We hear this all the time and yet there are still a lot of women so desperate that they would believe the lies and excuses that a man feeds them. Unbelievable!
Earlier this week, I received a message from a TCF member.
She told me that her boyfriend has been dating her for over three years. He told her that his goal was to ultimately get married (I am guessing that he did not specify marrying HER or even hint at a timeframe), but she noticed that a lot of traditional Catholics tend to get married quickly into their relationship. Why was this so?
I explained to her that yes, generally, traditional Catholics and traditional Catholic priests frown upon long-term relationships ie 3 years+ for many reasons.
You should not even be dating unless you are ready to get married within 2.5 years, tops!
This includes not dating if you are not ready, financially or otherwise.
If you are still in school and have more than 3 years left to finish your studies, you should not be dating.
If you are between jobs, you should not be dating.
If you don’t feel quite ready to get married, but feel like you just want a boyfriend/girlfriend, you should not be dating.
A relationship is not a hobby. I repeat: A RELATIONSHIP IS NOT A HOBBY.
Do not date when you are ready to be someone’s girlfriend. Date when you are ready to be a wife!
Dating without an end goal in mind is like going to the store with no idea of what you really want. Chances are that you will waste your time and end up with nothing or leave with something that you do not really want.
Dating just to be in a relationship is not generally encouraged in the Church.
Traditional Catholics view dating or courtship as a means to an end – marriage.
We do not date just because.
Just like you would not go on job interviews if you are not ready or able to begin work in the near future, so too, you should not be dating or courting if marriage is not your goal in the near future.
There is an increased risk of falling into sin the longer that you date.
Chastity can be hard to maintain when you are dating.
The longer you are together, the deeper the emotional intimacy will build between you and emotional intimacy can very quickly lead to physical intimacy and falling into sexual sin.
It does not take three years for a man to know whether or not he wants to marry you.
Men fall in love far quicker than women – fact!
In fact, a lot of men have said that they knew within the 1st month of being with a woman that she was the one they wanted to marry.
As men are biologically designed to be competitive, to pursue and go after what they want, if the guy knows that he wants to marry you, he will want to lock you down quickly to prevent the competition from making off with his treasure – YOU.
My husband told me that he knew that he wanted to marry me within the 1st two weeks of meeting me.
He proposed within 8-9 weeks and we got married a year and a month from our 1st date.
At the time, money was very tight for him and he did not even have enough to buy an engagement ring.
He was so determined to make me his wife that he took out a small loan to buy me an engagement ring.
So, if a man is telling you to wait, or that he will marry you eventually, but he just needs to get a job, or save some money or whatever nonsense that he is coming up with, HE IS LYING.
He is either simply using you for whatever he is getting from you or keeping you in a holding pattern, waiting to see if he can do better than you.
This is disrespectful and this is not a guy that you want in your life.
If you do not treat yourself with respect, how can you expect any man to treat you with respect either?
You should never wait around for a man to get his life together before deciding to propose to you.
That is not loyalty, that is stupidity.
He is not your husband yet, so you should not be giving him that kind of loyalty.
You will not get paid for a job that you did not do, so why give husband-benefits to a boyfriend, if he has not married you yet?
Boyfriends DO NOT GET husband benefits.
He should have his life together BEFORE he starts dating you, not after. Never after!
You want a partner, a spouse, and a leader, NOT a project.
THIS STORY about Lena Dunham caught my attention this week.
The man led her on for FIVE YEARS before calling it off.
FIVE YEARS!! That is a HUGE CHUNK of her childbearing years. It is really quite sad.
If a man has not proposed within 2 years of being with you, he does not really want you and the chances of him proposing fall dramatically.
If he dates you for 3+ years before proposing, he was looking to better deal you and failing that, grudgingly decided to settle for you.
This is the sort of man that will have extramarital affairs after marriage because deep down, it was never you that he wanted.
During the marriage, you will be disrespected, taken for granted, and used as nothing more than a glorified housemaid that occasionally relieves his sexual desires.
Also, later in life, he could discard you for someone else, because you were never the one that he originally wanted,
HERE IS A STORY about another traditional Catholic who got married within 2 years.
I got married within 12-13 months.
It can be done and anybody that tells you otherwise is lying.
You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you reinforce and what you stop.
When you see that a relationship is going nowhere, have some dignity!
Leave! Cut him off!!
Do not even tell him that you are leaving because he did not propose.
If you do, he might string you along for a few more years with more excuses or he might indeed propose, but resent you for it and cheat on you afterwards.
This is not what you want, ladies.
Just like poor Lena, a lot of these fake relationships usually end between 5-7 years.
Another example of these fake relationships can be seen HERE
Do not ever buy into the scarcity mindset; the mindset of “Well, I’d better hang on to this one because if I don’t, I would not find another man” That is utter rubbish!
When you close a door that is not for you, you demonstrate faith in God and He rewards your faith by opening another door for you…..the door that is YOURS.
The above scenario with the TCF reader and Lena is all too common today.
I even see this play out within the Church too.
I have seen men who would date a woman for years, with no ring or wedding in sight.
By the time the woman wises up or the man trades up on her or simply gets bored and just can’t hide the fact that he does not really want her, half a decade has gone by.
She is then discarded like trash, while he moves on to his next victim.
Meanwhile, she has lost a large part of her childbearing years and also her self-respect.
In many cases, this same man who spent 3, 5 or 10 years with his ex-girlfriend will meet a new woman and marry her within two years.
This can be devastating for you, as the ex, leaving you wondering what you did wrong and why you were not good enough for me.
It is nothing to do with you! You could have been the most perfect, beautiful, supportive woman in the world and he still wouldn’t have married you.
A man knows when he meets The One and if you are not The One for him, nothing that you do or say will change that.
Do not do this to yourself. Any man who is treating you badly or with disrespect is doing so because you are allowing him.
Life is just too short. Leave. Move on. Do better.
The more you open yourself to dating and quickly filter out the fakes, the quicker you will find your husband.
Time waits for no man and neither should you.
The length and stages of a Catholic courtship
The ABCs of Choosing A Good Husband
ad Jesum per Mariam
18 thoughts on “Never Ever Wait For A Man, Ladies”
Thank you for your insight. I can still live a life of solitude without having to become a nun, though.
Of course you can, but that is not a vocation and as Catholics, we are called to discern and then embrace a vocation. FR. Ripperger recommendation for unmarried women or widows over 45 is that they enter a Covent. Not only do you get a community and family, but it serves as a form of protection.
But like you say, you can do whatever you like. No one is holding a gun to your head to obey church teaching.
It’s your life, your choice and you’ll give account not to me, but to God
As a 40 something female, it is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find a never married Catholic man that is still emotionally healthy enough to pursue a marriage. I have never been married and will not date a divorced man (as our faith demands). Very few men (or women) my age even go to church. I think my ship has sailed.
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I don’t believe that is true. I know a few women over 40 who married men who were never married or men who were widowed or even men who had previous invalid marriages.
However, seeing you feel the way you do, it could be a sign that God is calling you to something else – religious life
Single life is also a vocation, fulfilment in companionship can be found with family, friends, social groups or groups within the parish/s. You never know through these social aquantinces you may find your future husband. 40 isn’t old in this day and age, and God can still grant miracles for conception!
– Pray, Hope & Don’t Worry,
Worry is useless God will hear your prayers- St Padre Pio.
Wrong. Single life is NOT a vocation.
Consecrated Single life is a vocation and in this case, you are not waiting EVER to be in a relationship or to get married.
If you are single and hoping to get married someday, you are NOT in a vocation. You are simply single.
Thank you for this article. I read it a couple of years ago when I was dating a man who kept promising to propose, but who also kept finding reasons not to. We were both practicing Catholics, and I thought he was the man for me. From the beginning, he said we were dating towards marriage, and I wholeheartedly believed him. After about a year of dating, he took my ring, saying he wanted to get it sized. When I checked in about it a couple months later, he hadn’t done it. I felt increasingly sad and uncomfortable when he would say a proposal was coming in “weeks to months.” Later, he would say I could expect him to propose “in summer,” “in the fall,” and “around Christmas.” Each time the timelines he gave me fell through, I heard different excuses, such as the fact that I was crying too often about the lack of commitment for him to want to propose, and that there wasn’t “fullness of joy” in our relationship. I think I pushed the engagement issue because I really had difficulty relaxing when I felt as if I was pouring heart and time into a dating relationship, not a marriage. This made me feel sad and angry, and now I can see that pushing the issue at all was a mistake (I should’ve quietly left). Still, I held onto the hope that after repeatedly breaking promises, and taking me ring shopping twice, that he would come through and marry me. However, I wound up making the painful decision to break up with him, after 3 years of dating and 1.5 years of him not keeping his promises. To tell you the truth, even when I spell this out on the page, a little part of me still questions whether I made the right decision. At the time, I hoped he would realize the value of our relationship and come after me.
For some reason (or perhaps many reasons), he could never tell me I was the one for him. Just as the article predicted, he is now engaged to someone he knew for only 6 months, and they are marrying this year. I was crushed to find out I had invested so much love and time in a man who moved on readily in my absence. I learned that a man having some interest in me is just not enough — words and actions need to line up, in a timely fashion, in order for a marriage to be negotiated in a healthy way. I can’t nag a person into anything, and I don’t want to. It doesn’t take three years for a man to know he wants to marry you, and proposing isn’t a full-time job!
I am still single, but I’m blessed with the love of God, my family, and my friends, as well as an excellent opportunity to further my education in medical school. I am praying for my future husband every day. Hopefully, I have learned the lessons I will need to discern wisely when another man expresses interest in me.
Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for being here. Please know that being aware of this issue means that you are already on the path to better discernment, a better future and of meeting your Joseph.
You are in my prayers. Continue to discern and may God’s Will re your vocation be done, sooner rather than later.
Trust in Him. He’s got this!
This is absolutely true ladies! Don’t let men use you and abuse you. It’s all in what we allow them to do. I was one of those too. I allowed a man to take 5 yrs. of my time and he finally proposed but then was so abusive so I ran for the hills. I didn’t date for about 12 yrs after that. I found the man I am married to now, 7 yrs ago. We are past child bearing years but have grown children and grandchildren from other relationships. We dated 15 months before he proposed and we married 14 months after that. He went through the annulment process due to a prior marriage and he converted to Catholicism that spring after we married.
I let him know right from the start what the boundaries were and if he crossed them, he was gone. He knew I meant what I said and that he wouldn’t get a second chance to disrespect me. I was worth his effort and it pushed him to want to be my hero/knight. He rose to that level to win my favor. I wanted him to see my true Catholic faith coming through in our relationship. Actually, he really liked how I saw marriage as indissoluble and was different than what others believed and that’s what drew him to me.
Don’t have sex before marriage. Keep that boundary and don’t let them cross, not even during engagement. This helps to weed out the ones who are not serious. You are the gatekeeper. Keep the gate locked until God opens the gate with holy matrimony.
I knew a man years ago that didn’t want to date but just have a sexual relationship (friends with benefits). When I told him that I wouldn’t have sex unless I was married, then he instantly proposed. Obviously, we know the only thing he wanted. He didn’t want me as a treasure, he wanted to use me.
I see so many women letting men use them and stringing them along for months and years with no intention of marrying them. The women are looking for that little nugget of hope that someday he will commit. We shouldn’t have to beg for a good man. He should want to be a true man and treat us with dignity. We need to be sure that we stand up for ourselves and be a little demanding that we are treated with respect. We are worth so much more than that as women. We are treasures in the eyes of God. Make men work for us a little. Lay down the boundaries and if they can’t measure up, leave them by the roadside. They need to prove they will be your protector, provider and defender! Don’t take anything less from them! You are worth it! If the men don’t see us as valuable as God does, then they are not worth it.
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Your article was everything I needed to hear. I did everything wrong and was still worrying about it because I feel like this guys’ personal servant and I am going backwards. It will definitely help me.
My ex/bf has strung me along for 7 years telling me I was his future wife. When I was born again & I stopped fornicating, I asked him about marriage seriously– he had a change of heart. His true intentions were made known and I gave him 3 more times to reject me over the course of 6 months. The last time he told me that he wasn’t into it yet, I found a new apartment and moved out without notice. It was the only way because whenever I have given him prior notice, he would refuse to let me go.
He was livid when I left. I screwed up and told him that I left because of marriage, so then he wanted to work it out. He got me a $99 promise ring (I guess a promise to propose) and still has not moved forward whatsoever on making a real commitment. It’s good to know that he has me in a holding pattern so I can make better decisions.
I’ve been on my own for almost 6 months and he is still hanging around wasting my time, leading me on, trying to use me, being stingy, not even paying child support. He hasn’t changed at all and gets antsy when I bring up our future. He also keeps trying to mislead me by telling me we are still together but telling other people that we are trying to get back together, so I don’t know if he is my ex or my bf. One week he talks about not being able to live without me, the next he is flinching at the thought of growing old together.
I am so conflicted with this because that is a lot of time to throw away, now that I am in my late 30’s plus I don’t have a healthy support system. My friends were all scared away and my family is on his side. My own mother encouraged me to stay with him because we have a child even though she knows how abusive he is. Whenever I make a decision that doesn’t benefit him, I get hit from 3 different angles including myself making excuses for him.
Side-note, he is really high on the narcissist spectrum, so I’m not as silly as I seem, I’m just conditioned/groomed empath (but breaking free one day at a time). He is currently in the hoovering/love-bombing phase.
I have always felt that if a man was serious he would lock down his treasure, as well. I even told him that and he turned it around on me and told me that I must be wanting to cheat if I had to be locked down. He has made me feel that if I even think of pursuing a better option that I must be unworthy, despite how poorly he’s treated me. When I would try to leave him early on, he wouldn’t have it, so I was trapped with a poor choice– until I made the decision to get out for God and not for me.
Now that I have left, he is saying that he does not have the money, but is still not saving. I also told him before that if he really wanted to marry me, he could borrow money for a ring. He says that’s absurd. Nothing but excuses. The only real reason he wants to get married is to have sex. Because I told him that when I am his wife then we can go back to sleeping together and he says lets go to the courthouse tomorrow. What kind of person does this so blatantly?
Logically, I know that I shouldn’t even want to marry him but I have developed anxiety and depression being with him, to the point where I really don’t think I will move on. I have heard of women who have not dated for decades after dating a narcissist. Plus I can’t even look another guy in the eyes anymore, let alone talk to one to date. I figure I may as well keep what I have but he clearly does not really want me. But how will I move on if I am too shy to talk to people now?
You also have another article about stinginess and you were right on that too. He has never valued me and demeaned me over very small purchases. Yes I was working like him, but coming home doing all the housework, raising our child, staying faithful & being treated like a second class citizen. But he made me feel like I was not even worth $2. He would fuss at me in the store when I tried to get a small purchase and our finances were combined so I could not even spend my own money.
I know that he will not be a good provider for us, among other things, if I marry him but in all honesty, the future looks bleak. I had so much going for me when I met him- confidence, youth, money, looks, figure, OPTIONS, happiness (I traveled, shared & enjoyed life). Now I have less money, debt, lost youth, more fear, mental issues (anxiety,depression), and I’ll be an abstinent, single mom with a crazy ex, so what kind of hope do I have?
Plus I think what if this is as good as it gets?? What if the other ‘happy’ wives are just putting on a show and what I want is unrealistic? I often get told that life is not like the romance movies when I just want the bare minimum.
In my opinion, once a woman waits longer than 3 years for a man, she starts making excuses to wait longer because it’s so much of an investment of time that we just keep hoping that things will turn around until it gets to a point that we just lower our expectations and settle.
Please pray for me (and women in my situation).
God bless you,
Heather, you are doing the right thing by moving out and separating from him, and stopping all sexual activity with him – which will only continuously bond you to him. Sex is a very profound and beautiful, created by God to bond together a husband and wife; but when it’s used outside of its intended purpose, it can be disastrous and cause anxiety, fear, intense sorrow, and despair. I know, I’ve walked in your shoes. The heart ache is absolutely wretched, and it robs a woman of her value and dignity.
I was engaged to a wonderful Godly man who absolutely treated me like a queen, he treasured and valued me. We were engaged within 4 months, but come to find out, he was not the man he portrayed himself to be, and his true self revealed itself. He just told me everything he knew I wanted to hear. I was totally love bombed. He became sexually manipulative and I now see it as abusive. I kept giving him chance after chance after he’d apologize. I should have just ran the first time it happened. I was too embarrassed and full of shame to tell anyone. Eventually it became a dangerous situation, he had a secret drug and porn addiction. (I still pray for him, from a distance, hoping he will over come all this!) Luckily, I was able to get away from him, I raise a little one completely on my own – and thank God He protected us.
It was difficult for me to look men in the eye too, for a long time after. I was afraid of them, and also didn’t feel worthy of them. It took about 4-5 years, before I was truly open to dating, but then I was extremely picky and anxious about going on a date, scared I’d be fooled again.
It’s been 8 years, I’m now 40, and am recently dating a man who had an invalid previous marriage. This is the first person I have dated since my previous engagement. I’m scared/anxious sometimes, but he so far has been gracious and patient with me. We are both dedicated to practicing chastity, and are praying the Liturgy of the Hours evening prayer together, during Lent. (FaceTime) Sometimes I’m afraid that he may be doing these things to appease me, like my ex, but I know that I can’t make these assumptions – not is it fair to judge him for what someone else did to me.
It’s difficult to open myself back up, but without trust and vulnerability, love can not flourish. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am constantly asking God for His will to be done. I have been praying for a St. Joseph to be sent into our lives, even when it seemed impossible. Maybe this man has been an answered prayer? Only time will tell. I wish I would have discovered this website 21 years ago! 😀 Or at least, back in 2013!
He has made it known to me that he wants to support me financially. He prays for me through out the day. We both have a devotion to St. Padre Pio. He has told me that I inspire him to be a better man and he wants to lead us closer to God. He is a good father to his children, and is open to being a father figure for my child.
If anyone has an suggestions for me… please let me know. I only want to do the right thing, I only want what God wants, and I don’t want to make any mistakes.
When I say “dating”, it’s more like courting. He didn’t ask my father permission, but we are getting to know each other with marriage being our intention. We are not just dating to date.
Not every circumstance is the same. Sometimes people meet someone special when they aren’t financially ready for marriage. Having an honest conversation about whether marriage is on the table seems more important than having a set date for marching down the aisle.
My husband and I dated for about fourteen months before he proposed. My parents dated for seven years because my father was still in college and his job required additional training afterward. My parents have been married for thirty-five years.
Your husband did the right thing.
Your parents are from a different era. I’m speaking to those currently dating.
Wow. This is an incredible piece of writing and that picture of the girl has been me too many times. You just get swept up in the ‘new’ dating, sadly sometimes even in my Catholic circle of friends which can make it so much more confusing.
It’s so wonderful not to feel like I’m the only one who’s come to this same conclusion. It’s all true and I’m glad I’ve walked away from that vicious rut. I really get such hope and such guidance when I read your insightful posts and I pray they keep on coming!
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This is the preeminent site for traditional Catholicism on the Internet. I have learned so much from Paige. May God richly bless you and all of your endeavors, ma’am.
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Aw, thank you so much, Terence! I really appreciate your support and your input both here and on my social media profiles.
God bless you, sir!
Agreed on all points! My wife and I knew on the 2nd date we were “the one” for each other. I proposed 6 months to the day from when we first met and we we’re married within 17 months of meeting. We’ve been married 4 years this coming May and have two kids!
So many of my guy friends thought I proposed too quickly-then again, none of them are married and they’re all living in sin with girlfriends-go figure.
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