February 19, 2011
Well, thanks, Edith, for getting a conversation going on my favorite topic: the adventures and misadventures of dating as a Catholic woman in today's world. The Magdalene Sisters have a rather lengthy conversation about it already (sadly chronicling most of my misadventures), so if you've just joined us, feel free to catch up! And thanks to all of our new visitors and the comments you shared. I really cracked up, but was also forced to take a good look at my own approach to this part of my life.
1) I tend to be one of those women who was referenced who might be saying contradictory things and even embodying contradictory things in her life. I often say to my girlfriends, "I wish these guys would just ask us out to coffee, dinner, or on a single date. A date doesn't mean we want to get married, or we're going to stalk him on Facebook, or create a shrine to him in our bedrooms. A date is a date." But at the same time, when I am asked on a date, I find myself unable to leave a date as a date. A woman can easily slip into anticipation of the follow through on his end. And not just normal excitement, but a real, yearning anticipation. It is hard for us, when we are treated like a lady, which can be rare, to not want to soak that up. It does whet our appetite, both for good and ill. And single dates can come along rarely. Maybe if it were the 1950's and women were regularly asked out by various men then a date could just be a date. But it's not that way today. The difficulty for the feminine heart is to stay emotionally disciplined while not denying her desire to be pursued. If anyone has figured out a "how-to" on this, please let me know.
2). Like Edith I have a "texter" in my life right. I'm not sure if we're friends, or possibly more. We always have fun together. We never talk about dating. Our relationship has been slow and steady, and I'd say we're growing in comfort with one another. I got frustrated a few months ago, because I was doing the majority of inviting to drinks or group outings. He always showed up and paid me attention, but was never initiating anything (well, rarely I'd say). Now, like clockwork, he texts me every two weeks just to "check in," "say hello," or ask me out for a drink. But every two-three weeks is not really a follow through if it's been like that for 6 months. Maybe in his mind this is persistence. Maybe we're just friends. It doesn't feel like it's a pursuit. And that's okay. I just wish I could look this up in a reference book and know what it is.
3) Recently our very own "Catholic Ken" was brought up in a conversation. My male friend who is friends with him offered, "Why would Ken want to get married? He's the center of the social scene down here. He has the attraction and admiration of both guys and women. That's hard to give up." I feel for Catholic Ken (and all of the Ken's). Men in general seem to have trouble in our culture of making the decision to settle down. It must be really scary and foreign for them. As women we should figure out how to subtly help them and challenge them to take a leap in their own lives toward the unknown. If only we all had pink convertibles to swing by, pick them up, and head to Barbie's Dream House for a chat...