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Q & A

Q. Should I value a girl's personality more than her physical appearance?

A. When it comes to dating and physical attraction, the culture that we live in would say that it's all about physical attraction or physical 'chemistry'. The truth is, it is important that we are attracted to someone physically (or at least not repulsed at the thought of being with them ;)). However, good, solid relationships are based on so much more than physical attraction! A person's personality is so important - how does that person treat other people? What are their values, interests and opinions? Do you love to chat with the person you are dating?

Beauty is so much more than what our society portrays. True beauty comes from what is inside. And that beauty shines to the world. Plus, the beauty that we see in the media or society (i.e. a slim, toned woman with perfect hair, skin and body) will fade!! That woman will get old. She will get wrinkles. Her body will change with age and possible pregnancies. And if your main reason for being with her is her physical appearance this will make commitment and the choice to continue to love that woman in the future more difficult. Whereas, if your attraction is based on her personality and the common interests you share, these things are lasting and will be a stronger foundation for a successful future relationship.

Q. I'm a virgin and my girlfriend has been sexually active in past relationships. I know she really values herself and the gift of her body now, but sometimes I find it hard to get past this. Any tips?

This is a really common struggle and it's important not to just dismiss what you are feeling. Your feelings are valid and they show that the gift of sex means something to you. This is not a bad thing! 

 

However, this can become a problem when someone has expressed their regret and sorrow in making these decisions and is trying really hard to move forward. If you keep bringing up the past, this could be really hard for your girlfriend. If you have never chatted to your girlfriend, we would recommend sharing with her how you are feeling. This may give her an opportunity to answer any questions (within reason) and to find peace between the two of you. Saying that, if you have had previous conversations and you know your girlfriend has done all she can to reassure you, we would suggest talking this out with someone else - perhaps a spiritual director or mentor, a trusted friend. If you keep bringing this to your girlfriend it could cause potential harm to your relationship. So be wise in who you talk to about this and how you can find peace in your own way.

Q. How do I know what God is calling me to? Marriage, priesthood, etc??

A. Discerning your life call or vocation can be really challenging at times! There can be a lot of pressure from people around you to make a decision in a particular direction. Ultimately, this is a decision that only you can make.

First and foremost we suggest going to God. Spend time in prayer. Ask God to show you and make it clear about what your vocation is. Ask Him to give you peace in whatever decision you make. Seek wisdom from a spiritual director or wise mentor in your life. Spend time with married people and families, and also with those living the single vocation and religious life. You can even possibly spend some time having a live-in experience with a religious order. 

Also know that it is normal to experience some confusion around this area and not to make a clear and final decision straight up. We know people who have been engaged to be married and realised this was not the right decision to make. We also know young men who have entered the seminary and have ended up leaving and later on gettng married. Just like a life career, we don't often make the perfect decision first time around, and that's ok! You can have confidence that if you seek God's will and follow Him, He will ultimately lead you in the the right direction.

Q. I've been single for ages and can't help but think there must be something wrong with me?

 

A. It is easy and common to feel the way you do. There is an unhealthy portrayal of the need to be in a relationship in society and the media. The truth is that you don't have to be in a relationship. Being single is an amazing chance to grow, serve and live life to the full. Don't get me wrong, relationships and marriage are also great opportunities to become holier but so many people miss the blessing that single life is to themselves and the world around them. Besides, you don't want to be in a relationship that isn't right or is just a relationship to make you feel better about yourself. If there is someone better for you then that current relationship may be the very thing stopping you from being in a better place. Often when someone is single it is because they are strong enough to not just go with the crowd and mature enough to know they don't need to be in a relationship to be happy.

Links

www.menalive.org.au

 

- A great national men's movement with men's weekends being run in every state of Australia.

 

www.ymgmovement.org

 

- A national young Catholic men's movement with an annual conference in Sydney.

 

Books
  • Wild at Heart

    • John Eldredge​

    • Great resource on the deep desires that every man has

  • For Men Only

    • Shaunti Feldhahn​

    • For engaged/dating couples men to better understand the opposite sex

  • Every Man's Battle​

    • Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoker

    • Practical, to the point and a detailed outline on the battle for sexual purity for men

  • Theology of the Body

    • Various authors, but Christopher West’s TOB audio is accessible for the average person

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