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

March 8, 2009

Following the Rules

Today after Mass, I ran into some friends of mine who have three beautiful little children, two boys and a precious little girl. One of the little boys was happily showing off to me his shark tooth necklace that he got on a recent trip to the beach, telling me that he could definitely wrestle the shark for his tooth, even though this time he did not. His little sister, however, who is about 2 or 3 years old, came up to me proudly (but shyly) showing off her little Sleeping Beauty doll. As she showed me Sleeping Beauty's pretty blue dress (and of course pointed out how she too, had a very similar blue dress on), she whispered to me "This is Sleeping Beauty. She is dancing, and she is waiting for her prince.' Ha. I thought to myself -- she is already in trouble!! Even that young! Oh, aren't we all just 'waiting for our prince'!!!

The morning conversation made me think of Julian's latest post on dating , which left me cracking up!! How many times have we women thought that same thing on date one?? We just want to cut to the chase, are you my prince, my one and only, the husband who leave my life with that perfect, wedded bliss? Oh, if only it were that easy! How many times have you found yourself out on a date with a man, who is perfectly nice, but you are imagining what your name will sound like with his last name? Or maybe you might go so far as to imagine how he would propose to you? Or maybe you are wondering how many children he wants?? Yes, women are really crazy, but we all do it, and we all need to STOP ourselves from doing this. When we imagine these kinds of things, I think a few very bad things happen. Let me list them. A. We rob ourselves of getting to know a perfectly good human being (and probably any potential future). B. We delude ourselves with ideals and lofty notions of perfection and bliss, often setting ourselves up for failures and disappointments. C. We send the poor guy running, cause if the wheels are turning, he's sure to suspect it!

How do we stop this crazy--practically instinctual--imagination from running away on us??? A friend of mine's mother recommended this book to me called 'The Rules.' Some of it is pretty silly, but some of it is totally true (in fact most of it!) It tells women essentially to be hard to get! Let the man do the work, be yourself, and let him pursue you. Men need to feel like they have earned the woman they love; and above all, they do not want to be pursued. One rule stuck out in my mind: it was the rule telling women NOT to imagine yourself married after date one, two, three, four, five, etc! Don't imagine your marriage! Spending time imagining scenarios that may or may not happen obscures the reality of the relationship, which could very well be a bad one. Here's a preview to the book. I recommend it (though it could stand to be supplemented for women with a faith oriented view on dating).

I think what's important to remember is this: for those of us who are called to marriage (and even for those who are not)-- we do seek to be loved, appreciated for who we are. But above all as women we want to return that love, we want to nurture human lives, and give comfort to those around us. Those are good desires to have! But with dating, it's a fine line between discerning whether a man might be a good husband for you, and imagining a life that in all reality probably cannot exist with any man. The best thing to do is to sit back, let him come to you -- and if he doesn't, his loss and move on! Mr. Right is not the perfect human being (and neither is the Mrs. Right we aspire to be), but he will be perfect for you!

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