A Singular Problem

The Church has a serious problem as far as marriage is concerned. I think that is pretty clear to all of us. But this problem extends just beyond the institution itself to how it is viewed and approached by singles and by clergy. One of the themes I’ve stressed on this blog is that the Church (the Catholic Church in particular) has done essentially nothing to help young Christians marry, and marry well at that. If anything, the Church has made this task more difficult in recent decades.

All of that is the preface for two links to articles which discuss singleness among Christians. I’m mentioning them in this short post to highlight how even those who realize something is wrong are still blind to what is going on. Sadly, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

MarcusD alerted me to the first article, Single and Catholic, which discusses how the Church needs to be more welcoming to the unmarried. While the author makes some good points, what struck me is the fact that it seemed as though single parents (aka, single moms) ended up dominating the discussion in the article. Nearly everything ended up revolving around them. Perhaps I’m being petty, but as an unmarried Christian man I don’t like the idea of being lumped in with single mothers as being part of the general constituency “single.” I imagine that my fellow sisters in Christ have a similar viewpoint.

[Update: I was taken to task in the comments over this next section, and rightly so. Either I misread what was said, or I explained myself poorly. As a result, I have struck out my commentary, although I left it so that people aren’t completely confused. For a better example of what I was seeing look to the comments, specifically here.]

The second article, which I found thanks to a link provided by Mrs. C, is Why You’re Not Any Less of a Person if You Haven’t Dated Yet. This article’s authoress shows some potential- she rejects the casual dating culture. Yet at the same time she says things like “in no way whatsoever am I saying that dating is bad.” She cannot see the disconnect- how casual dating is just another form of dating, and that if the one is bad then so must the other. Also troubling her her defense of “singleness.” She doesn’t try and define it, or explain why it is a good thing, much less back up her view with Scripture or Tradition. When I read language like that I get the picture that she thinks singleness is good because it is good for her, and it is good for her because she feels good about being single at the moment. There is no introspection, no self-reflection taking place. Certainly she is not considering whether she is called to marriage, and if so, taking serious steps towards it. She rejects the notion that she is “naive, inexperienced, and childlike” and yet she doesn’t take her vocation seriously. Worst of all, this still puts her above most of her peers.

I might have another short post up tomorrow, not sure yet if that will work out. I hope to have a major one done by the end of the week, time permitting.

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276 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Courtship, Marriage, The Church

276 responses to “A Singular Problem

  1. Feather:

    Indeed. We shouldn’t be making light of Anne’s predicament, particularly in public comboxes.

    Apologies, Anne.

  2. trugingstar

    Mdavid: It wasn’t pure libel, it was me trying to guess who you are or aren’t. In order for anything I said to be libel, it would require me to know exactly who you were. There’s someone who frequents the manosphere under several different identities, and you simply sounded like him. No need to stoop to the level of accusing me of various psychological issues. I think it was a fair question. And you need to be more careful about the way you speak around women, because it’s instigating. The reason a lot of these women get on here is to get the thumbs-up for their own ideas, and be surrounded with male attention. I’ll be honest, that’s a big part of why I’m on here too, aside from trying to revive the Frankenstein known as Christian/virgin masculinity and trying to get an idea of what I’m doing wrong in meeting people.

    Deti: “Are you saying that if a church guy takes a girl on a coffee date, then he wants to marry her?

    Are you saying if a girl agrees to a coffee date with a church guy, the church guy thinks the girl wants to marry him?”

    Yeah.

    lgrobbins: Now that was completely unhinged. Even though DG is a certified muffin recipe thief, what did he ever do to make you sound so, so unfeminine? Seriously, though, that was rude. Anne’s just on here for the same reasons you are, and she’s had it way worse than you or I have had it. OKCUpid was a bust, none of your friends “want to” go dancing…

    … which reminds me: I might have a new post!

  3. @ Elspeth

    One in 50 maybe, but we’re not that abnormal.

    That’s pretty darn abnormal. I’d estimate it as more like 1 in 10, and say that that is indeed abnormal.

  4. Lets try and be civil and not jump to conclusions everyone. I’m as guilty of that as everyone, so lets move forward and not get bogged down by misunderstandings.

  5. Laura:

    TBH, your one liner question to donal came off as snarky and sarcastic. I accept your explanation as in good faith and that you didn’t intend it, but that’s how it looked in a cold combox.

    I do have to admit, the adversarial tone escalated for a bit, and this was one of those times.

  6. trugingstar

    Graeme, you stole a muffin recipe.

  7. trugingstar

    Graeme rhymes with shaeme.

  8. “The reason a lot of these women get on here is to get the thumbs-up for their own ideas, and be surrounded with male attention. I’ll be honest, that’s a big part of why I’m on here too, aside from trying to revive the Frankenstein known as Christian/virgin masculinity and trying to get an idea of what I’m doing wrong in meeting people. “

    Interesting.

    If your in person communication style is anything like your writing style, you might want to take a look at that. With due respect, Trugingstar, your writing style is cryptic, muddled, disorganized and just plain unclear. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what you’re trying to say. Most of the time, you write paragraph on paragraph, saying everything and nothing, all at the same time. I can’t tell if you’re trying to be witty, earnest, ironic, clever, sardonic, or all of the above.

    Speak and write plainly and clearly. Clarity of language promotes clarity of thought.

  9. trugingstar

    I’m mostly subtext, Deti. I’m like that iceberg that sunk the Titanic.

  10. Tru:

    Well, you might try laying it out a bit more clearly. A lack of clear communication might have something to do with what you’re “doing wrong in meeting people. “

  11. trugingstar

    I will say this very clearly: Being and alpha male is not bad-mouthing people the way that women do. This is your main tactic in nearly every argument.

  12. trugingstar

    It’s like you won’t be satisfied until you completely crush someone’s public image. You have that soft, feminine touch about you.

  13. trugingstar

    It goes to show women that they must never be transparent, humble or admit a fault, or testosterone bitch will come along and nuke them. Sad, this is what’s become of men. They aren’t fit to lead.

  14. Tru:

    I don’t bad mouth people. I address arguments. I don’t crush people’s public images. This is the manosphere where most people are anonymous. To the extent they have “public images”, they’re pseudonymous.

    Second, women can be as transparent, humble and fault-admitting as men can be. i don’t “nuke” anyone; but I do my best to address and take down arguments I don’t agree with.

    My honest, no holds barred observations and criticism of arguments does nothign to diminish my — or anyone else’s — ability to “lead”, whether men or in a relationship. If you were in a relationship with a man and made logical points or arguments he disagreed with, would you not expect him to express that disagreement? Or would you expect him to remain silent and say nothing, blandly nodding agreement with things he doesn’t agree with?

    I thought women expected their men to stand up for themselves, to assert themselves, and not be little doormats. Am I to understand that you want your man to cower at your claims and assertions?

  15. trugingstar

    No, you’re a diva, as Elspeth pointed-out, “*the* Deti.” You’re just more subtle about it. You pedestalize yourself. When you see someone threatening your authority by looking you square in the eye, you attack their ability to write. That’s something you just don’t do, girl.

  16. trugingstar

    You’re giving really bad information about women, now. Any guy who believes what you say, which is “smack every woman you see upside the head,” is going to end up in a bad marriage. Even though this is the opposite of being a doormat, this is going to an extreme. You have to reason with people, not paint every single person but yourself as stupid and illiterate. In fact, you have said that you address *every* *issue* in a logical fashion. No. I’m sorry God didn’t tell you that His job was already filled and you’re a human being. We all make mistakes, dude.

  17. Tru:

    Sorry, I must have missed you looking me square in the eye. You didn’t do that with your writing.

    You appear to have taken personally and been insulted by my good faith criticism of your unclear writing. I’m sorry your feelings were hurt, as that wasn’t my intention. Your writing is rather unclear, however, and it hindered (until just the last hour or so) my understanding what you were/are trying to say.

    I didn’t say you were stupid or illiterate. I said your writing was unclear. I stand by that assertion. I’m sorry that you believe my saying your writing was unclear is “smack[ing] (you) upside the head”. It isn’t in any way, shape, manner or form.

    Have a nice weekend.

  18. trugingstar

    My feelings weren’t so much hurt as you tried to make me look really bad. Bye, Deti! Go have fun!

  19. We all need to know that we are still WANTED by our husband or wife

    “Wanted” for what?

  20. It does help and as I said above, it sounds awful and this why a wife should make a loving home. It should be a refuge for her family not a continuation of the strife and chaos outside.

    THIS.

    Until women, including –especially– wives stop trying to compete with men in all things, there will NEVER be peace in the home. One of the recurring reasons I’ve been given for lack of interest in marriage by young, professional millennial men in the process of absorbing the red pill is that they have ze-ro desire to slog through the workplace battlefield between the sexes for five or six 12-hour days each week, only to then come home to more of the same for the other 12 hours of each calendar day with someone who is more of an adversary than a helpmeet. What sane, self-respecting man can blame them?

  21. People over 40 should set aside the desire for a biological or adopted child. If you want to be actively involved being a good, quality influence in the lives of children, respite care, foster care and sponsoring promising young people in your local community to college/trade school/private school/etc. are all wonderful approaches and blend well with the companionate and childless marriage that is most probable for a 40something woman who is chaste and seeking a husband.

    Many people feel very entitled to a biological child for the first time at older ages with no regard to what happens when you’re 50 or 60 or 70 dealing with a little kid or preteen, and never seeing grandchildren or necessarily even graduation from high school or college of your own child. It’s one thing when it just happens by chance, it’s another to be all ‘I am 41, I expect babies in marriage’. That isn’t a reasonable expectation. It isn’t even necessarily reasonable for a man who’s sired no children up until that point. Men get a few more years, but not many more than women.

    I wish Anne well in her search for a decent husband, but she should set aside the desire for biological children. She might have one or two anyhow, it’s not impossible, but planning around it as a guarantee is psychologically disastrous.

  22. trugingstar

    The only stipulation I’d have is that he’d tell me about his day, and not do the typical, “eh” response. I tend to be one of those people with more acquaintances and one or two close friends. The people I’m close to I want to know everything about and have in my bubble. For example, I was really close to my brother growing up, so I’d watch whatever video game he was playing and so on. If that one thing annoys the person I’m married to, I will probably be that whiny “battle axe.” If he comes home cranky and slams doors and doesn’t hug me and tells me to get lost, I’m only human, and he’ll get an inconveniently adversarial wife. I’m calling myself out in advance, because I know I couldn’t handle it. What I’m trying to highlight are the importance of maintaining a bond and the extreme closeness that you need to have with your partner. These days, I think there are a of lot things wedging between two people, like finances, houses, kids, whatever. The point is, marriage is two people making a life for each other as best they can. The main issue that I have with the manosphere, is that there is that man-woman feud that began with the woman’s lib thing and it didn’t end here. There’s nothing marriage-promoting about that attitude.

  23. Novaseeker

    You have to carefully look for that kind of man. Some people (men and women alike) find that kind of extreme closeness a bit cramped. There’s real estate, and quite a bit of it, between that kind of extreme disclosure, on the one hand, and being a completely closed book, on the other. If you’re more towards one pole, that’s fine, but you need to find another person who also thrives in that kind of hothouse environment. Some couples find that they stifle each other that way, unfortunately, because it isn’t a good fit for them as people, but they read in some book somewhere that it was the right way to do things, so they try to do it that way and end up tripping over each other and being frustrated. Different personality types at play, and a key is finding a personality type whose natural way of communicating and feeling intimacy, emotionally, dovetails with your own, rather than an incompatibility in this area, which can lead to a lot of frustration.

    As for the manosphere being reactive to feminism, yes. Of course, that’s what it *is*. The manosphere itself isn’t there to promote marriage, it’s to help men get out of the ruts they find themselves in, and not just with respect to women (although that tends to be what sends men to the manosphere to begin with). As an active participant for many years now, to me the manosphere is a grab bag of different ideas and approaches, and each individual guy has to decide what works for him, what is or is not appropriate for him based on values and comfort level and goals and so on, and make his own choices as to what to do with the material he finds useful and consistent with those. It isn’t a cohesive movement with one goal, one path, one method, and so on, and many get disappointed with it that it is not that. That’s why it really isn’t a counterweight to feminism, because feminism *is* a movement with clear goals, shared ideology and so on. The MRAs have a bit of that, but they are only one aspect of the grab bag. But, in general, the manosphere isn’t there to promote marriage, per se, but to help guys better their lives. If that involves marriage, some useful ideas can be found in the manosphere, but, again, individual guys need to take what is useful, discard what is not, and apply in their own lives in a way that makes sense to them and is consistent with their values. That’s what gave birth to donal and DS’s blogs and so on. The manosphere was the midwife. It isn’t really finished playing that role, either, because every day there are new guys showing up at the triage window for various reasons, looking for the most basic answers. They get a detox. They get a place to vent. And they get a clearinghouse of ideas they need to sift through. That takes a while. After a while, some may end up here. Some may end up with Athol Kay. Some may end up with Rollo. Some may end up just walking away. And some just decide to stay bitter. Can’t control that. But there are new guys turning up every day, really, at the triage window. That’s the purpose that the manosphere serves, really.

  24. I didn’t feel anyone was trying to make light of my predicament, but thought everyone was very kind. I did kind of laugh when she suggested Donal and myself, because I seemed to remember him being around 25 or so. That’s a 16 year difference, and especially with the man being younger, it just seems kind of scandalous. It seemed obvious that she wouldn’t have made the suggestion if she’d known.
    Him being Catholic is an even bigger problem. Before I knew his age, I kept finding myself thinking what a shame that was, even as I wondered about his age. You do seem like a very nice man, Donal. There is actually a lady on this very thread who would be a better match than me, being that she’s Catholic and all. I don’t know her age either though.
    And matchmakers are always welcome, even if I am unsure how to follow up on this one. (You can’t exactly send IOI’s over the internet.) Hopefully, I will figure it out.

  25. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ feeriker

    “Wanted” for what?

    Just wanted in general, as a person. Like, if he/she had to do it all over again, then he/she would still choose to marry you. My attitude is, I would want for my husband to be in it for good whether he always feels like staying with me or not, but I would also want him to want to be there too rather than having to stay with me out of duty. I would want him to want to stay connected to me, to want to be intimate (in every sense of the word) with me, to want to spend time with me, to want me the way he wanted me when deciding to marry me in the first place… and I’m sure every man would want their wives to want them that way too. I mean, staying together out of loyalty and duty is 100% essential, but who wants to hear their spouse say “I’m only still with you because I’m obligated to stay, but I don’t want to be here married to you anymore.”? That would devastate anyone, because we all want to be wanted. See?

  26. @Practical Conservative
    I am well aware that it is God who opens the womb, and while I pray that he will do so, I understand that he doesn’t always. I will be very disappointed if he does not, but I’d rather live in hope now, than fall prey to despair prematurely.
    Anyway, my family is pretty long lived. Barring accident, I expect to live quite a long time. My father tells about his grandmother, who was a home care nurse in her 80s. She used to say she took care of 3 old ladies (who were themselves in their 60s.) During that time she took a trip on a bus from Pasedena, to Maryland, to Illinois (for a wedding), to Montana, then back to Pasedena where she resumed taking care of the ladies for another month before going on to other things.
    Anyway, as a substitute teacher and an aunt, I have to say it really stinks watching other people mess up their children. I will never have as much influence on those kids as their parents do.

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