Thursday, February 5, 2015

Matchmaking: We are going to find Jen a match!


Okay, so I am still riding the high of the recent engagement of two people who were featured on my private matchmaking blog, so I'm doing a rare Bubble matchmaking post, with Jen's enthusiastic permission! Jen was the very first woman I profiled on my private blog, over two years ago. She is amazing. Simply amazing. She has yet to find a special Catholic man with whom to share her life, so we are pulling out all the stops. Everyone, meet Jen! And call your devoutly Catholic sons and brothers!




My name is Jen (obviously!) and I recently turned 30! So far, 30 has been awesome and I can only imagine that my thirties will continue to ROCK! I live in Florida and am a school nurse.

I am a girl who loves her life, faith, family and friends. I am proud of my Catholic faith!  I desire to be part of a vibrant Catholic community, and I am really involved in my parish. I help with our youth group and coordinate the young adult program activities. What I love most, though, is the ability to give Christ in the Eucharist to others as a Eucharistic Minister. It's one of the most amazing and humbling encounters with others!

One of the first things people learn about me is this: I love kids!! I always have and I always will. :) It's why I am a pediatric nurse. It's why I chose to live and serve at an orphanage in Honduras. Some of my favorite moments are hanging out and snuggling with my goddaughter, Zuzu. Kids bring absolute joy to my heart. There is never a day that goes by and I am NOT smiling because of some adorable child.





In my spare time you can find me hanging out with friends, drinking coffee, blogging, eating (that can be a hobby, right?!), reading and catching up on some TV shows. I love being around people, but I also enjoy the quiet, downtime at home.



I guess the obvious question is what I am looking for, right?! I am looking for a strong, loving and passionately Catholic man! Not a perfect man, but someone striving for holiness, who seeks God's will in everything. He will stand up for what he believes in. Hold me accountable. And encourage me.

We will also be able to laugh and be silly! Go on adventures! Serve others! Learn new things! And banter. I'm kind of sarcastic, so I'll need someone to play along with that. :)

And, that's me in a nutshell. My email is jennifercox.rn@gmail.com if you would like to chat!  You all will be in my prayers!




56 comments:

  1. Leila,

    Every time you do something like this, I do something crazy. :) What the hey, right?

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  2. Well, Jen is obviously beautiful and she has a Goddaughter named after one of the characters of "It's a Wonderful Life" (one of my favorite movies of all time!), so what is the problem, right?? Praying that the right man will find the courage to speak up!

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  3. Oh my gosh Jen is cute as a button! Praying for her and that the right Catholic man will find her. Leila, what about long distance dating? Has that worked for people on your matchmaking blog before? I want to give some of my hesitant single friends some reassurance about that possibility.

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  4. Jason, I love it! :)

    Becky, I loved that too!

    And Kat: Oh, we love long distance around the Miller house. Both my daughters had long distance relationships with their husbands!! And so did Dean and I! :)

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  5. Not sure if this was a good idea. With so many personal and private information and her email at the end of the post I would not be surprise if somebody would start bothering her. Sigh!

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  6. PaxEtBonum, She's a big girl. :) And, in all my years of blogging with so much controversy, I've never had a big problem myself. Anyone can find out anyone's information and stalk. That's part of life and it's not good to live in fear.

    I've thought about this a lot. Most of the female Catholic bloggers/evangelists give their full names, cities, emails, etc. That is a chance we take when we are alive. So please don't worry! God is still in control, and more people get hurt by those close to them than by something they put online.

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  7. My hubby and I met online! :) He was in DC, I was in PA.... 3 months and we were engaged and married 6 after that! And my sister met and married a guy online too - so you never know! :)
    Will keep Jen in my prayers! And I know one of her friends in the friend picture, I'm pretty sure! C... second one from the left. Haha. Small world.

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  8. You are probably right. I wish all the blessings for Jen and that your blog could be for her a precious help in finding the right person to share her life with.

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  9. Isaiah, that is awesome!

    PaxEtBonum, thank you! I hope I didn't come across too strong with my response. I know you were just worried about her, and that is very good of you! :)

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  10. She sounds wonderful, strong in her Catholic faith, and loves children. What more could a nice Catholic gentleman want? Also, her great sense of humor and her personality shines through! That was one of the BEST "about me" profiles I've ever seen and read. C'mon guys, send her an email!

    Jen, if you're reading this, I'd love to send you a 54 day rosary novena book and a St. Gianna Beretta Molla prayer card from the shrine in PA. Email me and it's your's!
    I was a member on both Catholic Match and Ave Maria Singles for years. I met my husband on Catholic Match after praying a LOT of rosaries and 54 day Rosary novenas. I love children too. Daycare teacher for twenty seven years.

    prayrosary4life@aol.com

    Jen, I will be praying for you and I'm passing along this link to a few nice Catholic single gentlemen I know.

    May God Bless you!

    Maria :)

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  11. Ooooh, I know some foxy dudes! They're not Catholic-deluxe by any stretch. Should I refer them to this or are the nets already set with that specific parameter?

    The faith variable as a pre-requisite to dating would be an interesting topic for a "Just Curious" post... just tossin it out there ... ;)

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  12. Nubby, great question!! Yes, the men and women for whom I matchmake are looking for devout Catholics. They are hard to find as the pool is smaller, which is why I step in and try to cast the net wide! Lol!

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    Replies
    1. Do you step in for men? I have a 34 ya old brother...

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  13. Gotchya. But to Jen, stay encouraged! And maybe don't count guys short if they don't yet know the faith or even know how to embrace it. God is innovative and He can work with all kinds of soil ;) I'm speaking as a +15 year veteran at this creative and ever-challenging vocation called 'married life', and I know Leila has her own marriage-conversion story, too. God sometimes likes to crumple our human checklists. Lol

    Stay encouraged.

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  14. Age range? Aka is there a too young or too old for prospects? I have a few in mind

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  15. @Leila , I've been an unlikely matchmaker for the past 10 years (5 Catholic marriages from introductions I've made so far, and counting!). Anyhow, all that is to say that I will be helping to spread the word for Jen and will be keeping her intentions in prayer. I'll share it with my little blogging community as well. Holler if you ever need any help/encouragement/praise with your private blog! :)

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  16. Jennifer, you are a delightful gem of a gal! I would reiterate the power of the 54 day rosary novena. Also know of wonderful results from the 30 day St. Joseph novena, (which would start soon with his feast day coming March 19); and others have successfully invoked St. Raphael(dot net), the patron saint of happy meetings. I'd think St. Anthony would prefer to be known for finding worthy spouses, and not just parking spots. Don't forget to have your g. angel meet with the g. angel of your blind date so you have a joyous time; and as Blessed Solonus Casey would suggest to thank God ahead of time for answering your petition.

    If I may add a p.s. to veer slightly off topic; I question the wisdom of having
    Theology on Tap at bars. I've heard of cases, inc. my 20 something daughter,
    that get hit upon by patrons not there for the intended mtg. (yes, they were
    dressed modestly, etc.) It happens on their exiting. and of course this worry
    wart of a mother imagines how easily it could morph into a stalking situation.
    I told her not to engage them, but just make the sign of the cross and keep
    walking in a group to the parking lot.

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    Replies
    1. My daughter found her husband online during a 54-day novena. Powerful!

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  17. Okay, this is driving me crazy. I met a young family with a little girl named Zuzu the other day who had just moved up near me (I'm in Maine), and I'm dying to know if it's the same little girl as your goddaughter, haha.

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    1. haha! that's so funny! No, it's not the same family! :) My friends live down here in FL, too!

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  18. Oh my goodness!! Thank you everyone for your kind words. :) :)

    This is so crazy, but hey! God works in crazy ways sometimes, right?! Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for all the single people that are discerning. That no matter what God is calling them to (marriage, priesthood/religious life, etc), they will find peace while they are waiting for their husband/wife or community. :) :)

    Good question about the age range!! I didn't even think of it. I would say later 20s to mid-30s (40 seems a bit much at this moment for me... I know that sounds crazy!!).

    Nubby! I have thought long and hard about my husband being Catholic (or at the very least Christian) A LOT. As I have gotten older, do I need to change my standards (if you will)? While I am open to anyone God has planned for me... I am more comfortable entering the sacrament of marriage with an already practicing, passionately Catholic man. Marriage is hard! I want to go into the marriage already prepared with the ability to share in the sacraments with my husband. Again, this is not to say that it's impossible that I can have an incredible marriage and life with a non-Catholic (or that God could change his heart), but for me... it's not something I am not willing to budge on. :) I hope that makes sense!

    Thanks again everyone!!

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    1. I actually found my DH online (unxpectedly). I don't see anything wrong with having faith as the foundation for looking, but I will say that it's a great idea to leave the rest up in the air for God to sort out. Here's an approximation of what I said to my future husband five years ago that made him pursue me fearlessly:

      "I know that any kind of physical description or list of hobbies and interests that I could say I'm looking for would pale in comparison to what God has in mind for me. So I am just praying for a man of faith in the God I'm trusting with my heart."

      He later told me that it was that exact sentiment that gave him the courage to pursue me and made him feel like there was a place for himself in my life. He was rather shy at the time, and my outgoing personality and life experience and interests might have otherwise scared him away from thinking there was a place for himself amongst all that seemed foreign to him. What I found was an epic love story... with a man who was eager to learn about the things I was passionate about (some of which we now share)...because I somehow (Holy Spirit, y'all!) had the presence of mind to just leave all the details up to God.

      Hope my two cents gives you something meaningful to ponder. Praying for your intentions and keeping an eye out for you! <3

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    2. (All that is to say that you just don't know what temperament God gave the spouse you are praying for yet!) Sorry, meant to post that before I pressed enter! :)

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  19. I get your logic, Jen. Faith in common is a great starting point. Myself, I don't see it as a necessity, but I see the logic of listing that as #1, no question.
    My logic is that, though the faith maybe be the starting point, it's no guarantee of a successful happy marriage. I guess that's why I say "open wide the gates" to anyone entering the dating world and allow God to bring who He's going to bring, even apart from a presently active faith life. All the best!

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  20. My wife and I actually came from VERY different faith traditions, but her strongly held values were in no way contradictory with the Catholic faith (though obviously she did not believe everything I believed). She was keen to learn about the faith while we were dating (and asked me to learn about her faith tradition), but she wasn't ready to convert when we got married. But she agreed (as she had to) that any children would be baptized and raised in the faith. We needed a dispensation from the bishop to get married. 6 months after our first child was baptized, she was ready too. What joy! So, trusting my heart was the way to go (not just romantic feelings, which usually will be very strong). But yes, it was a leap of faith!

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  21. I may have a different perspective on the importance of starting out with a shared faith as the bare minimum. I think if it's possible, that's the choice to make. Start by trying to meet men who share your faith. While God worked a miracle with my marriage, I have also seen where that does not happen. Both my husband and I, despite our start, encourage our kids to find Catholics who are already practicing. You are so right, Nubby, that it does not insure a happy marriage, but if one were to find a practicing Catholic who understood that the point in life and marriage is to always move forward in virtue, and to help each other become saints, then, since love is a choice, there will be a fruitful marriage. I just think it's a lot easier to start out with a shared faith. Marriage is hard enough as it is, as well as raising children in the Faith. We do marriage prep and we tell the grooms the statistics that generally, it's the faith of the Father (either deep or lukewarm or no faith) the the children usually end up adopting in their own lives. If both parents are on board, the chances of children staying in the Church as adults are much higher.

    Of course, it's wonderful if someone is dating a person who is hoping to convert, or very open to the idea of conversion to the Faith. We just counseled a couple who are getting married right after the groom is received into the Church at Easter Vigil. Beautiful! And during the same week, we met another groom that is agnostic, but open (and the bride is coming more into her Faith as well). This is so hopeful!

    Of course, every person must do what they feel called to do, and date whom they feel called to date, and God will honor a pure heart and goodwill efforts. I would never say otherwise. But when I do my matchmaking thing, it's for practicing Catholics. The reason? Someone as lovely as Jen or the others do not need my help finding (non-practicing Catholic or Protestant) men to date, as a million men would want to date them. They are specifically seeking other practicing Catholics, so I try to widen that opportunity for them. :) That's the uncomplicated truth of it. People who want to get married will be able to find someone to marry without the help of someone like me. My role is veeeeeeery focused and specific, and I hope there is a place for it.

    Ultimately, as I always tell people, the best sources to find Catholics who are looking to marry are Catholic Match and AMS, although those have the usual problems:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/04/disappointing-eureka.html

    But I cannot tell you how many, many people I know who have met their Catholic spouse on one of these sites! Really it's becoming epidemic, and I love it! :)

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  22. You do great work, mama. And I'm with you on the logic. I'm just throwing it out there that to say: I'm keeping the control group set to "X" just means a harder start out of the blocks.

    Also if we're set on "not willing to budge" that might sound good for our ideals, but God might have in mind a spouse for us (ie., for any devout person looking) who is a baptized and/or confirmed Catholic, but who is "asleep" or lax in his faith.

    Doing God's will might entail going wider. Universal church = universal possibilities lol

    Who am I to talk about such matters, tho? I met mine in a ... pub. don't judge! lol

    15 years later- both of us love the Church, and both of us have suffered much to love this Church. Praise be that I didn't write him off because he failed to be fiery out of the gate or vice versa. That's my only angle, but I totally getcha and sincerely wish Jen finds the right guy.

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  23. Nubby, I totally get ya! Totally!

    I'm working a niche for sure, but God is not bound by that niche!

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  24. I see where you are coming from, Nubby! I do. And, trust me... I know it lessens the pool quite a bit. There is a small niche, relatively speaking. But, I am confident in what God's plan is. I know there are wonderful, holy, practicing Catholic dudes out there... many of my friends have married them! It does happen, and it can happen for me! :)

    No marriage is perfect. And some practicing Catholics have less-than-ideal marriages. And as I said earlier, non-Catholics have beautiful and wonderful marriages! But, I am confident in what God created marriage to be, and I fully believe that having a marriage steeped in the sacraments is the best way to go. I need all the grace I can get now... I can only imagine how much more I will need when I am married!! :)

    God would have to put it on my heart more fully or some guy that REALLY wows me for me to consider marrying a non-Catholic. I am always open to God's will, first and foremost. :)

    And the online dating game is changing! I went to a wedding recently and everyone at my table met their spouse/boyfriend online! Literally. That's impressive. I have a love-hate relationship with it, though. So... I take different measures and have people blog about me! ;)

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  25. Everyone told me I'd never meet a Catholic man in my thirties. They were wrong. Nothing wrong in looking for shared faith as the foundation of your search. That approach worked for me! :) Also, I think the intentions of the other suggestions here are pure and charitable and generous, even if they don't pertain to your current search, Jen.

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  26. If I marry again (1st time was invalidated; I'm now open to but not pursuing marriage, "Que sera, sera," mode), I'd strongly prefer a faithful Catholic man, though, given some marriages I've seen, and to back up what others have said, I know that that's not a guarantee that he won't lose the Faith. One of the men with whom I pray the Rosary monthly as part of a group has said that his wife is a good wife, but she doesn't practice anymore. I think I've seen her at Mass with him once. I figure they've been married 30+ years. This is a man who prays the Rosary daily and is active in our parish, including assisting at Mass. I can imagine it must be lonely to be faithful AND be part of a couple and having to pray alone.

    Also, indeed, there must be something to St. Paul's describing the husband as the head of the household, particularly leading the family in faith. I can think of two devout Catholic men, 40+, whose role model was their father, whom they remember seeing pray regularly.

    Jen, if you want an even smaller niche, ha ha, try being 40+. Most men that age are divorced at least once; those who are divorced with an annulment/invalidation in hand AND who are faithful Catholics are very rare. You might come across a nice Catholic guy in your preferred age range who's divorced. My words of caution would be: Never date anyone, Catholic or not, whose previous marriage isn't already annulled. No annulment in hand = not one date. Even if a non-Catholic/Catholic man is willing to have see if his marriage can be invalidated, there is NO guarantee that it will be, so I wouldn't waste the time or emotion on a relationship with him. While that advice sounds cold, it's meant to save heartbreak.

    Like Pope Francis said, "God loves to surprise us!" You never know where, or to whom, He will lead you through honest, thoughtful, prayerful discernment. Good luck!

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  27. I get that, Jen. I totally get the criteria of "one less headache to deal with up front" (meaning his being Catholic is a must).

    Now it's a matter of degrees, right? To say, "passionately practicing", that implies a degree. And it will change... ruts will come. So this is why I posit that "faith" (esp passionate faith) isn't necessarily #1. I see our ranking order and criteria is different, but I totally getcha.

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  28. This is a really great post from the blog "My Broken Fiat" about the author's experiences after marrying an agnostic man (and why she doesn't recommend it): http://www.mybrokenfiat.com/blog/advice-to-a-catholic-woman-dating-an-agnostic-man-and-an-admission-of-omission

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  29. Yep, please note: I'm not advocating marrying outside Catholicism. My comments have to do with dismissing the idea of dating a man based on how much he embraces the faith in the beginning. More of a "non-fiery" vs "fiery" Catholic differential.

    It's sometimes those degrees that could/have become the stumbling block among the more devout Catholics: "Why don't you go to bible study anymore?" "Why don't you lead any ministry?" "When's the last time you went to Confession?" Riding someone's tail instead of letting God take the lead.

    That's why I, personally, rank Emotional Maturity above Faith (Catholicism).

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  30. My biggest issue would be the openness to life issue. I think it would be very difficult to find a non-Catholic or a lukewarm Catholic who would be good with Humanae Vitae. Because once they are good with HV, they are usually in with both feet anyway. But my threshold would never be if he led any ministry or if he didn't go to Bible study, it would be if he were committing (or committed to) any serious sin (including not going to mass, not getting to Confession per the Church's law, using contraception, etc.). So, for me, a "fiery" Catholic is simply one who is in a state of grace. I wouldn't need any great orators or leaders, if that makes sense. Just one that is happy to be Catholic and wants to work out being a saint with me.

    So, Nubby, I agree with you... a limit test based on how "worked up" someone gets (or how involved in the "ministry scene" is not what I meant to imply. Thanks for the chance to clarify! :)

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  31. That's interesting, but how do we know if he's in a state of grace? I think you mean, he's firm with accepting the teachings (all of them) and obedience to them. But, see, I wasn't and my spouse wasn't. And we are, now (took about 5 yrs into our marriage). I just see limiting ourselves in the dating world as kind of us v them, ya know? Am I way off? God worked such amazing things and awoke us to something powerful in His Church.

    I compare, who's the better to date:
    An "asleep" Catholic, completely emotionally supportive, makes you laugh, feel pretty, feel cherished, great income, great relationship to his own family and yours, stable and educated
    Or
    A very involved Catholic who knows his faith, but maybe his fire is intimidating, loves his family, loves the Church, makes good income, relates great to his family, but there's an edge of weird pressure....

    Idk. I've seen it so I guess that's why I advise to give a wider chance. Just talking out loud... nothing directly to any point.

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  32. I forgot to add that the first guy in the comparison eventually comes around to accepting the fullness of the teachings even though he was most def not in a state of grace. Life blooms.

    The other guy might spin out and leave his family, even though he started out obedient to the Church. Life ceases.

    I guess that's why I say "open wide gates".

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  33. Nubby, understood. I did not come to my wedding in a state of grace by any means. I hadn't even been to confession since I was 12, ack!! And my husband, a non-baptized agnostic, well, we certainly were not a couple in a state of grace approaching that altar. It's something we both are sad about. It took us six years until we were both in a state of grace (can we know for sure? Well, we have a pretty good assurance through the sacraments. If I were not reasonably sure, I would not approach for the Eucharist and neither would hubby). I have thought about our situation. A lot of it makes me cringe. Yes, God writes straight with crooked lines. But sometimes, he can write with some fairly straight lines. I have seen the difference between my marriage and my daughters'. The way that they pray the Church prayers together every night (even while dating), the way their husbands understand that they are to sacrifice for their wives like Christ sacrificed for the Church. The attendance recently of my oldest daughter and her husband to the Omaha Diocese's amazing marriage dinner (candlelight, wine, prayers for spouses, a talk by a wonderful priest! All to be repeated three more times this year, no cost, only for the purpose, as my daughter said, to "uplift marriage"!). So special and beautiful! And it did not hurt a bit looking for a practicing Catholic man before event thinking of branching out. They found good Catholic men. I am so happy about it. I want that for them, and I can't express the feeling it gave me to watch them say their vows and understand the sacrament. By no means does this ensure easy sailing. Of course not, no way could that ever be true in a fallen world. But it's the best beginning they could have for a life-long, loving and fruitful marriage. Dean and I still struggle for our beginnings, and for our many years living as a "secular" couple. Neither of us would trade the other, but both of us are in agreement about not wanting our kids to date or marry non-practicing Catholics (or non-Catholics). Even the Church requires a dispensation for the latter. No one even told me that my own marriage required a dispensation!

    Having said that... of course God can turn hearts and make beautiful marriages out of a sow's ear (our situation at the altar? ha ha). Yes, he can!! But he can also turn a life of grave sin around (ask me how I know) but I wouldn't advise that to anyone outright, as a way to get to God. I am also just thinking out loud and I hope that makes sense. If one can find a good Catholic spouse from the get-go, then why not? Seems like the way to go, and we have taught the kids that. It's just so hard otherwise, and fraught with some pitfalls that might not be overcome even by the best of intentions.

    In your "whose the better one to date" comparison, I would offer that I think it's a false dichotomy, no? Those aren't the only two choices, as I see it.

    But again, I in no way deny that marriages can be wonderful if things don't start out on the same page (or even stay on separate pages). I'm just saying, why not find a great Catholic man to start, since that's an option? :)

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  34. It's the better starting point, to be sure.
    My example wasn't so much a dichotomy (which is a contrast) as it was a comparison of similar features.

    No offense intended. I'll shut up now.

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  35. You never need to shut up, Nubby! I like kicking around these ideas with you. A sharp mind that challenges me is what I need!

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  36. So is this matchmaking exclusive? Or how do I sign up for them??

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    Replies
    1. Adrianne, email me at littlecatholicbubble@gmail.com and I will give you more information!

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  37. Why are people so obsessed with getting married? Is being single so horrible?

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  38. Night Cruller, marriage is a vocation (in other words, something a person is called to, by God). It's written in our very biology (conjugal union, rearing of children created by that union, children who need their mother and father). But not everyone is called to marriage. Who is saying "obsessed"? There are plenty of holy and happy single people (including countless priests and sisters, by the way). But if someone feels God calling them to marriage (and most people do have a vocation to marriage), what is so bad about working to find that partner in life and sanctity, with whom one will raise a family, build a life together, and help each other get to Heaven?

    These days, and in our culture, most people seem much more "obsessed" with career success and material comfort than marriage, don't you think?

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  39. "and most people do have a vocation to marriage", that's the thing, often the majority(married people), look down on single people as selfish or "odd ducks".Often single people are just invisible to married people. This can cause some people to become obsessed with marriage. I know you'll say there are many wonderful single people, but does anybody really praise singleness?

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  40. P.S.: Actually, single people make up the majority of adults in the U.S. So maybe most people don't have this "vocation" of marriage. Half of marriages end in divorce and I'd be surprised if all of the remaining fifty percent are happy. Marriage seems to make most people miserable and only a lucky few have happy marriages. Even more reason that marriage shouldn't be pushed too hard.

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  41. Night Cruller, I don't believe marriage is pushed too hard. Did you read my last line? What do you think of it?

    Also, children deserve and have a right to be born of a marriage, to be raised with a mom and dad. Marriage is intrinsically connected to the act that creates children, and marriage is not simply about two adults wanting to have a romantic partnership and get tax and other benefits.

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  42. What's wrong with career success and material comfort? If that's what makes you happy and you don't go overboard with work or become too materialistic, more power to you. Marriage and/or kids can't be so great if so many are opting out of both.

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  43. Night Cruller, you seem to be missing the point. You speak of the dangers of being "obsessed" with getting married (which is a perfectly natural drive of human nature, seeing how marriage has existed in every time and culture since forever), but when I ask if you don't think our society pushes the "obsession" of career and material comfort more than marriage, you say, "what's wrong with career and material comfort?" I think you might completely miss my question?

    But I get that your philosophy of life is "whatever makes you happy"! Not my philosophy at all, but then why on earth do you have a problem with those who are very much drawn to marriage and family life?

    And yes, marriage and kids are "so great". Gosh, how did you get so cynical and jaded? I feel like telling you to go watch It's a Wonderful Life. ;)

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  44. Leila, hope this is ok to post here; for your readers who fall in the 20's-30's age group, there is a kick off meeting in Denver tonight of Young Catholic Professionals for networking and socializing-details can be found on said FB page.

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  45. http://www.catholicmatch.com/profile

    My brother

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  46. Bobbins, I do definitely like to help Catholic men! I can't see the profile without a membership. Will you email me at littlecatholicbubble@gmail.com, please? Thanks! :)

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