the dating war

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Q & A

Q. Where and how can I find a good man?

A. I think this is a question that many women are asking. And if only I could give you a simple answer! The truth is that there are many good men out there. Saying that, there are also a few not so good ones. It is important to look for a man with the same values as you - e.g. what are his faith values? What is he interested in? Does he value his family and friends? Obviously church is a good place to find a man with similar faith values, but let's be honest, they often do seem to be in short supply ;). Also, through friends and family, through shared interests such as sport, or even through online dating.

Ultimately, this is one of those areas in life where we realise that we are not in control! Sometimes no matter how hard we try, we can't find a good partner. Try to trust in God and keep praying that he will bring the right man at the right time.

Q. Is it wrong to flirt with guys?

A. Flirting is so common in our culture and often it's seen as a great way to let a guy know that you're interested. But I can't tell you how many good, Christian men I have spoken to who say that they are turned off by a woman who is being overly flirty with them. Also, because of the culture we live in, this can be so part of our natural interactions with men that we don't even realise we're doing it. 

I think it often comes down to our own self-confidence and also trusting in God. Often we can feel insecure or feel like we have to make something happen, but I think we need to trust that if we are just ourselves, who God has created us to be, this is enough. We don't need to try to get a guys attention. The right guy will naturally be attracted to you. Saying that, it doesn't hurt to let a guy know that you are interested, and sometimes they don't pick up on subtle hints (such as hanging around them a lot or complimenting them or being super friendly). It takes courage but letting a guy know (either directly or perhaps through a shared friend) that you are interested in possibly dating him is probably the best way to find out if he is interested or not. If he isn't, this can hurt but probably no more than it will hurt to keep flirting or giving subtle hints and getting nothing clear in return.

Q. I really like this guy, but I don't know if he's interested. Should I tell him or just try see if he picks up on my 'signals'?

A. As a woman, it is really nice to be pursued, and certainly this is the more traditional way that relationships seem to have unfolded. But sometimes guys these days lack the courage, insight or even desire to initiate a relationship or to ask a girl that they like on a date. If there is someone you really like and they don't seem to be picking up on your hints (such as hanging around them a lot or complimenting them or being super friendly), then it might be time to take some action. It takes courage but letting a guy know (either directly or perhaps through a shared friend) that you are interested in possibly dating him is probably the best way to find out if he is interested or not. If he isn't, this can hurt but probably no more than it will hurt to keep giving subtle hints and getting nothing clear in return and wondering whether he is interested.

Q. I'm a virgin and my boyfriend has been sexually active in past relationships. Even though he now sees sex as something really special to wait for, I sometimes find it hard to get past this. Any tips?

A. 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 boyfriend. If you have never chatted to your boyfriend, we would recommend sharing with him how you are feeling. This may give him 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 boyfriend has done all he 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 boyfriend 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. 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.sisterhood.org.au

 

- A place of formation and support for women, including an annual Catholic conference for women

www.womenmadenew.com

- A great American site with lots of videos, links and other resources

www.leahdarrow.com

- Former 'America's Next Top Model' contestant, with great resources on the beauty, value and dignity of women

Books
  • The Genius of Womanhood

    • Karen Doyle​

    • Small, easy to read. Reflections of what it is to be a woman and the feminine genius

  • For Women Only

    • Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn​

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

  • Theology of the Body

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

  • How to Get the Man of Your Dreams

    • Jonathan Doyle

  • Captivating

    • Stasi Eldredge​

    • Simple, easy to read. Covers the deep desires of a woman's heart

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