How to Find Your Wife in Five Difficult Steps

Forgive me the “formulaic” title! I want to change it to say: How to Find Your Wife in Five Doable Steps. Because it is doable, by God’s grace.

To any single Catholic guy who thinks he has an argument for why finding his spouse is impossible, I say to you:

That’s Nick Vujicic; he has no arms or legs, and he just got married

Yes, he has a beautiful wife, and he has no arms or legs. But I’m not here just to shame you; I’m going to help you find your future spouse!

Before we begin, to forestall any objections, note that these suggestions 1) are suggestions, 2) are for those men who have discerned their vocations and discovered that it is to marriage, and 3) assume that you are praying, receiving the sacraments, and otherwise doing your best to respond to God’s grace and grow in virtue.

1. Introduce Yourself after Mass

I went to daily Mass for a long time. Over the course of maybe four years, I saw several attractive, faithful young women there. Usually they wouldn’t go as consistently as I did–all the more reason for me to show up every time!–but they’d be there: this young woman every other Saturday; that young woman on Mondays.

By the fact that they went to daily Mass I knew that they were serious about their faith. Ding! That’s the most important prerequisite for my future wife already met.

I met three young women who went to daily Mass: two by directly introducing myself to them afterwards and one through a mutual friend (more on that below). You heard right. After seeing one young woman at Mass and adoration many, many times, I got up the courage, said a prayer, and after Mass when she was leaving introduced myself to her.

Was it a bit awkward at first? Sure it was. It’s like a cold call, and if I can avoid such a thing, I would. But there’s also no shame in being direct like this, especially if it doesn’t seem like your circles are overlapping for a more natural meeting.

After chatting a bit, I asked her if she would like to get lunch sometime. She said yes, and I got her number. This particular relationship went nowhere. But that was God’s will, and we discovered it quickly. Good!

St. Al’s

Occasionally I went to an afternoon Mass at a different parish, St. Albert’s. It has a modern design, and by that I mean an ugly one. No matter, Mass is Mass. I noticed a young woman who would be there sometimes. I might see her once every month or two, since I also didn’t go to that Mass everyday.

So one day after Mass I literally just waited outside for her to come out. She prayed for a while in the church or read or something, so I just sat there on a bench. She came out and I greeted her. Yup, directly like that. And I’m not a Tom Cruise-confident guy either.

You know what she said to me: “I was wondering when you were going to introduce yourself!”

That’s right: she had been waiting for me to say hello. Why? Because clearly we were like the only two young people going to that Mass, week in, week out. I asked her if she wanted to go grab a quick bite to eat. She said sure, and we went to a burrito place.

I learned she played soccer (bonus points, as that’s my favorite sport) and that we had a mutual friend in common through it. We talked on the phone several times, but I realized we were not at the same place spiritually when she told me once: “Yeah I read the Da Vinci Code and it really taught me a lot about our Catholic Faith.” Say whaaa??? Things that make you go hmmm. Okay, so that didn’t lead to more, but the point is that you can meet people this way and you never know, you might meet your future wife.

2. Spread the Word

In olden times and (still) in places like India today, your family and extended family would help you find your future spouse. Not so anymore in moronic America. No worries. I started asking my friends at church to “be on the look-out for me.”

And not but a few months later, a dear elderly Irish couple, whom I knew through daily Mass and volunteering together at the St. Vincent de Paul Society, told me they had a young lady who they wanted me to meet.

Turns out this was a young woman I had seen for over a year at daily Mass. We had never met as it just hadn’t happened, but she was a beautiful lady. The kind who intimidates most guys, who seems “out of their league.

We immediately recognized each other when we met for our date. I took her to lunch; we talked on the phone afterwards for a time, but it never went further. We weren’t a match, intellectually speaking. That’s the way it goes, disappointing, but good to get to meet a great young Catholic woman nonetheless.

The moral here is to not be ashamed of asking your Catholic friends, especially married couples and older ones, to keep an eye open for you. This is what extended family used to do.

3. Join the Young Adult Group

Yes it has some people in it that you would never date in a million years. But it also has people who share your faith and who know other people who you may meet and it’s just possible that your future spouse will be one of the people who joins the group. It’s a great way to have shared activity in a group setting where you can meet people.

If the young adult group doesn’t exist, start the group! Or drive/move to an area that does have one.

Related to this, even if there isn’t a young adult group around, make sure you go to the events where young Catholics are likely to go. Theology on Tap, for instance. I went to these for years, and nothing came of them. Then one day I went and guess what? I ran into an old soccer buddy of mine from high school. And his sister was there, a faithful and attractive young woman whom I had paid no attention to when we were growing up.

I asked her if I could walk her to her car after Theology on Tap was done; she obliged, and I asked her for her number. We hit it off right away and began a relationship that almost led to marriage. God has other plans for both of us, but through our courtship I encountered the theology of the body and became devoted to the Holy Family. Bam! God works good from all things.

4. Try Online Out

I can hear the caterwauling already: “Online dating is terrible!/doesn’t work/is dumb/is unnatural/is for losers and desperate people/is expensive.

Look, I spent almost five years on two Catholic singles websites before meeting Katie. I sent hundreds upon hundreds of messages to young women over those years. I boarded planes and flew across the country on two occasions to meet someone. And guess what? Eventually one of the messages I sent was to Katie. And the third plane I got on took me to where she was. And now we’re married and couldn’t be happier.

Katie and I would not have met had we not both tried the online thing. Wouldn’t have happened, short of God bilocating me to Podunkville, New Mexico.

Will you meet your spouse online? The odds are against it. But, the odds are also against you meeting your spouse at church, or at a bar, or at a bar-mitzvah, or at the circus or at a concert or wherever. The whole point is that you avail yourself of this avenue for potentially meeting your future wife. Maybe God will bring you together through it, just as he brings people together sometimes through speed dating events.

I’d say more here, but Katie and I are writing a book on this (no expected publication date yet; it’s a back-burner project), so you’ll just have to wait til then.

5. Your Turn

Okay, those were the things that I tried as a single Catholic guy. But I know that there are more, ones that could help out the guys (and gals) reading right now.

So please chime in with avenues, ideas, and possibilities for finding the person God has chosen for you. 

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92 Responses to How to Find Your Wife in Five Difficult Steps

  1. Perhaps get a job in a restaraunt or somewhere where you can be exposed to a lot of people. Remember Catholics are 25% of the population, so they are everywhere.
    I went from an office job to being a cook, and met my future wife (the waitress) fairly quickly. She was a 19 year old who was raised nominally Catholic and was drifting religiously… loking for truth. I could tell she was the type of person that was looking for a strong leader as far a religion, and that apealed to my idealism. She became a very devout Presbyterian with me after our marriage. As I said, this aspect of her personality was there from the beginning… I just had to look for it through questioning and getting to know her a bit.
    I think there are lots of young Catholic ladies (particularly Catholics) out there like this. They have grown up with a nominal Catholicism and don’t have anything really against the Church, but are not practicing. They are waiting for Prince Charming to show them the way and show a bit of leadership.

    Now as Catholics, my wife is now exponentially more devout than I am. I thought I was rescuing her, but it was the opposite!

    • Devin Rose says:

      David, thanks for sharing your experiences. I also think that this is true:

      “I think there are lots of young Catholic ladies (particularly Catholics) out there like this. They have grown up with a nominal Catholicism and don’t have anything really against the Church, but are not practicing. They are waiting for Prince Charming to show them the way and show a bit of leadership.”

      Devin

    • I said a prayer that she and you will find your way home to Jesus’ Church. Vatican II taught that anyone who, knowing that God has made the Catholic Church necessary for our salvation, refuses to enter or remain within it, cannot be saved. The Church is the bride and body of Christ, and a body is a visible unity. This is effected through the Eucharist, consecrated by a priest. Therefore Jesus said, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you do not have life in you. In rejecting the truth of the Gospel in regards to the Eucharist, protestants refuse the most profound union with the Lord.

      (I am a 34 year old woman and daily Mass goer, but called to single-heartedness for God, celibate chastity for life. There is no one I prefer over Jesus, present in the Eucharist.)

  2. The Lord remembers His people.

    Pray, and trust in the Lord.

    And circulate! :D

    • Devin Rose says:

      Right on, Steve!

    • barb bledsoe says:

      “circulate”. A practice in courage and social skills like friendliness. It opens the door for kindness and humor. Expressions of our personalities just come out and mingle. All we have to do is circulate. A little kindness goes a long way.

  3. Jeanne G. says:

    Before I met my husband, I would have said “Move out of Podunkville” but I second the Online dating thing! I would probably still be an old maid living with my parents in Podunkville if I hadn’t taken the initiative to get onto a Catholic dating site… and then actually talk to guys. He was only the third one I talked to, but it worked for us.

  4. Big Tex says:

    Word!

    I used St. Al’s a bit to assist me in my courtship. I moved to Austin after graduating in 2001 to start my job. Moved in with two other buddies from college who were already living and working there. Ended up at St. Al’s because that’s where I knew a few people.

    My biggest tool, unbeknownst to me was the Communion of Saints. As I recall, it started way back in 8th grade where I selected St. John Bosco as my confirmation saint. Fast forward to college where I began to heed my parents’ advice from around 8th grade… date Catholics because that would make life a bit easier as my future spouse would share my faith. Thus, I figured Awakening was a way to plunge in headfirst (I had heard the ratio was 2-to-1 girls to guys). Met some really great gals, but never really pulled the trigger on dating them. Great friends, but for some reason it just didn’t click. However, these great friends were the gateway to me meeting my wife after I had graduated.

    In fact, I was dancing at my future best man’s wedding when one of these great friends (now a Dominican sister) had mentioned she had met a young lady at the Don Bosco conference in Steubenville recently. This young lady had just moved to Austin and was looking to get plugged into a young adults group. Interestingly enough, our Dominican friend was a good friend and roommate of one of this young lady’s college friend’s sister. Small world, eh?

    Well, this young lady had chosen as her confirmation patroness St. Maria Goretti, who is also the patroness of the parish I had attended for a bit in the Fall of 1999 during an internship.

    Back to Austin, circa 2001… our Domincan friend provided my contact info to this young lady who in turn contacted me. (Good phone conversation, BTW.) I knew of the Young Professionals out of St Al’s, and they were having an outing soon to Z-Tejas down in the Arboretum area. I invited her to join the group. In fact, I had no idea what was about to happen, because I was not seeking to date this young lady. I hadn’t even met her yet… just a phone call. Really, all I was expecting was to make a new friend.

    Well, we met at Z-Tejas (that jalapeno margarita is gooooooooood). I was blown away; she was gorgeous. Both my roommates were there too and made it plainly obvious that they were taken, but that I was available. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed our conversation. But, I left it at that.

    Well, two or so weeks later, I had a hankering for German food. All my buddies weren’t available. All of a sudden, it dawned on me… ask this young woman. Boldly, I picked up the phone and extended the invitation. Dinner in Walburg (btw… it’s best if you have reservations at this wide spot in the road).

    After one date, I had a good feeling. Heck it took three weeks to get to the next date, because I was in Korea for three weeks, but I did manage to set up date number two from across the Pacific: date #2: Saltlick BBQ. I pursued this woman. We had great conversation. It was practical conversation. It was riveting conversation.

    Funny thing is, now that she is my wife, she tells me that she kept coming out with me because she couldn’t find a good reason to turn me down. All this began three months or so after both of us came to Austin. Some of the thoughts that came to mind were “this is too soon to meet someone like this,” or “can an engineer really be a good Catholic? man”.

    I’m just a guy (mind you, a guy with some really great friends). I found a gem. I pursued her. I made her mine. I did it by never giving her a good reason to turn me down. I kept it real.

    • Devin Rose says:

      Ray, that is so awesome and perfectly personifies the suggestions I’ve been making. Very, very cool.

      By the way, you may remember that you were heading up the Cook Staff for my Aggie Awakening, a retreat I went on before I was even received into the Church!

      • Big Tex says:

        Sweet! I remember that weekend… lots of bald leaders.

        Incidentally, my wife and I only did that one outing the the St. Al’s crowd. :-) Every time I look back at all that transpired, I see a plan crafted with such precision that it could only be authored by the Divine.

        And like you, Elizabeth (my wife) and I approached dating as a prep for marriage. If it became clear to either one of us that marriage is off the table, we would terminate the dating relationship. Thanks be to God that it never came to that!

        • barb bledsoe says:

          Yes, dating as a preparation for marriage. That seems to be a vital tool and vehicle that needs to be identified early in the dating experience. Unidentified the dating process becomes an easy way to derail your intention and goal.

    • Hector Maldonado says:

      Hey Big Tex,

      You wanna hook up a deacon’s son, a fellow Longhorn alum? Not the “hook up” of the secular world, but of the Catholic one…as in decent and moral, and not just for a night…

      My oldest is 30, an accountant in Houston, and a grad of the Red McCombs School of Business. Why is dad looking out for him? Because shyness is cute, but itcan be a curse, and I am doing #2 above…spreading the word.

      He goes St. Angela Merici in Missouri City, where he lives. Does small group with some freinds from a Protestant church. They tried to get him to convert, but he wouldn’t, because he would miss the Eucharist that was only present in the Catholic Church.

      He is an auditor, single (of course), no crazy exes, no children out of wedlock, a good job, a great car, a house, and a master’s degree…

      This whole waiting for grandkids thing is getting old…of course, I am kidding…his and his furture wife’s relationship with Christ and happiness are paramount, and the children will follow at their own time

  5. Amber says:

    I don’t have any good advice, but I wanted to say that I found it so refreshing to see how willing you were to stop perusing a particular person if it became obvious that there were basic incompatibilities. I could have saved myself a lot of time, heartache, and missed opportunities if I had done that! Somehow I thought nipping a potential relationship like that was somehow mean, or that maybe I was just getting the wrong impression and I just needed to get to know the person better… Ugh! What a waste.

    • Devin Rose says:

      Thanks Amber. It is difficult because sometimes you think, “maybe this can work out if X, Y, and Z happens.” But if the gulf is great on the intellectual or spiritual level, it is best just to break off the courtship. God bless! Devin

      • Eileen says:

        I don’t know – sometimes things aren’t so clear cut. When I met my husband, I was dating somebody else. He was a wonderful Catholic man from a lovely family and in nearly every way we were quite compatible. However, I didn’t really want to marry him. All I can point to is that he didn’t make me laugh.

        One night I went out to an office happy hour with an eye to fixing up a girlfriend of mine with a particular man I’d noticed around the office. It was a Friday in Lent and when the waitress came around to take everyone’s order, he ordered grilled Cajun tuna. I immediately assumed he was a practicing Catholic and would therefore be unsuitable for my friend. As the beer flowed, it turned out my assumption was right and that he and I had lots in common and he actually said to my girlfriend, “How can I get your friend to marry me?” Well, he figured it out because we married a year later and that was nearly twenty years ago.

        I think I could’ve made a marriage work with the other man. However, I don’t think I would’ve been really happy, the way I’m happy now. I would’ve been posting on websites how marriage is hard work. It sounds unfair to say he was my safety boyfriend, but in fact that’s what he was. I was twenty nine and I was ready to get married and have kids. And that guy was husband material, no doubt about it.

        • Larry Coty says:

          “Husband material.” Now there’s a romantic term.

          Rhetorical question: How did the error arise and spread that women are the romantic half of the species? All the truly great love poems, tragedies, epics, etc. were written by men, until culture decayed enough to make it appear that the trivial scrawls of Jane Austen and her ilk were art.

          • Eileen says:

            Oh my goodness, Larry! I think we agree on something – I also believe men are much bigger romantics than women

  6. Amy says:

    I am quite sure you referred to my current town as “Podunkville” in a very charitable way, right? ;-) It did, after all, produce your very lovely wife and my very incredible husband. Perhaps it is in “Podunkville” that others should be looking!

    • Devin Rose says:

      Amy,

      Hahahaa! As they say, beautiful roses can bloom, even in the desert. But they are few and far between. :)

      • Trish says:

        Devin, thank you for getting “few and far between” correct. Most people say it backwards “far and few between” and it drives me nuts.

        And yes, that is my substantive contribution to this post so far LOL! ;-)

        • Katie says:

          I agree, Trish. I also feel a little batty when people say, “I could care less.” I want to reply, “Oh, really? Then, you must care at least a little.”

          I am a daughter of an English teacher. What can I say?

          • barb bledsoe says:

            I think that really IS saying that they do care. Emotionally it includes a resistance that automatically infers a level of caring. I think the flavor of distain relies on an amount of emotional involvement. ( I am a retired social worker, Katie. What can I say ?)

    • Katie says:

      Yes, in fact, Devin has his own version of the old Marty Robbins song. It goes something like this, “West of the old Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a New Mexican girl.” It sounds a little like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bwoGbpYXRw

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  8. StephC says:

    This tip pertains specifically our “how we met online” story (same fabulous site as you and Katie, Devon – can we just give a shout out to AveMariaSingles.com?) but it can also relate to your #2 tip re: someone being “out of your league.”

    Don’t assume. Don’t assume that she is “out of your league.” Don’t assume…oh, anything! Stay open to the movement of God’s grace in your life. (I was going to list all the things we typically “assume” about people before meeting, but really, it boils down to the grace thing.)

    Another tip: get yourself on a prayer list. Monasteries and Masses are effective!

  9. Ann says:

    So there ARE some great Catholic guys out there today, for good Catholic girls to marry. I have been married 50 years. My husband is from the Atlantic side of the USA, and I grew up near the Pacific Ocean. He could not find work in his state after college graduation, so he moved across the country to a town near where I lived. God brought us together through music. His mom and dad played piano and violin, respectively and got through the Great Depression largely due to playing for all sorts of events, like dances, concerts, etc. They did not charge-just passed the hat. My mom and dad met through the church choir; she played the organ (and piano) and he had a wonderful voice. When my future husband took over our church choir for which my mother played the organ, we were introduced. Several years later we started dating, and soon mom resigned and I took her place. So…if you are a musician, you may find your God-destined mate in the choir loft, or wherever your choir is located in the church.

  10. Geoffrey Miller says:

    Do I know you? Because I know St. Albert’s and go there often…

    • Devin Rose says:

      Hi Geoffrey,

      Well, probably not, since this was about 7 years or so ago. But we no doubt have some mutual friends. And I don’t mean to diss St. Albert’s in general; the young adult group there had many many great people in it, whom I am still friends with today. But the building itself I was not a fan of.

  11. Michael Fraley says:

    I met my wife through a friend of hers who was a coworker of mine. It’s the value of trying to be a quality person while on the job. People keep you in mind for their friends. She was and is Catholic. I wasn’t, but I’d been reading the Early Church Fathers for 20 years and I was trying to figure out where I could find that sort of Church … It’s been a great nine years, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the journey.

    • Devin Rose says:

      Michael, that is great to hear. I forgot about meeting someone through my work because it was (and is) about 10 to 1 ratio of male to female. Typical engineering nerd place.

  12. Larry Coty says:

    I wonder how many of these stories just amount to a Catholic version of stalking.

    In a sane society, people rely on introductions and do not engage in such pathetic acts of espionage as “scoping out the hot chicks at mass,” etc.

    I recall the story of the abbott and the novice walking down the road, and being on the verge of crossing paths with a group of women. The novice made a point of leaving the road, while the abbott walked right past the women. The novice upbraided the abbott, asking him why he did not avoid the women. The abbott replied, “If you were a good monk, you would have not even noticed that they were women.”

    Go to mass, go to adoration, etc., and keep your eyes to the ground. The Lord will provide when the time is right.

    Oh, and if a woman says, “I was wondering when you were going to introduce yourself!” — run like the wind!

    • Devin Rose says:

      Larry,

      I must respectfully disagree.

      It isn’t stalking to notice a young lady at Mass and talk to her at some point. Sure it would be great to only rely on introductions a la Jane Austen England. But it’s not the reality now.

      I didn’t go to Mass to “scope out hot chicks,” but to worship our Lord and receive Him in the Eucharist. But if it so happened that I met someone there, which occurred a few times over the course of several years, there’s nothing wrong with that.

      During this time in my life, I had two Holy Hours. But you don’t talk during adoration, so you can’t meet anyone there. It’s time for you and Jesus. That’s awesome, but you gotta branch out to meet someone.

      So I think you are too providentalistic in your approach.

      • Larry Coty says:

        Well, your entire blog post is devoted to suggestions about how to order one’s life in such a way as to meet one’s spouse.

        I am claiming that this kind of thinking/acting is bizarre — and it is not less bizarre because Jane Austen (a vastly overrated scribbler) is dead and gone. It is just a slight variation on the mindless kind of “clubbing” engaged in by our heathen contemporaries, and is predicated on the same error: Namely, that our main duty is to our own happiness, however construed.

        • trs says:

          Larry,
          I think you’re wrong, and a little uptight.

          I’ve been waiting for years to meet a good Catholic man at church or church activities. Still waiting.
          I’ve learned that there are many men like you, who think it’s some sort of sacrilege to introduce themselves to women at church.

          Our worlds are so big today that if you saw or met a woman at church that you could be interested in… odds are low that you’d run into her anywhere else.
          Not like Little House on the Prairie where Laura could bump into Alonzo at the Olson’s store or the Mill.

          Put yourself where you’ll meet someone. You could meet a woman of substance at church!

          • trs says:

            Although I will concede your point that — if you’re creepy it IS stalking, and women will be annoyed.
            If you’re awesome though, it’s fine.

            Exhibit A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBVuAGFcGKY

          • kc says:

            Larry, I agree with all your comments up to this point and I would like to add that no self-respecting Christian woman would ever want to marry a man who has dated as many woman as these online daters have. I think it’s rather undignified, cheap and disgusting. As to church groups, my fiancee actually stopped going to youth group because he felt like it was just a meat market. The both of us even avoided church for awhile because people were just there to find mates. I switched churches at one point to avoid men in their thirties trolling the pews to find a twenty-something to marry. I know it sounds harsh, but I consider online dating, even the”Catholic” kind, to be the gateway drug to prostitution, prostitution of one’s dignity and self-respect. Don’t drink the kool-aid (this article was total propaganda), and sorry for being so judgement. I’m just saying what’s honestly on my mind, not trying to be mean.

        • Meredith says:

          I was going to answer your insistence on introductions by noting that we do not live in Regency England anymore, but now I see that you hate Jane Austen to boot. By calling her a “vastly overrated scribbler,” you have actually managed to alienate all the young ladies who would welcome the propriety and civility of an introduction.

          • Larry Coty says:

            Austen was a hack, the Stephanie Meyer of her age. This is not entirely a criticism: She’s an accomplished hack, but a hack nonetheless.

            Why on earth you would interpret my criticism of her as “hatred” I can’t imagine. [In fact, there are more serious criticisms which can be leveled at her; ones which even touch upon the subject of this discussion. For example, her stuff is a mild form of emotional pornography which encourages women to give themselves over to the stultifying fantasies of so-called “romance” which plague us to this day. However, I think such a discussion would take us too far afield.]

    • Ryan says:

      You must be fun at parties.

    • Meredith says:

      Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Your avatar is a monk, Larry, so I pray that you are discerning a monastic vocation – if you want a wife, you are most likely out of luck given that attitude. Saying hello to a girl after Mass is not stalking, which is a serious, frightening crime that should not be made light of.

      If you walk around with your eyes on the ground, flee like a timid maiden from any girl who offers you a smidgen of encouragement, and generally wait for God to drop a woman in your lap, you are going to end up a Confirmed Old Bachelor. Which can be a nice way of life, but you should be sure that’s what you really want, and that it won’t make you biter.

      • Larry Coty says:

        Not just any monk, Meredith: That is Tomás de Torquemada, the greatest Dominican of his century, who served the (as yet uncanonized) Saint, Queen Isabella I of Spain.

        I can assure you that your concern for my future is needless, and that there is no chance I will end up a confirmed bachelor.

  13. Devin,

    Speaking as a single guy in his twenties, it is easy to get discouraged and cynical. We need encouraging voices like yours to motivate us out of our ruts and bad habits. Singleness is partially circumstance (God’s calling for us at this time and place) and partially our fault (if indeed we are called to marriage). Our selfishness, our broken-ness, our manifold sins, are revealed and exaggerated when in relationship with another person. Failure at relationship is partially our fault.

    Desiring marriage is good, and marriage is honorable in all (as the Word says). Marriage is also dangerous. It involves sharing our whole person with an Other. The Trinity do this with each other, as co-equal and consubstantial persons with different functions and roles. Their relationship is completely open and self-giving. Our relationships don’t work that way due to Original Sin. Vestiges of fear lurk beneath the surface that prevent us from loving someone else as we should.

    Step one to overcoming those sins for guys is to cast away fear and be bold–just as Christ was bold with us when He saved us, even when we were lost and not looking to be saved at all (you might say we were “out of His league”). That means ASK GIRLS OUT. Yes.

    One way that has worked for me is to use friendly connections. Another way to learn to dance, specifically contra, squares and waltz. This impresses the ladies. And asking women to dance with you helps you function better socially with them and helps you get over certain hang-ups. And the most interesting folks show up for a contra dance. You gains friends and even a couple of dates.

  14. anonymous says:

    Great article! I have what seems to have turned into a perpetual novena going to Bl. John Paul II that God will bring the person he has for a future spouse to my young adult children. It is so hard for young people these days to find good Catholic spouses. There is so much heartache in the world and the odds are stacked against marriages where faith is not central. I figure if anyone understands this it’s JPII with the treasury of profound teachings he has given us on love and marriage. Keep praying!

  15. Mike says:

    Devin: Well stated, sir.
    I met my (future) wife on Christmas Eve, at the Vigil Mass, 37 years ago this December. We actually figured out we were “set up” to meet by mutual friends, but it was our mutual Catholic faith that brought us together.
    Now, I am the outlier here, as I asked her to marry me on our first date, and she said “yes”. I DO NOT see that happening for everyone, but it was meant to be for us.
    It is not “stalking” to see someone in a setting you want to be in,and want to talk to them. If someone isn’t interested,they will say “no, thanks”. Is it better to share your personal thoughts with someone at a sports bar?? I think not.
    Faith life and growth with another person are mutual.
    Good luck to you and your bride.

  16. poetcomic1 says:

    There is an Iron Clad rule of modern American dating. If a woman finds you unappealing, your attentions are ‘harassment’.

  17. Eskyguard says:

    I’m a young priest in Michigan. There are so many attractive, single, Catholic ladies who are mostly frustrated because Catholic men do not make a move. Gentlemen, what is the point of not making a move? You are alone. If she rejects you, you are alone and you can move onwards. Also men, there are no perfect women so if she likes praise and worship music and not Gregorian chant do not discard her as “too liberal” because your probably passing on a woman who will be an amazing wife and mother.

  18. Amanda says:

    Delightful!

    I have made a point of both getting involved at my parish, and in hanging around after mass (and private prayer) to connect with friends out on the patio. I haven’t met even one single man in all that time, but have made some good, good friends — mostly married women with young children.

    And for us “not-so-young” adults, a group in our archdiocese has just started a singles group for faithful Catholics of all ages — must be free to marry in the Church to join. I like that because I am no longer a young adult, and I certainly don’t want to be dating a man who is still another woman’s husband!

    I really don’t expect that I’ll ever marry, and I’m fine with that. The Lord is using me in beautiful ways in my state of life. Your article is a great reminder to remain open to God’s plan by remaining a vibrant part of the Body of Christ.

    God bless you! St. Raphael, pray for us!

  19. Becky says:

    Devin’s suggestions are great. I think I tried most of them when I was single, and found that there were pros/cons to all of them. (Some YA groups were better than others . . . I was in one once where everybody was “keen” on someone who was “keen” on someone else. Frankly, in my experience, these groups worked best when there were both single and married YAs in them, because that way, the socializing was about more than just “scoping out” the opposite sex.)

    The online approach is what brought my husband and me together. But I have friends who met their spouse in all the different ways that have been suggested.

    I do think there may be some value in the “Move out of Podunkville” possibility. My closest friend used to live in a small, rural area, and tried out all of Devin’s suggestions. She was reluctant to try moving to a big city (and thus to a bigger pool of eligible Catholic bachelors), but after only a few months of moving, she met the man who is now her husband.

  20. Bob Gravlin says:

    I’d say find a ministry or volunteer work you could do and yes one where some Catholic women may be present also. This is a good way to observe a person over time especially for someone like me who is not into cold calling. As for me I thought my wife Betty was just a boring business manager at the pro life shelter we were both volunteering for, but when I learned she had tried the convent and was asking me to help her find available males I self selected myself and God blessed even a poor sinner like myself.

  21. Nate says:

    There is one thing I hear on a lot of Comboxes about being Catholic and single. Well maybe two. The first is the most common, which is meeting at Church never happens. This is Stromboli. It’s actually the best place to meet because like what was said in the blog is that you can meet young ladies that have a serious faith, and it really is numero uno. The second is this massive doubt that if your in this category of Catholic, male and single and same goes for woman is that oh it’s like looking for a needle in a hay stack. Well yeah it is because you don’t want a haystack of guys you want the guy or girl that’s for you.

    So a few tips.

    1 ) Trust in God. He knows you and your longing.

    2 ) keep the faith. Don’t be the person that is stinking to the Catholic way of life for a girl or guy, you keep the faith regardless.

    3 ) Sometimes the best route is to not seek. Don’t scan the crowd for potential mates, wolves and other lower animals do that. Have a purpose. I have plenty of Catholic women just by being involved in something. Like I met the girl I’m seeing now through the parish yard sale. That was a year ago, and I wasn’t looking to go there to meet someone just to participate in the community. That’s the way to go.

    4 ) Never give up. Don’t be hopeless, each gender has their own way of sensing that.

    5 ) BEST FRIENDS FIRST! Sure you can change the facebook status to in a relationship. But working to become best friends means your working to know one another. Sure you have your married lives to do that but this way the temptation to do something you may regret is less there. Also Dating is something that is rather secular. Do you want a date or do you want someone you can spend the rest of your life with.

    6 ) You don’t’ know Jack. This is a good rule of thumb. No one knows everything about nabbing the girl. As Catholics we should know only god knows all about the girl or guy you are with or who you meet. Don’t be afraid to look for advice form Catholic sources. WE have a great tradition, and guys like Jason Evert, and Chris West, Matt Fraad are good guys to take hints from. When I came back home and was returning to the Church I ate those books up and they taught me how to be a better man.

  22. Mike says:

    1 Cor 7-27: … if a man has a wife, he should not seek to be free of her; and if he is unmarried, he should not look for a wife.

    I think St. Paul is right, if the right spouse is to come along, it will happen. If not, so be it. Why did God make dating so plain awful, full of fear and awkwardness? The older I get, the more I think it’s because he doesn’t want us to do it, just put our trust in Him and let Him bring two souls together. Our job is simply to be open to the possibility.

  23. Rick says:

    The best place to find a potential partner on the journey to eternal life is … waiting in line for the Sacrament of Penance.

  24. John says:

    And what do you do when you’re a poor Catholic man and have only become poorer in the past decade? Chaste women aren’t interested in you, and promiscuous women aren’t what I’m seeking.

    • TheInformer says:

      you said it bro…..but don’t be discouraged.

      Sad to say, even the “elect” can be corrupted. Heard more than a few stories of attractive, interesting, intelligent young women from possibly the best Catholic college in the US, who had made a habit of sleeping around.

      No man wants what every other man already had!

    • Larry Coty says:

      If you’re poor, consider religious life. Women will have you if you are unchaste, dimwitted, slovenly, even plain: But if you are po’, then out you go.

      “I hadn’t found out yet that mankind consists of two very different races, the rich and the poor. It took me … and plenty of other people . . . twenty years and the war to learn to stick to my class and ask the price of things before touching them, let alone setting my heart on them.”
      ? Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night

      • kc says:

        A good Christian man is a rare kind of person, rich or poor. Same goes for a good Christian woman. Money is of no consequence when they find each other because true love conquers all and love for Jesus leads the way.

    • Eileen says:

      Hey John, when I met my husband I had a good job and was on an upwardly mobile career path. I was on track to finish paying off my student loans several years early. I think I even had about 2 thousand dollars in the bank. Then I met my husband. He had more than six figures of credit card and student loan debt.

      We had big plans for me to work for two years after we married to get the debt under control and then we’d start having babies. Hah! – God had other plans. I got pregnant on our honeymoon and had a complicated pregnancy requiring many hospitalizations and loss of income.

      We were pretty poor those first few years. But when it’s right, it’s right, and financial security be darned. I think that money is something men worry about when they’re wooing a woman. But if the relationship’s meant to be, money really doesn’t matter.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    I would say to be open to meeting your future spouse outside of Catholic circles. I was on Catholic Match and Ave Maria Singles. I had met some great guys (one of them still a friend), but it just didn’t work out for a variety of reasons. A friend asked me to attend a Halloween Party that she and another woman were co-hosting. My friend was a religious Jew; her co-host was an agnostic Jew. I met a really nice guy at the party and spent several hours talking to him. I thought he might be Catholic because of a few saint references in our conversation, but I didn’t pursue it because he was dating the agnostic Jew co-host, so I didn’t think of him as a possibility. The next day, the two hosts called me to say that they though that one of the men I’d been talking to at the party would be perfect for me. When they told me which one they were talking about, I said “but aren’t you dating him?” and she replied, “Yes, but I won’t be soon.” Naturally, I asked “What’s wrong with him?” Her reply, “Well, I’m a liberal and an agnostic Jew and he’s a conservative, practicing Catholic. ” I had so narrowly focused on online dating and attending Catholic functions that I had totally discounted the possibility of meeting someone outside those narrow confines.

  26. Bob Gravlin says:

    And I was told when I had discerned that marriage was a likely option for me to not look too hard for a potential spouse. As Jesus said to seek His kingdom first, and the rest is secondary. And that is easier said than done, at times but I was not looking too hard when my future wife, thinking I was just a good friend, let me know of her interest in potential good men. The likely hardest part was for God to clean me up first, as one said, in the confession line, to prepare me for my vocation.

    • Devin Rose says:

      Bob, you gotta do what you think God is leading you to. And sometimes that might mean taking a step back, not worrying, and seeing what happens.

  27. Lee Gilbert says:

    We just came from our daughter’s solemn profession as a contemplative nun and I have to say that I am totally stupefied that two of her beautiful, talented, intelligent, devout 30 yr old Catholic friends haven’t been snatched up. The same goes for the beautiful friends of our daughter-in-law who came to the wedding four years ago. What is going on? I wonder if video games, pornography, televised sports have emasculated the young men of this age or what. Or if they are too in debt to make a move. Or unemployed.

    As for where and how to meet, the possibilities are endless. Thirty six years ago I belonged to a charismatic prayer group that had set up a small Catholic bookstore. I was the book buyer. Talk about a place to meet beautiful, devout Catholic girls! Also, there is plenty to talk about- the latest book, videos, etc.

    There are plenty of good Catholic movements and causes around, whether pro-life or the charismatic renewal or Focolare, etc., etc. , which have the inestimable advantage of being focused on something other than the loneliness problem.

    In every fairly large city it seems that there are one or two parishes that stand out because of their orthodoxy or devotion. There I would become a lector or CCD teacher. There the homeschooling families gather. When these mothers noted my sterling qualities, they would bring their daughters to Mass when they came home on Christmas vacation or summer break from the University of Dallas or Thomas Aquinas College or whatever other excellent Catholic college.

    If I were in my mid-twenties and anywhere near a good Catholic college ( or Newman Club at a university), you can bet I’d being going to daily Mass there, would seek borrowing privileges at their library, would do my internet searches there, chat up the student staff . . . . One thing leads to another.

    But as an evangelical pastor put it so eloquently, “Even God can’t steer a parked car.”

    As for being in debt, unemployed, etc, if marriage is your vocation, there is always a way, a way that is more easily discovered by the prayers of two.

  28. TheInformer says:

    OOOOOPS! I forgot to get married!

    hahahahahahahaha

    overrated!

  29. Nate says:

    The Informer.

    How would you know if you were never married. Is it because of the experiences of other people around you?

    • TheInformer says:

      Well, as we look around at: schools, occupations, ways of life, all sorts of decisions. Learn from examples. You aren’t suggesting trying everything, good and bad, before deciding. Are you? Experience can be a verrrry severe teacher, no?

      • Nate says:

        No not at all, but life isn’t just about what’s pleasing to the pallet. It’s about the good, the bad, and everything in between. We get rid of things to easily these days. Don’t like your nose, get a new one, don’t like your car, get a new one, don’t like your spouse, get a new one. Looking around and even after all the pondering, what may look to be something overrated, way more trouble than it’s worth, can actually be the thing that’s needed.

  30. Sam says:

    Devin, I appreciate the food for thought you’ve shared with readers. And I hope this does not sound like some argumentative reply. I don’t intend it to be. It is feedback and, of course, not infallible. :)

    But I felt the crux of your post leaned too far toward the optimistic. It is wonderful that an armless, legless man found a beautiful Catholic wife. Such blessings from God are to be cherished. But such a story is incredibly rare. Mankind sometimes tends to prop up great stories of futility that have happy endings and forgo those without. Yet this world is perverse, warped, and fallen. Strife and tears may haunt the most faithful soul for years, maybe even their whole lives. The few number of people, including Catholics, who are even willing to forgo the sin of birth control within marriage, creates a great obstacle from the onset. To the practicing single Catholic man or woman, even many “prospects” who attend Church or are on Catholic dating sites are eliminated from the pool because they would have such sinful behaviors enter the sacrament.

    A great many of Catholic men or women will live their entire lives feeling called to marriage and never enter it. They will have been open to youth groups, volunteering, Church-going, adoration, asking friends/relatives for help, praying, trusting, etc… The whole gamut. They will have done all the “things” their married Catholic peers did with different results. Many would be just as “good” or better spouses as their married peers are. They will face various burdens or circumstances or trials that, for whatever reason, prevented the other gender from receiving them in marriage. Maybe it will even be someone without an arm. They will ever in this life yearn for the sacrament they will never receive. Such will be the lot of some Catholics.

    Only through the eyes of faith could they even begin to accept the suffering as something God wills them to bear––that they have been given the desire for the sacrament along the cross of its deprivation. And it doesn’t matter what they “do.” If it should please God that they remain in such suffering, no prayer or movement or condition can overturn it.

    That is not to say that they should not continue to pray or trust that where God would have them in life is what is best for them. In doing that, they will be the best child of God they can be, even if it means toiling through life with a wed-less cross over their backs.

    I did appreciate that you at least put “difficult steps” in the headline. Although it seemed the remainder of the article looked on quite a bright side that will not always find the praying single Catholic.

    My post, of course, leans too heavily on the negative and sounds pessimistic. But I hope that the point is not lost, that the seeking single Catholic understand the burdens he or she may bear.

    • Devin Rose says:

      Sam, good points. And I happen to know at least one single Catholic guy who, due to the circumstances you alluded to, will likely never be married. It’s just a difficult thing but a reality. God bless everyone!

  31. Confirmed Bachelo says:

    I think there is far too great a focus in our society on our happiness being linked to marriage. If one looks at the long history of the Church, one thing is clear: that the single life is superior to marriage. This begins with St. Paul, is echoed by the Church Fathers on countless occasions, and even affirmed in modern times.

    St. Athenogoras wrote: “You would find many among us, both men and women, growing old unmarried, in hope of living in closer communion with God”

    The Council of Trent wrote some strong words on the subject:

    “If anyone says that the married state is to be preferred to the state of virginity or celibacy, and that it is not better and happier to remain in virginity or celibacy than to be joined in matrimony, let him be anathema.”

    Pope Pius XII wrote the following:

    32. This doctrine of the excellence of virginity and of celibacy and of their superiority over the married state was, as We have already said, revealed by our Divine Redeemer and by the Apostle of the Gentiles; so too, it was solemnly defined as a dogma of divine faith by the holy council of Trent, and explained in the same way by all the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Finally, We and Our Predecessors have often expounded it and earnestly advocated it whenever occasion offered.

    My point is this: who cares about “five doable steps to find your wife?” How does one actually discern that one is called to be married in the first place–unless one has met his wife? You say that people have somehow discerned a vocation to marriage, but I don’t think this is done in a vacuum. I assumed at a very young age that I was called to marriage. I’m in my forties right now, and it’s clear that for the first four decades of my life, God didn’t call me to marriage, and regardless of my desires, and even decades of dating, (and indeed doing “cold calls,” doing online dating for probably ten years, having plenty of people set me up, or introduce me), nothing has happened. Why? God’s providence.

    It seems that the modern laity of the Church assume that marriage is the greatest good for a single man or woman. But why is this? The history of the Church tells us something very different, and St. Paul is quite explicit that he urges us to choose the single life. Why do we live in an age when the single life is viewed as anathema, or to be avoided at all costs? Why don’t we assume first that God has called us to a single life, unless He makes it quite clear otherwise?

    I think these sorts of “Five Steps To Find A Wife” are focused on one thing: MY notion of what I believe my vocation to be is. The vocation to marriage is actually one that is discerned with another person, not on one’s own. Certainly if one has a vocation to marriage, God will bring the person to you, even if you happen to think, Devin, that this is far too providentialistic.

    The fact is that for most single men and women, they believe that their life really will only begin when they’re married, (which is something I felt probably until my mid-thirties). That’s a mistaken notion. While we’re single, we should live it as a daily vocation, and not worry about the future, or how we’ll meet our spouse. As Christ says to us, “Why worry about tomorrow? Doesn’t today have enough trouble of its own?” Too many men and women live in the worldly trap of pining for their spouse, when all God wants for them is to enjoy that time of solitude with Him. We should focus far less on “Five Steps to Find Your Wife,” and more on “living today, trusting God for tomorrow.” The fellow who’s picture you show doesn’t reveal anything except this: it was God’s will and Providence that the two of them marry. Nothing more, nothing less, and it certainly doesn’t help to accuse single men who find themselves still single of somehow “not doing the right things.” I’ve realize that the right thing all along was for me to worry less about marriage, and live today. Which is what I’ve chosen to do now in my early forties. I can’t explain why I’m still single, but it’s certainly not because of a lack of “doing the right things.” The only explanation is that God has called me to be single–at least for today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

    I would like to be married, but I no longer am even engaged in the process of “trying to find a wife.” And I’ve never been more at peace.

    • Devin Rose says:

      Confirmed Bachelor,

      Yes these “steps” are to help you meet people so that you can discern marriage with them. However it is possible to discern one’s vocation to religious life/priesthood vs. marriage without necessarily going to seminary, or getting engaged to someone.

      In any case, clearly the post rubbed you the wrong way. I have some more responses but am on vacation and would just say: God bless you.

  32. Gina says:

    Devin’s suggestions are honest and refreshing. Yes, men who are single should seek out and introduce themselves to women who are single.

    I’ve been wondering why a man who’s single and winks and smiles at me doesn’t ask me out. I know he’s not married, and he’s not attached to anyone. I like him so much, but do not know how to approach someone who flirts, but never proceeds to ask me out.

    Catholic men do puzzle me. I hope this changes. I think perhaps in this very confusing culture, Catholic men don’t understand women who don’t make the first move. In this messed up culture, men never have to make the first move. Which makes them awkward around women who expect them to act, well, manly and take initiative. I hope Catholic men start to seek a women, for the right reasons. God is counting on them.

    • Nate says:

      I responded to another blog post comment like this one.

      You know sometimes flirting is the thing they think they can do effectively, he isn’t coming to you probably because of the fear of rejection. The trouble is these days it really is the good lines that get rejected, even if they do try and start a conversation.

      It’s not just Catholic men, it’s Men in general. Men tend to be more to the point, which contrasts with a Woman innate nurturing nature. Not that I am trying to justify, but it really is something to consider. These days we sunk to a new low so getting Woman is rather easy, no offense, we live in an instant gratification mentality and this is really emasculating for men. But note that Catholic men in Church that you see, really might be seeking a woman for the right reasons, but don’t want to burn a bridge before they cross it. It might be because of the situation I’m in and what I have seen in my parish, I’m trying to be the most general I can be and although I am still seeing the young Lady I walked up and started talking to a year ago, what I did was not gung ho manly, I just simply felt I had to talk to her. Guys aren’t mind readers, we don’t know if you are interested in us and that will never change and I think it’s rather unfounded for any woman to think that we are just going to take the hint, and same for guys, we make like these reasons of why some dame at a club is interested in us when she may just be there with her friends, and not looking to chat up a shmuck. Realize that Woman have to have the courage to make Men better men because we aren’t going to do it on our own. Have a say in the matter not just wait for us stroll up and grab you, you have to at least let on that you want a guy to initiate communication with you. Love is a two way street and yes guys have to do the heavy lifting but you have your own part to play to.

    • Katrina says:

      I’ve encountered this with Catholic men a few times. It’s hard to know exactly what it means, but from talking to Catholic male friends I get the impression that they sometimes feel a degree of pressure or expectation associated with dating that other guys don’t.

      In other words, Catholic guys can be quite nervous about asking a girl out, because dating can often mean a lot more in a Catholic context. They do constantly hear that ‘dating is about discerning if someone is a prospective spouse’ (which is true), so the stakes are a lot higher. They’re thinking (even if only in a very vague way) about the end-game of marriage from the very start, in a way other guys their age usually aren’t.

      It’s good, in the sense that it ensures people take relationships seriously, but the downside may be that Catholic guys might not ask a girl out as readily as a guy from a secular background.

      • Nate says:

        Well said Katrina, thanks for putting it that way. I think there is pressure from both sides because you have the secular guys wanting us to fail so the can say I told you the whole chaste waiting before marriage thing was total nonsense.

  33. Bob Gravlin says:

    As for as the comments on the best vocation, the “best” is what God has in mind for me. I spent years thinking I should look into priesthood or religious life, thinking it was somehow better, but is was not wasted, as God had other things to do to prepare me for marriage first. I told several friends, that, apart from thinking that I may have had a religious vocation, there were several relationships I may have pursued that, hindsight tells me would not have been good.
    As for as waiting until we are married, if that is God’s call for us, unless we can be comfortable with our relationship with God first, we would not be good for marriage anyway, as we would be expecting our spouse to fill that void in us that only God can fill.

  34. I was single until 30. One reason I did get married is that at age 29, I changed my “posture” from waiting for the right woman to finding the right woman. I made meeting potential mates a priority. I asked friends and family to fix me up, or make recommendations. I spoke to women in my daily life I’d’ve not spoken to before. I did a whole lot of dating. Oddly enough I married a woman I’d known socially/ academically for 12 years. That would seem to discount my approach, but it was that change in mindset that let me see her as a potential wife instead of just an acquaintance.

    And she is indeed my rib, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh: the one God made for me.

  35. Devin,
    I am happily married and have been for 20 years. God has always been a part of my life. I heard about your website through a friend of mine. This particular friend was on team for the recent A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Community, Theology & Service) retreat here in Austin at St. Louis Parish.
    I just wanted to say I like your suggestions above and have forwarded them to many of my friends, both single and married. Married couples always have a particular friend that just can’t seem to find that right person and the above advice may be good for them.
    May the good Lord continue to bless you in your endeavors.

  36. Pingback: Nobody Said It Was Easy… | St. Joseph's Vanguard

  37. Jeff Job says:

    I met my bride online at Catholic Mingle. Me in Wisconsin and her in Washington, long distance for 4 years, every step more frightening than the last. Till I realized SHE was my vocation and just got out of the way and let His plan unfold. He doesn’t require our input other than a surrendered will. Then He gets to work!