My post on advice for single Catholic guys struck a nerve. Good!
Few of the guys who commented liked taking this particular medicine. Most of the women were cheering. Well, rather than easing up, I’m gonna double-down in this post and offer more advice for the guys. First, consider the following:
The “Out of Your League” Phenomenon
I know three guys right now who are either married or are about to be married to young women who are by all rights completely out of their league.
Maybe you know someone like this. The guy isn’t exactly Brad Pitt, but the young woman is quite lovely. What gives? How’d that guy get so lucky? Three qualities:
These guys don’t give up. Maybe they ask their future bride out and are shot down. Or they go out and there’s no chemistry. No matter. They keep at it. They don’t go away. They just keep showing up.
They’re those scrappy kids on the basketball team who win every rebound and steal the ball frequently and are diving on the floor to get a loose ball.
It may take months, or even years, but eventually the young lady realizes, by God’s grace, that this man is the one she has been looking for. He was there all the time, but she didn’t know it yet.
These guys typically also have some strong conviction to an ideal or ministry: pro-life, politics, Catholic evangelism, whatever. They’re out there at every march yelling out the prayers and carrying flags. They work full-time on their mission or spend much of their free time on it.
Young women, especially those who share the same passion, are naturally drawn to this quality. And unsurprisingly it can lead to more–a powerhouse couple even!
These guys ask girls out. They even ask girls out who are out of their league. They face their fears and courageously go for it. They want to make sure that if God has someone for them, they are going to find her! And they do, because they do their part in boldly asking girls out.
Conclusion on the phenomenon: This may or may not be your thing. It may be totally against your personality. That’s fine. It wasn’t really my cup of tea. But I did glean some key tips from observing these guys and worked on improving them in myself. They were legitimate areas where I needed some help. Maybe it will help you, too.
Many of the men (and women) who were critical pointed I that I didn’t mention prayer, the sacraments, spiritual formation. They were right to do so, as in my haste I forgot to mention that the entire preceding pages of the book are on these subjects. Katie and I both discuss it, so rest assured the topic is covered extensively.
In fact, the practical tips I was giving assume you are striving daily to follow Christ and become a saint. It’s a given in my life and in my wife’s, so I assume it is a given in the lives of most faithful Catholics. Thousands of books have been written on spiritual formation, and if you need recommendations, check out anything by St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Teresa of Avila (among many, many other great saints!).
You are seeking the spouse that God has for you, but God expects you to do your part: brush your teeth, cut your hair, dress in clean and attractive clothes, learn some social skills and get out there and ask a girl out.
Related to this, there is no formula to “get” a spouse. Some people left comments accusing me of implying this. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone is different; every couple is different.
The goal isn’t to “get” a spouse. The goal is to answer God’s calling for your life, the call that will fulfill you and help you do your utmost for the Kingdom, by God’s grace. But that doesn’t preclude the need for a short list of basic things you can do to help improve yourself, both at a natural and at a supernatural level.
Women Aren’t Around Here
What if the faithful single Catholic women are nowhere near you? What if they don’t go to Mass that you can see?
Firstly, visit some other parishes, go at different times, and see if indeed they are really nowhere to be found. Maybe they all mostly go to the parish across town and go to the 11 am Mass not the 9 am one. Maybe you will find a few incredibly faithful ones at daily Mass.
Look for the single Catholic groups and join them. Or, as my friend Nick suggested, start one!
At the same time, maybe you live in a smallish town with two parishes and there really are no good matches for you. That’s possible. It was the case for me and Katie: when we began corresponding through CatholicMatch and Ave Maria Singles, she was in Podunkville and there was very little chance of her meeting any single guy who even could meet her at an intellectual level, much less a spiritual one. Fortunately for us, both of us opened up the door to online Catholic sites “just in case” that was how God had chosen to bring us together. And lo! it was just so.
The other option if you live in Nowheresville is to cut bait and move to a bigger place that has a happening Catholic scene already going on. Get Outta There! No shame in that. Do whatcha gotta do.
Finding your spouse is a mystery known to God alone, Who reveals it to both of you in the fullness of time. It’s beautiful and exciting. So many factors go into it that no list of steps or tips can possibly suffice to serve everyone in their unique situation. But there are good ideas that are worth considering and figuring out whether they might work for you, not to “get” a spouse but to help you grow to become a more integrated, mature human being, closer to the person God made you to be, and therefore closer to knowing His will for you in every area of life.
Round Two: What do you think about these tips for finding your spouse?