Christmas Presents, Catholic Presence, and Dating
Mr. Chemistry Lips
Choo-choo, Cha-cha, and Childish: Part Two
Choo-choo, Cha-cha, and Childish: Part One
Okay, I Admit It. I'm Desperate! Part Two
Okay, I Admit It. I'm Desperate! Part One
Why Am I Still Single? Part Two
Why Am I Still Single? Part One
Survive or Thrive?
How Open Is Your Marriage Window?
Angels, Demons, and Dating
|Why Am I Still Single?
Part One: The Interior Search
Written by Thomas P. Schmierer
March 22, 2007
Do you want to have kids? Are you still single and getting too old
to feasibly raise a child from newborn to maturity? According to
your original plan, were you supposed to have already met your
spouse and have three children by now?
If you answered "yes" to these questions, then an understanding of
the Christian approach to love will help you to develop the primary
intimate relationship that you seek. In Part One of this article, I
will share how self-knowledge has helped me, and may help you, grow
in intimacy with Christ and others. Part Two will explain how we
can actively participate in the morphing of relationships over
Single Because of Bad Relationships?
In the past, I have dated women who have shown symptoms of
borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder,
major depressive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Whom
I chose to date had much to do with who I had become.
Twice in my life when I have worshipped a false god, I
simultaneously displayed symptoms of mental health disorders.
Having fun had become my false god during a rebellious stage
that I experienced in my twenties. At that time, I likely showed
symptoms of mania that I labeled "having a good time." Later, as I
trained for an IronMan distance triathlon, which involves 2.4 miles
swimming, 112 miles biking, and 26.2 miles running, I showed
symptoms of obsessive compulsivity. That IronMan distance triathlon
had become my new, false god.
During the time in which I "worshipped" false gods, I was not able
to develop any healthy intimate relationships, though I had several
successive girlfriends. In my twenties, anyone who agreed to enter
an exclusive relationship with me was de facto accepting my
It is logical that the only women who agreed to date me in those
days displayed symptoms of mental instability. They also expressed
interest in being used sexually by me, regardless of whether I
accepted or denied their advances. There seems to be a connection
between the poor state of their mental health and their unfortunate
desire to be used.
Likewise, if your boyfriend/girlfriend is willing to be used by you
sexually, then your relationship is likely unhealthy in more ways
than you might expect (1). Perhaps your current
boyfriend/girlfriend is similar to some of the women that I dated in
that they have perfectly "matched" my bad habits to form
The next few CatholicThrive articles will identify personality types
that match in a negative, yet complementary, fashion in dating
relationships. Understanding these personality types allowed me to
correct my behavior to the extent that I have not been in any
dysfunctional relationships in years. This left me unattached and
available to date healthy women. Eventually, this led me to meet my
current girlfriend, a healthy and pure woman, who accepted my
invitation to enter formal courtship several months ago.
I do not enjoy sharing the sins of my past with the worldwide web
community, but have done so only to give hope to those who can
identify with my story. It is noteworthy that my recent
relationship success is likely because I have followed a
relationship model that I call the Prudent Progression (2).
If you can identify with my story, then you may want to see how your
personal characteristics compare to the norm by taking an exam
called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2 (MMPI-2).
The MMPI-2 can only be properly read by those who have been trained
specifically to do so, thus an office visit to a specialized
therapist is required for accurate assessment. You may need to call
a few mental health professionals before finding one who is
certified to read the MMPI-2.
As human beings affected by Original Sin, we all have symptoms of
mood or personality disorders, but relatively few people have enough
symptoms to be diagnosed with a full-blown disorder. In a Christian
sense, we all have unique tendencies towards certain vices that
prevent us from loving one another as fully as we are capable
By identifying our sinful tendencies and praying for the grace to
overcome them, we will love more truly. The more capable we are of
selfless love, the more pure and intimate our relationships will
Jesus said "Love your neighbor as yourself." His message
presupposes that we love ourselves. In order to love ourselves, we
must know ourselves. Therefore, authentic love begins with an
Your journey towards a pure, intimate relationship begins with
self-reflection. By increasing self-knowledge and using it to
improve your character, you will also greatly increase your chance
of meeting the spouse whom God has intended you to marry.
(1) The assumption is that the reader has a chaste heart. If the
reader is willing to be used or is willing to use, then improving
himself/herself in this area is necessary to developing an
authentically intimate relationship.
(2) To learn more about my current relationship and the Prudent
Progression, please visit http://www.vaticanvalues.com/singlesadviceaudiorecordings.html.
To listen via WMA file, visit http://www.vaticanvalues.com/audio/ThePacingOfIntimacyForAdultCatholicSingles.WMA.
(3) Having a mental health disorder is not a sin. What may be a sin
to a healthy person is not necessarily a sin to a person with mental
health issues. There is an analogical connection between displaying
"symptoms" of mental health issues and displaying "sinful"
behaviors, but all analogies are imperfect and break down on some
Thomas Schmierer is a Catholic counselor, writer, and evangelizer
for V2C©. Visit www.vaticanvalues.com to learn more about Mr.