“Out of Your League,” Catholic Edition

Round Two for Single Catholic Dudes

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:

1. Perseverance

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.

2. Conviction

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!

3. Boldness

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.

Spiritual Formation

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.

No Formula

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.

Conclusion

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?

It’s Fun to be a Girl

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to (re)introduce you to my wife, Katie, who is blogging again!

Some of you may remember that several years ago she blogged here with me, then went silent. I am thrilled to tell you about her and the new apostolate that God is calling her to start.

Katie has a charism for writing. And her mission is directed toward helping women in our society discover their true beauty as daughters of God. That covers the theology of the body to fashion to fertility awareness…and much more.

Last year she developed a program for women, called It’s Fun to be a Girl, that seeks to reach out to young adult women and help them see the wonder of who they are in God’s plan as taught by the Church. So we worked with Tekeme Studios (same great people who did my blog banner and book cover) to create her website. It’s still in its early stages as far as content goes, but she has begun blogging on it so you can subscribe to follow the program’s developments and also my lovely wife’s insightful thoughts.

I don’t write about personal matters anymore, but I will share a little at this time. The past four years for our family have been ones of severe trial, and my wife bore the brunt of it. Our Lord asked her to focus exclusively on our family during these past years, and she faithfully did so. During that time, she gave so much, sacrificed so much, loved so much. Words can’t do it justice, so I won’t even try.

At long last, the trials are passing, and we believe in Christ that our family is entering into a new time, one of fruitfulness and flourishing. Our Lord has finally shown my wife that it is time for her to begin writing again and developing this program to help women. She is a better writer than I, dreams bigger, and believes more firmly than I do. As my friend PQ said: “Devin you’re a decent writer but Katie is really good!”

We’re a good match, the perfect complement for each other in so many ways. Deo gratias for our vocation to marriage.

So head on over and read Katie’s introductory post, or maybe the one on the ubiquity of tattoos that we are surrounded with where we live.

For my part, I want to say thank you for your support of my blog, of me, of my family, over these past years. This blog began seven years ago with an audience of one (my mother), and has grown to where hundreds to thousands of people read it everyday. For that, I am honored, and I renew my commitment to you to help you in your search for truth, in learning about the Catholic Church, in getting equipped to defend your Faith and spread the aroma of Christ across the entire world. God bless.