Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

January 30, 2009

Can't live with 'em...

Can somebody please help me?  I don't understand men.  (This is going to be the first of many posts on my inability to comprehend the other sex).  

You go to a party or to a bar, engage in conversation with one guy, catch somebody else's eye across the room.  You're feeling pretty good about yourself, you know you look pretty attractive (it's okay to admit it ladies), and then...nothing.  No questions about what you're doing later that weekend, or if you'd like to talk again. 

You go to a Mass packed to the brim with young, attractive adults (sans wedding rings, if you're like me who notices those things in the middle of the Creed - so shameful, I know).  You make eye contact every few hymns, and then....the guy bolts out of Mass as soon as the first stanza of the recessional is through.  Or maybe you think you have a chance because he stays until the very last verse...and then he's off!  

What is the deal, people?!?! I'm not the most self-confident broad in the business, but I can admit to myself when there might be a little electricity...even just the tiniest spark of interest.  Why is it that there is no follow-up?  No introduction or follow-through?  I know I'm old-fashioned, but even when I overcome this hang up and introduce myself to a guy, I always seem to be disappointed when there is no follow-up.  Is it me?  Is it him?  Even the non-Mass goers who are good guys...why don't they seem to have their acts together? 

And why is it that when I go to a party or a bar and there is a guy that is either 1) unattractive or 2) a total creeper and they find themselves impelled to corner me and talk my ear off the whole time...ask for my number...and rudely ask to come up to my apartment??? 

Does anyone have advice? 
Can anyone sympathize? 



Phoebe said...

The hardest thing about being single is becoming happy with it. It's critical to become satisfied, deeply satisfied with life being just you and God. If you are single right now then it is God's will in your life. None of us can predict the future. But right now at this point in time, singleness is where God has you. God will not give you the desires of your heart until you fill the empty spaces there with him and become satisfied with Him alone. Don't be distracted by the things or the people around you. Listen to Him.

In the Song of Solomon it says "I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and hinds of the field,
Do not arouse, do not stir up love,
before its own time."

This is an area for trusting in God. H will make all come to pass in His great wisdom in His time. He knows better than any of us what is best for us. We can't see as He sees.

All of these things i did in my own heart and spirit and God very soon brought my husband into my life. I was so satisfied with my singleness that I w able to bcome best friends with my husband before we even started dating.

After we became engaged, I remembered a prayer I had said very earnestly to God when i was a highschool student. I asked God to give me only one boyfriend, and that that would be the man I'd marry and spend my life with. I desired a pure love and I didn't want to go through heartbreak because God's most perfect will for us who are called to the married life is to spend our whle lives with only one person. Not a series of people. this seemed practical to me at the time.

Everyone wants to be found attractive by everyone else. But this does not reflect the realty and Goodness of God's design. It rather reflects the objectification of our bodies as women and makes us like a thing to be used and not a person to be loved.

It is a secret garden, and only one man should have the key. It shouldn't be easy to get into.

Edith Magdalene said...

I know where you have been, trust me!! Even just a year ago, I was so frustrated with men, and with myself. I kept thinking something had to be wrong with me because I could not find the right person. And you can only hear the trite 'you'll find someone so perfect for you' so many times before you want to pull your hair out! Why does God put these desires in us, anyway??

I think the first thing to remember is that guys are indeed shy. They too have insecurities and things that have happened to them in their past which might cause them to hesitate. But don't give up!

Second -- this is something my dad told me. DON'T make eye contact first. (I am so bad at this -- I TOTALLY made eye contact with my current boyfriend -- I noticed him like 6 months before he ever noticed me!) Even initiating that much could cause them to run. Let him notice you, give him something to do. My dad always told me that men need a challenge. The old playing hard to get routine -- it works!

I think Phoebe has it right about singleness -- that's when God has you. My spiritual director once told me just to date Jesus while I was single, and then to ask Him about the men who were in my life and which one He wanted me to be with. That is pretty hard to do, and my prayer pretty much asked Him to please let me be with the guy I wanted to be with (though I fought those thoughts, I still had them and God knew it!)

A relationship with Christ is so crucial because Jesus is always a spouse to each of us in the Eucharist. And that relationship can never end, even when we get married. So let Christ fill you. And don't worry about looking at anyone else at Mass -- focus on the Cross. That's God teaching us all how to love. And when I surrendered to that, then I found someone -- and he is the one I wanted. But more importantly, he's the one God wanted. While I was single, I asked God to teach me how to love as He loves, to allow me to love my significant other as He loves him. That's always a struggle and a prayer I must continue to pray.

I think for now, just get out there. Join a Catholic young adult group. And go with the intent of finding new friends. Maybe go to the group with some of your friends. Find a prayer group, a study group, a group that plays sports -- just whatever your interests are. And pray about it. Ask God to help you find a good group of faithful Catholics. Let God know that you want to find the right man for you life. He'll lead to him -- all He asks of us is to trust. And it surely isn't easy. But it surely is worth it.
That's advice I struggle daily to keep myself!!

The voice of reason said...

I'll be the first male to comment on the response of men to women in the social dating arena. First and foremost, stop looking for men and possible husbands in BARS. Cut that out of the equation. Bars are for bad jokes, drinking and drinking.
Secondly, why do women feel the need to think so much concerning the male species. Focusing on what he's doing, thinking, acting like, scheming, feeling, responding to etc...only makes a complex situation even more complex. Being probably one of most cut and dry human beings on the face of the earth, I am already exhausted simply by reading articles written about the do's and don'ts of male behavior in the dating world and find myself in defense of men when I say "it is simply easier not to worry about it and move on".
And thus therein lies the problem, men retract out of too much complexity on the front in and women in turn react by faulting men for being too dodgy and unresponsive.
In my own life, I never hurt for dates, never had a lack of conversation or problem meeting women and never set aside my heart, always leaving it wide open.
Nevertheless, when I was single I felt like I was missing something irregardless of having a date on the weekend or not. That missing component was a stable, fluid relationship with God. You do not have to venture to far in the bible to find that God has a vested interest in your significant other but first and foremost he has a vested interest in who "you". You have Adam and then you have Eve. God relationship with Adam was first and then God felt he needed someone else. So he created her for him. Is this starting to make sense....?
You may scream from the rooftops exclaiming "WHERE IS HE LORD!!! I'VE BEEN GOOD HAVEN'T I???!!!
God on the other is saying follow me and I will show you where he is, no, no, no, in fact i'll put him right in front of you, no no in fact I'll create someone just for you! And when you find that person you'll see God in them, you'll see the particulars that Christ has set within them that complement you and you them. Because if you truly understand that your relationship is a sacrament, is something that aids you in your own salvation, does not God have a vested interest in your soul?
So what I did as a MAN was point my energies and focus in Christ, I prayed for someone I did not know, I prayed that God, creator of all things knew my heart enough to know the perfect person was for me and let it go. I set my heart to want a partner in Christ....because that is what you want, for if the bond is to be til death do you part, it had better be fortified and strengthened by the hand of God.
Yes, I say there are a lot of complex issues that go along with dating, men and women are complicated each in their own way. But why not cut through that complexity with the word of God, for "indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart." Casts your cares upon God, grow in him and let him do your match making, i'm sure that at least once or twice you've let your friends. Why not your heavenly Father, because if you are a believer in Christ you might as well believe to the fullest. It seems too simple, too cut and dry too too EASY. Well Christ came so that we may have life and that more abundantly first step always and forever is with Christ, give up on "self" and surrender those things you hold so precious to Christ.

Julian said...

How thankful I am for these wonderful comments! I read each of them at a different time during the day and felt so much grace at each reading. I wish I had sufficient words to thank you. Keep reminding me of these things when I post in frustration and desperation on this topic. And hey...if you know anyone...

Just kidding. Well, sort of. ;)

Edith Magdalene said...

Haha -- Julian, you crack me up. I love you!!

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