The Devil Wants You To Settle in Your Relationship

Besides choosing to give Christ my entire heart and life at 18 (after falling in love with Him in the Eucharist), the best decision I ever made was to wait 28 years for the man of my dreams. There were so many times I could’ve settled for a nice Catholic guy who treated me well and bored me to tears. I knew I never wanted to tell my children, “Well, your dad loved me and seemed nice enough, so I married him.” Ugh. Gag me with a spork. Heck no. I knew I wanted to tell my children, “I waited patiently for a man I was passionately in love with, who led me to holiness, who was my best friend, and who I couldn’t wait to be married to!” Sure enough, when Bobby Angel came along, I knew I found that man.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of confused and conflicted young adults out there who seem tempted to settle for a spouse. There are a lot of people who date because it’s nice to have a warm body gazing back at you. Listen carefully to me: there are tons of holy, attractive, fun people out there. (I know, because I’m trying to play matchmaker and set them all up with each other). Seriously, though, you are only called to marry one of them. You are not called to be a polygamist (thank God!). Just because you date an attractive, holy Catholic doesn’t mean he/she is the “one.” In the past, every time I met a single Catholic guy, my head would always say, “Is this the one? Is this the one?” I was like a hamster on crack (like most single Catholic young adults who see every other single Catholic young adult as a target for romance). I kept rationalizing my good Catholic guy dates, saying, “Well, he doesn’t make me laugh, but I could deal with that,” or “I’m not really attracted to him, but I don’t want to be vain so I could deal with that” or “We really don’t have great conversations, but I could be a like a cloistered wife vowed to silence for the rest of my life, right?”

When I met Bobby, though, everything clicked. I didn’t have to rationalize anything. In fact, both of us are still in shock that two human beings could fit so perfectly (even in our faults) with each other. I’m sure God watches us stumble through relationships, laughing and thinking, “Oh you of little faith. Why do you not trust me?” Sure enough, when we settle, it’s because we don’t trust God enough. We don’t trust that God is a bigger romantic than we are, that God is the most passionate being there is (in fact, who endured the passion out of love for us), and who wants the absolute best for our lives. When we don’t trust God, we commit the original sin of Adam and Eve all over again: we grasp at the gift of “knowledge” rather than wait for God to give us the gift He’s had for us all along (see CCC 396-397). In Fill These Hearts, Christopher West writes, “That’s pride at its root: we don’t trust in God’s designs, so we choose to follow our own” (p. 112). Remember: God is the one who has amazing plans for us, “plans for our welfare not for woe, plans for a future full of hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). It’s the stupid devil who wants us to grasp at relationships and who tempts us to settle for what’s just “okay.”

To me, some of the most courageous men and women are those who break off their relationships out of love for the other. They realize that the other person deserves someone better than them, that they are wasting the other’s time from finding their true vocation (whether be it to another person in marriage or maybe even a vocation to celibacy as a priest, nun, sister, brother, consecrated, or single person), or that they would be settling for a life of eye-rolling and frustration. This is extremely difficult. Bobby and I can speak from experience—he broke off an engagement and I broke up with a man who was a month from proposing. In the end, we were both extremely glad that the Holy Spirit convicted us and helped us have courage (a word that literally means, “to act from the heart”) to do what was best for all.

When I was single, I told myself, “I would rather be joyful and single than miserable with someone.” Why? Because I know that God wants us to be radiant witnesses of his love to the world. When I was single, I was totally free to do this because I had peace and joy founded in Christ who completely satisfied me. When I was in previous relationships, however, I was filled with anxiety, wondering if the guy didn’t get my sense of humor, didn’t like my craziness, didn’t like my love for Daily Mass, the Rosary or Adoration. I changed myself for the guys and didn’t like who I was with them. I knew that the man I was called to marry would not make me feel imprisoned or trapped, but would give me freedom to be my authentic self, freedom to be a radiant witness for the Lord together, and freedom to love God, my neighbor, and myself more authentically.

Freedom is huge in a relationship. No, not the philosophy of freedom given by Wiz Kalifa and Snoop Dogg; their “freedom” allows them to get drunk, smoke weed, and be a player for them hoes. No. Authentic freedom enables us to do what is right. Freedom in a relationship has the signs of peace and joy. A lack of freedom in a relationship gives you that anxiety in your belly, that “icky” feeling, that unrest.

So, my question to you (if you are in a relationship with someone to whom you are not married) is this: Does your relationship help you to be freer or less free? Is your relationship life-giving or life-sucking?

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself.

Some questions are bigger “no-brainers” than others. We’ll start with the “no-brainer” red flags at the top and go to more subtle signs you aren’t free in a relationship to be the man or woman of God you were created to be.

If you say “yes” to any of these questions, you should get out of that relationship:

Does your significant other abuse you physically, emotionally, verbally, or sexually?

Do they pressure you to sin or make fun of you for not sinning? (Calling you a “prude” because you won’t do sexual things with them, making you feel guilty for not getting drinking/getting drunk, pressuring you to see a smutty movie or watch pornography, or pressuring you to live with them, etc.)

Do you feel like you are being used as an object for their pleasure?

Are you afraid of bringing up tough issues, annoyances, or frustrations, for fear they might get defensive, lash out at you, or shut down?

Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells with what you say or do for fear they might break up with you (again)?

Are you afraid to show your weaknesses, because they expect you to be perfect?

Do you have that constant pit of anxiety in your belly either when you are with them or apart from them? Do you feel that anxiety when you think of marrying them?

Are you staying with them out of lust, out of fear of being alone, out of security, or out of fear of never finding anyone else who will be with you?

Are you confused about the relationship constantly? Do you go back and forth about whether or not this is “the one?”

Do you feel relieved when they are gone?

If you say “no” to any of these questions, you should re-think your relationship:

Are you free to be your true self (who you are with your best girl friends or guy friends)?

Do you feel loved in who you are, even in your weaknesses?

Do you feel challenged to be a better, holier person?

Are you free to be child-like, to laugh, to have joy with your significant other?

Do you feel challenged spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically?

Is your relationship healing? Is their love helping you to deal with issues of the past without them being a “savior” to you (rather, they point you to “the Savior” for healing)?

Are you willing to spend 24 hours 7 days a week with them for the rest of your life?

Are they your best friend with whom you have romance?

Bobby and I will be praying for all those who read this blog, that you may truly do God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2)

(Used with permission from http://www.jackiefrancois.com)

__________________________

jackiefrancoisJackie is a full-time traveling speaker, singer/songwriter, and worship leader from Orange County, CA. In 2006, she became an artist with OCP/SpiritandSong.com with whom she has released two albums. She has been involved in youth ministry since she graduated high school, and she now travels the globe speaking to young people about God’s love and leading worship for various events and ministries

105 Comments

  1. Honestly, I don’t even know you two.. but you guys are great role models for us, young adults! Thank you so much!!

    By Reeny Pereira | 3 years ago Reply
    • “there are tons of holy, attractive, fun people out there.”

      Are there really..?? Can you tell me where so i can move there? lol

      By Matt | 3 years ago Reply
      • I was thinking the same thing, Matt :). In God’s time we’ll find the one we’re supposed to (including Him if our vocation is to religious life of any sort). The waiting sometimes isn’t so fun though, eh? Prayers for joy in the singleness God has called me to right now, would be greatly appreciated!

        By Gabriella | 3 years ago Reply
        • Actually I moved to Phoenix not just for a job but also the young adult community, thinking a better chance to find my future spouse. I searched high and low at church, young adult groups, even dating sites. I moved back home back east for a bit, came back to Arizona, and settled here and surprise! I met my current amazing boyfriend in the most unexpected places. An old friend introduced us, a friend I hadn’t talked to in over a year! We have clicked so well (with some tiffs here and there of course). Without my huge story, just letting u know that once you keep your heart and will open, it happens in an unexpected way, place, time!

          By Jen | 3 years ago Reply
      • I would like to know where to meet the holy attractive 🙂

        By Nora | 3 years ago Reply
      • Good parishes and good Catholic schools. Benedictine College, Thomas Aquinas College, Wyoming Catholic College, Christendom, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ave Maria, Catholic University of America, and a handful of others listed in the Newman guide. That being said, I am a 28 year-old senior at Benedictine College. I have found many holy, fun, attractive and single gals and guys out here. I met my wife before I came here; but there are many to go around if you look in the right places. That being said, I do not recommend going to a college just for the hopes of a romantic relationship. If you are already considering going to college, you might investigate some of these good colleges. God bless you and guide you in your searching.

        By Andrew | 3 years ago Reply
  2. Play matchmaker for me! Hahah. I cant seem to find anyone like that around here.

    By Josh | 3 years ago Reply
    • Same here

      By Maria | 3 years ago Reply
  3. Thank you so much for writing this. I wish I saw this many years ago, a lot of my past wouldnt be there but I’m glad I’ve learned and this just gives me the strength to carry on.

    By Janique | 3 years ago Reply
  4. I read this article almost a year ago, and those challenging questions were what helped me to get out of a 15 month relationship that I knew wasn’t right but didn’t have the courage to leave. We were both trying to live holy lives and do what was best for each other but we were blinded by our desire to be together. We couldn’t see that as much as we thought we loved each other, it was not God’s will for us to be together. We simply couldn’t resolve our conflicts, I was afraid of bringing up issues, I sometimes felt pressured to do things I wasn’t comfortable with, even though they were small and seemingly harmless. I had that constant feeling of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. It took me about 6 months to finally end it. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I have never felt so free and happy. I physically felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I pray for his happiness everyday, but I know now that we are not for one another. Thank you Jackie, for inspiring me and many others, for doing God’s work and being a shining example of true womanhood. God bless you.

    By Maria | 3 years ago Reply
    • You story is exactly like my last relationship, Maria! With the length of time of the relationship, the length of time spent thinking on ending the relationship. I cried almost every night thinking on ending up the relationship. It was also the hardest thing I have ever done, yet I felt so free and happy afterwards. I physically felt tons of weight lifted off my shoulders. Now that he’s happily married with a strong faith woman, I’m very happy to see their blessed happy family. To see him and her be more radiant in the Lord too.

      Glad that I listen to God for His choice for me for my freedom. I then started going back to my prayer life. Spend lots of my time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in adoration, going to daily mass, praying the Rosary. Fulfillment that man can’t give. Now living my life to the fullest with God, falling in love with Him more and more every single day. Thinking that it doesn’t really actually matter if I’m not going to have my worldly spouse as long as I have my Heavenly Spouse is enough. I know as well if I’m going to have a worldly spouse it will be just like Jackie & Bobby which will click like the right nut and right bold.

      May God keep opening every people’s heart to be able to wait for the chosen spouse that God has prepared for them 🙂 God bless everyone!

      By Mira | 3 years ago Reply
  5. Thank you! I would love to see more articles like this that are made for young adults. As a 32 year old woman that trusting thing is still something that challenges my patience.

    By Rose | 3 years ago Reply
  6. Sounds like you have all the answers. The problem is, your post only applies to those people who share your belief system. There is an old saying, “those who think they know, don’t know. Those who know they don’t know, know.” Oh yeah, one more thing, adam and eve are characters in myth. To think of them as historical figures is to think as a child. Go study a bit of anthropology

    By brett armstrong | 3 years ago Reply
    • Brett,

      Your comment is interesting, but no straw mans allowed here without comment, sir!

      First, we’ll take the saying that you posted. Someone that knows they don’t know doesn’t necessarily know. I think what you’re trying to get at is the Dunning-Kruger effect, but I can’t be sure.

      Second, Jackie is not saying, “I have all the answers,” she’s laid out information about a specific case: settling in relationships. She then gives an account of her experience with not settling and gives a methodical approach to avoid settling. Her suggestions are very good and only a handful would not apply to an atheist/non-Christian. Even then, small modifications could be made for the suggestions to work fine. For example, switch holy with good, moral, against one’s will, common good, etc.

      Third, you’re never going to convince someone that their religion is wrong by telling them to, “Study anthropology.” I’m not sure what you were hoping to accomplish there, but you just come off as extremely rude. Were you expecting to find /r nofap or something at the chastity project? For the information in the post to be correct or effective, one needn’t even believe the literal creation story (Catholics don’t, by the way).

      Regardless, I hope my comment helped to make some adjustments to your argument to be more effective in the future.

      – Joey

      By Joey | 3 years ago Reply
      • There’s actually scientific evidence that all humans share mitichondrial (parental) DNA come from one man and one woman in Africa

        By YG | 3 years ago Reply
    • Take it easy Brett, you will find someone good. We will pray for your history and anthropology classes for sure 🙂 You may find someone if you study well enough 😉

      By Anthropologist | 3 years ago Reply
    • You are partly right Brett about Adam n eve . But the best scripture biblical anthropologists say the story is mythical , but it’s message is real ! Of course Adam stands for mankind etc, but at some stage two individuals choose to disobey and ‘be like God ‘ , so the doctrine of Original Sin still stands .

      By Denis Jackson | 3 years ago Reply
      • No, no it is not mythical. Adam and Eve is true. But Hebrew comes from pictograms: symbols. So the symbol can be literal, but may not be. They are true, but are symbolic, so not necessarily literal. It is true history, it is not necessarily chronoligical or literal, but could be. The bible needs to be interpreted with literary technique or people misinterpret poetry and history, symbolism and literalism. But the bible is 100% true. The Catechism states, “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents” (CCC 390).

        By Krystal StRaphael | 3 years ago Reply
  7. You two are such great role models. I broke up with someone after over a year and a half because I knew there were greater people for both of us. Where that helped me, it only hurt him and he’s been on a downward spiral ever since. i just feel like eventually he’ll realize I did it because I cared so much for him.

    By Jess | 3 years ago Reply
  8. I love the truth in every word written in this. Thank you for writing and sharing this. You just gave so much of us hope again!

    By Jessica | 3 years ago Reply
  9. Thank you. Just thank you for giving hope & guidence.

    By Becca | 3 years ago Reply
  10. Lovely article!! Thanks for taking the time to write something like this. Returning the prayers!

    By Claire O’Brien | 3 years ago Reply
  11. Jackie, you’ve got a gift for communication. I’m thankful you took the time to write this post–it was filled with reassurances for me 🙂

    By Anna | 3 years ago Reply
  12. Just wanted to say Thank you!!!! God bless 🙂

    By Elisa | 3 years ago Reply
  13. Before I started courting (you know, dating with a goal) I was encouraged to make a list of things I wouldn’t compromise on in a husband (like – he needed to be Christian) and things you would like but could maybe compromise on (like – ideally he would be Catholic, a good job would be nice). After a couple of guys that lasted one date because we couldn’t even keep a conversation going for the evening, I met a guy who fit like everything on my list! He was perfect! Except for one thing…no spark. So I said no to him and was willing to wait forever if that was what God had planned (and expected to wait a long time) when I met my future husband. He fit the list also but he was maybe a little rougher around the edges – but the sparks!!! Even though those rough edges can get a little aggravating at times, I wouldn’t change the last 20 years and 11 kids…God is good and new exactly what and who I needed.

    By Melina | 3 years ago Reply
  14. Well, What does one do after 17 years and a deep conversion? If I only knew then what I know now (except I know now that I knew then)

    By Cecile | 3 years ago Reply
  15. Love it!. . When will you be speaking on this subject in orange county, ca?

    By Sandy Garcia | 3 years ago Reply
  16. Gracias, thank you for this encouraging/inspiring post. Will continue waiting and striving for holiness.

    By Mario | 3 years ago Reply
  17. I answered yes to some of these…but I am married. I can’t just leave…

    By Jill | 3 years ago Reply
    • There are many , many marriages Jill which don’t fit, and yes you can’t just quit ! You just persevere if it’s not abusive etc….and settle for a mistaken marriage , so what , life’s not perfect. But heaven is .

      By Denis Jackson | 3 years ago Reply
    • There is a great book called The Divorce Remedy. You can buy it on Amazon. I know from experience that it has tools which can help any marriage get better. I highly recommend it. God bless you and your spouse, and I am praying for you, Jill.

      By Sarah | 3 years ago Reply
  18. I recently travelled to teh other side of the globe to meet a guy I’d known online for a year. He was a good Catholic in that he went to daily Mass, prayed the rosary, and was in full agreement with the Magistrium. He had a very similar sense of humour to mine – which is very unusual, was hardcore pro-life, and had a similar view of life and goals to me. I went over there thinking “If he proposes, I’d be a schmuck to say no”.

    Turns out he was a drunk. He was proud of the fact he’d been in fist fights because of it. He made fun of family members who’d called him out on it. I left early, returned home knowing that despite all the other good Catholic aspects, I couldn’t marry a drunk. He had no insight to his problem, didn’t address it, wouldn’t confront it, ignored the email I sent telling him I thought he needed help.

    Maybe he’s a pleasant enough drunk now [when not confronted], he’s 40 and drinking like that at that age is pathetic, but how’d be be in 10 years, or 20? What example would that set for any children we may have? What if he lost his job, his license? Had a car accident – he did drive drunk a few times.

    Yip, it was annoying to walk away from what I thought was winner, but God knows best.

    By J N | 3 years ago Reply
    • You were very brave, J N. And with a good head on your shoulders 🙂

      God does know best! *big hug*

      By Eva | 3 years ago Reply
  19. I’m so glad that i have read this article today especially that it is Valentines day 🙂 it’s been 3 years since I had a Valentines date…. and honestly, I’ve been into dating only not in any relationships. At the present moment, I’m taking things slow and praying for what God wants for my life and who he wants from me. This article gave me hope and reinforce my view on being patient for God’s perfect time and the right person. I hope that I could also give a strong testimonial like “Jackie” someday O:) when I’m already with the “Bobby Angel” of my life hehehehe. God Bless us all =D

    By Jenn | 3 years ago Reply
  20. Dear sister, loved your sharing. But, is this applicable for all relationships?? I am pointing towards married couples, what if they don’t find the joy in their relationship?? will you suggest them a divorce?? then where goes the Catholic teachings? what I would say is that you can’t find a perfect guy and no relationship is perfect, unless and until the relationship involves three people – the men, women and Christ. Christian married life as far as I have understood(I am single ) is all about making perfect from unperfect with Christ.

    Let man keeps what God has bound.

    Blessed married life(boredom, troubles, misunderstandings, curses, support, sharings, love and joy ) to all my dear sisters and brothers.
    GOD BLESS YOU +

    By Matt Pratt | 3 years ago Reply
  21. I think it’s wonderful you found freedom and true love by the path that was most true to yourself. However, I disagree with the approach you take to chastity. Chastity is about love right? Love does not come from a basis of fear and seeing reality through the lens of the problem and of the view of the evil one. It is about love casting out the darkness. I went to Franciscan, I have spent hours in front of the Eucharist, and I have prayed desperately to God. Every time I did, God gave me what I truly needed. Not a cookie-cutter, neat, conservative, and totally doctrinal based reply. In fact, I never found an answer, or a solution, or a more puritanical view of chastity. It really bugs me. You speakers on the topic of chastity come at it through the eyes of fear when saying it is in love. JPII had it right, and still the quest is to focus on fear and the horrible promiscuity. You are not weighing out reality, and the polar view you hold of sex being all good or all evil, the image of Mary vs. Eve, it is part of the problem. There are complex issues in which all variables must be taken into account. God gave me new perspectives to broaden my view when I pleaded. Really super challenging events that took me stepping out of the cookie cutter “Catholic chastity” life and God gave me the most wonderful man ever. We’re not married, we have amazing sex, we have the best connection and commitment ever. Because life is not all about doctrine, there are deeper connections than that. There is the psychology of love, and the psychology of coping. And maladaptive spiritual coping can be just as destructive as sin. It can tear someone apart. Chastity can be part of the problem if it is too simplified. I once read a chastity website, that said “if you are raped or sexually abused, then God loves you and go talk to someone about it.” Really? If you are abused, you go to a professional psychologist. That is what we call “what God wants us to do, find the appropriate help we need.” My boyfriend and I are doing great, and I seek a more fulfilling spiritual life with him. And if you would study the history of the Catholic church, unbury your head from the doctrinal, ideology-drenched, culture warrior mentality, then you would understand that there were many times in the life of the church, where there were not enough priests, or some other circumstance arose, where people received dispensations. Reality check: we are in a national and global crisis. We are coming out of a major depression, and this is the reason why people LOVE Pope Frances. Because he doesn’t spout this BS about fear. He doesn’t mention fear. He doesn’t focus on it. He focuses on love. And on Jesus.

    By Kimberly | 3 years ago Reply
    • You have some very good and valid points Kimberly !

      By Denis Jackson | 3 years ago Reply
    • With respect, Kimberly, God would not have given you the answers you think He has given you. And JP II would never condone the behavior of you and your boyfriend. You are correct in saying that JP II would not have promoted a fear mentality, but that’s not what I am getting from the post above. I think she is talking more about not being afraid to wait for what God has planned for you. And as for your comment about dispensations. are you willing to risk the reality of Heaven for the chance of a dispensation? And that should not be a fear based question – its a reality that all of us who walk with Christ need to consider. Our actions have eternal consequences, and while I am not judging you and your boyfriend for the decisions you have made, I do think you need to take a closer look at the scriptural underpinning of waiting to have sex until you are married – God would not tell you it is ok to do something that explicitly contradicts scripture…

      By Alex | 3 years ago Reply
  22. Thank you for letting Christ work through and in your marriage to give us twenty something Catholics hope.
    If there’s a colony somewhere of young, single Catholics that are running towards Christ…enlighten me.
    God bless your marriage 🙂

    By Michelle | 3 years ago Reply
  23. Looks, attractiveness or beauty in the context of physical beauty and outward looks should never be a variable for a faithful Catholic when considering a call to marriage.

    Anyone who who thinks they need to be attracted to the other person, have so called chemistry or any of the other excuses people use to look for someone who is attractive still has an inordinate attachment to something created and is not perfectly conformed to God.

    The only factor to consider is whether a person is virtuous or not. Since the objective of marriage is primarily the procreation and education of Children and the unitive aspect is only secondary the objective has to be looking for a virtuous person regardless of their looks.

    One should not care how ugly the person is (they may be incredibly ugly) but if you marry a virtuous person you will never regret it and it will always be a happy marriage. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter how beautiful a person is, if they are not virtuous you will regret it for the rest of your life.

    If a person is totally consecrated to Mary and completely detached from their own will and indifferent to their passions and only focused on uniformity with God’s perfect will, they will not care if the person looks like a model or is so ugly you need to tie candy to their face to make them look attractive. Since they are only focused on God’s will to marry a virtuous person they will have have no disordered inclinations to looking for someone with ‘looks’.

    At some point, as Catholics, we need to decide whether we are going to strive for heroic virtue like the Saints, or merely settle for avoiding mortal sin.

    If we say we shouldn’t settle in a relationship, how much more should we say we should not settle in the spiritual and Catholic life.

    For anyone interested, I would encourage you to read the life of St. Rita and notice how conformed she was to the will of the Trinity.

    By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
    • Betford – it’s great that you have such a desire to please God but I think you are acting a little like the guy who is sitting on his roof in the middle of a flood and refuses to be rescued by the people who approach him on boats, because he says “God will save me”. He failed to recognize that the people who were in the boats WERE God’s means of saving him.

      Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est that we are not called to seek charity ONLY and exclude the other three loves. Charity is the most important but a human life is not possible without philia (friendship), eros (desire – not just romantic desire), and storge (affection).

      Certainly one can put too much emphasis on looks and I’m not sure I agree entirely either with the author of the article because it is easy to fall into the trap of being a perfectionist and being unwilling to accept a perfectly good potential spouse because you are still waiting for the perfect one. BUT, God intends that there be a spark of romance in marriage. Otherwise, what are those feelings of attractions for? They are not evil, nor are they themselves concupiscience (although they are affected by it).

      Please, continue to serve God but beware “plastic saint syndrome” where you are trying to avoid ALL of your own desires and inclinations as if they were evil. They are often part of how God leads us to His will.

      By Sean | 3 years ago Reply
      • Please see my response below Sarah as it is the same as my response to J and Sarah.

        By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
    • Just a question… have you ever tried to consummate a marriage with someone to whom you have zero physical attraction? To even do so requires an arousal that is, in part, based on such attraction. That doesn’t mean that the person has to be conventionally beautiful – after all, there is beauty in every person. I just posit that one should be able to see even what physical beauty is present in one’s spouse, and feel an attraction to it. And I do not think that is disordered.

      By J. | 3 years ago Reply
    • As Jackie points out, we are each deserving of someone who loves us wholeheartedly, as this allows for the best relationship reflecting the Trinity and our own relationship with Jesus. As Catholics, we recognize the importance of the physical. Why else would we believe in the transformation of our bodies at the end of time? Why else would we believe God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to come to is in physical form, both as a human and in the Eucharist?

      We each deserve someone who sees and appreciates our inner and outer beauty.

      By Sarah | 3 years ago Reply
      • Please see my response below Sarah as it is the same as my response to J and Sean.

        By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
  24. As a 22 year old who just recently broke off a 4 year (off and on) relationship with a good, Catholic guy who was months away from proposing, this blog post was a great reminder of why I did it. I kept telling myself that this was “it” and that the things I had doubts/fears about were just my inability to love him. However, as my relationship with Christ grew, I was able to take an honest look at my relationship and I realized that it wasn’t what God wanted for either of us. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but afterwards I felt a deep inexplicable peace and freedom. Thank you for writing this.

    By Hannah K | 3 years ago Reply
  25. I recently got out of a two year relationship and I have been wondering if I made the right decision. This is exactly what I needed! Thank you. And congratulations to you and Bobby!

    By Jordan | 3 years ago Reply
  26. To be fair, some of those questions you asked could have more to do with background issues than the person you are considering marrying… for instance, the walking on eggshells and not bringing things up because you are afraid your significant other might lash out at you or break up with you… speaking from experience, I have background issues that make it difficult for me to bring up difficult issues with ANYONE, and fears associated with people close to me breaking off our relationship which originate with family problems. I am happily married with 2 beautiful children, and discerning God’s vocation for me was a tough road, mostly because of problems from my family of origin. However, God has gifted me with a compassionate, loving, attractive, holy, humorous husband and I am more in love with him than I ever could have dreamt of being in love with any man. I always thought life, marriage, child-raising, all of it, would just be mediocre and I had become okay with that. God broke the mold when he made my husband, but I have to remember that both he, and I have our issues that have nothing to do with each other.

    God blessed the broken road that led me straight to my husband.

    By Sarah | 3 years ago Reply
  27. Bobby and Jackie,
    I love u guys……saw u Jackie in Boston at LIft. U r amazing speaker. I am middleaged never married, can it still happpen for me. I am growing every day with the Rosary, Adoration, the Holy Mass, Confession……I was engaged 10 years ago but he cheated on me with my Wedding Planner (yes I know that is a movie)..it devasted me . It took me 5 years to get over that then I took care of my dying Mom for 5 years and here I am alone and single saying the Rosary every day and been to Medjugorje 3 times …..I am lonely, really wanting a man a good man like Bobby Angel. Can it happen to me? I dont want to be single, I desire a man a love but I know Jesus is my first lover, my God my savior no man can save me. J and B would u pray for me . LIke I said I am middleaged not a young woman I am still attractive and go to the gym but my deep Catholic faith is what makes me who I am….pray for me ….thanks MaryBeth

    By MaryBeth | 3 years ago Reply
  28. Compromise is the key. You can not get everything on your checklist. Neither will your prospective partner. By the way, is daily mass really required? Would that time better spent? At times, certain activities become an addiction and your behavior should be self-modified before it becomes destructive and self distilling.

    By jezuz | 3 years ago Reply
  29. couldnt agree more. i pray for more patience as sometimes the waiting time hurts a lot.

    By Charm | 3 years ago Reply
  30. I appreciate the dissenting feedback Sean, J and Sarah.

    All dissenting views were charitably expressed.

    The problem is, everything I mentioned was not actually an expression of views invented by myself but rather an almost a point by point plagiarism of several sources (which I agree with):

    (i) Uniformity With God’s Will by Saint Alphonsus Liguori.

    (ii) Self abandonment to Divine Providence by Fr. Jean-Pierre De Caussade.

    (iii) The Spiritual Exercises by St. Ignatius; and

    (iv) True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis Marie De Montfort.

    I assure you, having read all these works multiple times, this is exactly the view expressed in these works.

    The worst argument comes from Sarah (and I say this with great charity) because of a confusion between physical appreciation for things like sacramental grace and the transmission of sanctifying grace through physical miracles in the ‘order of nature’. This has nothing to do with an attachment or detachment to physical beauty or uniformity to God’s will in terms of striving for absolute sanctity and perfection in the state of marriage.

    At some level all of the arguments have two problems. Firstly, they reflect what all the Saintly authors aforementioned highlighted as an attachment to a created temporal desire and not seeking as its ultimate goal with is more conducive to salvation and more importantly what is God’s perfect and holy will.

    Secondly, it is very dangerous to argue against the views of great saints, and indeed several of the authors previously mentioned are great saints. They do not advocate quietism but they do argue for complete abandonment to divine providence and death to oneself and own will. Thus, if it is God’s will for you to marry a person who is saintly and manifestly virtuous that you do not find physically attractive, then yes, you need to be conformed to God’s will and indifferent to your own will so that you will trust God and follow what He wants.

    Will procreation through the sexual act still be possible as one of the dissenters condescendingly asked? Do we really need to answer this question when St. Paul says that “all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me”?

    Thus, it is well within the providence of the Divine to ordain such a situation and if you have trust then grace will overflow and you will be able to eventually have whatever is necessary to live out God’s plan.

    We see saints that struggled with their studies and since it was God’s will they became a religious He either gave them the grace to understand or provided the path necessary for that vocation.

    These would be the main issues, but there are many other reasons why the arguments are fallacious. It often happens that an attractive person loses their so called looks. Many women for example have their bodies change immensely after their first pregnancy, and they age greatly. Not to mention things like illness or accidents which can render a persons beauty null and void. Now the spouse which followed their disordered attachment towards finding an attractive or so called good looking partner is now going to struggle having any ordered sexual life, since that attachment which they gave into is no longer there to be satisfied. And as St. Thomas tells us once you give into an attachment its very hard to break, so its not like this spouse is just going to be able to cope with the fact their partner has lost their outward beauty.

    The person who never approached this situation based on looks will have no problem because they are indifferent to their own will and ordered towards God’s will so they will still love their spouse and have no problems in embracing divine providence.

    Before, you respond I would advise you to meditate on the ‘Principle & Foundation’ St. Ignatius gives in the Spiritual Exercises:

    “Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

    And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created.

    From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it.

    For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.”

    Secondly, meditate on these two passages from ‘Uniformity with God’s Will’ by St. Alphonsus Liguori:

    “It would be the greatest delight of the seraphs [the highest ranking angels in the 9 choirs] to pile up sand on the seashore or to pull weeds in a garden for all eternity, if they found out such was God’s will. Our Lord himself teaches us to ask to do the will of God on earth as the saints do it in heaven: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    . . .

    There is a similar account by Surio to the effect that a certain blind man obtained the restoration of his sight by praying to St. Bedasto, bishop. Thinking the matter over, he prayed again to his heavenly patron, but this time with the purpose that if the possession of his sight were not expedient for his soul, that his blindness should return. And that is exactly what happened — he was blind again. Therefore, in sickness it is better that we seek neither sickness nor health, but that we abandon ourselves to the will of God so that he may dispose of us as he wishes. However, if we decide to ask for health, let us do so at least always resigned and with the proviso that our bodily health may be conducive to the health of our soul. Otherwise our prayer will be defective and will remain unheard because our Lord does not answer prayers made without resignation to his holy will.”

    Therefore Sarah, J and Sean, in arguing against me and rejecting my comments you are actually rejecting the views of St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Louis Marie De Montfort and St. Ignatius of Loyola.

    By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
    • Betford, while I’m not in total agreement with the article, I feel like you’ve gone the other extreme. Attraction can rightfully and should be a consideration in married love. Married love is a different type of love than a love of a friend or random other human. There is goodness and truth in your chosen quotes from saints, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other distinctions and considerations to be made. There are also other saints who speak more specifically about married love. Take the very soon to be saint Pope John Paul 2. Read his works Love & Responsibility and also Man & Women: He Created Them. There you will find an explanation of the beauty of sexual attraction and the complementary of the sexes. Can attraction be sinful? Yes. But it is God created, and thus is meant to be used for good originally and still can be. Attraction is no way inherently sinful. We are called to be attracted to the good, true, and beautiful.

      A virtuous person can also lose their virtue, just as an attractive person can lose their looks. In either case, love sees beyond. Mature married love especially finds their spouse attractive, even if they are not by another person’s standards, whether it be in character or looks. A degree of attraction will ebb and flow, but God has set apart married love and He has graciously given us desire and attraction as a gift to aid in the impossibly difficult vocation that is marriage.

      I also suggest that you read some of Dietrich von Hildrebrand. He’s not a saint yet, but there are some starting to work on his case and his personalism philosophy is closely connected with documents such as Gaudium et Spes.

      By Catherine | 3 years ago Reply
      • Catherine, I also thank you for being civil and charitable in your dissenting views of my comments.

        I have indeed read both von Hildebrand and Gaudium et Spes.

        Both of them have nothing to do with the points I was making.

        This is not a question about loving your wife or husband. Do you really think that is what St. Alphonsus, St. Louis de Montfort and St. Ignatius are advocating? No faithful writer in the history of the Church advocates such nonsense as not loving your partner, nor do they advocate the heresy of quietism where you are so indifferent you ignore the discernment clues of God or are indifferent to everything to the point where you ignore it all. In fact that is a damnable trick of the devil since it is not ordered towards God. It is the will of God that a husband loves his wife, hence St. Paul clearly says that husbands must “love your wives. . .”.

        In fact Catherine, its the exact opposite. What I am expression along with the Doctors of the Church will make a person love their wife more than ever. The point is by following God’s Will you will love your wife more than you ever imagined because you will be so conformed to God’s Will, and ordered as such will love her not for any superficial worldly characteristics, but rather those that are ordered towards God.

        As to your point about me being extreme, I acknowledge that you with many others feel that way, but my biggest regret is that you feel the great Spiritual doctors of the Church are extremists because they strive for the way of *earthly* perfection (as much as it is possible since it is not absolutely possible) and have as their ultimate goal the objective of reaching the ‘transforming union’.

        The discussion we are having is whether a person should consider the so called ‘looks’ or outward appearance of a person when looking for a husband or wife. Everyone in the discussions recognizes that it is not even venially sinful if a person does indeed include so called ‘looks’ as a requirement in their criteria of finding a wife. In fact even if its the major requirement which if we are not going to be naive it is for most people (especially men) it would still not be even venially sinful even though its going to lead to much disorder.

        I however take the view that despite the fact that it is not sinful it is demonstrably not the most conducive stance towards salvation and that in fact its often destructive and worst of all not seeking union with God’s will.

        Sarah, J and Sean believe that its fine and to varying degrees a good thing to have as your criteria in a possible wife that she looks attractive and outwardly appears what the world would call “hot”, “cute” or outwardly beautiful. I disagree and agree with the great Saints that although its not venially sinful to do this, its not seeking the Will of God, it reflects still an attachment to worldly considerations and its not the more perfect way and merely an excuse for people to continue to seek out a person merely based on looks or at least the best they feel they can do on looks.

        By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
        • There’s a lot here to respond to and I think we’ve both established that we disagree. Two points though: von Hildebrand in ‘The Nature of Love’ and ‘Marriage’ specifically states the necessity of an attraction different than just finding a person virtuous. Of course God will give us the strength to love our spouse, but that does not imply sacrificing of a natural psychical attraction and desire for them in the first place when choosing who to make your spouse.

          There is a difference between looks and attraction. What a society might see as good looks is not what I’m talking about. Everyone has differences in what they are attracted to. I don’t believe that most people here are stating they need to find someone based on their looks, but instead, that THEY as a individual are attracted too. There is a difference. The outward appearance only matters in as so much as that appearance is attractive to the individual, not by some social measure of attractiveness.

          Is it so absurd to think that God would give us a natural psychical attraction from the get go to the one that He deems good for us?

          By Catherine | 3 years ago Reply
          • You have misread von Hildebrand.

            He states, which is true, that there is an ordered attraction between the two sexes on a natural level. For example it would be and is disordered for a man to find another man attractive, whereas it would be ordered in the order of nature for a man to find a woman attractive. That is all he is saying which is orthodox Catholic teaching.

            You are wrong when you say he argues that such an attraction (namely physical attraction to outward looks) is necessary in that it is a necessary criteria people must use when finding a possible husband or wife. Absolutely not. That would be so demonstrably false because there are numerous marriages in the Bible where God simply ordains or commands it and this fallacious idea of a necessity of attraction based on looks has no consideration.

            Consolation seeking, feelings and emotions have no place in the spiritual life, and if anything pave the way to hell – that is people who follow their emotions, passions and feelings will end up in hell.

            The reason why 98% of people never get past the first level of prayer (on the nine levels) and why 99.9% never get passed the second level is because they are not willing to relinquish their feelings, emotions and attachments.

            In what seems to me to be a shocking, but at the same time very honest admission on your part is that you are happy to reject the teaching of the Doctors of the Church on this matter. Again, before someone freaks out, we both agree its not sinful to take the course of action you propose, but its absolutely not the most saintly or perfect way. But rather than follow the more perfect way people most people in the Church like those in the time of Christ say ‘this is a hard saying…who can hear it’ and thus opt rather to follow their own will and not God’s.

            What distinguishes a person of heroic virtue and a great saint from a regular faithful and orthodox Catholic is the indifference they have to their own personal will. You see the person who is completely ordered towards God, simply wants what God wants. Therefore, they neither want to be poor nor rich. If God wants them to make money, they will make lots of money and if He wants them to give everything away they will give everything away. If God wants them to marry a person who is ugly, they will marry that person, if He wants them to marry a person who is outwardly physically beautiful they will do so.

            Sadly, as St. Ignatius teaches and all the other spiritual Doctors and SAINTS, almost everyone will simply follow their will. This includes faithful and orthodox Catholics. The orthodox and faithful Catholics will still attain heaven, since all that is required to attain heaven is to be free from unrepented mortal sin (and this itself is hard enough) but its doubtful they will have a high place in heaven. The rest of the Catholics that are left will fall into the next category, where they claim to *want* to follow God’s will and will indeed embrace poverty it is God’s will or marry a person who is not a model if it is God’s will but their attitude really is – ‘God, I will do what you want, but please don’t take away my money and please give me a hot wife’.

            The last category is where we see the way of perfection and where Catholics should actually be aiming. It’s very sad to see how people are satisfied with doing the minimum for God. In this last category a person wants neither poverty, nor wealth, neither approval or disapproval and neither a hot wife nor an ugly wife but wants simply what is the best option for their salvation and thus wants simply what God wants.

            It’s sad how we feel we can reject 1800 years of Church spiritual teaching by great Saints and Doctors in favor of our own will. It’s sad to see Catholics so willing to compromise. Like Jason Evert often laments its sad that Catholics always want to know ‘how far is too far’ and not ‘how can I best love and serve God’. Its sad that we do not want to be like our Father in faith Abraham who was so ordered towards God’s will that he was even going to sacrifice his son Issac at the commandment of God. How sad things are when we have such little faith that it is at a point where its even smaller than a mustard seed atom.

            By Betford | 3 years ago
        • Hi again Betford,

          I appreciate your patience, too. You see, about 14 years ago, I was of the same opinion as you. I read several spiritual books, especially Fire Within by the late Fr. Dubay. These led me to the same conclusion as you: as nearly as possible, our desire should be only for God and we must not seek created things for their own beauty and goodness but rather only as instruments to accomplish God’s will. However – trying to follow this advice led to mental illness. I am not exaggerating here.

          I do agree that it seems that the great Saints up until very recent times seem to advocate what you are proposing. I sought the advice of a very hold, orthodox bishop I know and he told me that I have gotten the wrong impression of what these Saints taught but I agree with you, it seems that I had the right impression.

          However, I must come to the conclusion that they are at least partially wrong because life is not livable that way.

          Just take one example – the dynamics of human desire. Even these great Saints would agree that some pleasure is unavoldable in life and that it is a mistake to avoid things which are pleasurable. However, they seem to argue that the greatest perfection comes from trying to avoid seeking pleasure, even in good things, since that so easily leads to an attachment which focuses on the thing itself rather than as a means to following God’s will.

          However, the human heart and mind, created by God, do not work that way. Pleasure has stages – first a longing or a desire for a good thing, then the pursuit of it, then the attainment of it, then the relishing of it, and then finally a sense that it was good that you attained the thing you sought. Trying to avoid seeking created things prevents the last two of these stages from happening, or you at least begin to feel a bit guilty for their happening, which then in turn prevents the enjoyment. God made us to need pleasure and enjoyment and not just from our relationship directly with Him.

          Anyway, I would be interested to hear how you think the kind of life you are talking about, if applied consistently and not just to attraction to the opposite sex, is livable. Yes, I have read some lives of the saints and in most of them I do not find an answer to this question. It simply does not (as most biographies also do not) analyze their mind to the level needed to understand motivation like this.

          I am NOT trying to deny the teaching of the Church and I do realize that the Church recommends these spiritual masters but the Church does not say that every last bit of their teaching is infallible.

          Sean

          By Sean | 3 years ago Reply
          • Hi Sean,

            Again I thank you for your comments and responses to my criticism of your views.

            Although I am deeply saddened by your rejection of the teachings by the great Spiritual Doctors of the Church and Saints, I sincerely appreciate your honesty.

            You said:

            “. . .I must come to the conclusion that they [the Saints and Spiritual Doctors of the Church e.g. St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus etc.] are at least partially wrong. . .”

            While I am horrified at that admission, at the same time and on a side note am genuinely thankful for your honesty. Part of the point I was trying to make was that most Catholics, even those who are faithful and orthodox like yourself are more than happy to reject the *non-sinful* (emphasis added) challenging and difficult teachings of the Spiritual Doctors on how to be as close to union with God on Earth as is possible in this life.

            I’m glad at least you have the honesty to be upfront and just come out and admit you disagree with the Saints and Doctors on these matters.

            Again, its not sinful that you do, since these are not matters pertaining to dogma or salvation.

            I would like to explain why it horrifies me that most faithful and orthodox Catholics take your view and are happy to reject the hard teachings of the Spiritual Saints and Doctors but that would be a whole new discussion.

            For now, I’d just like to thank you for being honest. I’ve rarely seen someone just admit it when this topic comes up. Thank you.

            By Betford | 3 years ago
  31. While there are a lot of truths in this article and I genuinely respect and admire the work that is done here, I find myself agitated by it just as much now as when it first came out last year. There are some major leaps taken from the message at the beginning of the article to the questions listed at the end in a way that leaves a disconnect.

    One part I take issue with is the whole idea of ‘the one’. The idea that there is ‘one’ is an extremely modern and western view. We know that God has an overall plan and He wins in the end, but there is suffering in the world because of human sinfulness. If there was only one person for you, how sad when your paths don’t cross because of whatever reason. To say that God will make sure it happens seems to take something away from free will. Not only that, but not everyone has the luxury of having Jackie and Bobby’s same experience. I would dare to argue that more often than not, it’s people who thought they were passionately in love with their soulmate who get more divorces, than people who found ‘a nice person that loved them’. I think about my grandparents and their generation: they knew each other 3 months before getting engaged and were married very shortly after that. They are in their 64th year of marriage. It was not some passionate, insanely romantic start. They got along, they liked each other, and they were the right age to marry. Now, my grandpa can’t hold back tears of gratitude and love when he give thanks for her at holiday dinners.

    Yes, an authentic love, attraction, and healthy relationship is important, vital even, and a passionate love makes for more…passion…at the beginning at least, but to make such a strong statement like ‘the devil wants you to settle’ is not only misleading, but when said without distinctions, perpetuates the destructive mentality that we are trying to fight today that married love is about my happiness rather than holiness. I’m not arguing that one shouldn’t have standards or marry someone they don’t really like, but there is a lot of grey area between that and the experience that many often call ‘finding their soulmates’. There is a big difference between the settling Jackie describes at the beginning and the type of unhealthy relationship one is in if they answer negatively to the questions at the end.

    What happens when a marriage inevitably goes through hard times and you no longer feel that passion for one another, for whatever reason? I know that chastityproject and Jackie would turn around and say that commitment in marriage is important and I know they would have suggestions on how to make a marriage better, and we’d agree. This article is very condescending (although I know it’s not meant to be) to people who are already married and apparently pleased the devil in our partner choice.

    Eros can’t be forced, but it can be fostered, even when you ‘settle’ for someone. Happiness isn’t the point of marriage, is a ideal side effect. Holiness is the point, and a person who is truly open to God’s will can find joy even when they

    I think bottom line is it would have been nice to see less black and white and a little more understanding of the greyness of the world in the article. I want to reiterate that there are some truths here and I enjoy the work of chastityproject and Jackie is a wonderful role model.

    By Catherine | 3 years ago Reply
    • I missed the last half of a sentence there: “Holiness is the point, and a person who is truly open to God’s will can find joy even when they aren’t in an ideal situation.”

      By Catherine | 3 years ago Reply
  32. Thank you Jackie for writing this post. I just want to say that sometimes I really have doubts if I will ever meet that special someone. I can’t really say I have dated a lot just haven’t found anyone that really interests me. Have had one or two boyfriends in my life but I have still kept my vanity. I want to save it for a special someone, a person I can really trust emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I know I am still young turning 20 this ear so still have a lot of time to find that special someone. I know god find me a great man. I just have to wait-patiently which honestly is very difficult sometimes….

    By Zibonai | 3 years ago Reply
    • Zibonai either you are not being called to marriage, or God has not provided you with your future husband yet because it is not His Will for you to marry at the moment and he is calling you to first purge yourself of any sins, pride or imperfections.

      In this period, what God wants for you is to focus on your own holiness and humility and not be anxious and desire marriage to happen tomorrow.

      The fact you are so young and have such fear means that your spiritual life needs re-direction and an overhaul. It’s nothing to dread – this happens to all of us and hence St. Ignatius called us to regularly examen ourselves.

      You need to start working on breaking any unhealthy attachments to created things, and this over anxious desire to have a husband is one. What if you are being called to the religious life? You are so closed off atm that you will never hear the calling.

      Read two books – (i) Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales and (ii) True Devotion by St. Louis de Montfort and finally the small booklet Uniformity with God’s Will by St. Alphonsus Liguori.

      By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
  33. Happy, Blessed and Single!
    After 33 years looking happiness with all the wrong persons, I gave up. Then in my darkest night I totally found the Grace of God and then I realized that first I needed to write my love story with Him. 3 years later I am happy to be His daughter and have the chance to work so much for Him since I have plenty of “free time”.

    By Cecilia | 3 years ago Reply
    • Cecilia, read True Devotion by St. Louis Marie de Montfort and then proceed to complete the 33 day consecration.

      By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
  34. a superficial comment- but the top of your wedding dress is so pretty! 🙂

    By priest’s wife (@byzcathwife) | 3 years ago Reply
    • -_____-

      By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
  35. I am in a relationship in which I feel loved and supported in everything I do. I am never and have never been afraid to tell him anything. He is ok with staying pure until marriage and I do believe he is the one. I don’t cringe or am afraid when I think of marrying him…however he does not challenge me spiritually nor does he try and make me a better Catholic. He supports the Catholic church and loves to hear me talk about church and what the homily was about and will even go if I ask him but he is not so much a “religious” person. Honestly I wish someone would write a blog about this. Sometimes it’s hard loving someone who doesn’t see the world as you do…who doesn’t see and love the Lord as you do.

    By Theresa | 3 years ago Reply
    • Hi Theresa,

      I’m happy to provide some of the commentary you request.

      The first point would be that although it is not even venially sinful to date or marry a non-Catholic since Holy Mother Church tolerates it, in contemporary society its basically impossible.

      Why?

      The answer is simple – can you think of a non-Catholic who will support you in never contracepting, never abusing NFP and never interfere in you teaching the Children the truths of the Catholic faith?

      A second point is this – although it is not sinful to date and marry a non-Catholic, as we have seen above its basically impossible in our day and age, but moreover its not the highest form of perfection.

      For example, what kind of a marriage is it going to be if the person you are marrying or might marry does not have a True Devotion or love for Our Lady, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mother of the Most Holy Redeemer?

      If you are to practice the True Devotion to Mary and start, endure and end all things with and in Her, then it follows that for such an important thing as dating which might lead to Sacramental marriage the person you are doing this with will also love your heavenly mother. Would you date a man who did not respect your earthly mother? How much more your heavenly Mother who is perfect and the Medatrix of ALL graces.

      By Betford | 3 years ago Reply
  36. I like what Jackie wrote. I am 29 years old and I believe God has someone special in mind. I’ve been 3 relationships before but not with anyone I met at church. I am a reserved type of person till you get to know me. Then I’m all fun to be around. I want my woman to be Catholic, be someone who likes to have fun, etc.

    By Jason | 3 years ago Reply
    • I don’t know who are you . Would you like to chate with me

      By Angle | 3 years ago Reply
  37. I really loved reading this blog! It has given me a lot of hope for my future and finding my future spouse! I do however wonder, how, while I am single, do I not idealize the guys who do ask me out and still hold true to who I am and my faith? Is there anything to help me get the most out of my single life?

    By Hannah Pavalko | 3 years ago Reply
    • Read two books – (i) Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales and (ii) True Devotion by St. Louis de Montfort and finally the small booklet Uniformity with God’s Will by St. Alphonsus Liguori.

      By Betfort | 3 years ago Reply
      • Thank you!! 😀

        By Hannah Pavalko | 3 years ago Reply
  38. I literally just broke up with my boyfriend of a little over a year and let me just say that reading this blog post helped me realize that I definitely did the right thing. There were some questions that my answer was a firm no and we just were not leading each other to holiness. I realized moments after breaking up with him that my desired characteristic that I will be looking for in a man down the road is someone who loves God more than me. If he loves God more than me then I know that my relationship will revolve around the Lord and during this time of being single, I am going to do my best to get the relationship I had with God before I entered into this relationship back. That is my ultimate goal. Thank you, Jackie, for being so amazing and for helping young people like me realize how truly important it is to be in a romantic relationship that revolves around God. This post made me feel so much better after just seeing him today. I know we will both be okay because we are going to find people who are better for us than we were together. Thank you again.

    By Rachel | 3 years ago Reply
  39. Love this post! God will guide us to our perfect match that will help us grow closer to Him and will help us be the best versions of ourselves. God is the only one who will completely fulfill us and our relationships shouldn’t fill God’s place, but be there to compliment our relationship with Jesus. God’s timing is perfect… difficult to realize, but it is always right!

    Thanks for the great posts, Jackie!

    By Mary | 3 years ago Reply
  40. These questions are fantastic! I just got out of a incredibly unhealthy 6 year marriage to a man who is severely mentally ill. Eventhough he hid the diagnosis from me prior to the marriage, the signs were there. I wish that I had read this article and asked myself these questions prior to marrying him. Going forward, I will not settle and I will pray to God for discernment in relationships and keep these questions in mind. Thanks so much Jackie!

    By Cenza | 3 years ago Reply
  41. Im engaged to a Catholic. Im not Catholic. One thing i will add is Christ uses the scum of the earth for his glory. Marriages are all different. Look at the book of Hosea. If Jesus lives in us, and we truly desire the will of the father, there is nothing we can do to fall from his grace. That is what is so amazing about the bible, “good news”. You see characters like David, Hosea’s wife, and many others. who were far from perfect, but still God perfects everything through Jesus. Listen to Jesus. Love others.

    By Anna | 3 years ago Reply
  42. Thank you so much for this story. I am currently in a relationship with a guy who isn’t Catholic but is a really nice person, however, my willingness to be in this relationship is dwindling. I am constantly confused about whether to stay or to leave, here’s why: when I was single, I kept praying to God to send me someone and then he came along so I’m not sure if he’s the one; he and I are really different when it comes to things that I personally wish we had in common,; sometimes I feel relived when I don’t have to talk to him because he’s not around; we do joke around and I love to laugh and he is incredibly nice and loves me dearly but i feel like my heart isn’t in the relationship anymore. I keep wondering if this is a just phase and I’ll get over it because he is the nicest guy I’ve ever been with and everyday I go back and forth on whether or not to break up with him. This article is helping to cement my belief that I should end it because I don’t want to string him along because he deserves so much better than that…

    By j. | 3 years ago Reply
  43. Wow. Thank you. You don’t know how much this helped me. I was able to break up with my boyfriend this past weekend, following my gut feeling, a lot of prayer, and the advice from this blog post. It’s not easy to break up, but I’m relieved and glad I didn’t settle. Praise God. Thank you, Jackie!

    By M. | 3 years ago Reply
  44. please please pray for me, I have finally gotten out of a bad relationship and now I’m looking for someone who matches me perfectly, someone I can call my best friend in the world and at the same time my husband. Someone that loves the Lord and loves to go to Mass. Thanks for this post, it gives me confidence in me and in God.

    By please | 3 years ago Reply
  45. Every time I tell a girl how I feel about her she only wants to be friends. It seems like a hopeless cause to find a wife. Especially since most girls say they want the “perfect guy” . They might as join a convent. It seems like girls always have unrealistic expectations of guys, many of my friends have thrown in the towel and now enjoy themselves by doing….unholy…things. I’m tempted to throw in the towel as well.

    By Jake | 3 years ago Reply
  46. This article was really good and inspiring….Thank u both of u…keep in prayers…God bless…

    By mariea | 3 years ago Reply
  47. This will honestly be my source of motivation everytime I feel lonely, everytime I miss the past relationship I was in. It made me realize that I would have settled for less, but now I will trust in God’s plan 10000000%. Thank you so much for your testimony. May God bless you and your husband and your whole entire family. You guys seem and sound sooo happy, my friend was actually able to meet you both at a Catholic retreat 🙂 I pray for my future husband, that we are bestfriends and we are truly ourselves 1000% and that Christ will be the centre of it all. Amen.

    By L. | 3 years ago Reply
  48. juat in tune for i am experiencing a recent traumatic breakup…twice that i setes myself for less and not respecting Gods will for me for the last 5yrs in that relationship..but indeed the article says it all..thank u!!day3of blessing with this article..Godbless

    By julay | 3 years ago Reply
  49. This is the best blog entry on this topic I have read in a while. Its not overblown, its frank, but not harsh. It tells it like it is, and it is abundantly clear that it comes from experience, and from someone who had hope.

    By Clare | 3 years ago Reply
  50. Thanks Jackie, I’ve been stuffing with this lately. But reading this article and seeing this happen for a close friend in a great relationship has given me hope and the courage to be happy in my singleness and be patient for the vocation God has for me.

    By Ginny | 3 years ago Reply
  51. I have to disagree with portions of this article.

    There has been a movement lately in our culture to focus on finding the “one. The perfect one, the holy knight, the princess in the castle. Things like the chastity project are simply adding Jesus into the mixture but pursuing the same thing.

    But think about this: NO WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY GOD HAS ONE MAN OR WOMAN PICKED OUT FOR YOU.

    It does say in Song of Solomon to wait for love and not to rush it. But it never mentions a single soul mate. In fact the term soul mate is a secular term and is not found in the bible.

    The apostle Paul actually encourages young men and women to marry if they cannot control their lust! He says it is better if they can control it but if they cannot it is better for them to marry than to burn with lust.

    I believe these articles are very well intentioned and I’m glad the author has found a spouse to share her life with.
    But this doctrine of not marrying until you find the perfect one is not biblical.

    The only perfect one is Jesus Christ. Your spouse is going to have flaws, just as you are. We are all sinners.

    Something to think about.

    By Cal | 3 years ago Reply
  52. I offer a kind word of discord here.

    I appreciate the idea of “not settling” in principle. The concept of “Magis”, in the Ignatian terms, of giving up something good for something better. We all risk getting involved in relationships which are not what God wants for us. It happens all the time.

    However, my problem with a twist of the comment is that it risks falling into the interpretation of reducing “true love” to a “gut feeling”. Yes, we want to find the one person to spend the rest of our lives with. But many times it is easier to give a “not settling” argument like the one depicted in this post as an excuse of fear of commitment.

    A lot of people (of all ages) are great with the idea of dating and getting into a relationship, and “play the game of love”. Great and lovely, necessary to many. But there is a moment where the butterflies in the belly need to be replaced by an active will. Because the butterflies in the belly cannot sustain a relationship in the long run. Love is looking at the other person, see their defects poke you in all the wrong places, yet looking at them and realizing you have a calling to be happy and make them happy for the rest of each others’ lives. That is beyond a “feeling” — it a willful action. An active prayer life, with God in active protection, will help you through the hardship.

    But the whole idea of “seeking the one” is something I have seen to ruin even married couples (“The spark is gone” = we divorce and find somebody new, get an annulment and move on).

    I would say that maybe 80 or 90% of the “diagnostic questions” posted by the OP are quite essential in any relationship. But I cannot help disagreeing with a few of them, or with what could be interpreted out of them

    Take for example — “Are you confused about the relationship constantly? Do you go back and forth about whether or not this is the one?” = This one could be due to the person’s own maturity journey. A lot of people pressure the person about thinking this. It is super important to be picky. But once you realize you are acting out of indecision and lack of ability to commit, you should wonder whether the Devil is really on the side of “wanting you to settle”, or on the side of disguising your lack of ability to commit as “idealism in the quest of finding Mr(s). Right”.

    The title of the blog post is risky business. The Devil is busy on both ends.

    God bless you all!

    By Bernie | 3 years ago Reply
  53. Loved it..begin just 22 and totally in confusion…this really cleared things up for me…

    By Joel | 3 years ago Reply
  54. wow, wonderful article. I ended things with my boyfriend of over 5 years who was also a month from proposing. It’s a difficult adjustment being single again and has filled me with doubt. This article brought back the clarity and peace that I know is God given at just the right time. Thank you and God bless you and your husband.

    By Allysson | 3 years ago Reply
  55. To all who are looking, you could turn a corner. My Mom said that to me and I said, “Aww Mom.” But it happened. I had to wait until I was 35 but I met the ideal person for me. God was so very good to us. So have faith and hope. Trust in God is the key. And pray for a chaste courtship. Your prayer will be answered.

    By Caroline | 3 years ago Reply
  56. My question is can Satan make you feel like you don’t love someone anymore? I’m engaged to be married in March and ever since about a week after the engagement i’ve felt this feeling in the pit of my stomach. It never goes away and it confuses my mind and makes me want to push my fiancee away. Somedays I feel like I love him and get those butterflies and other days I look at him and want to push him away. Satan hates relationships so can he make you unlove the one your with?

    By Brittany | 3 years ago Reply
  57. Not everyone will find someone that they are passionately in love with. In a lot of asian cultures people marry first and love comes later and they often end up quite happy. I think it an overly romantic and too idealised notion to just wait for love. This is why many people spend a whole life childless and unmarried. People are far too different for everyone to have a perfect match. Perfection does not exist. I admire someone who shows the verb type of love rather than just talking about how in love they are. That kind of love is not biblical, it is extremely shallow, visceral. Feelings come and feelings go. A marriage should be led by far more than that.

    By Anita | 3 years ago Reply
  58. Hello,
    This is amazing! I am not in a relationship but recently out of one. You wrote everything perfectly and well said. I teared up reading this and you encouraged me to continue trusting God when it gets hard!
    God Bless you! I am currently praying for a man such as your experience and thank you for the truth :0)

    By Roseanne Blades | 3 years ago Reply
  59. Wow this was awesome! I’m so happy I stumbled upon this article. I am 16 years old and in a relationship that I hope will last forever. My boyfriend and I have been best friends for about a year (we met at New Evangelization Week, if that sounds familiar) and just recently started dating about a month and a half ago. He is everything I could ever ask for in a guy, and I know that I’m only 16 but I know I love him. The problem is we have done basically everything besides for the “big thing” and I’m scared he’s going to get bored of me… I know he loves me and he has told me so many times he could never get bored of me but I want this to last so badly. He has never really been in a serious relationship before so I dont exactly expect him to know what to do. He has the kindest heart and really the best intentions, but he is a teenage boy.. I really see a future with him and he has told me he does also. So, I’m really struggling. He knows I won’t have sex, but I’ve allowed myself to do everything before that with him… I like to believe I’m a good Catholic and I’m lucky to have found another Catholic guy especially where I live/ go to school, but he doesn’t really practice that faith -like at all- and it kind of makes me sad. I know he loves me and I know he sees a future with me but I want us to be on the same page. Most of all, I want us to last. I want to talk to him and set boundaries so we can save what we kind of, already have undone. I just don’t know how to talk to him or what to say. Do you have any advice?
    Thank you so much for this beautiful article! 🙂

    By Annabella | 3 years ago Reply
  60. The author seem to be contradicting herself with her definition of the one. If Christians are only called to marry “the one” than how can anyone married say they have settled, even if they actually feel that way? If they ended up together, God must have orchestrated it right? Or then it is possible to be called to marry someone who is not the one. Im confused a little

    By Ted | 3 years ago Reply
  61. I had just finished praying for my man and our children and family reading my Bible afterwards I was sitting on my bed and I heard a sound like someone was walking in my apartment and the Devil showed up in the form of my man what does that mean please explain God blessed.

    By Stephanie | 3 years ago Reply
  62. Hi Jackie. Really love this article that you wrote! I was in a relationship with a catholic guy for 1.5 years. We broke up 4 months ago because his parents dislike me despite never meeting me.

    All the questions you posted showed we were in a healthy relationship. I’m sure he feels that way too. But it’s really a pity that we broke up.. 🙁

    By Tive | 3 years ago Reply
  63. Thank you so much for this article, you have no idea how relevant this is to me, you wrote the words I couldn’t form myself.

    By Julia | 3 years ago Reply
  64. WOW! So relatable! And real! Thanks so much for this article. It is very encouraging. I absolutely loved reading it.

    By Lauren | 3 years ago Reply
  65. Comment :Am really blessed with the wards of Encouragement .God bless .Am reqesting you to pray with me that i find the rightman to settle with.Am now in my 30ts and not relating am a born again believer .It’sseking my faith.

    By Driciru Hope Florence | 3 years ago Reply
  66. Thank you for this. Today I just broke off a relationship with my boyfriend of 4 years. He is kind, nice, catholic and everyone has told me to just get married to him. Something in my heart though at times feels anxious to marry him. I have thought so many times to just go forward and settle. This blog gave me peace that I made the right decision to break it off. Please pray that God leads me to the right man.

    By Christina | 3 years ago Reply
  67. While I love Jackie’s story it’s a bit privileged and narrow-minded. Shockingly, not all women are extremely intelligent, personable, friendly, eloquent speakers, and to top it off, drop-dead gorgeous. To even have the luxury of going on a date – MULTIPLE dates – with Catholic men is something the average 20-something Catholic woman only dreams of. Jackie, you’re lucky enough to be the highest pick of the litter, for lack of a better term, to search for someone who really “clicks.” Most women are lucky to date one or two good Catholic men in their twenties in this age. Our brains are saying “Is this the one?” like a hamster on crack – they’re saying “this has been the only one.”

    By Emmy | 3 years ago Reply
  68. Hi Jackie
    Just came across this post and it has certainly helped me with my decision. I’ve been doing a 7 day discernment about a 2 year relationship I am in. I feel lead to follow the lord and end this relationship but I’m so afraid to actually do it. Do keep me in your prayers

    By Larissa | 3 years ago Reply

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