Friday, December 21, 2007

"How do I find a good man?" - Part 2

Without claiming to provide all the answers, humbly hoping for just a small grain of truth to be found in my writings, I will continue to discuss a passionate question sent to me by a reader: "How do I find a good man?!"

Here's a point I believe to be very important: DON'T BE AFRAID TO LET OTHERS KNOW THAT YOU DESIRE MARRIAGE. I'm not saying you are supposed to walk around wearing a "Hunting for a Husband" sign. But if you are asked, "so, Jen, are you thinking about marriage yet? Is someone courting you?" I think there's nothing wrong with saying – with a big bright smile – "no, there isn't anyone yet. But I'm open to possibilities of meeting young men. I'm praying and hoping with all my heart to find the right man and be married!"

Please don't confuse it with frustration and discontentment – there's all the difference in the world between good, normal, healthy desire to start your own home and family, and wasting your unmarried years in bitterness and frustration because the right man isn't there yet. By the way, being desperate and anxious is unattractive.

Then again, I know some young women who are so focused on showing how happy and content they are as singles that they actually miss out on opportunities to be introduced to good men who are interested in marriage. Don't make that mistake. Allow the word to spread around that you feel ripe and ready to get married. Who knows, maybe your parents, older relatives, or married friends even have someone in mind for you!

To parents of adult unmarried women, and to other older, married ladies – if you have a young single friend or relative and you can think of a man that might be suitable, I believe that it wouldn't be out of place to take steps towards making an introduction! I know I have readers of many cultures here, and I understand that to some of you, this might sound awfully interfering. But think of how Isaac and Rebecca met. That blessed match happened with a good bit of help!

The bottom line for today: don't be afraid to admit you are interested in marriage and family. Make room for marriage in your life.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Open to possibilities" as opposed to "desperate"....I think that is the wise distinction to make. The former has a healthy sense of self & appreciation for others, the latter sometimes has a nervous, overly eager desire to please, even to the point of accepting a less-than-quality man.

thanks for a good post, Anna-
Brenda

Jimena said...

Hi Anna,
I don't know if you got my other comments, but well you get so many, again another interesting post...

In my other comment I was commenting on how I didn't think it was about "finding" the right person... the Lord will do the "finding" and who better than Him to arrange a union, knowing us better than anyone else. You rightly state that we should work on becoming the right person, and we do so by seeking God with our hearts and looking to His Word for guidance, and many people can also help us by giving us advice... but I don't understand the Isaac and Rebecca connection.

Isaac and Rebecca never met before they married...when they were introduced it was to tell them who they would marry. Abraham sent his elders servant to look for a wife, trusting that God would senr an angel before the servant, and if I remember correctly the servant prayed for God to reveal to him who this girl should be, and the Lord answered him. When gifts were exchanged, Rebecca was asked if she was willing to go, to marry a man she had never met... she was willing. She wasn't trying to find a man, but was willing and ready when the time had come... and that's beautiful, and the glory here goes to the best match maker... God himself. In the mean time I'm sure Isaac was praying for his future wife, and I believe Rebecca had also been waiting and getting herself ready for a time as this.

People do meet and marry because they were introduces by others, and that's great and all... but I just didn't agree with the example of Isaac and Rebecca... maybe a better example could be Ruth and Boaz? Naomi did play little match maker here.

God bless you, your picture was lovely...

PhDCow said...

I have to respectfully disagree here. For me (and the majority of my married friends), I can honestly say that I met my husband when I wasn't looking.

I had been on a series of disastrous dates my freshman year of college. Friends and roommates matched me up with men who just weren't right for me.

I had given up on finding love and was focusing on my studies. My best friend, who was dating a man in a fraternity, convinced me to take a study break and go up to the fraternity house for the evening to relax. There, I met my husband. He was playing computer games. We looked at each other and moved on. It took several months before we were finally dating steadily and a year before he proposed.

I'm not saying that making your intentions to find a husband won't work, but the saying "you'll find him when you aren't looking" certainly held true for me and my friends.

Angela

Maggie said...

I agree with trusting a close older friend to assist you with finding someone. I met my bf through a couple of close friends, mentors really, who thought it was time I got back into the dating game.

In all honesty, it was purely by fluke that we met, I didn't even know I was going to meet him. There was very little pressure on my part, or even his part I think. Which helps a lot.

If you have well meaning people trying to set up some singles and there is so much pressure placed on them, an expectation that it'll 'work out' than it's harder for the young people to feel comfortable in their own skin. They'll feel more as if they are on show.

Just my 2 cents.
Maggie

Anonymous said...

Ana, I think you make a great point here. In western culture, we often discount the wisdom of our parents & others who love us and are objective. We take the search for a husband upon ourselves, not realizing that we may not have such good judgement regarding some young men, given that we may be experiencing infatuation & its corresponding hormonal reactions. Our parents (and other figures in our lives) love us, have years of wisdom about relationships, and want the best for us. They also know us better than anyone. And finally, they are objective, so they won't sacrifice good character for good looks. An Indian friend of mine once explained to me why she did not mind her parents arranging her marriage and I had to admit that she had an excellent point and that some of my own search had been wrongheaded. Thanks for your wisdom here. I think it fits within any culture!

tales_from_the_crib said...

my mom and dad met because of an introduction by a mutual friend that my mom went to churches with, so be opens to it.
oh, yeah, and they live in the states, so it's not considerabled the "normal way to meet someone"
:)

Anonymous said...

Anna,

I really like your advice about being open to introductions facilited by family and friends. I met my husband because a married friend of mine introduced us. I never thought I would meet my husband this way because I had been introduced to other young men before and it didn't work out. But, you never know what might happen, so you should try and be open to the possibility!

~Ellie

Kelly said...

Very good advice Anna. While it is important to be content in whatever season of life you are in it is also important that you don't hide the fact that marriage is something that you're looking for. I think in western culture we need to get back to introducing our single friends to each other, without being too much the matchmaker of course.
I met my husband online, of all places, but after we started talking we learned we had a very good mutual friend in common. It was kind of funny that for the years each of us had known our common friend we'd never met each other through that person.

Michael H. said...

I read your article on being single and the potential to not marry. I think that article was something that I really needed to read and somehow I was brought to it. Close to about 3 months ago, I was dating my ex.gf for 2 years. I was 100% certain that it was going to end in marriage. Another interesting thing was that I was also under the impression that my relationship with God was about as perfect as it could come. I remember during that time ppl trying to talk to me about God, and I reassured them that there was nothing to worry about. The past 12 months have been very tumultous for me and life has brought upon a large host of problems. I supposed they never really got to me because my relationship at the time with my ex.gf was good. Then approx. in Sept 2007 my car that I greatly prided in was destroyed by someone who hit it. One week later my ex.gf broke it off with me. In fact she did it exactly on the 2nd year of our anniversary. After this point, all of the troubles in my life in the past 12 months had just sorta collapsed on me at once. Afterwards I went into a vicious self-destructive cycle for about 4 weeks afterwards before I was able to get myself on the right track. This was also an eyeopening experience because it showed me that my faith with God was far from perfect and I found myself asking a lot of questions once my relationship was over.


For me it is hard to imagine not being married and living single my whole life. To be honest this is my biggest fear I have in life. I remember when I was even a little kid, I always had a dream that I'd meet the perfect woman to spend the rest of my life with in happiness. Throughout my years of experience in life, I realized that the odds are really against finding the right person and it seems to continue to get worse at the years progress. I feel that society and humans in general continue to lose respect/dignity towards relationships and suddenly they are only just a fad/entertainment. I haven't had a lot of relationships in the past, so I don't know exactly where my comprehension and understanding towards this matter came from, but it is something I am well aware. The thought of being by myself is extremely depressing and saddending. At the same time the fact that I lost someone I was close to marrying was a very traumatic experience for me and not very confident towards the future.

At 3 months, things are starting to get slightly better but it has been very challenging to say the least. Reading your article on singlehood has given me a much better perspective and no matter what I want in life, God's will always comes first.


p.s. I tried to email you but it did not work.


-Michael H.

Seung said...

"By the way, being desperate and anxious is unattractive."

Thank you -- I laughed out loud when I read this. Needed on a busy day at the hospital like this. And now, back to my patients :)

Anonymous said...

Right on the mark, again. I know of people who were set up by uncles, priests, iterfering sisters, and parents, among others. My parents knew the perfect man for me years before I figured it out. He was an even better match for me than they realized, though they had known him so long. They didn't arrange it, they just "helped". ;) It's EASY to fall in love when you're a good match. We only dated several weeks before he proposed, and the wedding wasn't too long after. We've been married over 5 years. It hasn't been easy, but I'd rather be with him than anyone else, including just myself. I'm a much better and more fulfilled woman than I would have been in any other situation. (not counting if God had wanted me to be single, but I'm comparing my situation to that if I had been meant for him, but chose singleness rather than the difficulties of marriage).

UltraCrepidarian said...

Most of the Jewish singles that I've spoken to have a community around them, that wants to help them get married. Sometimes single Jewish people even complain about it. But I remember hearing a Rabbi say that it was just the thing one does, to help in this way. I so wish that the rest of the planet would adopt this way of caring for singles. Okay, so the Matchmaker thing is funny sometimes, I mean, like in Fiddler on the Roof, but it's sweet really, that someone might be trying to fix you up.

I wish the rest of the world would take a lesson from the Jewish community on this subject.

Warren

Rebekah S. said...

Great tips! Will there be a part 3? I sure hope so!

. said...

I do hope you will find one. I hoped, also, and prayed for it and God gave me one. Next year, it will be 20 years we are married.

andrea said...

A lot of times, it is the older people who look down on young women wanting marriage. They will start quoting statistics at you that people who marry before age 24 will more likely end in divorce--what is their point in bringing this up??? It frusterates me! I have a lot of friends who love being 'independant'. They think having a boyfriend weighs you down. It kind of upsets me, becuase my boyfriend is not a burden!

Also, we have been told more than once that we must have arguments to know what our 'feelings' are, or so forth. We've had our share of conflicts, but we don't 'fight'. What is your opinion on this? Is it necessary for a courting couple to argue to know feelings? When we have a conflict or misunderstanding, we usually talk about it quite calmly--there may be a few tears shed on my part :P, and so forth--but we don't quarrel. I just wanted to know! ;) Have a nice day!

Anna S said...

Michael, I got your email and sent a reply.

Rhonda Jean said...

As the mother of two unmarried sons who are now 26 and 27 I hope they eventually find women to love that have a similar focus on a healthy marriage. From what I see here the focus seems to be more on the wedding and less on the marriage.

Karen said...

Yeah I think the main thing is getting out and being sociable (in a safe environment, such as church) and making lots of friends. That way you have lots of chances to meet someone, and if not, lots of friends!!

Lydia said...

I can think of at least three very happy couples off the top of my head that were introduced by friends who just knew they would make a match. But some people just think it is awful to try and be matchmaker. I wouldn't mind it if the matchmaker was someone I could trust to know what I am looking for.

Sarahndipity said...

I also met my husband when I least expected it. It was our freshman year of college. We met through his roommate, who I had gone to elementary school with and hadn’t seen in years. At the time, I wasn’t really looking for a boyfriend. I always wanted to get married, but I just assumed I wouldn’t meet the person I would marry until I was older. My parents married in their late 20s and told me I should wait until then, too, which was probably why I had that assumption. I didn’t listen. :)

That said, I don’t think there’s any “right” way to meet someone. Some people are lucky and meet their future spouse out of the blue when they’re least expecting it. Other people use dating services, get people to set them up, etc. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. God helps those who help themselves.

I do have to strongly disagree with whoever mentioned arranged marriages, though. Now, it’s one thing to have your parents set you up with someone or help you find someone. That’s fine. But forcing your child to marry someone (or even just applying lots of pressure) is not okay!!! In fact, if you were forced or pressured into marrying someone in the Catholic Church, it’s grounds for an annulment. (Yes, I know arranged marriages can sometimes work out fine. I’m just saying that the ends (a good marriage) don’t justify the means (an arranged marriage) in that circumstance).

And I’m sorry, but parents have no say in who their children marry. They’re not the one marrying your spouse. Yes, it’s good to seek your parents’ advice in finding a spouse (assuming you have a good relationship with your parents and they have the same values that you do.) But it’s your decision.

MarkyMark said...

Michael,

I'm sorry your relationship didn't work out; I've been there, done that. I can also empathize with your desire to be married, for I once shared that desire too. It wasn't meant to be. Though I didn't see it that way at the time, it was a blessing from God. Why do I say that?

One, because marriage has its own pitfalls. Two, being single has its advantages. Three, given the state of the world, marriage may not be a good idea.

Marriage has its pitfalls. One, you can kiss your hopes, dreams, desires, and wants good bye. What Wifey wants is all that matters; what you want does not. You wanted to relax this weekend? Tough noogies, pal; you have a mile long 'honey-do' list you'd better get done-or else! You want sex with your wife? She'll lay there like a dead fish once a month-if you're lucky to do it that often! Many marriages are sexless, and it's because the wife doesn't want to. You can bet your bippy on one this though; she may not be having sex with you, but she IS having it with someone else!

You say if you marry a woman of faith that things will be different? I'm sure that's what Michael Winkler thought too; his wife, who murdered him in cold blood, was a Christian woman, a pastor's wife. Unfortunately, she was also a check kiter. When her husband, Michael, had discovered her deceit and trickery, she killed him. You may want to think about THAT...

Oh, and here's something else to consider with women of faith: she may be fine now, but there's NO guarantee that she'll be ok 5, 10, 15 or more years from now. If she becomes backslidden, she won't have the restraint of faith to keep her in check. If she falls in with the wrong group of friends, look out! I've known of cases where, when one woman in a group gets divorced, they ALL get divorced; women are herd creatures-end of story. Oh, and if she divorces you, you WILL be up the creek without a paddle-only that creek has rip-roaring, Class 5 rapids that'll kill you! You'll be lucky if you can afford a dumpy, hole in the wall apartment in the bad section of town after she & family court get done with you, Dude. Even if she's honorable during the divorce, the judge can decide that she didn't get enough, and you'll get screwed anyway; just look at what happened to Matt LeBlanc, the former star of 'Friends'...

Secondly, being single has its advantages. If you're inclined to do any service to your faith, you have more freedom to do ministerial work; you can devote whatever time & energy you want to advance your faith. Paul again talked about this in I Cor. 7. Paul said that, as a single person, you can devote yourself to the things of the Lord, whereas a married man is concerned with his wife & family.

Even apart from matters of faith, as a single man, you can do what you want; you can do it WHEN you want. You want to play with MS Flight Simulator all night on the weekend? You can do it. You want to work on your motorcycle this weekend? You can do it. You want to ride your motorcycle on a spur of the moment trip through three states this weekend? You can do it. I remember how last summer, a buddy of mine, Mike, called me on Wed. night asking me if I wanted to take off to the Catskills in upstate NY that Friday; I said heck yeah, I'm in! You think I could have done that if I were married to some shrew? I think we both know the answer to that one...

If you're married, and you get a bonus from work, Wifey will insist on you spending it on a new counter top or something like that. Never mind that the old one is quite good enough; your Princess cannot have a yucky Formica counter top when she wants a new Corian counter top! Never mind the fact that the money is yours; never mind the fact that you want to get a motorcycle, a new rifle, or something else that you've wanted for years and done without. Your wants, needs, and desires do NOT matter to her; her wants, needs, and desires are paramount.

I got a nice bonus from my previous job a couple of years ago; it was bigger than expected. I hadn't had a motorcycle in five years, and I was itching to get one again. I'd saved up enough to buy an old, early 1980s vintage bike, and that's what I'd planned on getting. After not riding at all for five years, I was grateful to have ANYTHING with two wheels, just so long it was serviceable and looked decent. Well, the bonus changed everything; all of a sudden, I could afford something nicer & newer, so I looked at other bikes Frank had. He had two bikes that I'd loved back when they were new, but I couldn't afford when they were new in 1999 & 2000. I was able to get both of them in almost new condition, and I got them for what would have been a DOWN PAYMENT on a new one-a great deal! Thankfully, for once in my life, I didn't have to PASS UP a great deal because I didn't have the money. You think I could have taken advantage of that if I were married? Again, we both know the answer to that one...

Oh, and Michael, here's a dirty little secret I gleaned from when I worked with women: Hubby's money is 'our' money, while her money is HER money. What's yours is hers, and what's hers is HERS. Never, ever forget that. If you marry, that's what you're signing up for.

But MarkyMark, there are fine women on here, including the one who hosts this blog! Yes, there are; you're 100% RIGHT about that. Furthermore, I've had the honor and pleasure of knowing some good, decent women in my time. However, my experience, not to mention Scripture, tells me that they are rare; they are so rare that gold (a scarce, precious metal) is as plentiful as sand on a beach in comparison, pal. As a man, once you get past a certain age, you won't have prayer of finding a good woman, either. I'm 45 going on 46; at my age, all that's available are angry, bitter divorcees who hate men. The fact that they made poor choices in men escapes them; all they know is that all men are bastards, and that's the end of it.

Because most men know that good women are rare, if they're fortunate enough to find one, they take her off the market early; they know that they're not likely to find another one, so they strike while the iron is hot, as it were. Look at Anna. Anna is in her early 20s, yet she's engaged. Her man is no dummy; he knows he's got a good one, and he's not letting her go! Look at the other women who regularly visit and comment on her fine writings; many of them were married well before they hit 30, with the remaining ones married soon thereafter. See the pattern there? The good ones go off the market early, and they're gone for good. If a woman is still available much past 30, then there's a REASON for that; there's a reason why previous fisherman tossed that one back in the water, and you best remember that...

Three, if you believe that we're in the Last Days (as I do), and you believe that the time is short before Christ's return (read Revelation 13, then juxtapose it with current events; it's scary!), then getting married isn't a good idea; even Paul said in I Cor. 7 that the time is short. Given the state of the world, why would anyone want to bring children into it? If the economy collapses, if riots break out in our major cities, do you want to be encumbered with a wife to worry about too? Particularly if she'll fight you tooth & nail, thus spoiling your chances of escape? Or, would it be easier just to get yourself out of Dodge? I'd rather just have myself to worry about, thank you.

Micheal, I'll give you a couple of links at the end of this comment; pay them a visit. Just because you're single does NOT mean you're a loser! Just because you're not Don Juan, does not mean you're not a real man. There's a whole bunch of us who are going our own way, so you're not alone, ok?

I'm going to sign off, my man. When you have the chance, visit the Happy Bachelors forum. I'm a member there. There are other places like it on the Net, such as the Mancoat forum. I'm a moderator there, and we have the best & brightest bunch of men in the world on there. Just because God didn't bring someone into your life doesn't mean He doesn't love you; if anything, it may mean that He does love you, and He is looking out for your best interests. The links are below. Have a good night...

http://happybachelors.proboards102.com/index.cgi
http://www.thesuperjabs.com/why-men-dont-want-to-get-married/

MarkyMark

Anna S said...

"Look at Anna. Anna is in her early 20s, yet she's engaged. Her man is no dummy; he knows he's got a good one, and he's not letting her go!"

Oh wow. Thanks. :-)