Forgive me the “formulaic” title! I want to change it to say: How to Find Your Wife in Five Doable Steps. Because it is doable, by God’s grace.
To any single Catholic guy who thinks he has an argument for why finding his spouse is impossible, I say to you:
Yes, he has a beautiful wife, and he has no arms or legs. But I’m not here just to shame you; I’m going to help you find your future spouse!
Before we begin, to forestall any objections, note that these suggestions 1) are suggestions, 2) are for those men who have discerned their vocations and discovered that it is to marriage, and 3) assume that you are praying, receiving the sacraments, and otherwise doing your best to respond to God’s grace and grow in virtue.
1. Introduce Yourself after Mass
I went to daily Mass for a long time. Over the course of maybe four years, I saw several attractive, faithful young women there. Usually they wouldn’t go as consistently as I did–all the more reason for me to show up every time!–but they’d be there: this young woman every other Saturday; that young woman on Mondays.
By the fact that they went to daily Mass I knew that they were serious about their faith. Ding! That’s the most important prerequisite for my future wife already met.
I met three young women who went to daily Mass: two by directly introducing myself to them afterwards and one through a mutual friend (more on that below). You heard right. After seeing one young woman at Mass and adoration many, many times, I got up the courage, said a prayer, and after Mass when she was leaving introduced myself to her.
Was it a bit awkward at first? Sure it was. It’s like a cold call, and if I can avoid such a thing, I would. But there’s also no shame in being direct like this, especially if it doesn’t seem like your circles are overlapping for a more natural meeting.
After chatting a bit, I asked her if she would like to get lunch sometime. She said yes, and I got her number. This particular relationship went nowhere. But that was God’s will, and we discovered it quickly. Good!
Occasionally I went to an afternoon Mass at a different parish, St. Albert’s. It has a modern design, and by that I mean an ugly one. No matter, Mass is Mass. I noticed a young woman who would be there sometimes. I might see her once every month or two, since I also didn’t go to that Mass everyday.
So one day after Mass I literally just waited outside for her to come out. She prayed for a while in the church or read or something, so I just sat there on a bench. She came out and I greeted her. Yup, directly like that. And I’m not a Tom Cruise-confident guy either.
You know what she said to me: “I was wondering when you were going to introduce yourself!”
That’s right: she had been waiting for me to say hello. Why? Because clearly we were like the only two young people going to that Mass, week in, week out. I asked her if she wanted to go grab a quick bite to eat. She said sure, and we went to a burrito place.
I learned she played soccer (bonus points, as that’s my favorite sport) and that we had a mutual friend in common through it. We talked on the phone several times, but I realized we were not at the same place spiritually when she told me once: “Yeah I read the Da Vinci Code and it really taught me a lot about our Catholic Faith.” Say whaaa??? Things that make you go hmmm. Okay, so that didn’t lead to more, but the point is that you can meet people this way and you never know, you might meet your future wife.
2. Spread the Word
In olden times and (still) in places like India today, your family and extended family would help you find your future spouse. Not so anymore in moronic America. No worries. I started asking my friends at church to “be on the look-out for me.”
And not but a few months later, a dear elderly Irish couple, whom I knew through daily Mass and volunteering together at the St. Vincent de Paul Society, told me they had a young lady who they wanted me to meet.
Turns out this was a young woman I had seen for over a year at daily Mass. We had never met as it just hadn’t happened, but she was a beautiful lady. The kind who intimidates most guys, who seems “out of their league.”
We immediately recognized each other when we met for our date. I took her to lunch; we talked on the phone afterwards for a time, but it never went further. We weren’t a match, intellectually speaking. That’s the way it goes, disappointing, but good to get to meet a great young Catholic woman nonetheless.
The moral here is to not be ashamed of asking your Catholic friends, especially married couples and older ones, to keep an eye open for you. This is what extended family used to do.
3. Join the Young Adult Group
Yes it has some people in it that you would never date in a million years. But it also has people who share your faith and who know other people who you may meet and it’s just possible that your future spouse will be one of the people who joins the group. It’s a great way to have shared activity in a group setting where you can meet people.
If the young adult group doesn’t exist, start the group! Or drive/move to an area that does have one.
Related to this, even if there isn’t a young adult group around, make sure you go to the events where young Catholics are likely to go. Theology on Tap, for instance. I went to these for years, and nothing came of them. Then one day I went and guess what? I ran into an old soccer buddy of mine from high school. And his sister was there, a faithful and attractive young woman whom I had paid no attention to when we were growing up.
I asked her if I could walk her to her car after Theology on Tap was done; she obliged, and I asked her for her number. We hit it off right away and began a relationship that almost led to marriage. God has other plans for both of us, but through our courtship I encountered the theology of the body and became devoted to the Holy Family. Bam! God works good from all things.
4. Try Online Out
I can hear the caterwauling already: “Online dating is terrible!/doesn’t work/is dumb/is unnatural/is for losers and desperate people/is expensive.
Look, I spent almost five years on two Catholic singles websites before meeting Katie. I sent hundreds upon hundreds of messages to young women over those years. I boarded planes and flew across the country on two occasions to meet someone. And guess what? Eventually one of the messages I sent was to Katie. And the third plane I got on took me to where she was. And now we’re married and couldn’t be happier.
Katie and I would not have met had we not both tried the online thing. Wouldn’t have happened, short of God bilocating me to Podunkville, New Mexico.
Will you meet your spouse online? The odds are against it. But, the odds are also against you meeting your spouse at church, or at a bar, or at a bar-mitzvah, or at the circus or at a concert or wherever. The whole point is that you avail yourself of this avenue for potentially meeting your future wife. Maybe God will bring you together through it, just as he brings people together sometimes through speed dating events.
I’d say more here, but Katie and I are writing a book on this (no expected publication date yet; it’s a back-burner project), so you’ll just have to wait til then.
5. Your Turn
Okay, those were the things that I tried as a single Catholic guy. But I know that there are more, ones that could help out the guys (and gals) reading right now.
So please chime in with avenues, ideas, and possibilities for finding the person God has chosen for you.