Love is a battlefield. The dating world isn’t easy to navigate, and for Catholics it can be even more difficult to find someone who shares one’s faith and values. How can we discern relationships and find the person God wants us to be with?
“I’m really good at getting in relationships that God doesn’t want me to be in,” said Tyler. He’s been in a couple of serious relationships, and although he feels called to marriage, he’s scared of going through another bad breakup. He asked Father Simon’s advice for finding his future spouse. “I want to know how I can attract or allow what God wants for me in a partner, and not … go for the person I should not be with,” he explained.
“That’s one of the reasons that we in the Catholic Church have all these strict rules about a fond and affectionate peck on the cheek is fine but much more than that isn’t,” replied Fr. Richard Simon, host of Father Simon SaysTM on Relevant Radio®.
He explained what true and appropriate intimacy is for couples that are discerning marriage.
“The greatest intimacy you can have with a person is not physical intimacy—people have physical intimacy with people they do not know—it isn’t even intellectual intimacy. It’s spiritual intimacy—that you’re most vulnerable, you’re most exposed when you pray because you’re exposing your spirit!”
How can you know if you have spiritual intimacy with a potential future spouse? Father Simon recommends this simple (though counter-cultural) habit:
“You want to meet a girl who’s a believer. And instead of the goodnight kiss, when you meet a girl who’s interesting, look at her and say, ‘Would you mind if I held your hand and said a prayer with you?’ And if she goes, ‘What!?’ well then she’s probably not a ‘keeper’ as they say. They always talk about women like they’re fish—they’re not fish. But if a girl says, ‘I would love it if you said a prayer with me’, this may be somebody who’s worth your time. Try that instead of the goodnight kiss—the goodnight prayer,” said Fr. Simon.
“If you grow together in the intimacy of simple prayer, not we’re going to say a Rosary together, no. Just, let me hold your hand and say, ‘Lord, thank you for this evening. I had a wonderful time and I ask you to bless this woman and to give her a good night’s rest and to let her know you love her. Amen. Okay, goodnight.’
“‘Aren’t you going to kiss me?’ ‘Nope. Maybe sometime. We prayed—a prayer together is better than a kiss.’ And if you find a woman who says, ‘This is great!’ Then maybe she’s the girl for you.”
He also recommended that Tyler look for a woman who is “beautiful in their spirit and simple in their adornments.” He reminded us to look for qualities in a future spouse that God looks for in his children—things like faith and virtue.
Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us!
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