Dear Michele: Is a Woman Interested or Not?

Dear Michele,How do you know when a girl is interested without coming right out and asking her? The reason I ask is I am a complete idiot when it comes to relationships. I have had one relationship where the girl was not Catholic and the relationship ended in a disaster. I always tried to date girls in the Catholic Church but they never give me the time of day. I joined this website as a last resort to find my soul mate within the Catholic religion. So can you give me any advice?
Interested or Not?

Dear Interested or Not,
I know this is going to seem obvious, but the easiest way to find out if someone is interested is simply to ask her. Is a problem with just “coming right out and asking her?” If it feels awkward, then you can ask her out for a date, which is really asking the same thing. I’d love to say you are going to get a straight response, but you may get a vague “I’m busy” or “call me” with no return call. Take that as a “no, I am not interested.”

How else can you tell? By time and proximity. If a woman is giving you her time, either by answering your emails with a thoughtful response, or lingering on the phone or in the hall to talk to you, then you know she is likely interested. If you are getting short responses, lots of time before responding to your emails or voicemails, or lack of eye contact, then she might be trying to disengage.

Now .. as to why women in the Catholic Church would not give you the time to day, that one is a bit harder. Of course we can’t generalize “all” women in the Catholic Church, maybe you haven’t met the right one yet. Are you being overly aggressive in your approach? If you come across as pushy, or too desperate, then you may be chasing them away before they get to know you. Or, you may be literally scaring the women away. Are you a “safe” person? Meaning, can you be trusted with someone else’s feelings, life story, and spiritual journey? If you tend to be judgmental, or make criticisms of others, then women may feel that they should not get close. If you have a lot of “baggage” in your own personal history that you haven’t worked through, then you may be giving off a vibe that you are not ready for a relationship, even if that is not your intent.
The only assumption I can make is that women in the Catholic Church who want to date within the Church are looking for a Godly mate. Is that you? Do you approach relationships keeping the values of the Bible and our faith in the mix? There is a wide range of what our faith means to each individual, but it likely has SOME meaning for most people who choose to be Catholic and participant in their faith. What does your faith mean to you? Are you living that out? Being authentic about who you are, and where you are with your faith journey, is another important element of making your Catholic beliefs part of your dating life.

I’ve most likely left you with more questions than answers. What advice would I give you? Explore some of those questions, look internally, and look to God. Then, share your experience with a trusted friend, mentor, clergy, or counselor. Do you have a close friend who is married? Maybe input from a friend’s wife on how you present yourself may be helpful. You may need some unbiased but direct advice from someone who knows you; he or she may have insight into what is making it difficult for you to meet women.

Let me also applaud you for wanting to meet someone in the Church. Sharing your faith with your partner is a great gift. I get lots of letters from women who feel the same way you do, wanting to meet someone in the Church but not yet able to connect. Take your time with this site. Really think about what you are looking for in a woman. You may want to read one of my previous posts on how to send the first email, and then what to do with further responses (“Dear Michele: How Do I Meet Someone on This Site?” June 01, 2012).

Remember, finding your soul mate is no easy task, but by doing the work on yourself, and then looking to others for some honest feedback, you are at least pointed in the right direction. Continue to take your questions to God, and take silent time to listen. He can give you great discernment, wisdom, and peace throughout the process.

God Bless,
Michele Fleming, M.A.