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

January 5, 2010

Julian's Dating Forecast for 2010

The Magdalene Sisters are no strangers to the world of dating. We've written about the art form, discussed potential mates, recounted one of our successful stories that will soon end in marriage, explored the male/female relationship, and kept a log of many mishaps (mostly me!).

I think part of the task of intentionally living a new year to it's fullest potential includes thinking back about the previous year(s) and crafting an attitude for approaching the new one. My attitude towards dating in 2010 has very much changed as I enter the second half of my twenties. I am no longer operating under the Dr. Suess Syndrome (as I previously described). While I think the natural tendency in dating should be to consider each person as a potential mate, sometimes dating is just dating -- going out to an event, learning the art of conversation, enjoying being treated like a lady, and interacting with a variety of men from all different backgrounds and with all different goals. I don't think it has to be stressful or filled with drama. While it would be nice to meet a good match, I am grateful for my sisters' push for me in my singleness to be very open to the will of God in every moment, which includes every set up, every date, and every encounter with the opposite sex. It's actually a very liberating time for me, no doubt because of grace.

One thing I do think is critical for me is stimulation in conversation. When conversation is forced, I get really frustrated. Does anyone else find that in Catholic dating circles very often conversation stays on theological or political issues? While these things are of course critical and important, and do tend to form someone's identity, I really appreciate someone who can move me beyond those topics, or at least move in and out of them during conversation. Even though I am Catholic, I also have a wide variety of interests -- music, sports, humor, pop culture, etc. I really appreciate when a man wants to explore those things with me. It's so easy (and sometimes tempting I think), in the Catholic dating circle to stick to the "go-to" topics, but I think it's also very limiting. I want to be challenged to grow in ALL facets of my life, and to be introduced to new things as well.

I am sure that 2010 will be filled with many more musings on the topic, no doubt humorous. But this year, I intend to live this maxim of St. Gianna:

The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.


Margaret Perry said...

Ah! Conversation! I really had this problem on multiple occasions while I was visiting my home town this Christmas. And since I am in DC, it was more the political things that drove conversation (which I like even less to talk about). Finally, I just would ask, "have you see Avatar yet?" or make some other popculture reference. It usually worked...

Jennie said...

Julian- I totally know what you mean about the heavy conversations issue. I remember wanting to tell some guys to just chill out. I knew my husband was a keeper when he confessed that he actually loved watching stupid movies. He was a bit worried that his admission may change my opinion of him, and it did, for the better! I told him Dumb and Dumber and Tommy Boy were two of my all time favorite movies. We were both sold.

As far as being open to God’s will, a little piece of advice I have (not to sound preachy or anything) is to be open to anything and everything. A few years ago one of my New Year’s resolutions was to accept all social invitations, from girls and guys alike. It was a bit exhausting at times, but I think by putting myself out there it helped me to diffuse the pressure I was putting on myself and on dating situations and I ended up meeting my husband that year! So who knows.

Good luck. I will definitely be praying for you!

Jennie said...

Umm, just to clarify, I accepted invitations from girls and guys, but was just dating guys (obviously). I thought the way I worded that could be misinterpreted. Ha! Shoot.

Edith Magdalene said...

I love this, Julian! I think you have the right attitude and disposition,and I think you'll find yourself in a very happy situation this new year...Speaking of Avatar (see first comment) I thought it was awful! My comments - Green Peace and New Age..ugh!

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