A reader recently wrote to me asking if I felt she had been a fool to pass on the last guy she dated. Without revealing details, it was clear to me that she made the correct decision to pass on his offers of romance.
Her question was not foreign to me. After each break up, I wondered the same thing. “Was he my last chance at marriage?” “Was I a fool to break things off with him?” “Am I being too picky?” And, the longer you are single, the more pronounced these doubts become.
Pass On This Offer
Here are some good reasons to pass on offers of romance:
1. He is married: And by this I mean that he is not free to marry you. Even if he is divorced, an annulment is mandatory even before you can start dating him. In the meantime, pass on this offer.
2. His pursuit is Lame and Inconsistent: Go here to read about this. This is the important part:
“…As the girl, this will be the symptom to look out for: you complain and/or act and feel frustrated. Then, in response to your complaints and frustration, he pulls back instead of addressing your complaint in a way that will completely reassure you….”
Don’t be a practice girl. Pass on this offer. Oh, and read the book, Real Men Don’t Text.
3. He refuses to have children with you if you were to marry: If he has an annulment but also has had a vasectomy, then he needs to be willing (not just open to the idea but willing) to have a reversal. His age is not an excuse. This is especially true when you, as the future wife, have a strong desire for children.
Either way, today reversals are no big deal. If the guy was willing to go under the knife to have his fertility snipped, then, he should be more than willing to go through a reversal to have it potentially restored. Seriously, marital love will die unless the couple is open to life. If he has the reversal and still no children result, then your marital love will not be at risk. You as a couple have done everything in your power to cooperate with God. Anything other than that, pass on this offer.
4. He is mean or selfish: Does he drive recklessly? Does he gamble or spend money recklessly? Does he talk disparaging about his Mother? Is he always angry towards his boss, his coworkers or his job? Does he act as if everything is the fault of others and that his life is one big rip-off? Is he prejudice against others who are not like him? Does he not pay for dates? Oh girl, pass on this offer.
5. He is irresponsible: He must have a job or spend 8 hours a day looking for a new job. Look at his track record with regard to work . He does not need to make a lot of money, but he does need to understand his role as the provider. Money is not the issue, your respect for him is. If he doesn’t have a job and is not looking for one, pass on this offer.
6. He is currently dealing with an addiction: These include but are not limited to: alcohol, drugs, excessive financial success, porn. Don’t try to save him. Only the Lord’s grace can free him from these chains. Let the thought of winning your love be his motivation (from a safe distance without communication). In the meantime, pass on this offer.
7. He is not Catholic: This may be a negotiable for some of you. It was not for me. If it is a negotiable, then he cannot have a negative attitude towards your faith. He must be supportive and respectful. If not, pass on this offer.
8. You are not sexually attracted to him: Okay, girls, I put this one last because it is the least important. However, keep in mind that you will be sleeping with this man and sharing the marital embrace with him for the rest of your life! He will know if you are not sexually attracted to him. If you cannot bear the thought of sharing the marital embrace with him, pass on this offer.
You may even get harassed by family and friends for passing on offers of romance with guys who have any of those 8 issues. This one stupid scene in When Harry Met Sally has put fear in women over the last 24 years:
At Least You Could Say You Were Married??
Yes, if you accept the offer of a man with any of the 8 issues listed above, then at least you can say you were married. That is, if he really proposes and marries you. But, you will spend valuable time dating him when you could be free to date and marry a guy without all those issues.
And, you will always wonder about the possibilities you missed out on by not waiting for a guy who is available, completely into you, open to life, generous, responsible, free from serious addiction, Catholic (or at least respectful of your faith) and sexually attractive (to you).
I believe the virtue of Chastity provides a hedge of protection against the 8 issues above. I call the hedge of protection The Veil. The purpose of this post is to support you when others say “What was wrong with him?” or “You’re too picky”. I want to reassure you that you have made the right decision to pass on the offer of romance from any guy with those 8 issues. The Veil has accomplished its purpose and your decision to pass on his offer is a sacrifice that will bear fruit.
Deep Dive into #7 and #8
I have much more to say about issue #7 and #8, especially as it pertains to the supernatural aspect of chastity and The Veil. I will also reiterate that when he is the right man, you will know. I will expand on my thoughts in next week’s post.
God love and bless you!
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A question on #5, not on responsibility itself, but on the issue of Catholic Men in this age at ‘the provider.’ I’m a historian, working in various museum roles over my career and trying to work published as much as possible, but I understand very well that any women who I marry is very likely going to come into the relationship with a job that pays better than one which I have (and a better chance at owning a home — a point mentioned in another post — versus my renting my apartment). This is a fact that, one its face does not bother my pride, as I chose my career for teleological reasons rather than financial.
However, I do wonder, reading comments across the Catholic Blogosphere, whether I’ve set myself up for a lifetime of being single on account of that situation. I have no debt, I have savings & investments, and the first things I did when joining the Knights of Columbus years ago was set up a life insurance policy in the expectation of eventual marriage despite not even dating anyone at the time (or now — my brother is fine with only being a placeholder beneficiary and has promised NOT to murder me before a wedding…). Nevertheless, as someone with more experience research at writing journal articles at home than working in an office (although I *do* have a second part-time office job for health-insurance), I’d be just as comfortable as the House Husband in most cases with a wife who’s spent her 20s & 30s building a successful career and is unsure about giving it up just because we want kids (I’m friends with one Catholic couple that actually does that, given that she’s a lawyer and he’s an artist — he works from home and watches the house so that she has the freedom to continue the firm she set up over the years while they have children).
Yet, the past few years have seemingly seen a resurgence of traditionalism in Catholic Singles, especially among women in their twenties and thirties, and the discussion across the Catholic Blogosphere has been about Men As Providers and women preferring that they be the ones at home in most if not basically all cases. As such, I don’t know whether I’ve invariably set myself up for a fall (having always been Catholic and chaste, but having come from a more…center-right?…tradition in terms of such economic lifestyle issues (and being in service to the church without as much devotional involvement as of late) until recent years. Thoughts of my fears?
Thank you for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts. Gregg and I are available by email if you have any specific questions.
I am glad you picked up on the idea that income is not the issue. Instead, Responsibility is what is important. If a girl rejects you due to your income, then I think there are some things she needs to work out in herself. I also believe men can be covered by a veil and that you have not met the girl of your dreams yet. That girl will not reject you due to your income.
I think Gregg has some thoughts from a guys perspective. Either way, I have added you to my Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer list and I will be praying for you.
Looking forward to hearing back from you, Cindy and Gregg
Thank you RAnn!!