Retro Dear Michele: Why is it So Hard to Meet Someone?

Bewitched…

Dear Michele,

Why is it so hard to find a good guy? I really want someone who will treat me right and go to church with me. Either they are not the right age or they don’t respond to my requests. I really like this website but why is it so hard to meet a nice decent guy?

Signed, JL

…bothered…

Dear Michele,

I don’t get it. It seems that the men my age are either not interested or they want someone younger. And then, the guys that are interested in me are too young. I have dated recently and I thought it was great, everything clicked; until I found out he was undependable and could not be honest. I had a very happy marriage in the church and would like to find something similar again. Got any suggestions?

Signed, R

…and bewildered…

Dear JL and R,

Your two letters are just a sample of the many times I get asked the question, “Why is it so hard to meet someone?” I think the question really is, “Why is it so hard to meet the RIGHT one?” Both men and women ask the question, from many different ages and stages of life.

There Is Always Enough Time

There Is Always Enough Time

Let me start with some very good advice I once received:  there is always enough time to find the right one.

Don’t let your desire for a relationship overcome your desire to be in a healthy relationship. Sometimes we are single because we’ve spent too much time in relationships that never had the strength to move to the next step.

So, if you are not dating someone right now, that may be a good thing. It may mean that you have refused to get involved when you know you weren’t receiving what you needed to make the relationship work. You may have left a relationship that you discovered was not authentic. Bravo! Great move! I truly believe that singles stay too long much in relationships more frequently then they leave too early.

With that said, I do think it is a miracle every time two people meet, are both single, ready to date, able to commit, and actually like each other the same amount at the same time and THEN can agree to get married. Whew! That’s a lot! Finding someone is not simple and it’s not easy.

I believe finding the right one has become the cross of our times. We have lost the dating etiquette that used to guide previous generations, which provided standards and rituals that helped move dating relationships forward and eventually into marriage.

You’d think it was Simple…

You'd think it was Simple…

Today, there are almost no dating rules as “everything goes.”

We have lost the closeness of a community that served to introduce us to someone, a “someone” whose family was known, grew up nearby, and shared the same ideals. Of course, sites like this help us connect based on those shared values of our faith, so that’s one step closer.

That’s the challenge. The good news is that most people who want to be married eventually find the right partner. Want to know where all the good Catholic men or women are? Where are you? Meaning, where do you spend your time? Do you spend your time in bars or in social activities with church or groups with shared interests?

If you find you are plugged into all the wrong places, start looking for a parish with people your age, a singles group (yes, they exist), or even consider starting one. Look for bible studies, prayer groups, social justice groups, or other events where you can meet other Catholics. Joining hiking, biking, poetry, and other clubs are a great place to connect over shared interests. The church near you is all young families? Keep searching until you find the parish with your demographic.

I met my husband at a charity wine tasting sponsored by a parish that was over 30 minutes away. I knew there would be single men my age in that parish and so I made the drive—passed at least 4 other parishes on the way—many times.

Maybe You’re Trying Too Hard

Maybe You're Trying Too Hard

Where are you spiritually? Is your sense of God one that embodies a true relationship, are you are just looking for God to fill your own desires?

Learning how to truly experience God is a process. Once we feel that connection, it can help bolster us against those feeling of loneliness and isolation. Where are you emotionally?

We may physically be 40, 50, or 60, but do we react to things like a teenager? Can we tolerate frustration or do we blow up or complain when things don’t go our way? Do we accept imperfection in others or demand that they know exactly how to be our version of “perfect?”

If after checking in on the social, emotional, and spiritual areas of your life you find that you could use some growth, I would suggest talking with a trusted mentor, clergy, or Catholic therapist. If you are aware of a particular area of struggle for you, such as lack of forgiveness or anger, look for some good books and helpful resources in that area. Look to your current relationships with family or friends. If you see a pattern, the same issues may be affecting your dating relationships.

And finally, hold on to hope. God does not promise to remove every challenging situation from our life, but he does promise to be with us through the struggle. You are learning patience and fortitude, character strengths that are needed for your future marriage.

I will not deny that it’s a difficult journey, and we never know our exact arrival time. But, we can be assured that if God has put the desire in your heart to find a mate, then he will bring you the right situations and challenges to help you grow in that direction.

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