all name.

    The percentage of “lovely, faithful young Catholic women” is vanishingly small in my experience & those who are . . . are taken.

    Yeah, I’m sure there are more than just the few women I’ve met who are as you describe in my area. I guess I’ve just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I would like to impress upon you to really dig very deeply into the reality of what guys (& women, I’m sure) are going through right now. No, I don’t presume to think that you haven’t thought of this already – it’s just not in the article & I’m super weary of pieces like this that seek to encourage but do nothing but frustrate.

    It’s bleak out there. Harrowingly bleak. It’s demoralizing. It’s so very hard to remain positive & hopeful. I know there are more guys like me out there & I’m sure many women feel the same way, too. I can’t tell you how many married people have told me to “hang in there” & that it’s “not that bad” or that my “standards are too high.” (Whatever that means. Is orthodoxy too much to ask for? Am I way off base here?)

    Again, forgive me if I’m taking the intent of this piece wrong. It’s just that I’m so very done with married people trying to tell me that I’m doing it wrong & not looking hard enough. God bless.

    • Anonymous

      I, as a young single Catholic girl completely agree with Moochie.
      When I first read the article I thought Devin was onto something and he did have a few aspects right but after reading this comment I can see how far off it is.
      Devin makes it seem as if there are loads of eligible Catholic guys out there just waiting to ask us out but that’s not the case.
      A lot of people will ask me why I am still single and then go on to tell me that my standards must be too high or to not bother looking for a Catholic guy but then what would be the point in that?
      Moochie, there are a lot of Catholic single girls waiting for a guy like you, I know from talking to my Catholic friends that they would love a guy like you and yes we do feel the same way as you that it is demoralizing and hard to remain positive all of the time!
      Thank you for your insight, it was great to hear and good luck with finding a girl, I’m sure you will. God Bless.

      • Anonymous

        I think the main problem that guys have with meeting good Catholic Women is that there is no easy way for us to meet up with them. I am sure they exist, but I will safely say that I kept track of how many women my age attended Church on Christmas and can say that there were probably 10 women, either who are already taken, or I do not see on a regular basis.

        It’s extremely frustrating as here, we have no group for young adults to meet with up with other young adults. Here our Church is over concerned with Teenagers, and not the young adults, IE: The ones that will be more likely to raise a Catholic Kid.

        Either way I am just rambling as I am frustrated of not being able to find the mythical Catholic Women that I hear of so much. I honestly think that someone needs to start up some sort of meeting place for young adults our ages to meet up so we can find our significant others.

      • http://devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog Devin Rose

        I feel your pain, brother. It is very difficult, and I was in the same situation for many years. Few young women even went to Mass regularly where I lived. And the few who did I would introduce myself too, but they were few and far between!

        Keep praying, keep trusting, keep looking and God will direct you. God bless,
        Devin

    • H

      I, as a young single Catholic girl completely agree with Moochie.
      When I first read the article I thought Devin was onto something and he did have a few aspects right but after reading this comment I can see how far off it is.
      Devin makes it seem as if there are loads of eligible Catholic guys out there just waiting to ask us out but that’s not the case.
      A lot of people will ask me why I am still single and then go on to tell me that my standards must be too high or to not bother looking for a Catholic guy but then what would be the point in that?
      Moochie, there are a lot of Catholic single girls waiting for a guy like you, I know from talking to my Catholic friends that they would love a guy like you and yes we do feel the same way as you that it is demoralizing and hard to remain positive all of the time!
      Thank you for your insight, it was great to hear and good luck with finding a girl, I’m sure you will. God Bless.

    • Gabriel Lindor

      I understand your frustration. Unfortunately the article doesn’t go into WHERE you’ll find this so-called crowd of faithful Catholics. I’ve found them! The “next generation” of the Church are, for now, all busy in evangelization and new evangelization movements, charismatic communities and lay organizations!

      The parish isn’t the place to find them anymore; you need to find a community. The Neocatechumenical Way and the Emmanuel Community are just to name a few.

  • Julie Rodrigues

    Wow, this is so interesting! I have the same view, Devin. I think this is an area where Catholic guys can learn from non-Catholic guys (to a certain point, of course) because grace should enhance nature, not inhibit it. And I really do think men are designed to more naturally be pursuers. Here in Portugal most of my Catholic girl friends are single and desperate and in some cases it’s frustrating because I see single Catholic guys who seem perfect and don’t pursue them. I really do think it’s because of an incorrect notion of holiness and an incorrect notion of sexuality. Moochie, of course every case is different and I agree it’s not right for married people to judge or think themselves superior. Marriage is a gift and a vocation you’re called to, not something you “earn” or “work for”. And if you’re not called to that, of course God might call you to be single and you need all the support possible.

  • J.P.

    Amen to Moochie and you are so TOTALLY off base Julie.

    I am a single, serious, practicing Catholic man, I own my own house, I own my own business, I employ ten people including six fathers, I wear custom suits, I have nice manners, I am widely read, and people tell me that I would be a good husband and a good father. Once upon a time, when I dated non Catholic women, I had no problem getting dates… ever. But ever since I decided to date only practicing Catholic women, I can’t get a date to save my life. And it has literally been 20 years now.

    I really, really resent it when people tell me the unvowed single life is a vocation (wrong, read the Catechism) and that if I am not married now, then it must mean that God has called me to be single forever. That is a deeply destructive attitude and one of the reasons why the culture of marriage has collapsed within the Church. It’s a cop-out that avoids any discussion of why single Catholics are so lonely in our society, why there is no Catholic society for single people, why single people get shut out of parishes, and many former Catholics feel their only hope for marriage is to go to the megachurch down the street.

    I have no doubt that there are lots of lonely women out there. Let me also state for the record that in real life I am generally a modest, self-effacing guy who is very successful in business relationships. But I have personally been rejected over and over again by some of these supposedly desperate Catholic ladies. I won’t go into details, but generally speaking, there was always something more important to do than dating, especially for women in their 20s then who may be 40 today and wondering where their husband is.

    Moochie in my view has it totally right and Devin is just buying into the stereotype that all young men today are hopeless unemployed stoners living in their mom’s basement.

    It is definitely true that ours is a society which sends young men discouraging messages about masculinity and maleness, with a lot of carnage and many lost souls as a result. But the answer is not talking down to young men and telling them to learn how to foxtrot. There needs to be a more robust, constructive expression of masculinity.

    Devin, I know you mean well, but if your book is like your blog post, no one is going to read it. I would suggest that you revise if you have time before you go to press.

    • MaggieMelchior

      I absolutely agree that calling the unvowed single life a “vocation” is ridiculous and does a lot more harm than good. It feels like a consolation prize to me, part of the “everyone’s a winner” mentality to make people feel good without offending anyone. We do have a vocation crisis in the Catholic Church, but it’s more related to marriage than to a priest shortage. After 45 years of flagrant disobedience to Humanae Vitae, considering divorce/remarriage (without an annulment acceptable, and nowadays not speaking boldly enough against cohabitation, the Church naturally has a lack of holy families from which vocations to the priesthood and religious life come. The ship is slowly turning, but it is going to be a long process!

  • Bonnie Engstrom

    I completely agree with you, Devin! I will say, though, that I think guys think beer making and pipe smoking are more attractive than women do. A man who builds and fixes things I see as a better provider; a man sitting around smoking a pipe and drinking his home brew is sitting around. How’s that for a cave woman mentality?! I’m joking a little bit but I there’s some truth in it for me. I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mom and wife for most of my life and so I wanted to marry a man who could provide for me. Five and a half years into our marriage my husband and I are very happy in our traditional roles.

  • http://notaminx.blogspot.com Trista

    Devin, I think your post is spot on.

    To the men who feel they are doing everything right, I’m sorry this is such a struggle. God bless your efforts and may your future wife be just around the corner. I will admit, however, in my area, that young adult event after young adult event is composed of friendly, faith-filled men…who rarely pursue the women in my groups. Maybe part of that is attraction, timing, sure, but part of it may be that they are shy. As Julie said, marriage is a gift, so really it comes down to God’s timing; for those who are single, keep trusting and hoping.

    I’m not really sure why “pursue” has rankled people. Pursuing is a man saying, “My heart is set on you; I want you to know that and feel secure; and if you choose me, I will love and serve you all the days of my life.” Of course the woman will express her interest or disinterest.

  • http://notaminx.blogspot.com Trista

    Also, I agree with Bonnie’s comment. Pipe smoking may be more appealing to men than to women…but as Devin suggests, pursue your interests – women will find THAT attractive, for sure.

  • John Peter

    These are not great times to be a Catholic guy. If you are a single Catholic man who has done the right thing, stepped up to the plate, gotten a job, prepared for marriage, and stayed true to the sacraments, these are horrible, harrowing, bleak, and depressing times. There are no women and no dates. What are you talking about, Devin?

    Comment for Trista: if you are a guy and want to get married, there are especially no women for you at young adult events full of 22-year-olds, both male and female, who aren’t ready to do anything. If you are a woman, you will never find a man to marry at such events either.

  • http://notaminx.blogspot.com Trista

    That’s a little unfair, John Peter, especially since at every Church event I’ve been to, women outnumber the men… Also, why are 22-year-olds not ready to do anything? I’m curious! I’ve been sure of my vocation since I was 12. Like Bonnie, I’ve longed to be a wife & stay-at-home-mother my entire life…and I’m “only” 24!

  • enness

    Ha…I don’t really care about the pipe smoking and the beer making, and I can’t dance to save my life. But we could certainly stand to cultivate more gentlemen.

    My advice is, seek first the one person who will always reciprocate your love, Jesus Christ; fall in love with Him.

    Moochie, I don’t know where you are in the country but perhaps you are just in completely the wrong milieu and need a radical change of scenery. Or not. Maybe — I’m not saying lower your standards, but maybe you also need to be on the lookout for ‘Catholic’ girls who just haven’t realized that they are yet (one of my parents converted).

  • Sarah Babbs

    Yeah…Trista, I am with you on that. 22 year olds aren’t ready to do anything? I met my husband two weeks after I turned 22, we were married a month before I turned 24, and here I am, 28 with one child in heaven, and one here in our home (and hopefully more someday!).

    I was very up front with my husband when we were dating that I knew I was called to be a wife and mother first and foremost. I knew that even before I met him.

    And yes, he pursued me. That is, he asked me out on actual dates, where we did actual things (going to museums, concerts, out to eat, etc.). He called me. He set up dates. Pursued doesn’t mean dragged me by the hair back to his cave. It means having the respect and ability to go after the woman you like with confidence.

  • Shell

    LAUREL:

    I am a woman and I disagree. Men should pursue and women should be courted because that’s how we are hard wired to operate. It doesn’t mean we aren’t equal – “equal” doesn’t mean “same”. Read a book called “THE RULES: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right” by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. When women do the pursuing, men aren’t nearly as interested. Unless, of course, neither party intends to be chaste, in which case the man is very interested, but only in sex – not in a real and lasting relationship with the woman.

    J.P. and MOOCHIE:

    Way to go! You guys stick to your guns and don’t let people’s criticism sway you into settling for less than what you and God want! I get the same message from people all the time (in fact, it just happened yesterday). People invite themselves to help me “find somebody”, and when I say that he has to be a practicing, orthodox Catholic, not a cafeteria Catholic, people usually tell me one of two things: 1) I am going to miss out on a lot of “good men” if I’ll only date Catholics, and 2) there are a lot of Catholics who are married to protestants and are perfectly happy.

    My response to #1 is that it’s not enough just to find a “good man,” I’d like to find “THE man.” If he doesn’t share my faith, he’s not the one. My response to #2 is that the Catholic party probably doesn’t value his/her faith as highly as I do. For one thing, I am a convert and my faith is so much a part of me that if you don’t get my faith, it’s impossible to get who I am. For another thing, if two people are going to raise children and successfully impart the truth of the Catholic faith to them, then it needs to be coming from both parents. Parenting is hard enough without having to feel like I am alone in passing on the faith to my children and having deal with them asking things like, “Well, if this is the truth, then how come Daddy doesn’t believe it?”

    At this point in the conversation, people generally tell me condescendingly that I’d better just get used to being alone, which I say is fine with me. I spent long enough in a bad dating relationship to know that it is far lonelier to be with the wrong person than it is to be by yourself.

    I guess my problem is that men who want what you guys say you want are few and far between. I know I’ve never found one in my area. All the faithful Catholic men around here in my age bracket seem to be confirmed bachelors.

  • Bee

    When I first read this, I thought, “Amen!” I have been attending a weekly event with Christ-following single men…and they’ve never even once initiated a conversation with me or tried to seek me out to compliment an insightful comment or something. Are men being told not to seek women out? Have you been burned when you’ve Facebooked a girl? Try being self-effacing and send a message via a social media thing and compliment her on something’s she said or done. Believe me, you’ll stand out as the guy who pays attention, and the self-effacing, humble joke about it being awkward will likely be seen as endearing. Just don’t do this to EVERY girl in the group. Then you’ll be the creep.

    J.P. and Moochie, have you tried online services that provide one’s stances on Church teaching as part of the ladies’ profiles? I know in-person meetings are better, but it might be a valid option if pickings are slim.

    Also, understand that if you want a woman who follows Church teaching, especially on marriage and family life, you can definitely get it, but you might have to compromise on other things. For example, in an attempt to find Catholic men gung-ho about NFP and marriage, I went to a conservative RCC. And after two years, I’ve yet to meet one who appreciates me for who I am behind the modest skirt: a woman who delights in a good microbrew, enjoys deep conversations about intellectual topics, knows when and why to yell at a ref’s call during a football game, and envisions life not just as wife, mother, but also as [insert intellectual personal pursuit here].

    Sometimes the perception with the word “pursued” is that women feel they can’t initiate conversations (and then men don’t know what a lovely person she is), and men are told to be wary of how them merely talking to a girl would get her thinking he’s interested in a romantic relationship (and then women cna’t read how serious a guy is and what he wants). I think if people of both genders felt more comfortable being their best selves, knew they’d be respected for the complete person they are (instead of being labeled or fit into a stereotype), and actually TALKED with each other as “friends in Christ,” it’d go a long way to producing fun, faith-based relationships that hopefully lead to solid marriages.

  • Jose

    Being a 22-year old Catholic guy, I have some legitimate questions for all the single Catholic women out there. I’m single, and I can’t see myself being able to provide for a woman for at least 2 more years at the least. Although I feel comfortable talking to women in a casual setting, I don’t except for in groups because I don’t want to create an impression that I could really afford to do anything long-term at this time. Would you still rather I ask you out on a date if I were to tell you that there was really no chance of there being any long-term interaction? Is it good to date just for dating’s sake? I wouldn’t want to create any kind of emotional connection that I just really couldn’t follow up for. I think it would be fun, but would it be right? I really do think that there is a masculinity missing in some of the men today, but I don’t think that that accounts for everything. I would appreciate some enlightenment on these issues.

  • Chris

    Moochie – ditto brother

  • Steve

    For all you single guys pissing and moaning about not being able to find attractive, intelligent, good Catholic women — please try Ave Maria Singles. http://www.avemariasingles.com/

    It is for people who have already discerned the vocation of marriage. There is no idle surfing — you only can look at folks profile if you commit to join — a one time life time fee — it’s an excellent method of knowing who is serious. $200, which is chump change compared to the cost of building a life with someone.

    I met a lot of really wonderful women on that site, not every thing works out of course, but my wife and I did find each other from half way across the country. We are celebrating our 7th anniversary next week.

    A word though, and quite in keeping with Devin’s overall theme — DON’T BE BORING!

  • Jeannine

    The easiest action a single man can do to impress a woman on a 1st date or at a restaurant with your buddies where there are a few tables with women or at a luncheon meeting or anytime, anywhere you are eating: chew with your mouth closed. It is so important to behave civilly in the presence of anyone.

  • MJ

    As a 28 year old single woman I echo the Amen’s given above.
    Yes, men, please be confident and actively show your interest.
    Yes, have a life, a hobby, some manners.

    Teresa Thomas had a great post on this recently. http://theresathomas.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/moms-rules-for-getting-the-girl/

  • Emily

    My, my on the comments. This article was great.

    Please, pursuing has nothing to do with submission. Who doesn’t want to be shown interest and be persued? Basically, by those other activities, I think the author is saying to develop yourself. Don’t sit around playing video games. Learn manly activities. Those ARE attractive to women!

  • Nicholas

    Great article! I discovered a lot of those things the hard way when I began showing an interest in a young Catholic lady. She wasn’t impressed by my lack of self-definition, that’s for sure. Thank God, she didn’t give up on me, but helped me develop my manners, my self-definition, my manliness, and my dress code. She’s still doing it.
    Also, I find it very interesting that the people who claim to be the humble ones are out there talking about all their accomplishments.
    And age has nothing to do with being ready to “do anything” or get married. It’s your social status. If you’re 22 with a completed college degree (or not) and gainful employment and the means to support a wife and family, what prevents you from getting married?
    And Shell, thanks for pointing out that “equal” is not “same”. I say to modern feminists, if being a woman is just as good as being a man, then why do you keep trying your hardest to be men instead of women?

  • Happily Single Catholic Guy

    I get weary of all the talk about Catholic “men being men.” Granted, we men live in a society where women have become objectified, where porn is rampant, where men are encouraged to be boys. But there are plenty of us Catholic men who are already doing what this fellow suggests we do. And yet simply because there are thousands of available Catholic women, simply by being more of a gentleman, and being more bold, doesn’t mean that women necessarily want to go out with you.

    I have found that Catholic women are as shallow as they accuse Catholic men of being. Catholic women, in my experience, objectify men nearly as much as men objectify women, despite their rather noble talk about “what matters is what’s on the inside.” There are plenty of great Catholic men out there, men who are bold, men who are courteous, men who actually enjoy watching a Jane Austen movie with a woman, who enjoy the “sensitive sides of life,” but in my experience, if you’re an average looking guy, Catholic women really aren’t interested in dating you. It doesn’t seem to matter for some of us how much we might spit and polish our image, buying nice clothes and all that other silly stuff this guy recommends. Women want a hottie, bottom line, and it’s just the way it is. As a guy in his mid-forties, who has no problem being bold and courageous with pursuing women, I’m done looking for a wife. I’ve decided to live a single life, and I grow weary of this sort of polemic about how men need to grow up, without speaking to women about how they need to grow up too. I’m sick of the double standard–men are shallow, women are just looking for a good, faithful Catholic. It’s so absurd, and simply not what’s true on the ground today, and to hear a married man tell single Catholic guys how to operate if they want to find a wife is just irritating. All a married man can say is how they were able to marry the one woman who agreed to marry him, and that has less to do with HOW that man pursued his current wife, or how he was such an amazingly bold Catholic single guy, and more to do with the Will of God being revealed in his life.

    The way this blog reads to me as a single Catholic guy, I will have no interest in reading this book, and I hope the author seriously takes this into consideration. I don’t think a ten step list about how to find a wife works. Bottom line: you’ll become married, if it’s God’s will for you, not if you read a Jane Austen book, or wear cologne, or wear spiffy clothes. This sort of post I find remarkably irksome–there aren’t any guarantees in life, and simply because there are plenty of single women out there doesn’t mean that all single Catholic guys are weanies and scaredy cats.

  • Happily Single Catholic Guy

    Oh please. Yet another blog post about how single Catholic men aren’t men anymore. I get weary of all the talk about Catholic “men being men.” Granted, we men live in a society where women have become objectified, where porn is rampant, where men are encouraged to be boys. But there are plenty of us Catholic men who have put that stuff behind us, and are already doing what this fellow suggests we do. And yet simply because there are thousands of available Catholic women, doesn’t mean that simply by being more of a gentleman, and being more bold, you’ll find women who want to go out with you.

    I have found that Catholic women are as shallow as they accuse Catholic men of being. Catholic women, in my experience, objectify men nearly as much as men objectify women, despite their rather noble talk about “what matters is what’s on the inside.” There are plenty of great Catholic men out there, men who are bold, men who are courteous, men who actually enjoy watching a Jane Austen movie with a woman, who enjoy the “sensitive sides of life,” but in my experience, if you’re an average looking guy, Catholic women really aren’t interested in dating you. It doesn’t seem to matter for some of us how much we might spit and polish our image, buying nice clothes and all that other silly stuff this guy recommends. Women want a hottie, bottom line, and it’s just the way it is. As a guy in his mid-forties, who has no problem being bold and courageous with pursuing women, I’m done looking for a wife. I’ve decided to live a single life, and I grow weary of this sort of polemic about how men need to grow up, without speaking to women about how they need to grow up too. I’m sick of the double standard–men are shallow, women are just looking for a good, faithful Catholic. It’s so absurd, and simply not what’s true on the ground today, and to hear a married man tell single Catholic guys how to operate if they want to find a wife is just irritating. All a married man can say is how they were able to marry the one woman who agreed to marry him, and that has less to do with HOW that man pursued his current wife, or how he was such an amazingly bold Catholic single guy, and more to do with the Will of God being revealed in his life.

    The way this blog reads to me as a single Catholic guy, I will have no interest in reading this book, and I hope the author seriously takes this into consideration. I don’t think a ten step list about how to find a wife works. Bottom line: you’ll become married, if it’s God’s will for you, not if you read a Jane Austen book, or wear cologne, or wear spiffy clothes. This sort of post I find remarkably irksome–there aren’t any guarantees in life, and simply because there are plenty of single women out there doesn’t mean that all single Catholic guys are weanies and scaredy cats.

  • WALP

    I don’t know how to begin…I am a men 34 years old from and living in South America (been in USA several times since I work for an American company), I think still kind of good looking and smart. I want to share how I feel and my own experience hoping it may help me a bit.

    I had a very difficult childhood and now I have very bad teeth,insecurity, among other things, I don’t have any hope in the future….I really really would like to marry a woman and have a family, I have tremendous tenderness to share. Excuses if this is not to place to talk about the following, but I think is something real, about people with real problems, and who want to overcome them and expect a better life…when I read the article I said to myself, this is not for me, this is for normal people, it does not apply to me.
    I have recently started a therapy with a priest-psychiatrist to overcome a sexual addiction. My lack of hope turned me to look for love, affection and sex paying for them…and I fell in love with one those girls…really, fortunately she had to go back to her country and that is giving me some time to address my issues.
    I also turned to God for help, but I am currently in a faith crisis, I received a very strong Catholic education, my family is strict catholic, but along the road some valid questions arose and I am not really sure what is true.

    I want to rediscover the hope and passion and joy to live, whether I marry some day or not, but I would really like to marry, have a partner in my life, I feel so lonely most of the time.

    If God is real and prayer truly helps, please pray for me!

  • John Peter

    For Trista: God bless you and may you find your vocation in a happy marriage very soon. Your early focus suggests it is going to happen. Let’s take a young woman your age who one day finds herself 34 and still single. She will quickly discover that Catholic young adults groups offer nothing, nada, zippo for anyone over 30. The target demographic tops out at 25. If you are over 40, let’s not even go there. It is a very lonely place. The Catholic Church simply lacks a “marriage apostolate” that would be similar to what a lot of large Evangelical churches provide for their marriage.

    For Jose: You have hit the key issue. When I was 22, I had gone to college but I took a long time finding a job. I am doing pretty well now, but there was a number of years when I could not afford to provide for a wife and children. I didn’t even have a car. I did not feel I could start a relationship that would lead to marriage, sex and children because I had no money. The manly thing to do, I was taught, was to wait until you could be a provider. Eventually I was, but by then the Catholic dating opportunities had disappeared.

    For Trista: See also note to Jose above.

    For Steve: Online dating in my experience does not work. Repeat: does not work. I was a member of Ave Maria for quite a while and did not find it helpful. I work 10, sometimes 12 hours a day staring at a computer. In my evenings, my days off, my weekends, I don’t want to see a computer. I want to see a real person. My experience at Ave Maria and some other places is that people blog and chit chat but the number of actual marriages per 1000 participants is pretty low. There comes a point when those services are just waste of time for the people involved. It’s also very irritating when people say “Have you tried online dating?” It’s not a new thing anymore. Though online dating may help some people it is a net negative for the Catholic community because so many people believe the hype about the Internet and think the problem is solved. It is not.

    There is only one thing more annoying for a single person than the question “How come you’re not married?,” and it is the question “Have you tried online dating?” Duh.

    For ladies in general: Serious Catholic guys really want to be good husbands and providers. If they are not in that position, then they are not going to talk to you except more than casually. Also, serious Catholic guys, including maybe some older guys who may a good job but have had bad experiences, won’t try picking up women if they don’t already know said women are faithful, practicing Catholics. The online services try to perform this pre-screening process by giving everyone a 7 out 7 scorecard, but it is not the same. See comments on the profoundly unsatisfactory nature of online dating above. Unfortunately, since there is no place to meet Catholic women your age (for some reason it never happens in a Church) and since married serious Catholics never set up their single serious Catholic friends, you basically never do meet anyone. Maybe if Catholic churches prayed for single people who want to get married once in a while, the message would get out. But as of now, it hasn’t.

    It’s really easy for the ladies to say there are no good men. A man who admits in public that he can’t get dates might as well wear a clown suit. It’s true modern culture is really down on masculinity. But good men, who want to be good husbands and fathers, have a horrible time in today’s society. As Moochie said, it’s bleak and lonely out there. You wait and work until you can be a good husband and then bam! You are locked outside and can never get married. Meanwhile, the irresponsible pickup artists and the single ladies who sleep with them have fun when they are young but ruin the marriage market for everyone else. The sad part is that eventually they ruin it for themselves as well.

  • Happily Single Catholic Guy

    Moochie is RIGHT ON THE MONEY! Yes, dig deep and find out what’s it’s REALLY like in Catholic parishes. He’s exactly right.

  • Elizabeth

    All the guys I knew in college who were busy “being men” — smoking pipes, working out and polishing their ballroom dance skills — were incredibly arrogant. My husband on the other hand started his day off with Adoration and Mass, worked his butt off in the classroom and his work study job and spent time on hobbies he really enjoyed. His way of pursuing me was to love me through some very difficult years and to encourage me to really discern my vocation fearlessly. Pray hard, work hard and become the man God wants you to be. Don’t waste your time on superficial fluff.

  • Nate

    To Elizabeth thank you for talking about your husband. I say this because I am doing what he did. although I don’t do Adoration everyday, I’m doing summer courses for school. I’m currently courting a young lady who really is the apple of my eye and a great friend.

    I study much, so often there are days where I basically work 9-5. I’m not a Macho guy I’m 145 pounds of greasy haired Italian with a nose that comes with the territory. Do I work out sure at my house not standing in front of a mirror admiring myself. Would I like to learn how to ball room dance, HEll YES, but I don’t have the time and I want to spend as much time with Danielle before she goes back to Worcester Poly Tech, yeah she’s actually studying Electrical Engineering like me.

    TO ALL: I am reminded of Steve Rogers in Captain America, and as a guy who still from time to time struggle with this it’s something to be a ware of. Sometimes the greatest guys are the ones who have the hardest time to approach or speak to a woman. Put it this way in general failure is bad especially for a guy who is trying to get a lady. We don’t like failure so by us not knowing the right thing to say to a particular woman we decide to not do anything or be utter morons because it’s working for “the other guys”. It’s not impishness every time sometimes it’s humbleness.

    Women are the most beautiful things on the planet. God made Eve last remember. Some of the best guys I know weren’t gung ho and like the guy from the Dos Equis commercial.

    Working hard and never quitting, that’s the spirit. I got knocked down in school quite a bit especially in academics-in high school, but I never quit. God has you covered and if it’s in the will of the Creator you’ll do just fine. Part of the reason me and Danielle have not “changed Status” as it is known like on facebook is because we are focusing on becoming best friends and it’s a lot easier to keep my hormone sin check, plus with all that’s going on in our lives we want to be able to trudge through things together. But I still get to rub her feet, and she’s a smart cookie she knows what type of guy she has and that he’s worth holding onto. You keep God at the center. Because of him I am waiting until marriage to have sex again. It’s not just because Danielle is a serious Catholic, a cradle like me, even though she never left the Church in the way I did. You do it for the strength you know you have, and that will be seen by the right girl. It’s not in being the boldest it’s to never stop looking, if after all the discernment you do if you still feel that marriage pull than you keep marching. Not everything in life is cut and paste. IT’s so great to me I can be my old fashioned self when I’m with her. Doing things like opening the truck door for her aren’t sexist, it’s to show she’s worth the time to go get her inside out of the rain or other bad weather and sacrificing my self. Will I stop doing it. NO! Guys be courageous not arrogant, stand up for yourself, by your convictions not because you wanna bag the dame.

  • bee

    To the guys who are worrying about their financial abilities, know that your desire to be a provider is appreciated, but maybe temper that with an open mind. During courtship you BOTH can save! And two years is a good amount of time for intentional dating and engagement so you can really know each other and prepare yourselves spiritually, emotionally, and financially. Until the babies come (and even then) there doesn’t have to be significant expenses and you can be in a true partnership contributing to goals according to your abilitiy and gifts.

    So yes, date intentionally though you can’t buy your future wife a house right away. The kind of woman you want will be understanding of this. She will appreciate the creative and inexpensive dates (home brewed coffee and the park swing set; mass the free donuts and a long walk home, dvd night instead of the theater). Date discriminately of course, but don’t close yourself off…maybe God will surprise you!
    And pray! God will give you the desire for marriage, but ask for intercession fromthe holy family and spirit, because women, hiring managers, and others may use their free will to affect the course of events that could lead to marriage with a particular person.

  • poetcomic1

    In the old days men pursued. My mom didn’t like my dad at first, kept refusing to go out with him. He sent her flowers, candy, called, everything. He knew this was the woman he loved for life. Finally, she agreed to go out with him – and he was so nervous it was a disaster. He called to apologize and was so miserable and sorry about it she met him again for coffee. They chatted and their chat went on for an hour, two hours. Well.. here I am. When my folks used to tell me that story of how they met I loved it. As I got older I started thinking “My mom married a stalker!” But, hey it worked out great.

  • enness

    How expensive do you guys believe dating has to be? You know that just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to get married immediately? It’s kind of like people and having kids: if you’re waiting for things to be perfect, you may be waiting a long time. Have trust…have faith!

    On the flip side, I do not consider dating a recreational thing. My mother suggested dating for “fun.” To me, she might as well have suggested tormenting puppies for “fun.” If it’s not going anywhere, don’t waste my time. Am I the only one?

  • John Peter

    To Enness and Bee: You must be living on a different planet. Young men can’t get married without a decent job. Older women can wax romantic and say it doesn’t matter, but young women go for the guy with a job every single time. As they should. Wake up.

  • Kelly

    Wow! I really enjoyed the article, a bit over-written in places, but overall funny and I thought meant to be tongue-in-cheek, with a hint of “truth”. Then I read the comments. People took you literally, and that is simply amazing. @Jose – you say that you can’t date and emotionally attach to anyone now because it will be a few years before you are basically in a stable position? You are only 22 – why is it wrong to date and like someone? When you are in a position for marriage, do you intend to date one person a few times and then propose? @Enness – your mother gave you good advice – date for fun – she didn’t say “Go have sex with every woman you see, lie to them, tell them you love them, then move on….” Dating isn’t recreational? What is it then? How will you get to know someone? @The guy who can’t even get a date with desperate Catholic women. Why would you want a desperate woman? Wouldn’t you kindof wonder if in her “desperation”, she settled for you? Don’t you deserve better than that? Overall, a lot of the comments read like an issue of a Woman’s Magazine from the 1950′s. One universal bit of unisex advice was key…..no one should ever blow their nose at the table.

  • Nate

    There is a simplicity to not getting bent out of shape over the whole “dating” terminology. Lets face it young ones today basically already play house before they even have marriage eon their radar. I like what a fellow parishioner said about me and the girl I’m seeing. she said we are seeing each other socially. I like this because if I would say we were dating then people get ideas in there heads and it’s not like I care but it makes things harder to describe and for the secular world they just don’t get it. Plus this allows us to get to know each other without this testing mentality. Dating just sounds short term, and today the recreation is the hook up culture. Today dating has a different flavor and one that I think puts a lot of strain on us. Look you want to marry your best friend, and yeah dating can make that happen, but the person you marry is a person and you can’t marry every person right, dating it what it should be called when your sort of putting the finishing touches on your relationship, sort to speak, like your heading for the marriage tunnel you know.

  • http://www.devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/ Devin Rose

    What great comments!

    Thank you for your responses both positive and critical. I’ve been out of pocket for the past two days traveling so cannot do them justice. But just a few points of clarification:

    1. The preceding section of the book we are working on focuses on spiritual formation and its importance in preparing yourself, by God’s grace, for your future spouse. This section focuses on the human/natural aspect of your formation. Grace builds on nature; both are important.

    2. My post was intended for men who have seriously discerned their vocation and decided that God is calling them to marriage. I spent two years considering the priesthood, going on retreats and meeting religious orders before finally believing I was called to marriage.

    My wife and I met through CatholicMatch.com and Ave Maria Singles both.

    God bless,
    Devin

  • http://www.whiskeyspirituality.com Caitlin

    I am a single Catholic gal and here are my two-cents on the issue.
    1.) I don’t care who calls me shallow, looks have everything to do with it. If you are average looking and lack confidence, then it will be difficult for you to get a date. This is true for both men and women, unfortunately us girls have an awesome friend called concealer that we can keep in our purse.
    2.) Gents, it’s awesome that you want to get married. Bravo! Up here in the Northwest it feels like everyone has forgotten about marriage entirely. However, relax a bit when you first meet someone. If a 30 something female fretted about marriage on a first date she would be sent straight to crazy never-gonna-find-a-man land. Instead of finding a wife, focus on making friends. It’s good to have friends! Maybe that friendship will blossom into something more, maybe not. When you focus on making friends, you stop trying to be something you aren’t (Jane Austen reading, pipe smoker) and show a girl who you actually are, then get to know HER. She is a person with her own unique needs and interests, not simple your “potential future wife.” JP2 talks about this when he distinguishes between sentimental love (mushy gushy) and friendship, commitment, etc. This is a neat article : http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2011/12/dr-sri-sense-and-sentimentality/
    3.) Live your own life. I have been in a few relationships where all the pieces were set up perfectly. Nice Catholic boy, good job, good family, respects my boundaries, wants to someday get married and have a lot of babies, etc… but they all eventually ended for one reason. (Granted, I am only one female, there are many of us and we all want something different.) For me, the minute I could “control” the boy, I lost interest. If you would do whatever I wanted, wear whatever I said, or easily give in during a fight, then you are not the boy for me. Us girls, we want a partnership. Like it or not, dating is a power game. Don’t give up your power! It makes the game really uninteresting for us when you do.
    4.) This last one is for single guys and gals: realize that being single doesn’t mean you are losing the race. Many of your married friends that give advice are actually miserable in their marriages. If not, then they are too busy raising 87 children to actually focus on their spouse. Think about all the marriages you know and find the best one. What is so good about it? In my experience, the best marriages are the ones who build each other up. My Aunt and Uncle have been married 25 years and have faced many challenges together. Where she is weak, he is strong and vice versa. It just works out so that they are equal partners and totally committed to their family. It’s inspiring and worth waiting for, even though I “wanted a baby yesterday” (to quote Bachelorette Emily).

    So if I could give advice for young Catholic men it would be: hit the gym, then forget about it.

  • Moochie

    It’s interesting to me that most (not all) of the women who’ve commented have been positive about the article & think we guys just need to man up, stop playing video games, get out there, & actually live life.

    John Peter, Jose, Happy Single Catholic Guy: AMEN! Guys like us, with our experiences – & there are so very many of us – are being actively ignored by Catholic writers & in Catholic media. It’s just too difficult for them to deal with. Nobody really wants to talk about how bleak the dating scene is for 30+ year-old Catholics out there. So they ignore it. They ignore us. It’s so much easier to write encouraging pieces because the real issues single-&-looking Catholic women & men are facing right now are many & intense. Such a book would take research & the willingness to really dig deeply into our society for why we are where we are. You wanna know why there’s a priestly/religious vocation crisis? Look to why there are so many single Catholic women & men over age 30! (If you can find them in the Church still. Most, sadly, have left for a mega-church. Where they found a mate!)

    I’m sorry if I can’t take Devin’s piece as “tongue-in-cheek” – I’ve been living reality & it’s not what you or Devin believe it to be. The casual, date-for-fun dating scene right now is all hook-up oriented. Even the supposedly Catholic online dating sites. Yes, I did those. My experience was the same as John Peter’s. I was vapor. The online sites are a numbers game &, believe me, I played the numbers. I contacted dozens of women. Nothing. I ran my bio past many guy & girls & they said it was money. I went right back at it & contacted dozens more women. The only responses I received back were from very kind, orthodox women who . . . were recently taken! In my experience, the vast majority of women on the dating sites who call themselves “Catholic” are not at all interested in being an orthodox Catholic &, in fact, at least half are openly critical of certain specific Catholic teachings in their bios! Honestly, I had more luck with responses, with the same bio, on non-Catholic dating sites. But I was still vapor. At least I knew from the start that most of the women on the non-Catholic sites just wanted a hook-up. That was the 1 thing I was most surprised by about the Catholic dating sites. I was repulsed by it. Ave Maria Singles is just too expensive for me. WAY overpriced. I own a house & have a car payment. I’m trying to save to remodel my kitchen. I can’t afford what they want. And I’ll bet their success rates are any better than any other dating site. So, yeah . . . that didn’t work for me. I’m very happy for those it has worked for but, IMO, it’s been taken over by the Hook-Up Culture(tm) of today.

    Besides, like John Peter, I work in front of a computer screen all day. When I’m out the door, I wanna work out, hike, be active, see some theater, go to a concert, perform at an open mic night, read an awesome book at a coffee house, hang out with my friends, & live my life – anything but sit at home! I do not sit home on my butt waiting for God to magically cause a woman to appear in my living room. I’m an active, in-shape guy who never lived in his Mom’s basement. :/ It’s VERY insulting for others to say that single guys need to “hit the gym” & that’ll solve all their dating problems. Please.

    I have to say this: God has blessed me with awesome friends. My buddies are the best brothers a guy could ever hope to have! While a couple of them are believers, none of them are Catholic & most of them are non-believers. But they have supported me, encouraged me, & loved me more than any Catholic person, male or female, I’ve met through any parish I’ve ever attended. Period. Their Christ-like witness shames that of Catholics. They consistently recognize in me what I don’t even recognize in myself! I’m a confident guy, OK. But it took the witness of these men, none of whom regularly attend an organized church, to help me see that, just like John Peter said, there is no active support for single men & women over 30 in the Catholic Church. It’s like we’re an embarrassment to our fellow Catholics – hence the “get out & get a life” mentality we’re barraged with constantly. I want to be very clear here: I do not believe the Church sees us as an embarrassment, but Her people simply do not know what to do with us!

    Devin, you said you intended for this article to be for those who have already discerned the vocation to marriage. OK. That’s me. I spent 10 years after college, when I was my mom’s primary caregiver, discerning my vocation. Priesthood? Marriage? What? I was led, I believed by the Holy Spirit, to a vocation to marriage. After Mom died, I actively pursued that. It’s 3 years later & I’m still single. Now people tell me that “maybe you weren’t called to marriage after all” or (as a really good priest I trust recently told me) “we can never be sure what our vocation is” &, frankly, none of that is helpful in the least. In fact, it’s demoralizing.

  • Nate

    Yeah when some one says for a guy to “hit the gym” that really is rather shallow at not at all constructive. When you trying to decide who you want to spend the rest of your life with, it’s better that you are naturally “manly” then having a pocket edition of Jane Austen in your pocket. Like I may not be a lumberjack, but I can play guitar, I play it as my hobby. While I do agree that men should not be trampled on by the woman they are with. Part of being in a relationship is sacrifice, so just because we let them get there way sort to speak it doesn’t mean we are not our own person. I haven’t been in any relationship where communication was really high, and it made things seem scripted. There is no script and if you find yourself reading off of one then you need to formulate a new direction. When your friends first you really get this under control because your just being you and your being there for the other person.you also get to know the nuances of that person. Ultimately you have to be the person you need to be for you and God, then other things will just fall into place. But always have the eye on the committing, because it gets you ready. a lot of people today just date and don’t commit and maybe it’s because of prior experience but now everyone is vaulted up and afraid. You have to be willing to take that jump so you have to try to be something more than friends. But First and above, if you are someone boyfriend or girlfriend, above being with them be their best friend. I always say nice guys may finish last but we finish better.

  • richard

    I know where I stand and I just have to hope my future mate knows where she stands.

  • Pingback: Single Catholic Guy: Wake Up! « Newsessentials Blog

  • Happily Single Catholic Guy

    Moochie, once again, you’re right on target. I just spent dinner with two of my friends, all of us single in our late thirties and early forties. All of us have felt the call to marriage, and felt that call LONG ago. I’ve been looking for a wife for over two decades. I have thought about the priesthood, thought about the religious life, and prayed about both as well. I truly am willing to become both of those things, but in no way have I felt called to either.

    I have asked so many women out on dates that I recently saw one woman I went out with, and I couldn’t ever remember her name. It’s been probably ten years since I dated her, and it was a real wake up call to me how long I’ve been looking for my wife. I’m often told that “my standards” are too high, but this is just insulting, because it makes it seem that the reason I’m not married is because I’m looking for Penelope Cruz or something, which just isn’t the case. A single woman even asked me recently why I wasn’t dating a Catholic woman I went to high school with–apparently to her, all that matters between two Catholic people is that they’re Catholic. So absurd. I am not looking for a super model–just a woman whom I’m attracted to, and someone who’s attracted to me. The last woman that I thought fit this bill is a lady who by all accounts is a faithful Catholic. She was dating another fellow when I asked her out, and after going out with me a few times, she broke up with the other guy, because, in her own words, “I need to share my life with a man who’s going to push me on in my faith, not the reverse.” The guy she was dating was a guy who didn’t care very much about his faith, and yet she went right back to him. He’s admittedly a more handsome fellow than I, and it’s clear that though this woman gave lip service to the importance of a Catholic guy being faithfully Catholic, it’s clear that this isn’t the most important thing to her because now they’re married.

    When I was in college, the female students in our department created two lists: one was the top ten guys they would want to date. The other list was the top ten guys who would be great husbands. I was on the latter list, but never really could get anyone to date me, and that hasn’t changed much in that time. Women say they want a guy who’s going to love and cherish them, and care for them with a Christ like love, but who most of them want to date, and it seems eventually marry, is the guy who really excites them in some sort of visceral, physical way.

    It’s just the way it is out there, and all this talk about thousands of available Catholic women is just not the way it is. I’m sorry, Devin, but the whole premise of this post, and of your book I think is greatly flawed. I know tons of people who have discerned a call to marriage, both men and women, and your list of things “to do” in order to fulfill that vocation in no way guarantees that it will happen, nor do I necessarily even believe that they will help. And I’m with Moochie–there’s nothing “tongue in cheek” about any of this at all.

    I for one am done looking for a wife. I’ve dated so many women who I would gladly have laid my life down for, and not gotten anywhere. Including online! I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of women online over the years, and other than a few dates, nothing ever came of it. I’m the proverbial good catch: a professional orchestral musician, a prizewinning chef, a budding chocolatier, an avid photographer, who is passionate for traveling. On paper, I’m ideal. But the bottom line that I’ve found is that unless you’re a strikingly handsome guy, women online just don’t even pay attention to you. I can’t begin to tell you how many messages I sent to women who never even responded. eHarmony is silly: “get to know someone from the inside.” In today’s world, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. I’ve decided to give it all to God, and I feel happier than ever, no longer expecting or even worrying about being married. If I get married, it’s because God wants me to and He’ll make it abundantly clear that the time is now, and He’ll bring me a wife. I no longer even pray for it, but just say “Thy will be done.”

    Devin, don’t write this book until you REALLY talk with single guys out there, who have been looking, sometimes for decades. Otherwise, your book will appear very flippant and irrelevant to people like me.

  • Julie Rodrigues

    Wow, this discussion is awesome! I’d like to say something (especially to Devin) that a priest I know always says and I think is so true. You can’t discern your vocation “by yourself”. A vocation is a call to a certain relation… spouse, brother, sister, etc. and you need feedback from the other party. That’s why you stay at a seminary or a convent to discern and that’s why that same seminary or convent can tell you to leave, and discern your vocation elsewhere. And this priest says that you also can’t say you have a vocation for marriage unless you are discerning it with someone. Unless you have a man or woman you want to marry, you can’t say God is calling you to marriage. It really is a gift and a calling, not something you can think of or “work on”. Don’t you agree?

  • John Peter

    Devin, perhaps you didn’t intend this, but the whole tone of your article is offensive and insulting. I am not single because I blow my nose at the table or I chew with my mouth open. These are not great times to be a Catholic guy. There are not thousands of lovely young Catholic women waiting for you. Once you get past the age of 25, there are very few Catholic women you can actually find, and most of them won’t give you the time of day. They’re wrapped up in their own issues, whatever they are. Online dating services work for only a tiny fraction of the people who sign up. They are a waste of time and a distraction for everyone else.

    I think the problem here is that you trivialize what is a serious problem and a sources of great personal suffering for many single Catholics, men and women, who find themselves aged 30 and above with no prospects whatsoever and time to start a family running out very fast. If you want to be constructive, you need to focus on where the problem is.

    There are plenty of purely social opportunity for people who are just out of college and in starter jobs or still living at home. That’s a brief window of time after which, kaboom, there is nothing. I think college educated people are in a mode where they just want to party for a few more years and continue the adolescent lifestyle that society permits them. Or in the case of what few serious young Catholic men, they are trying to find a job and get established so that they can be good providers.

    Young men could always use good advice on manners, but I think there is a better point on an Evangelical blog called Boundless which advises young women to look for young men of solid character, no bad vices, and try to discern what these young men will be like when they have matured a little bit and don’t have bad habits like alcoholism, respect women and don’t sleep around, practice their faith, and have been in the workforce for a couple of years. The comments from young women on this blog are instructive. They are basically saying, “Eeew, yuck, boys are so icky.” I am sorry young ladies, but if you want good advice, you need to go the Protestants. Right now. Boundless.org. The Protestants do a much better job in getting people married.

    I think this website needs to overhaul its approach to single life and single living. Articles about single life are few and far between. They’re usually weeks part, and when they appear, they are usually a piece of fluff about how singleness is dandy or something patently offensive like this post. I know these are harsh words but I have to say it. Wake up, Ignitum!

    Many Catholics like to say that we have the Mass, we have the Eucharist, we have the Real Present, we have Adoration. Yes, indeed, we sure do, and they are precious beyond words. But the reality is that many of today’s poorly catechized semi Catholics who grew up going to mass until sometime in their later high school years or college really want to come back to religion in a community where they can get married. But by their teens they can see that there is nothing for them in the Catholic. If they remain faithful Christians at all, the drift in an out of the Evangelic community. Mostly they just join the hookup culture and become lost souls. Most likely they will eventually marry someone else who also grew up in the hookup culture and their marriage may be reasonably happy but not ordained to their eternal salvation like sacramental marriage would be.

    And we have to remember that more than half, in some communities a lot more than half, of the population does not go to college and spend their 20s in protracted adolescence. None of these people are likely readers of Catholic blogs. The social statistics tell us they come predominantly from one-parent households, often with no father ever present, and they are sexually active by their late teens. What about marriage for these folks? There is a a real spiritual crisis going on, and there is a cultural crisis among young men who don’t go to college, don’t get steady jobs, live off their mothers and girlfriends, and don’t take responsibility for the children they father.

    I think Catholics need to realize that there are different problems in different sectors of society, that marriage as an institution is near collapse, and that the Catholic church is suffering from an demographic exodus of marriage age people from their late teens onward, leaving not much in the way of social life for those who stay.

    Also, it’s really hard to be lonely all the time. Please don’t tell us everything is fine. Work on practical advise for surviving singleness, battling depression, and overcoming the spiritual problems that lonely, frustrated people are prone too.

  • John Peter

    Julie, please, I know you mean well, but this is really bad advice.

    Unless you have a man or woman you want to marry, you can’t say God is calling you to marriage. It really is a gift and a calling, not something you can think of or “work on”. Don’t you agree?

    Most people are going to be called to marriage, and you have to assume that is your vocation unless you are specifically called to something else, notably some form of consecrated marriage.

    Marriage does take years of preparation and focus, especially for young men. You can’t assume that you will be married, but your baseline assumption has to be that you are getting ready for it. Until you have a specific vocation to marry a particular person, then perhaps you be open to something else.

    I think a problem with Catholic counseling is that we tell people to spend years in discernment. Gee, what is my vocation? They result is that people drift. They don’t prepare for options or think about them seriously. Then a vocation like marriage may come to them and they miss it because they are not ready.

    You don’t appreciate the opportunities you have to form relationships in your early twenties until you are over 30 and those opportunities are long gone.

    Also, I have noticed that many women have this attitude. Maybe it is okay for them. But it is very, very counterproductive for young men who need to take the initiative. Don’t give this advice and wonder why young men are not stepping up to the plate.

  • http://notaminx.blogspot.com Trista

    John Peter, maybe you can be a contributor for the Single Life issues? I’m sure everyone would be interested to hear your experiences and advice. I know the pain of being unmarried when one strongly desires marriage is very difficult, and yes, often it does seem that married people want to sweep that pain under the rug and minimize it. “Oh but you have so much free time!” Well, great, what is more free time when I’m lonely?! I get it. I really do. Praying for you and all singles who are struggling with their current state in life.

  • Moochie

    AMEN, John Peter! All excellent points. Thanks. We should write a blog.

    Julie, I know you mean well but . . . what you’re saying is that, since I can’t really know my true vocation until I meet that woman, I’m left in this nebulous, gray area, an inter-vocational state, just because the women aren’t out there. I know I’m not supposed to be a priest. I just know. I spent 10 years, while my mom was sick before she died, discerning a vocation. So, if I’m not to be a priest & I can’t fully know my vocation to be married since there are no Catholic women over 30 around . . . what am I? I’m seen as nothing by people in the Church. I’m a non-entity. I’m a vocational ghost. I know I can’t be sure of where the Holy Spirit is leading me, but don’t I have to step out in faith & prepare myself for the vocation I believe He’s leading me to? That’s different, isn’t it, from what you’re saying, right? (Please correct me if I’m mistaking you.) I mean, when is a man who believes he’s got a vocation to be a priest to be sure of his vocation? When he’s prostrate on the marble? When he’s being vested? When the oil is being put on his hands? When? When are we sure? Yes, marriage takes two. But, if I can’t find that other person . . . what does that make ME? Or HER? We’re vapor. No matter how active we might be in our parishes . . . we don’t exist in the eyes of the rest of the Body. I almost always feel disconnected from everyone in the Church, especially during Mass. I’m just there all alone. During the sign of peace, I’m the last one anyone turns to because they all have someone to turn to first! It’s as if my own Church is choosing me last for it’s team. Always.

    I was speaking with a Protestant buddy last night about this article & how it’s totally affected me. I feel . . . worthless because I was fully confronted with the reality that my Church, the faith I know to be True & founded by Christ, Himself, has no place for me. Yes, Christ loves me & sees value in me no matter what my vocational state. I know that. But the Body of Christ, my fellow Christians, do not recognize my worth. My friend said it’s basically the same thing for Protestants – if you’re 30 & not married, you’re letting down the Body of Christ! IMO, it’s even worse for most Protestants because in most Prot denominations they don’t have the possibility of a recognized celibate vocation. So single women & men are seen as just . . . not getting the job done. That’s just horrible, IMO. So, the phenomenon does transcend denomination.

    I believe we, as Christians, have a responsibility to those who are alone. I believe it’s as vital & important as helping the poor. I believe it’s included in the Corporal Works of Mercy: harbour the harbourless. But we’re not doing it. I think it’s because it’s too painful for people to recognize that there are some among us who are . . . adrift. I think it’s too painful for us, as members of the Body of Christ, to really look deeply & KNOW that the Body has been rent to pieces. We may know it intellectually, but have we really felt the effects of that rendering? Some of us do. Daily. People just don’t want to recognize that pain. Instead, we’re told to be courageous, bold, and manly, to get a hobby, to work out, etc. But, all that assumes there are people out there we can meet! If there’s no one there for us to meet, does any of that do us any practical good?

    It’s difficult for so many to recognize just how bleak it is out there for singles right now. And it’s so very easy for us singles to understand why so many have left the Church &/or entered into relationships/marriages with non-Catholics, non-Christians, non-believers. Honestly, I’ve been seriously tempted to do the same. If it weren’t for the Eucharist . . .

    Can God really mean for us to be in this state? The night before He was crucified, Christ prayed that His followers be one as He & the Father are one. Please, someone, tell me how we’re one in this issue?

  • Elizabeth

    I am praying for all of you who are experiencing the pain of loneliness. Knowing that your vocation is to marriage and being alone is a true source of anguish…a cross which the Church should not trivialize.

  • Happily Single Catholic Guy

    Moochie has a great idea about starting a blog. I like what I’m reading here from you guys.

  • Laura

    This is a great post, thank you! You are right in everything you say. Also, single guys please calm down, nowhere here it says that the author thinks these are the only causes of your state, no one is saying you particularly don’t have manners. And it is a turn-off when you say how amazing you are and whine about not finding anyone. Being a respectable guy doesn’t make you entitled to a wife and every catholic woman out there shouldn’t just fall at your feet or be called shallow or hypocrite. This post isn’t a magic recipe, it is more of a minimum requirements.

  • Colin

    This conversation is so painful because we live in a corrupt world. First, it’s painful to hear guys getting bashed. There are lots of boys who want a girlfriend, with innocent motives, but girls date the upperclassmen or jocks. I’ll bet some of those same people will be calling men pigs because their husbands will have left them for younger women.

    Secondly, masculinity has been corroded largely because women and girls feel the need to do everything men do: play in boys’ leagues, serve at Mass, etc. Beer commercials, sports and slob humor movies are the last enclaves of maleness (not masculinity- malenesss) and women are even invading that (Bridesmaids, and I hear other things like that are coming) It’s lonely for a straight single guy who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about fantasy sports and actually reads novels – no girlfriends, no friends.

    I’d love to dress well, but if there’s no dress code at work, it’s casual. If you dress too well, you might be gay. Table manners? What are appropriate table manners for eating pizza or burgers? That’s what’s affordable in these tough economic times.

    The idea of being friends first is partly why so many men are single. How do you get her to think of you in a romantic way? I’ve heard too many times the old phrase “ruin our friendship”. I want to be a good faithful Catholic, but I don’t buy that a couple should just hold hands until their married. An exaggeration, I know, but how much? If a guy doesn’t show interest he has no chance, but if he kisses her he’s a heel, unless he asks first, which would probably be a turn off.

    The only attractive faithful Catholic women I see are in the pews with their kids, and I wonder where the husbands are. It’s not my place to judge, but it’s hard to believe they’re busy every week.

    Catholic parishes often shy away from young adult programs or singles programs because they don’t want to exclude anybody, or have something spiritual devolve into a meet market. Moreover, I’d be afraid of being the longest running member of a singles group,or having to reject somebody I’m just not interested in. More broadly modern Catholic parishes are ill equipped to serve the needs of modern people. Protestants have large halls that double as meeting spaces, while we have churches with a sanctuary. Protestants have lots of “ministries” and “fellowship” while Catholics have appointed ordained minsiters. Historically fellowship took place in the community – you interacted with your fellow parishoners via the parish school, the rosary sodality, men’s organizations, or the general neighborhood. Churches were central often geographically to the community, but not anymore.

    Finally any single women out there – be sexy! Yes, I said it. I was a student during the acid-washed denim, socks above the jeans, stirrup pants – era. Wear a skirt! Don’t look like a prostitute, but look like a woman. Show ankles or part of your calves. Maybe even wear a neckline that dips just above the cleavage. I’ve been to Protestant churches, and the women generally look more attractive, because they dress up. Sometimes borderline inappropriately, but you don’t see too many girls in sweat pants or guys wearing team jerseys to church.

    I’d never join a Protestant church because I know the Catholic Church is the mystical Body of Christ that nourishes us through the sacraments. I just wish it could do more to serve the broader needs of singles.

  • http://www.acceptingabundance.com Stacy

    We hear you folks! Thank you Devin for getting this conversation started. Look for a focus on this topic from now on. Thank you all for your input. This is important stuff.

  • John Peter

    I want to come back to some points that were made earlier and correct a few typos that came from writing too fast.  

    First, there is some excellent advice that Candice Watters offers to young women at Boundless.org. In “When to Settle,” Watters says that young women must discern between socially awkward behaviors that young men of sound character will mature out of and deal-killing character flaws that are grounds for immediate rejection.  In other words, the key question is not “does he he chew with his mouth open?” but rather the following.  1) Does he have strong Christian faith?  2) Can he love with true sacrificial love?  3) Does he have sound character?  4) Can he be a good provider? or even 5) Does he pay his bills on time?  Needless to say, he must be free of drunkenness, drugs, unchastity, and porn.  Watters says her own husband wasn’t the paragon of manly virtue she expected to marry when she first met him, but she recognized the man he could grow into. 

    http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001699.cfm

    In “Don’t Marry a Weirdo,” Watters goes on to say that a woman should not go out with a man whose behavior makes her feel uncomfortable, let alone marry him.  To date an “unbeliever” is an absolute non-starter.  But again, character, sacrificial love, freedom from vice, financial responsibility, and religious faith can trump superficial appearance.  

    http://www.boundless.org/2005/answers/a0002559.cfm

    See also, “Praying Boldly for a Husband.”

    http://www.cbn.com/family/datingsingles/jej_candicewatters0108.aspx

    Watters message for young men is a lot simpler. Don’t waste time.

    On the point of vocation to marry, raised by Julie, how can you know you have a vocation to marry unless you have a vocation to marry a specific person? This is a point where men may be different from women.  Men must initiate and take the first step.  That means taking a risk and not knowing what comes next.  Men need a plan, they need to be confident, they need to be decisive, and if they have even the slightest idea that marriage might be in their future, they need to be out there looking. All the time. It’s very bad advice to tell young men they should be drifting until they are “sure” they know what they’re doing.  As in sure about what?  As for women, maybe they don’t know that marriage is in the cards until they have met the right man.  In that case, perhaps the general vocation does not count until the specific vocation walks up to them.  But I personally don’t believe that passive waiting is a good strategy for women either.  
    In earlier times, the traditional Catholic discernment of vocations took place in societies where there was overwhelming pressure to marry early. Marriage was the norm, and choosing to opt out for consecrated single life was a big decision.  In today’s society, the pressure goes all the other way.  You don’t marry, you don’t choose consecrated life, but  unless you are a practicing Catholic you do engage in pre-marital sex or constantly have that option before you.  Social networks and mores that used to support marriage don’t exist or don’t work anymore.  You’re an odd misfit unless you’re hooking up at least on occasion.  There is no default assumption you will ever marry at all.  You can be a sexually active single as long as you want.  Thus, for those who cannot commit to perpetual celibacy an opting-out, sign of the Kingdom to come, it makes no sense from a Catholic perspective to assume that marriage is also completely off the table as as a vocation until you have “discerned” a specific vocation for that too.  This is simply buying into the logic of contemporary society and it is destructive for those who want to lead a Catholic life.  It’s buying into the logic of pointless drift. It is the opposite of intentionality. The original point of discernment was to make sure you did not miss a vocation to consecrated celibate life if you had one.

    You may not know when you are going to marry, and you may not know if a specific vocation is ever coming, but you can’t assume consistent with prudence that you have no general vocation to marry at some point.  Therefore, you should always be preparing for marriage on some level, if only by cultivating Christian virtues and living a holy life for the time being.  Let’s assume for purposes of argument that for women, the process of getting married is a waiting game (though I personally don’t believe it is).  Then to tell young men that they should wait too, and to do a lot of discerning before they ask a woman out, sounds like a recipe for the sort of confused, passive young men that women complain about.  

    In the early days of the Church, opting out of marriage for a life of consecrated virginity was a distinctive charism of the Church that distinguished it from paganism. It is still a charism that distinguishes Catholic Christianity from Protestantism. But no one has a charism to be stuck in neutral. Perhaps circumstances preclude marriage for the moment. That doesn’t mean you have to discern a general vocation to marriage before you get unstuck.

  • John Peter

    Okay, Laura, you are totally right. It is unmanly and unappealing for guys to whine that they can’t get dates. By contrast, society grants women total license (or broad tolerance) to complain about how men have failed them. That’s where there are a million books, blogs, and magazine articles for women about why there are no good men, but zero blogs for men who wonder where the good women are. That lopsided balance is probably in keeping with human nature and natural distinctions between the sexes. Men do need to initiate and step up, after all. But there is a lot of dumb and frankly irritating advice for men (which also happens to be unsound from a pastoral perspective) which comes up because of this media bias, if I can use that term here. If you want men to speak up, we just did. Don’t be surprised at the answer. Normally, we would be good mean and just say nothing or just grumble among ourselves about ridiculous blogs. There is just one message here. These are not great times to be a single Catholic guy. Please don’t pretend that they are.

  • Happily Single Catholic Guy

    @Laura, the only reason we single Catholic guys are even talking about this, is because this blog entry was published. No one’s whining about not getting dates, but rather writing to disabuse people of the original notion proposed in the article. It just isn’t so “on the ground.” I think most of us who are faithful Catholic men take our loneliness to the Cross, just like I imagine faithful Catholic women do who are also lonely. I don’t whine about “not getting dates” when I’m out hanging out with friends, but this article is a focal point for the discussion about what it’s really like for single Catholic men right now. And John Peter is exactly right: women have great license to speak about the supposed dearth of good, Catholic men, and men are constantly accused of “being boys.” But from my vantage point, I see so many good faithful Catholic women falling for the kind of guy who’s slick, who’s self absorbed, and who doesn’t care about their faith as much as the woman does. It’s a problem, and the topic is worth a discussion.

  • MLKP

    To you men who are lonely and desire a wife: I understand your pain. My eldest brother was in your position and it broke my heart to see his sadness. He was fortunate enough to find his wife online. There were no women for him to date in our parish (a man with a child out of wedlock: that is one of the most difficult things to be in the Catholic dating scene), so he looked elsewhere, and did so for a long time before he found her. I have nothing but respect for you.
    I didn’t read through all the comments, so if I’m repeating anything, I apologize. I think some people (and the article) are trying to make the point that you should be concentrating on your present, on the here and now. Your wife may not be ready for you yet, though you may be ready for her. Concentrate on what God wants from you TODAY. Obviously, He doesn’t think you’ll be building a family for a while. Channel your sadness into your spiritual life (not that you aren’t), because when you’re married you won’t be able to focus on you as much (my biggest regret–if only I’d worked on my faults more before marriage, I wouldn’t be working on them so hard with a couple toddlers in tow!). Or use your energy in promoting worthy charities. Stop focusing on yourself (and that’s what it sounds like you’re doing), because that’s just going to make your sadness worse. You’re likely doing these things, and I’m not trying to talk down to you, I’m just trying to suggest things that I saw my brother do that didn’t take away his sadness, but helped him focus elsewhere.
    A comment on losing people to “mega-churches”: what kind of Catholic would give up Jesus for a spouse? Do you think a singles program would have made them remain in the Church? Someone willing to leave their faith to have babies without the Fullness of Truth wouldn’t make a good spouse. Period. They’re looking for excuses to leave the Faith and found one. It’s easier to find a spouse/affirmation for contraception/etc. in the Protestant community! Let’s all jump ship! Because a lifetime without Jesus is waaaay better than a couple decades (or maybe a lifetime) without a spouse!
    And may I suggest something unpopular: go out with a non-Catholic. I’m not telling you to marry a non-Catholic, but just go out with one. You may only go out with them once, but you can have an amazing influence on them. And, you never know, you may find your spouse. My dad wasn’t Catholic when he and my mom married, but he went to Mass with us and prayed the Rosary with us for years before finally going through RCIA. One of my sisters-in-law became Catholic before she married my brother. My husband wasn’t Catholic when we married, though he began RCIA the fall after we married. Not everyone can date a non-Catholic without it putting their Faith in jeopardy, but some people can. My husband didn’t practice any religion, though he was raised Baptist. He had never had instruction, and was open to learning about the Faith. He’s an amazing husband, provider, and father. There was no one in my parish asking me out, and I was communicating with people hundreds of miles away on a Catholic dating site. I would be lonely and sad like you if I hadn’t decided a free meal with a non-Catholic (of average looks, as am I) wasn’t the end of the world. People can’t change their personalities and magically get along with you, but they can fall in love with the Faith and convert. And even if that doesn’t result in you marrying them…you may be the first nudge to help others find Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. How freaking cool is that?!
    May St. Raphael guide you to God’s Will!

  • Moochie

    Laura: How very Christian of you. Thanks for that. I was NOT trying to blow my own horn or say how freaking “amazing” I am. In any way. I am SO VERY AWARE of my shortcomings. Please, read ALL the posts you thought were whiny again. I, for one, was trying to make a point about dating from my point of view, from my experience. I almost didn’t post that stuff about me because I KNEW I’d get the sort of response you handed down! I worked VERY hard to be a great guy, to be other than the norm that most people in this culture encounter. Pardon me for working hard to be that guy. I’m blessed that people recognize that I am that guy! I’m thankful that I can be relied upon for being that guy rather than a jerk. Isn’t that a good thing, Laura? As John Peter wrote (& I’m paraphrasing), everything today is “Eat Pray Love” & other similar women-oriented emotionalism but, when men try to express how difficult life can be these days, especially if you’re trying to be an orthodox Catholic (or any stripe of orthodox Christian), you’re beaten down for it. Good job.

    Your attitude, Laura, is what I constantly get from my fellow Catholics. Please, re-read what I & others have written, focus on the content & the issues. Look at this from both sides, OK? This is not some silly guy issue. It’s a CHURCH issue. It affects us all. Aren’t we all in this together? Why would you ever go on the attack like that? Sheesh.

    John Peter, your post with the Candice Watters links is significantly better than anything I’ve ever read online about this subject. YOU are the one who should have a blog & be writing a book. There was far more substantial & practical – not to mention well-reasoned, brotherly, & thoroughly Catholic – advice in that 1 post than in everything I’ve read for 10 years. Thank you! God bless you.

    Great points, Colin. Thanks for the prayers, Stacy. MLKP, wonderful, heart-felt post. Thanks.

  • Efe

    SHELL, you might as well be me. In my culture a woman my age should be married with at least her first child and another on the way. But alas I am not. I’m also a convert to the faith and no one seems to understand that for a man to understand me he has to understand my faith. When I converted I took my faith and my faith took me.

    My thoughts have pretty much been spoken by most here so:

    May I make a suggestion? Reading through the comments, I see there are single guys here commenting and single women too. Devin you could try connecting these people, it could work. Maybe God is using this as a medium to connect them. Just to name a few J.P. Moochie, Shell, Trista, etc. Just thinking out loud…ok carry on

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  • http://www.noweternityandbetween.blogspot.com Lianna

    Interesting article. And might I just add, you can be doing everything “right,” but it often comes down to timing. You and that person have not crossed paths, or perhaps have known each other a long time and have yet to be revealed to each other. It seems that dating the right person at the wrong time could be disastrous and lead to not ending up together all.

  • http://www.whiskeyspirituality.com Caitlin

    I think a lot about single life and write about it at my blog http://www.whiskeyspirituality.com, if you are interested. I recently was in the mid-west visiting my large family and I felt such a sense of peace that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I loved being around everyone, being a part of a whole, knowing my place, and knowing I was truly loved.

    I think that the hardest part of being single is having experienced the true joy that companionship can bring into your life. In many ways, the family replicates the body of Christ, it unites us to one another, and reminds us that there is one place for us in the whole that is our Church family. When you are single and feeling down, it’s like: “I know what will make me happy, a family! Why can’t I have that now? What is different about me that means I have to take this world on alone?”

    Maybe God is preparing us for something. Maybe our time is coming. Maybe we are doing something wrong. Maybe I’m wrong about who I am? These are the questions that single people face all the time.

    I was not trying to trivialize your struggles in my previous comment. Truly, I understand where you are coming from. I am only 23. I can only image the desperation and sadness that would accompany another 10 years of loneliness.

    The thing about being single is that the only cure, “finding someone,” is a process that is so far beyond our reach and control. That is why I said to “hit the gym and forget about it.” What I meant was, do something that makes you feel good about yourself. Find something that pulls your attention away from the lingering sadness or frustration at your current state of life. Maybe it’s working out, maybe it’s taking dance lessons, maybe it’s writing a blog. Whatever it is, we are blessed with this time to make ourselves better people. When you are single, the majority of your personal attention is devoted to what you DON’T have. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be that way single or especially married. That’s why I say, “forget about it.”

    That’s at least what I try to do.

    This song just serendipitously came up on my itunes:
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylf4xzFeXf8&w=420&h=315

  • blipfillypicklepoo

    Faithful Catholic men are wonderful!!! I hope you all find what you are looking for.

  • Moochie

    You’re right, Caitlin. Thanks. I got 3 pages written today in a story I’m working on & it felt good to get out of myself & do something that I’m here to do.

    And . . . goshdangit I miss Nickel Creek! That song was a highlight in every show I saw on their last tour! Thanks for the link!

  • Mary

    Girls can tell when guys are trying too hard (and vice versa). I think looks are important–but definitely not everything. Confidence and having a great sense of humor are more important to me. Don’t take things too seriously, but be respectful, listen to her, and let her know you care about her and what she has to say.

    For the men who have commented before me who have been trying: I think timing and patience are key. My dad met my mom when they were coworkers in NYC in 1971. She found out she was interested and quit her job. For 7 years he tried calling her (she kept changing her number but my mom’s cousin kept giving him her new number!) and sent her birthday, Christmas cards, letting her know that he was still in love with her. Their paths literally crossed 7 years later in the middle of the city one day and they got married a year later. Now that’s an amazingly crazy story, but don’t give up. Don’t get jaded and bitter, and if you are don’t let her know that.

    Start hanging out in groups, make friends, have real conversations, and show her that you are interested in HER. Not just marrying her, having her bare your future kids, etc. Focus on your prayer life, work, your family, and what you like to do. It’s really attractive to a women knowing that a guy has healthy and good relationships/interests. Also, be open. My mom was a convert and my boyfriend’s dad was one too and both are now very, very devoted Catholics. Just because someone is Catholic doesn’t mean they will make a good spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. Going out to lunch or dinner with someone doesn’t mean that you have to be marry them; simply being open to meeting and getting to know someone is different. Who knows…they may see something wonderful in you that inspires them to explore their own faith.

    Many great relationships come from online these days, but just be aware that some people are trying to find someone on there because they don’t have enough social skills to meet someone in real life. Sad, but true. Just be aware of red flags/warning signs early on!

    So now I’m more concerned about single Catholic girlfriends of mine (I have a lot…and they’re all super beautiful and holy!!) who would like to be in a relationship and possibly settle down too. I think that the dating game goes both ways. What else can men/women do to put themselves out there? Maybe the answer is nothing if you’ve already been trying…keep praying and trusting that God will provide. This is a subject I’ve thought a lot about and is very dear to me. I’m currently blessed to be in a wonderful relationship, but there was lots of time for me as a young woman to be single. I know this article is directed to men, but it did make me wonder what I as a woman wasn’t doing right. It has to go both ways, right??

  • Caminocalling

    Well, Im really blessed to come across this blog..as a young fab early 40 something lady who had a late reversion-I find it refreshing that we all admit there are problems..and we want to be part of the solution-especially from the men here…It gives me hope that there is a willingness to address the pink elephant in the room!To qoute a young protestant lady friend- “My mom says the most important trait in a husband is the willingness to be teachable and lead” and I would say also important for the woman to be teachable-both together with the Lord at the center- together or apart..we all need to be teachable and open so we can find one another!

    I have decided to take it to Saint James and Our Lady- while walking the Camino to Santiago De Compostela …stopping in Lourdes & Fatima..I figure 700 miles of walking should clear up some of the confusion we find ourselves in…pray for me, Im praying for all of you as we find our way, heart & home.

    God Bless…the article is not the best – but it sure did get a much needed conversation going and hearts open!

    Pace Bene,
    Lisa

  • Funny girl

    Ok, it seems there are some very interesting guys commenting here. So, let’s post some pictures, share our e-mails and see what happens.
    Ops, am I inverting the world order here? Was I supposed to be pursued?
    Well, those guys, and myself, certainly need all the help we can get!

  • William

    What decade was this written?
    If a guy pursues he could be called a stalker. If spends a lot of time pursuing, he may end not having time for Mass. He may also end up broke. Also if marriage is the goal of dating, it needs to be more attractive to men: if you have a dog instead of a wife, it will not get half your stuff if it leaves you.
    If the church wants to encourage marriage, it at least needs to be in the 21th century.

  • Moochie

    William . . . please be specific about the ways the Church needs to “be in the 21st century” – ‘cos I’m not sure what you mean. I mean, how could marriage be more attractive to men? Your joke about dogs aside, my whole point about dating & the lack of women I’m encountering in parishes is kinda the point. If a man & woman are living their Catholic faith, they’d know that marriage is hard! It takes compromise. You don’t just wake up one morning & are over it, ready to move on. My parents went through some tough times, but they stayed together because that vow meant something. So, I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say. And, if a guy is pursuing a girl to the point he can’t attend Mass . . . I’d say he’s got his priorities out of whack. Any sane, rational guy can tell when a girl’s giving him the brush-off & isn’t interested. Those guys don’t need to be concerned about being “stalkers,” IMO.

    So, maybe I’m mis-taking you. Please elaborate.

  • Funnygirl

    I think it’s a good idea when the guy approaches a woman (not pursue). Just starting a conversation, asking for lunch, suggesting going to the cinema. It doesn’t hurt. Believe me, it’s way better to ask her out than to never ask. We can laugh at you a little bit, if we think you’re weird or not attractive enough, but in fact, we feel flattered and love your attitude. Sometimes we don’t say that out aloud just to avoid the judgment from our friends. As a woman, there’s something I learned too late: our friends are always judging us, saying that the guy is ugly, not interesting, or he seems to be not very smart or successful. But when you look at our friends’ boyfriends and husbands, they’re just the average guy, exactly the same type she’s criticizing you to be interested in. Not very fair, humm?
    Let me tell one true story: my friends have been trying to set me up with a common friend and I never accepted the sugestion. I was truly stupid. I thought, no, he’s not that cute. Stupid, stupid girl I was. Taking a look at some of my friends’ husbands, I found out that the guy was actually cute, specially now, when he looks like an adult man. He’s more handsome than the majority of my friends husbands and boyfriends, actually. I was letting an opportunity of finding a nice guy passes by just because I was trying to fulfill some unrealistic expectation. Well, now I realize the guy is cute, though not gorgeous, he is a lawyer, just like me, likes photography, travelling, music(some of the artists I like, he likes too), he’s very polite, nice to be with, likes to go out for dinner, he comes from a good family (and we marry the family as well), enjoy drinking some wine with his friends and good conversations… No, he’s not gay, if that’s what you’re thinking. He’s straight. Tell me: shouldn’t I change my nick name for stupid girl instead of funny girl? IF he was very handsome, he would be perfect and there’s not such guy. I was just wondering how a guy like him is still single. Afraid of commitmment? Maybe.
    My dillema? I AM VERY SHY. And I don’t know how to approach him. I’ll need to contact a friend of mine, ask her to have lunch and see if she can bring him. Very, very embarrassing. It would make things easier if my friend talked to him and he simply ask me out. A movie. Having lunch together. So, guys, ask her out. It makes our lives easier.
    Considering those who don’t find a girlfriend, don’t you go to parties? Rock concerts? Are you all expecting to find a nice girl during the mass only?
    Circulate a little bit. Believe me, it’s easier for you. I can’t go to a party by myself, because I would’ve seen as some freak woman (married women can go anywhere without their husbands, ’cause they’re already married, out of the market). You can go everywhere. There are youth groups in parishes near yours, there are parties, rock concerts, bars (why not? Girls go out with their friends to bars), facebook catholic groups where you can find some catholic girls… Try a little bit. Try! Don’t be afraid of rejectioj! You can come across a stupid girl like me, who was actually rejecting you invitation just because I was afraid of my friends’ judgment. So, not always you are the problem. Sometimes girls are stupid. And we realize that, maybe it’s too late.
    Wish me luck. And pray for me. I’ll need any help I can get.

  • Funnygirl

    @EFE I said the same thing, although my goal is trying to “capture” the guy I mentioned in my last comment.

  • Funnygirl

    @Moochie: What are you waiting for? Have you seen Caitlin’s picture on her blog? The girl is beautiful! And catholic.
    @caitlin: How is it possible that someone as beautiful and intelligent as you are finds difficult to get a boyfriend? Something is really wrong in America. And it’s not only the HHS mandate.

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  • http://devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog Devin Rose

    William,

    Pursuing, in the courtly, gentlemanly sense, is not “stalking” in any way. Pursuing means: taking the initiative, asking the girl for her number, asking her out on a date, etc. etc.

    • Bill

      Explain that in a court of law.

  • http://www.whiskeyspirituality.com Caitlin

    FunnyGirl, I appreciate your compliment, but your lack of attention to anything Moochie has been saying is offensive. Simply because two single people have Catholicism in common does not a relationship make. And it isn’t because he isn’t trying! What is he supposed to do? E-mail a stranger?! Also, being single for me is NOT a problem that needs to be fixed! Assuming that I “can’t get a boyfriend” misses the mark entirely. There is nothing wrong with me and there is nothing wrong with America. There is, however, something wrong with the idea that I should have a boyfriend just for the sake of having one.

  • Funnygirl

    Caitlin, It was a joke! Of couse it wasn’t supposed to be a serious suggestion! Come on! I’ve read Moochie’s comments and also yours. And I’ve read that it was Ok for you to be a single girl! I took the time for visitng your blog and actually reading some of the posts.
    I was just trying to make a joke! Bringing some humor to a serious question! Read my comments: I also make fun of myself!
    Of course I didn’t mean to insult either of you! I said there were some very nice guys posting here and someone else said Devin should try to join the couples.. I’m sorry for offending you. I am also sorry that you felt offended by a simple joke…Our world has been so tough and hard to face, that sometimes I try to bring some breeze of humor to our lives.
    There’s no reason at all to be insulted, because it was clearly a simple joke…
    And I didn’t say that you should take a boyfriend just for being in a meaningless relationship. What I was trying to say, humorously, is that you are the perfect example of one of those “lovely, faithful young Catholic women” Devin referred to in his post.
    I’ll stop my stand-up comedy career. It’s obviously unsuccessful.

  • JenMarie

    Moochie, Happily Single Guy and John Peter, I hope you are still reading!!
    I just came across this article which was posted on FB by one of my young early 20′s girlfriends. I admit, I did like a lot of the article, and was wholly surprised by your reactions-even a little disappointed. But keep reading.

    I committed myself to keep reading the comments and it was good reading. I am single and in the late 30s-early 40′s range and have a vocation to marriage. Why am I still single? I have no idea why. Why are so many of my girlfriends-gorgeous, emotionally stable, smart, educated, etc-still single? I have no idea why. Why are you? No idea. But I am really really glad you have spoken up here.

    I haven’t finished reading all of the comments yet, I’m almost done, but if you are still reading, please consider doing that blog. I really want to hear from men who are older because some of my gripes are what the women are saying-so I would really be open to a discussion back and forth about this issue. That is, I’m learning a lot and I would love for there to be a place for some excellent discussion.

    FWIW, I’m on Ave and haven’t gotten a bite in three years. Granted, I don’t go on much because it feels like I’m shopping for a husband based on looks. It is quite possible that a lovely guy is there that I would miss out because of a picture.

    • dave

      Jen Marie – I love your comments, so much so, that I DO hope that you actually are, for real, A WOMAN! Devin Rose is trying his best (very unsuccessfully) to get more guys to actually approach women after we have been trained that it is no fun and gets you nowhere.
      I have NEVER approached a woman (if she is so interested ,then she will come to me) and I can see why these guys are fed up with it. All of those rules have done nothing for anybody.You seem like a good person and I do hope that you find the right guy!

  • Claire

    I love this article!!! Right on the money. I am a catholic girl 21 years old and all of this is definitely attractive– despite what the world might tell us. Thanks for this!!

  • http://www.devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/ Devin Rose

    Glad you liked it, Claire!

  • Joe

    Some of you people talk about getting out there and “living life.” How the hell do you do that when you keep falling into a black pit of despair every single day?

    I am a person who happens also to be male. The world makes me sick. Life makes me sick. I am alone and will probably always be alone because no one gives a frack that anyone could feel as much and as intensely as I do!

    The majority of people are just skimming the surface of reality and never look any deeper than someone’s “accomplishments”; hobbies, publications, admirations, physical prowess, and other sham posturings.

    “What have we that we did not receive?”

    Where are the PEOPLE? Where are the PERSONS? Where is the OTHER SOUL who isn’t afraid to look into the depths of mine…?

  • Jamie

    After reading all of these statements- I would like to give my input. I am a divorced 35 year old guy with 2 kids. I divorced my ex. I also find it hard to find “The One”, that practicing catholic girl who God chooses for me. With my experience of being married for 6 years, I have learned a lot including why it didnt work out. First off I put the marriage together and not God. I dont regret it at all because I got 2 awesome kids from the marriage, but I also realized that my ex wasnt the one God intended for me to be with forever. After we got married, God basically took the backseat in our marriage- actually pretty much became nonexistent and I was a practicing Catholic before that, the way I was raised. It was when I realized I missed going to church and started to pray more our marital problems got much worse to the point where I began to realize this wasnt the person God called me to be with. I became so miserable so I knew it was time to let her go. I gave her MANY chances to right the wrongs, but dont get me wrong I know I was guilty of it not working also, I even had doubts on our wedding day but thought it was cold feet. Now that I have been divorced for almost 2 years now, I have learned from my past and it has bettered me for the future. Now one thing that I fail at now is I probably am looking too hard for her. We all have to come to a realization that if it is meant to be it is going to be done on God’s time, not when we think we are ready but when God tells us we are ready. One thing that I noticed is pretty nonexistent in the majority of these statements is having faith. Yes that is easier said than done but if you would talk to any strong married couples on how they met, the majority of them I feel would tell you to the lines of “well it came as a welcoming surprise, I wasnt expecting to meet him or her there but it just happened. I am guilty of trying online dating until I realized that it is wrong…let me explain… I felt like I again was trying to “pick” who I wanted to be with and not the person God wills me to be with. They claim that more marriages start online than ever before, well what they dont put in that sentence though is “there are more divorces happening than ever before too”. It is sad that we try to communicate over texts or facebook instead of face to face anymore. The main assets that every strong lasting marriage has are strong communication, willing to sacrifice to make the other happy,and loving each other unconditionally. The advice I always get from others is just let it happen naturally, when you least expect it that is when it will happen. You always have to keep the faith too. I feel I am ready to meet the true love of my life. The thing is I just tell God my life is in your hands, let your will be done. I truely believe everything happens for a reason. There are no accidents in life. I wish I have that special girl already. I have times where I am lonely, but remember when you feel like you cant make it through something- that is the time where you need to hand it all to God as He knows what is best for you. Remember He will not put you in a situation that you cant make it through. Yes it is tougher out there to find your significant other, but you also have to keep the faith that it will happen.
    A note on this guys article… yes you have to have confidence in yourself, yes you have to have manners, but the thing that bothers me with this article is the fact that he tells you to learn this and that (example fox trot) to impress the ladies. I actually disagree with this and I will tell you why. I feel the best expression you can show is that you are being yourself around her. The old but true addage says the truth always comes out. If you arent yourself and you only change yourself because you feel its what she wants to see, then you are being genuine at all. You want her to fall in love with who you are, not who you think she will love. Be yourself!!! Best advice ever there! So if you dont want to learn how to fox trot, then dont. If you want to expand yourself and have an interest in doing that, then by all means do it, but for both guys and girls here, dont change because someone else wants you to change, do it for yourself but only if you want to change. You cant love a person for who you want them to be, you can only love them for who they are. I wish all of you the best in luck in finding him or her, dont lose yourself and dont settle for less than you want. So keep your head up, have faith and remember its His will as he knows what is best for you all. God bless you all!

  • Joe jared

    Thanks for the motivating article, i really appreciate it. I’m a Christian guy and am in a hopeless state at the moment. I’m not good looking and have been depressed for the past 15 years so women have always avoided me all my life, fyi I have never had a girl friend. To make things worse, I am 32 now and dont have a clue how im gonna find someone. Quite worried that i will be alone for the rest of my life.

    • http://www.devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/ Devin Rose

      Joe,

      That is really difficult. I would only say, focus first on what’s most important: getting healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually. Speaking from experience, depression is awful, and its causes must be addressed as highest priority, not just for your future wife’s sake, but for you own as well.

      I would encourage you to seek out all help you can find, psychologist or psychiatrist, spiritual director, Catholic support groups, etc.

      God bless,
      Devin

  • Mike Ord

    Utter bilge article. You shouldn’t ask a woman out. That’s supplication…You offer challenges and structure opportunities and let her feel she’s missing if if she doesn’t do x, y or z. Women love the bad boy or maybe even the good guy…but, as Kezia Noble (world’s leading female dating expert for men says)..the nice guy is boring.

    • http://devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog Devin Rose

      Mike,

      You shouldn’t ask a woman out? False. Wrong.

      That said, by all means, show a woman: “this is who I am; this is where I’m going. If you want to join with me on this awesome ride, let’s do it.”

      Being nice has a bad connotation these days. What it should mean is being noble, heroic, gentlemanly, masculine.

  • Mike Ord

    What you describe -that may be more being the good guy. The nice guy turns off his sexuality and therefore comes across as being like a brother or friend figure, rather than potential partner/lover. And a woman doesn’t want to make love to her friend or brother. But of course the problem with being Catholic is that if it’s anything to do with sexuality, the Catholic Church (well hierarchy) is likely to have a problem with it. Witness the teachings of Aquinas, Augustine and Jerome. It’s the old “The body is for mortification not gratification” business I guess.
    I think my advice to any Catholic woman would be “Don’t get married..don’t have sex.” Enjoy your life..enjoy your career…see the world…by all means be religious but due to various Church teachings…best to be celibate. That way they don’t have to worry about getting pregnant every time they have sex (no contraception allowed must be a big erotic put-off), ectopic pregnancies and the mine-field the church has about those etc with its teachings…Always seems to me a very unreasonable God who creates all of these no no’s…especially since he created human sexuality to start with.
    I know at one time I would have loved to be married…but I fell into the trap of being the nice guy with women, and surprise surprise…they wouldn’t date me. I think it’s God’s way of telling me loneliness is better than the alternative. Peace, and God bless…MIKE

  • Alexander S Anderson

    THIS IS ENTIRELY UNTRUE. I ask women out all the time, but I never date, because I never get an affirmative answer. There’s a lot more factors than “just ask women out”.

  • TheAbsoluteTruth

    well there are certainly so many mean women today that like to curse at us men for trying to start a conversation with the one that will attract us, and i had this happen to me already. i am not a bad man at all, and i certainly never expected this to happen to me. there are just too many very rotten women out there now, and it is very hard meeting a good one for me as you can see. i didn’t do anything wrong by the way for this to happen to me, so how in the world can a good man like me meet a good woman since many of them are like this?, and i know other men that had this happen to them as well. very sad that many women are like this now, and all the good ones seem to be taken.

  • Davido

    give us more please!

  • MC

    I don’t understand why it’s the man’s responsibility to pursue a relationship/marriage, aside from tradition.

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  • Lauren

    I’m a single 22-age Catholic woman who has spent years waiting for God to bring together my future husband and me, in His perfect timing. I wear a purity ring daily as a symbol of myself staying pure for my future husband & God. I’m always the “third-wheel” when it comes to getting together with friends & family, since my close friends are in serious relationships, older siblings are married, & cousins are in relationships (even if it’s only temporary). I’ve had my ups & downs during this long process through the single years that I know will extend for God knows how many more years, since there are still some things I need to accomplish before I meet my future spouse & also places I’d like to visit. I plan to join a particular Catholic church soon by myself because this church makes time for singles to get together & provides multiple opportunities for fellowship. Trust me, there are days when I feel down on myself for being the only one without the one that I was meant to be with, in essence God’s best man for me. But then it seems that God provides a sign of some sort to not give up or I’ll regret it. Even though I find people who tell me that my standards are “too high” or that I’m “too picky” when it comes to searching for my future husband even for wanting specifically a devoted Catholic man (is it too much to ask?), I’m standing my ground whether people believe that there’s such a woman in this world or not..believe it or not, there are more than you can imagine.. perhaps the many Catholic men who are worth getting to know are the number of Catholic women out there searching for the same thing from the opposite sex. Instead of complaining about where you’re at in your single years, pray more about it & strive to wait patiently for God to provide the right time for it all to happen. Waiting for God’s perfect time is better than your own.. coming from experience, I’ve found that finding friendship during the single years to help you along this single journey matters more than trying so hard to find that person to complete you. God knows the desires of your heart & has certain experiences that will help you learn & grow in good ways & in bad before you meet your future spouse. May God continue to bless you all & I will pray for you all that despite what the world thinks you should do, God knows you more than you know yourself.. let him provide for you in His own time.

  • Episteme

    I had to stop myself from chuckling this morning when doing the Office of Readings (I do the full Liturgy of Hours each day; “full” depending on whether my schedule allows me to do all three of the Daytime Prayer hours or if I can fit in only one or two of those). Anyone who does the LoH knows that it has a tendency, despite being on a schedule decided unconnected to any events, to somehow reflect both events in the world and happenings in one’s life. Today, the Office of Reading reminded me far too strongly of the ongoing arguments regarding the place of Single Catholic Men in our society.

    (all the quotes here are from the web version of the iBrevery Pro Terra Sancta translation/layout of the Office)

    So, what’s the reward for us Single Catholic Men, following chastity and morality within a secular hook-up culture, while those around us get spouses seemingly easily? That’s what Psalm 73 (broken into three pieces for the Psalmody) wants to know:

    I

    How good God is to Israel, *
    to those who are pure of heart.
    Yet my feet came close to stumbling, *
    my steps had almost slipped
    for I was filled with envy of the proud *
    when I saw how the wicked prosper.

    For them there are no pains; *
    their bodies are sound and sleek.
    They have no share in men’s sorrows; *
    they are not stricken like others.

    So they wear their pride like a necklace, *
    they clothe themselves with violence.
    Their hearts overflow with malice, *
    their minds seethe with plots.

    They scoff; they speak with malice; *
    from on high they plan oppression.
    They have set their mouths in the heavens *
    and their tongues dictate to the earth.

    So the people turn to follow them *
    and drink in all their words.
    They say: “How can God know? *
    Does the Most High take any notice?”
    Look at them, such are the wicked, *
    but untroubled, they grow in wealth.

    Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
    and to the Holy Spirit:
    as it was in the beginning, is now, *
    and will be for ever. Amen.

    II

    How useless to keep my heart pure *
    and wash my hands in innocence,
    when I was stricken all day long, *
    suffered punishment day after day.

    Then I said: “If I should speak like that, *
    I should abandon the faith of your people.”

    I strove to fathom this problem, *
    too hard for my mind to understand,
    until I pierced the mysteries of God *
    and understood what becomes of the wicked.

    How slippery the paths on which you set them; *
    you make them slide to destruction.
    How suddenly they come to their ruin, *
    wiped out, destroyed by terrors.
    Like a dream one wakes from, O Lord, *
    when you wake you dismiss them as phantoms.

    Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
    and to the Holy Spirit:
    as it was in the beginning, is now, *
    and will be for ever. Amen.

    III

    And so when my heart grew embittered *
    and when I was cut to the quick,
    I was stupid and did not understand, *
    no better than a beast in your sight.

    Yet I was always in your presence; *
    you were holding me by my right hand.
    You will guide me by your counsel *
    and so you will lead me to glory.

    What else have I in heaven but you? *
    Apart from you I want nothing on earth.
    My body and my heart faint for joy; *
    God is my possession for ever.

    All those who abandon you shall perish; *
    you will destroy all those who are faithless.
    To be near God is my happiness. *
    I have made the Lord God my refuge.
    I will tell of all your works *
    at the gates of the city of Zion.

    Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
    and to the Holy Spirit:
    as it was in the beginning, is now, *
    and will be for ever. Amen.

    The First Reading (Isaiah 3:1-15), discussing the fall of Judah & Jerusalem sounds like every unfortunately-bitter single man’s lament of secular society’s destruction of the world of the past half century (the line “…and women will rule them!” is sure to be a favorite for many — cue eye-roll). Meanwhile, the Second Reading, Pope Gregory the Great’s Moral Reflections of Job actually serve to reflect nicely on both the questions of Psalm 73 and the larger questions of suffering and loneliness that we Single Men face as we try to navigate the unique middle ground between the demands of secular masculinity and virtuous masculinity without losing our moral positioning and connection to God:

    “Holy men beset by tribulation must endure the assaults of those who use violence and verbal attacks. The former they resist with the shield of patience, but against the latter they launch the sharp arrows of true doctrine. In both types of fighting they win the day through the wonderful arts that virtue bestows, for within wisdom they teach the wayward while showing a courageous contempt for outward hostility; the straying sheep they set on the right path by their teaching; the attacker they suffer and overcome. For they have nothing but patient scorn for the enemy who moves against them, but they sympathize with their weaker fellows and bring them back to the safe way, opposing the former lest they lead others astray and fearing for the latter lest they completely lose sight of the truly upright life.

    Let us see how a soldier in God’s camp fights against both types of enemy. Paul says: Struggles without, fears within. He lists the attacks he must endure from without: Dangers from floods, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from the pagans, dangers in the city, dangers in the desert, dangers on the seas, dangers from false brothers. He also tells us what weapons he uses against his enemies in this war: Toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, frequent fasts, cold and nakedness.

    When beset by so many struggles, he guards the camp, he tells us, with great watchfulness. Immediately he adds: Besides these outward difficulties there is that daily weight upon me: my anxiety for all the churches. Thus he himself fights courageously and devotes himself compassionately to protecting his neighbors. He tells us of the evils he endures but also of the blessings he brings to others.

    Let us reflect, then, on how difficult it is simultaneously to endure attacks from without and to protect the weak from within. He endures the attacks without, inasmuch as he suffers flogging and chains; inwardly he experiences fear, since he is afraid that his sufferings may be a stumbling-block not to himself but to his disciples. For this reason he writes to them: Let no one be shaken by these trials, for you know that they are our lot. Amid his own sufferings it was the fall of others he feared, lest the disciples, seeing him flogged for the faith, might refuse to acknowledge their own faith.

    What an immensely loving heart! He thinks nothing of what he himself suffers and is concerned only that the disciples may be led astray interiorly. He scorns his own bodily wounds and brings healing to the inner wounds of others. It is characteristic of holy men that their own painful trials do not make them lose their concern for the well-being of others. They are grieved by the adversity they must endure, yet they look out for others and teach them needed lessons; they are like gifted physicians who are themselves stricken and lie ill. They suffer wounds themselves but bring others the medicine that restores health.”

    With the Liturgy of Hours as one of my daily devotions — both as a sacred and intellectual tool (seeing the placement of patristic writings, sacred scripture, and psalms in unique juxtapositions as they rotate on schedules a la that of the lectionary serves to highlight different literary and meditative elements in them that would not otherwise be easily discovered) — I recommend it as something worth trying, especially with so many free apps now available that calculate the Hours for the days for the devotee (instead of having to buy four large volumes and figure out which prayers go with which). Particularly for men, with all the psalms in their full forms and the patristic works on martyrdom and such, it’s a surprisingly masculine devotion (one can see why it’s been used in various iterations in monasteries for a millennium).