Dating in this modern day and age as a traditional Catholic woman can be a special kind of hell. The pool of eligible, mentally sound and spiritually sound men seems to be shrinking and this is not just exclusive to general society.
However, despite the bleak outlook, there ARE strong, virtuous, honourable, masculine, traditional and holy men out there, I promise.
“But where are they?” I hear you ask “I just keep finding myself drawn into one unsuitable relationship after the other”….or ….”I only seem to attract the crazies”
In a way, you are right. You DO attract the crazies and if all your time is wasted entertaining completely unsuitable men, you will completely miss your Joseph when he passes by.
There is a reason why you attract the same sort of people time and time again.
Manipulators, sociopaths and abusers are predatory in nature. They go on the hunt and specifically target a certain sort of person. It is really not so much that you attract them, but more like, they deliberately hunt certain types of people down. They view you as their prey and that is why they are considered predators.
Just as predators know exactly the sort of woman that they can lure, seduce, manipulate, use and abuse, they also have an instinct on the type of woman that they can never ever get a chance with and therefore should avoid.
They are opportunists and they always go for the easy prey, the easy option, the low lying fruit.
So, Here Are My Top Tips To Avoid Being Prey To Predators
REBUILD YOUR SELF-RESPECT:
Low self-esteem and a lack of self-respect can lead to you entertaining people you shouldn’t.
Eve was given to Adam by God, sisters. Know that you are the prize, a gift to him, not the other way round. Focus on being choosy, not on being chosen.
The love, care and nurturing of a wife helps her husband bloom and flourish in his career.
Married men achieve a lot more, perform better and go further in their careers than their single counterparts.
It is also a well known fact that married men live much longer than their single counter-parts.
So as you can see, YOU ARE THE PRIZE. You are the cherry on the cake and you should treat yourself with dignity, confidence and respect and do not entertain anyone who treats you less.
Now, you do not need to go around acting like some entitled princess. You can still be graceful, feminine and respectful, while at the same time, having a strong and healthy sense of self-image and self-esteem, and treating yourself like the prize that you are.
STOP BEING A CO-DEPENDENT PEOPLE-PLEASER
A common trait of co-dependency is the need to fix others.
Sister, you are under no obligation to fix anyone. You cannot love or change a toxic, abusive or predatory person healthy. Your love cannot and will not save them. It is slightly arrogant to think that although they have had a troubled past and/or they are clearly toxic, all they need is the love of a good, virtuous woman to tame the beast, the bad boy in them and it is YOU that is the one to do that. No, only God can change a person.
Stop being a people-pleaser. As women, we have been raised from childhood to be sweet and nice all the time.
As little girls, when the little boy in the playground pulled our hair, hurt us or was mean to us, we were told “Oh, he only does that because he loves you”.
We have learned, erroneously, to think that abuse or aggression equals love, attraction and desire, and as such we have tolerated dismissive, disrespectful and frankly, unloving behaviour from men who claimed to love or care about us.
Have some boundaries and do not allow anyone to cross them. Know that it is okay to say No to anything that you are uncomfortable about. Know that it is okay to walk out of any relationship, friendship or situation where you are put down, disrespected, invalidated and not celebrated.
You are a valuable human being and you deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and consideration. Your feelings, needs and emotions MATTER ,and do not need to be dismissed or invalidated by anyone.
You CAN still be a sweet, feminine, virtuous, traditional Catholic woman while still being able to say No when necessary and also having strong personal boundaries.
Never ever chase after any guy. The moment you do, you not only devalue yourself, the man begins to devalue you and will start being disrespectful and dismissive towards you.
Remember, abuse does not always start with name calling or hitting, but with little acts and remarks of disrespect.
A relationship is about mutual enjoyment and support, not about you enabling toxic behaviour, putting in all the emotional work in the relationship and ‘mothering’ a grown adult man. Give him the space to be a man and if he is not capable of being a man, you are dealing with a boy and you need to get him out of your life.
TAKE IT SLOW & MAKE HIM EARN YOUR TRUST:
A lot of predatory, toxic men will show a significant amount of Red Flags within the 1st six months, so it is vital to take it slow and make him earn your trust.
Focus on being friends FIRST for the 1st six months and do not tell him too many personal details about yourself.
Get to know him as friend and use this period to observe him, to be on look out for any red flags and to determine if he is a man of virtue, not just a man who knows theology or the Bible really well.
Treat him at this stage as a brother in Christ, rather than a potential husband and avoid emotional intimacy with him during this period because it will lead to you falling rather quickly for him and making it difficult for you to disengage should he prove to be unsuitable for you.
If he is pushing for intimacy (sexual, physical or emotional) within the 1st six months, then you know that he is not serious about you, he is a predator, or he wants to just hit it and quit it – either way, he’s got to go.
PAY ATTENTION TO ANY RED FLAGS
Look up the list of red flags that someone is a predator, abuser or toxic person HERE.
Do not tolerate any form of abuse, verbal abuse, gaslighting, name-calling, invalidation, disrespect or other behaviours typical of toxic personalities.
Watch to see that his words matches his actions and do not be afraid to disengage should he display any significant amount of red flags.
DO NOT TOLERATE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING
The following be difficult to do because modern society at large has conditioned women to enable and accept unsavoury behaviour from men. Yet this same laments the lack of REAL GENTLEMEN or REAL LADIES.
If you raise your standards, others (including men) will no choice, but to rise up to meet them.
Do not tolerate being treated as less than, as a rebound or as a second option. You are not playing the “pick-me” dance. Remember, you are the prize. Focus on being CHOOSY, not on being CHOSEN.
Do not tolerate selfishness. He is pretty much in the initial stages of auditioning to be your husband. Although you should not treat him as a potential husband in the early stages, you should have the mindset that it could develop into something more, so you need to observe if he is capable of making sacrifices as a man.
God urges men to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. Christ loved the Church so much that He put our needs before His and gave His life for us
Now, husbands are not expected to die for their wives; God is simply asking them to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, which is selflessly and sacrificially.
A man who is selfish, who puts his own needs and desires before yours, who is unwilling to make sacrifices for you (including moderation of his own sexual appetites out of respect for you) is a man who does not love or respect you, and a man you should never court, date or marry.
Do not tolerate immoderate desire. it is not a compliment that man is so sexually attracted to you that he cannot control himself, his actions or his words. A godly man that truly loves you, respects and truly wants to build a family with you will control himself, protect your purity and respect your dignity. A real man will make sacrifices for one he truly loves.
If he is unable to moderate his desires towards you before marriage, he will not be able to moderate his desires towards other women after marriage. A man who sins with you before marriage will sin against you after marriage.
Do not tolerate any form of addiction. This includes gambling, drugs, alcohol and sex. Part of being a man is having the self-control to moderate one’s desires, and a man who has any form of addiction is not of marriageable material. He needs to get help and sort it out before he starts dating or he would hurt and damage every woman he comes in contact with. You are not his therapist, so do not take on that role. Once again, it is not your job to fix anyone.
Do not tolerate a man who is financially not ready for marriage – this will be another unpopular topic, but I stand by what FSSP traditional world-renown priest, Fr. Wolfe says: “a man with no job or unable to support a family has no business courting or dating. Don’t date a boy, sisters, date a man”.
He needs to sort himself out first and you should not be waiting for him to get his act together. The husband’s primary function is to be able to provide for and support his family. If he is not able to do that now, he does not have the qualification to apply for that job. Remember, dating is basically you auditioning him to see if he is suitable for the role of being your husband and father to your children.
DETOX YOUR CIRCLE
When you spend time around people who are toxic to you, including friends, work colleagues or even family members, you subconsciously become patterned to accept abusive, dismissive and disrespectful behaviour.
This pattern, this invisible mark is what predators can sense about you (even online from your words, pictures etc) and it is one of the things that makes them hone in on you as suitable prey.
So if you find yourself constantly attracting problematic men, friends etc…..you might want to look back into your past or family history.
Did you feel devalued, dismissed, invalidated by your family of origin? Was your father around or was he absent, either emotionally or physically? Did you witness abuse between your parents or perhaps experience abuse (even emotional abuse) from one or both of your parents?
Disengage & go No Contact from toxic, manipulative people in your life and anyone who enables, sides or sympathises with them. These enablers will continue to bring their toxic, destructive energy into your life.
For those who you cannot go No Contact from, such as work colleagues or family members, go Low Contact and minimise interaction as much as you can, with them.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH HEALTHY GODLY FRIENDS
When you perform the above self-inventory and spring clean of your circle, you may begin to notice that a high number of people in your life, your social circle and your family who are toxic personalities.
This is normal. You are not being paranoid. Like I said, the reason why you are attracting toxic, predatory sociopathic abusers is because you have been patterned for abuse for so long by your toxic family or toxic friends, that it sets an invisible mark on you, which predators can sense and hone in on.
So, it might feel lonely at first when you purge your life, but you can then begin to work on having healthy, functioning, godly and supportive individuals in your life, who believe in you, and who love and truly care about you.
You may find a couple or more of these individuals within your family or social circle, or you may have to make new friends that are healthy, functioning, supportive and godly individuals.
Having a healthy point of reference is vital as they would be a stabilising factor in your life, a model of what healthy behaviour and healthy relationships should look like and will be there to give you a honest, but loving reality check if you ever get caught up again with a toxic predatory individual again.
ENRICH YOUR LIFE WITH HOBBIES & ACTIVITIES:
Being busy with other activities and hobbies will help to dissipate any anxiety you may have while waiting for your Joseph.
It will also reduce your tendency to rush and say Yes to the first person that shows you any amount of attention, even if they are completely unsuitable.
Being busy and having an active life is also a predator-deterrent as predators generally prey on lonely people, desperate for company or attention.
Do not forget – any form of controlling, possessive or demanding behaviour displayed from a potential love interest at the beginning of the relationship is a red flag of a predator attempting to isolate you from your support system, in order to manipulate, control and abuse you better. Run, not walk away from him.
PRAY REGULARLY & FOLLOW MY GUIDE TO FINDING YOUR SPOUSE
Follow my 8 STEP GUIDE TO FINDING YOUR SPOUSE, but also do not slack on your prayer life.
It is amazing what the Holy Spirit will reveal to you about a person if you are a woman of prayer. Prayer can help you prevent a lot of heartache. You must be willing to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit or your gut instincts when He warns you about an individual.
St. Joseph, model of manhood and masculinity, pray for us!
ad Jesum per Mariam