If you had told me a year ago that I would be offering dating advice with a shred of credibility, I would have laughed and said that I was more likely to move to Tampa and fight Gus to host Seize the Day (I am NOT a morning person). Listening to the last few shows about Lino's adventure into the world of online dating, I found myself nodding my head, able to totally relate (except for the fact that I'm a half-Mexican woman who really doesn't like David Letterman).
A year ago right now, my longest relationship was 2 months long. I could write a book called "Adventures in Online Dating". I met everyone from a guy who told me that he knew I was the one before he met me (I was freaked out when we did meet, afraid he was imagining what our kids would look like) to the guy who said he was a non-practicing Catholic looking for a nice Catholic girl to clean him up and get him to go back to church (I realized he was looking for a mother, not a wife). I used just about every site out there and one of my best friends met his wife on Catholicmatch.com.
I could COMPLETELY relate to the questions Lino has been asking ... "How Catholic should she be?" "If I limit my search criteria, could I be possibly closing my eyes to what God has to offer?" It's like Goldilocks ... this porridge is too hot, this one is too cold ... (I know it's a flawed analogy - who eats porridge, and who would turn down a date because they're too hot?!). My mom often warned me that if I was too selective that I would miss out on what God has planned for me. I also heard stories from friends who were divorced before they turned 30 and said they wish they had waited and not compromised. I didn't want to date (and possibly marry) a guy who was on the same spiritual level as the teens I taught. Pass the porridge!!
I finally came to the realization that marriage is a vocation, not an award. It is a call to serve, not a chance to be the object of another person's affection. I have always loved the saying "God does not call the prepared, but He prepares the called." I realized that when (if) God calls me to the vocation of marriage, He will give me what I need - a man to be my partner in this call to serve God. I wish I could say that I was the perfect, patient woman waiting for God's plan (but lying is a sin, and I hear we're supposed to avoid that).
If you've heard me call in, you've probably heard me mention my boyfriend. As cliche as it sounds, neither of us were looking for romance when we met (actually, I think his exact words were "I don't want to be dating anyone right now.") We've been together 9 months and both believe marriage is God's call for us. It has been a road of challenges (I humbly ask for your prayers for our relationship) and he is not what I thought God had in store for me. He's better.
I know I'm not the only one of the Catholic Guy Show bloggers who knows that God brings people together in His own way on His own timing (okay, there are two other Catholic Guy Show bloggers who are learning this ...)
For all of you who are single and feel as though God is calling you to marriage, if you have never seen this, I encourage you to read it. I first heard this about 11 years ago when I was in college. It calmed my heart and reassured me that God is in control.
Everyone longs to give himself or herself completely to someone, to have a deep and committed soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and unconditionally. But God says:
"No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone, with giving yourself totally, unreservedly to Me alone.
I love you, My child, and until you discover that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with Me; exclusively of anyone or anything else; exclusively of any other desires and belongings.
I want you to stop planning, stop wishing and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing -- one that you can't imagine. I want you to have the very best. Please allow Me to bring it to you.
Just keep your eyes on Me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing that satisfaction knowing that I AM.
Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you.
You must be patient.
Don't be anxious. Don't worry.
Don't look around at the things others have.
Don't look at the things you think you want.
Just keep looking up to Me, or you will miss what I want to give you.
And then, when you are ready, I will surprise you with a love far more wonderful than you could ever dream. You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready (I am working even this minute to have both of you ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I have prepared for you, you won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me .. and this is perfect love."
Peace and blessings,
Kristan from Houston