Although I mention at every opportunity that running a singles website does not make me an expert in dating, I still field a lot of questions from singles.
However, the one thing I do feel confident in sharing and continue to love about my job is simply my observations of singles, based on my professional vantage point. Through countless customer support tickets, community forum posts and, of course, conversations with people who learn what I do, I get to observe an awful lot of interesting behavior over the course of a year – and I have been doing this for more than 10.
The idea for this post came to me one afternoon after reading several comments on our Facebook page and CatholicMatch blog. A handful of comments were very negative – some from people whom I remembered for posting negative comments before. It was at that point when I began to consider how much negativity I see from singles.
Now, don’t get me wrong. You can find lots of negativity in the world, especially online, regardless of marital status.
But singles have a specific challenge: They are still trying to attract someone for marriage. Because there are likely more single people in the world today than any other time in human history – not to mention the high divorce rate and a host of other issues – it is understandable that frustration can easily mount among singles. And it typically increases as you get older.
Here’s the problem. As frustrating as it may be to be single and as much hurt and bitterness might have resulted over the years due to bad relationships, heartbreaks, divorce, death or poor choices, the question is: Would you be attracted to you if you could see your own attitude from the eyes of another person?
When I read online profiles and peruse comments in our community forums, on our Facebook page, or on our blog, it becomes apparent that some singles are very bitter about their lot in life – and it comes through when they are interacting with other singles. Because of that bitterness, they tend to blame everything and anything on their singleness. Society is a mess, the media is too superficial, dating websites don’t work – and on and on and on.
But is this the kind of person you would be attracted to?
Lest I be misunderstood, I am not saying it is wrong to feel frustrated, sad or even bitter at times. I more than most understand (both personally and professionally) how difficult things are for singles, especially single Catholics. I can’t imagine the struggle and pain some single Catholics endure.
But there is a big difference between feeling a certain way and dealing with those feelings versus allowing those feelings to permanently color your personality and, thus, negatively influence the way people perceive you.
The right outlook
The older I get, the more I realize that I am not thankful enough for the blessings I have received in life.
I want to see singles happy and I want them to each find that special person to spend the rest of their lives with. But I also see how they sabotage their chances of finding that happiness by allowing their frustration to overcome them and pervade their entire view of life.
Fortunately, we have a great community of support on CatholicMatch, and I encourage you to lean on it to get through the times when we do feel despair. But do not let despair define you.
The next time you decide to make a comment online or even in person, pause for a moment to consider that comment and ask yourself: “If I read this, would I be attracted to me? Would I be inspired and uplifted by my profile, comments and attitude?”
If the answer is no, then you might be preventing yourself from finding “the one.” Perhaps you’re even standing in the way as God guides you toward your vocation.
Maybe it’s time to get over it.