There seems to be a current epidemic of ungodly men posing as Catholics and targeting virtuous young Catholic women. Just because a man says he is Catholic does not mean that he truly is in practice.
I hear a lot of horror stories about men on Catholic dating websites or so-called ‘Catholic’ men on social media preying on decent, beautiful Catholic girls. They say that they are Catholics, but their behaviour says otherwise. A lot of them do not believe or practise Catholic doctrines and teachings on chastity, modesty, premarital sex etc.
To make it worse, when you try to call them out on their indecent and immoral behaviour, they tell you that you are rigid, you are overreacting or you need to get with the times.
These men even openly admit that while they have a sordid past, they expect any Catholic woman that they date to be completely pure, virginal and with no past. No surprises then that these predators target sweet, young, trusting and virtuous Catholic women.
A vast majority of these predatory men tend to be Catholic reverts or converts. After living a wild life in their youth, full of sin and all sorts of depravity, using and abusing women along the way, they hit middle age, realise that they will probably end up alone and decide that they now need to find a woman that they can dominate, control, abuse and leech off for the rest of their lives.
They choose Catholic girls because a girl that is a non-christian or of any other faith will divorce them or refuse to marry them on discovery of their disordered personality. However, a Catholic girl, no matter how badly they treat her or how much they abuse her or neglect her and indulge in porn or adultery, the Catholic girl will not divorce him……because the Sacrament of Marriage is until death and annulments, which will free her up to marry again after a divorce, are VERY difficult to obtain.
So these guys decide to ‘convert’ to Catholicism…..or if they are fallen away Catholics, they decide to ‘revert’ and then begin their hunt for a naive, trusting Catholic girl who will be their prey…..WIFE, I mean wife!
The Bible says to test every spirit; not everyone who claims to be a christian truly is and by their fruits, you shall know them.
However, a lot of these predators are very good at building a public facade of virtue and humility, so they can be hard to detect and once they get you attached to them, it can be difficult to break away.
Luckily, most predators, sociopaths, abusers and toxic individuals will throw up red flags and give you a peek of their true selves within 4 – 6 months of you getting to know them. Most of the time, you will see these red flags within the first month.
The point of this article is not to malign all men or our Catholic brothers. This article is written for the following purposes:
- to help us be more discerning and to use our heads, instead of blindly following our ‘fluttering hearts’, as one gentleman said,
- to enable us to realise that men who portray several of these traits MAY SEEM EXCITING, but are dangerous and destructive, and should be avoided. To use an analogy, electricity looks pretty and sparkly, but is lethal
- to prevent us from maligning or outright rejecting brothers who are truly virtuous by helping us to distinguish between a real virtuous brother in Christ and a predator masquerading as one,
- to help us realise that no one is perfect, not even our brothers in Christ who will display a couple of traits from this list. However, a predator will score VERY HIGHLY and display more than 4 traits on this list.
So here are early dating red flags of an abuser, sociopath, predator and toxic man.
THEY ARE CHARMING AND ‘VIRTUOUS’
Charm is the predator’s favourite tool to hook in their prey. They will use charm and humour to garner your interest. Be extremely wary of the charming man. Not all that glitters is gold. They put on a false facade that deceives and fools everyone else. It is only when you get closer to him that you see his true character.
THEY JUST LOVE THE INTERNET
If you use dating sites, even Catholic ones, I am so sorry to inform you that these predators frequent dating sites for their prey. Others will use social media such as Catholic forums, Facebook, Instagram and so on.
You see, they are like a kid in candy store when it comes to the internet. They are able to charm and groom several victims all at the same time, having backups to their backups , just in case their scam with one potential victim falls through.
In addition, on the internet, they are able to hide their true character via charming and innocuous words, images, pictures and so on.
One-on-one interaction will quickly alert you that they are disordered as you will be able to pick up body language tells and cues, but online, they can hide behind the screen and feed you an image of a person that is just not real.
THEY MAKE INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS OR LEWD JOKES
One big tell is that these sociopathic and predatory men will make inappropriate jokes or comments about your body or your body parts.
In the early days, it is completely inappropriate for a man to be commenting on your legs, lips, breasts, hips, hair and body parts. A man that is truly decent, filled with virtue and genuinely interested in you as a person will not be objectifying you in this way.
This is a warning sign that the guy has ZERO RESPECT for you, is highly sexed, is prone to seeking instant sexual gratification and likely to compromise your virtue, and also points to sex or porn addiction. If you date or marry this guy, you will be stuck for life to a man who cheats, has affairs, abuses you and neglects you in favour of pornography or other women.
Realise that when the predator is this inappropriate so early in the relationship, he is testing your boundaries. He is testing you to see if you will be prime prey for abuse and to see if he can successfully compromise your purity and ruin your virtue.
You see, abuse does not generally begin with name-calling or hitting……it always starts with little acts of disrespect like these. Run!!
THEY REACT BADLY WHEN YOU SET A BOUNDARY
When you call them out of their inappropriate behaviour, they may tell you that you are overreacting or that you are too sensitive or that you are reading too much into things. On other hand, they may apologise, but then shut down from you or withdraw or give you the silent treatment.
You see, they are aware that they are crossing a line, but they are testing you to see if you are a good prey for abuse. So they overreact, gaslight you, over-explain their inappropriate behaviour or withdraw to make you feel guilty, make you doubt your own reality of what happened, AND to make you chase after them, apologise and put in MORE effort into the relationship. Once you do that, they know that they have gotten you.
THERE IS CONFUSION
The number one sign of problematic behaviour is confusion. If you find yourself feeling confused about a man’s behaviour or you find yourself googling online or searching through forums and groups for answers and advice about his behaviour in the early stages of a relationship or dating, that is a HUGE CLUE that you are dealing with a predator, an unstable person with a disordered personality.
THEY PROTEST TOO MUCH
Predators and abusers know exactly what they are so they will try to tell you the opposite in the hope that constant repetition will convince you. They will insist again and again, repeatedly that they ‘just a good catholic boy’, that they are virtuous, that they are chaste – it is all lies.
Remember the phrase “methinks the lady doth protest too much’?
When a man repeatedly tells you that they are chaste, they are a good catholic boy etc etc, it usually is because THEY ARE NOT what they are trying to convince you they are.
Whatever the predator says that he is is what he is not; whatever the predator says that he is not is what he is.
THEY HAVE A SKETCHY PAST
This can be in their work history or in their relationships. Abusers, sociopaths and predators tend to leave a trail of destruction in their wake. You will find stories that do not add up, exes that want nothing to do with them or that have them blocked; lots of short-term relationships and short-term jobs. This is a RED FLAG that this person is sociopathic, has commitment issues unable to foster relationships and is generally unstable.
THEY PLAY VICTIM
A lot of them will play the sympathy card to make you fall for them and to test how empathic you are. Predators, sociopaths and abusers deliberately target sweet, caring empathic women who they know will explain away their bad, toxic behaviour
You see, as women we are wired to nurture and care for others. Sociopaths, predators and abusers use this trait against us. They will tell us how nobody understands them, ‘they had a horrific childhood or a horrific past relationship, people simply misunderstand them, they were wrongly accused, they were bullied or picked on in their younger years, or in the church or in the workplace etc etc
What they want is for you to feel sorry for them and to think “Oh no, he has had such a hard life. He is so broken. I will be the one to take care of him. I will not do to him what his ex did or what his parents did. My love will heal him and make him happy”.
No, it won’t, but the predator wants you think otherwise.
THEY LOVE-BOMB YOU
Love-bombing is a common tactic used by predators, sociopaths and abusers to get you hooked on them. We feel flattered by the attention or think that they must be so into us, or that they are so passionate, but we do not realise that they are simply grooming us.
Love-bombing will present as lots and lots of attention, lots of messages, texts, gushing all over you on social media, leaving gushy or complimentary messages on a vast majority of your pictures, keeping you up late with lots of messaging, texts or calls.
The love-bombing tactic is utilised to a) make you fall for them as quickly as possible b) confuse you so when you see contradictory behaviour in them, you explain it away.
THEY BLOW HOT AND COLD
Predators and abusers are very inconsistent towards their prey. One minute, they are gushing all over you….the next minute, they are ignoring you or withdrawing.
This Jekyll & Hyde character is done to make you feel guilty, confuse you and is a big clue that they are grooming you for more abuse.
LITTLE TO NO TALK ABOUT THE FAITH
When you examine your interpersonal interactions with them, you will notice little to no talk about the faith or the Church.
Talking about you, your physical attributes, your job and other aspects will dominate their interactions with you.
THEY PRY INTO YOUR LIFE
These sort of men who bait you by revealing something ‘personal’ about themselves or their lives to trick you into sharing more of yourself. They want to learn as much as possible about you to a) determine if you will make a good prey and b) to know how best to manipulate and groom you.
So they will ask you questions about your life, your income or job, your house, and so on, while revealing little to nothing about themselves.
THEY HAVE A TEMPER
Although they would try to hide this, if you are discerning, you will see a flash of impatience, hot-headedness, anger, sulking or a temper when they don’t get their way, when you disagree with them or when you set a boundary.
In marriage, this sort of predator will physically abuse you and hurt you.
THEY ARE CONTROLLING AND/OR POSSESSIVE
During the dating or courting phase of the relationship, a man has no right to be controlling or possessive of you. Unreasonable jealousy is HUGE RED FLAG.
They will tell you that the reason why they are jealous or possessive is because they just love you so much, but this tactic is used to slowly isolate you from friends, family and any 3rd party that will be able to see them for what they truly are and warn you.
Isolating you from your friends, family or support system is done to make it easy for them to confuse, use and abuse you. After all, you will not know if their behaviour is acceptable or not if you have no frame of reference or no input from a 3rd party.
Be wary of signs of jealousy and control, including asking you where you were, what you did over the weekend, going through your phone and so on. These sort of men tend to be wife-beaters and emotional abusers.
HUGE AGE DIFFERENCE
Predators and abusers deliberately target very young women, at least 10 years or more younger than them. They do this because they are unable to fool and manipulate women of their own age, so they go for much younger women because they feel these women will be more naive, more trusting, more pliable and much more easier to manipulate.
THEY CONTRADICT THEMSELVES
Psychopaths, sociopaths, abusers and predators tend to contradict themselves A LOT. They will say one thing, then say another and when you call them out on it, they will gaslight you and tell you it didn’t happen or that you imagined it.
Even if you present them with evidence of what they said or did, they will explain it away with “Well, I actually meant *something else*” or they will say that you misunderstood them.
Predators are known to string a woman along for years, keeping her holding on with promises of a future engagement or marriage. Telling her that if only she did this or did not do that, then he would feel comfortable about marrying her. Sometimes, he would use education, money or work as justification for faking a future that he has no intention of fulfilling.
If you met him online, he might also delay meeting up in real life. What this man is doing is he is grooming multiple potential prey at the same time to see which one will be the perfect, most naive and guilible prey. It is immoral and he is wasting your time.
If you have not met within 3 weeks of first online contact, he is definitely stringing you along, regardless of what excuses he uses. As a woman, you cannot afford to waste your precious fertile years on a man who is simply wasting your time or who is simply keeping you on the back-burner as a last option, after he has used and exhausted all his other choices. Insulting, to say the least!
YOU JUST FEEL SOMETHING IS NOT QUITE RIGHT
Your gut instincts are a gift from God. Sometimes, there is a battle between our heart and our mind, but the gut never lies.
If you are feeling that something is off about him or about the relationship, it is usually because it is. Listen to your gut; it is the Holy Spirit warning you.
If you notice TWO OR MORE of the above within the first 5-6 months of knowing a person, quietly exit the relationship, Do not tell them that you know what they are as these people can be turn dangerous, stalkerish, obsessive and vengeful.
Stay safe, dear sisters, when dating. Not all that glitters is gold. Focus on being CHOOSY, not on being chosen. Trust and wait on the Lord and He will bring your Joseph to you.
Thankfully, majority of men out there are not sociopathic or predatory.
There ARE strong, virtuous, traditional, honourable, masculine, holy men out there, I promise.
ad Jesum per Mariam
I shared this article on the Catholic Answers Forum and in response, the forum admin decided to pull and delete it. I was SHOCKED that a site like that would delete something that contains helpful information for Catholic women and it made me a little wary of the administrators of the forum
It was good to know that at least, some Catholic organisations are still looking after the bests interests of the Church members. Be sure to join and follow Regina Magazine on their social media profiles.
From the attention that this particular topic has garnered, it is clear to see that this is pervasive issue, not just within the Church, but in society at large.
In addition, predators and abusers come in both unsavoury flavours of male and female.
As such, for those that have been badly affected by these destructive and dangerous individuals, here are resources that go further into the topic matter and also provide advice and guidance on the healing process.
EDITED – 1ST JULY 2017
UPDATED – HERE ARE THE VIEWS ON JUST 12 HOURS AFTER PUBLISHING THIS POST.
Like I said, it is an epidemic and there are lots of people, particularly women, affected by predatory toxic people.
I actually had someone message me to tell me that the problem can be resolved by open honest communication. Yes, if you are dealing with a normal individual. Toxic, predatory, manipulative, sociopathic and psychopathic individuals ARE NOT NORMAL. They do not do open honest communication. They lie, manipulate, use and abuse people ON PURPOSE…..in addition, they are incredible dangerous and destructive. You just cannot reason with a predator!
Another woman told me the issue should be dealt with with humility and basically being nice. That sort of conditioning is the reason why grave yards and domestic abuse shelter are full with women who are told to be Christian-ly, nice and humble, when dealing with toxic people. HERE IS A REASON WHY UNCONDITIONAL LOVE DOES NOT WORK FOR PEOPLE LIKE THESE.
It can be hard for us to fathom, but there are actually people out there with NO EMPATHY and who do not function like the rest of us.
Dear sisters, you are UNDER NO OBLIGATION to be nice or humble with a dangerous individual or a person that displays a significant amount of the traits listed above. You have EVERY RIGHT to terminate the relationship and go complete NO CONTACT. Your life could well depend on it.