First off, let me say: As soon as the Series 7 was over, real thoughts just poured into my brain... maybe because it was the first time I had to think about what I wanted to think about instead of the obligatory Options Contracts, Regulations, and Municipal Debt which I'd been forced to think about for the last three months.
My thoughts on this particular subject began immediately after I passed the 7... as in.. in the bar next door to the testing center. I thought more about it on the plane ride on the way to AUBURN!!! and I was fortunate enough to have the sweet and innocent James sit and listen to me while I soapboxed like a champ.
So here it goes.
We've all heard both sides of the story.
Girls: "Catholic guys don't date holy, humble women, they date girls who flirt with them and dress immodestly."
Guys: "Catholic girls only date men who don't treat them well/won't lead/don't pray at all/etc."
You get the point, you've heard it too.
We get caught up in these circles and it gets crazy. Guy wants to guard girls' hearts so he never spends any time with anyone but other guys. So he never gets to know any girls and when one comes along who he thinks he might want to get to know, he can't ask her out because what if she thinks that's like a proposal of marriage, he's not ready for that!
Girl wants to practice emotional chastity so she stays away from men.. and when one comes along, she has to be meek and humble and not flirt with him or let on at all that she might be interested because she has to wait for him to come to her, but he never will because he's clueless and has no idea that she's interested and even if he did, a date is out of the question because, as previously mentioned, in these Catholic circles, a date might as well be a ring.
Apparently being single is complicated!
As per my recent experience in the bar and after talking this through with some very wise women, I've come to this conclusion: Women
To lump them all together, secular men, it seems, understand that all they need to do is make a girl feel special. Unfortunately, this knowledge along with their often (but not always) less than honorable intentions, is why women end up settling for second best, for sex before marriage, for mediocrity.
I think the reason Catholic men are fearful of the pursuit is twofold: firstly, they are afraid of rejection, because that is our fallen nature and because they are more in touch with their delicate emotions than women have come to believe. Secondly, pursuing one woman means, by default, not pursuing all the rest.
Pope Francis, just last week, said:
"How difficult it is in our time to make definitive choices. The ephemeral seduces us. We are victims of a tendency that pushes us toward the provisional, as if we wanted to remain adolescents.
We must not be afraid of definitive commitments, of commitments that involve and have an effect on our whole lives. In this way our lives will be fruitful."
For women, being pursued is not a desire, it is a need. I think that is why the churches are filled with women. Jesus is the ultimate pursuer: He never stops, He never backs down, and He never disappoints. If you give Him an inch, He turns it into a mile. He.is.the.best.
Gentlemen, take a page out of His book. Learn the art of the pursuit. You don't have to "have it all together" to go on dates, you definitely don't have to be ready for marriage. But you do have to make a decision.
What do you think?
St. Joseph, pray for us!