There Isn’t Someone Out There For Everyone, and Yes, You Might Die Alone


People say stuff. Stuff they’ve read in Hallmark cards, heard in movies, or from some “spiritual” aunt.

It’s the sort of stuff that’s become cliche and to which, they tell me, the proper social response is a head nod and a ‘mmmmm’ sound of agreement.

One of those cliche’s is, “There’s someone out there for everyone.” It comes in a variety of forms: “God has someone out there for you.” “Everyone has a soulmate who’s especially for them,” etc. etc.

I see no reason, Biblically or otherwise, to think this is true (maybe you do and you can enlighten me in the comment section). And given the spiritual and moral climate in which we live, I suspect many people—especially Catholic women—if they wish to remain faithful to Christ, will have to remain alone. Until death. . . . How you feeling?

. . .

Now, by “alone” I don’t mean without loved ones, I mean what people usually mean when they say, “I don’t want to die alone”—without a spouse.

I read an article about the marriage crisis in China, Where The Boys Are, that said, due to a cultural preference for boys (the girls are being killed in utero), there is now such a severe gender imbalance that unmarried men will soon outnumber unmarried women by an estimated 40 million. In other words, there are many men who may wish to marry but who probably won’t be able to (at least if they remain in China).

In the United States and other western countries, I think the opposite problem is happening.

Due to the fact that many men have been emasculated and juvenilized by porn, there now exists a huge imbalance such that unmarried Catholic women who are willing and ready to marry have outnumber unmarried Catholic men who are neither willing nor ready by a huge proportion.

If you’re a single Catholic woman in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

And Yet All Are Called to Love

St. John Paul the Great wrote in his encyclical letter, Redemptor Hominis, “Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.”

Beautiful, yeah? But notice he didn’t say, “Man cannot live without a spouse.” or “Man cannot live without sexual intimacy.”

Some Advice . . . For What It’s Worth

If you’re a young adult woman terrified of dying alone, my encouragement to you would be threefold:

1. Remain faithful to Christ, even though you may be tempted to despair, or to lower your standards. Christ promised to bring you life, and life to the full (Jn 10:10). He did not say you’ll find this life when you find your “soulmate” . . . whatever that is.

There are many people who are living celibate lives to the full. Beautiful, joyful people. I had the privilege recently of meeting the daughter of St. Gianna Molla. This is the daughter St. Gianna gave her life to save. You cannot meet Gianna (named after her mother) without realizing immediately that here is a woman in love with Jesus Christ. She radiates peace and joy even though she has never married.


2. Speak to any Catholic woman you know who is married and, if she’s honest, she’ll share with you the cross that marriage and motherhood can be. I don’t say this to minimize the cross of the single life, not at all, but marriage is freaking tough, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was discovered that married people experience the same degree of loneliness and frustration as single people. And I’m not talking about marriages that are on the rocks, I’m talking about faithful Catholic ones. I think any Catholic woman worth her salt would tell you, “it would better that you remain unmarried than that you marry a man incapacitated to love you.

3. Find yourself a good spiritual director. The Church needs you now! The Church needs your energy, your intellect, your feminine genius now. Discern with your spiritual director how you can best make use of your gifts to build up the body of Christ instead of falling into the trap of waiting until marriage before you begin to serve.

Now with all that said, let me back-pedal a little. I’m not saying you won’t end up happily married. There are many good Catholic men out there and certainly if it’s the Lord’s will, He will make a way. So this isn’t an article about why you should just give up all hope on ever being married and join the convent already! If it’s come across that way it’s to counteract the contrary view that’s said far too often (at least in my circles) without qualification.

If you’re a young (or not so young) woman discerning marriage, one book I’d highly recommend is Jason Evert’s book, How to Find Your Soul Mate Without Losing Your Soul.

PLEASE, especially if you’re a single woman, share your thoughts below.

oh, and BTW, is open if anyone wants to start a blog.

On a somewhat different note. Click the image below to start listening to my podcast.

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86 thoughts on “There Isn’t Someone Out There For Everyone, and Yes, You Might Die Alone

  1. Thanks for the article, it’s great to see a proponent of the single life! Or at least, the ability to live a fulfilling single life. A couple of comments though. First, the statement “Due to the fact that many men have been emasculated and juvenilized by porn” is both strong and controversial. You should substantiate it at least with a footnote and reference(s)”. What does “many” mean here? Secondly, please please proof read your articles before posting! “Loved one’s”, “back peddle” to name but two. Spell check is insufficient!

    1. Well, here’s my evidence for the “many” statement. Sit around with a randomly selected group of nice, Christian guys. Or do it virtually on Facebook. And have some single woman say, “So I was thinking of setting up an e-Harmony account. I hear you get five screening questions. I was thinking of having one of my make-or-break questions be, ‘Do you now, or have you ever, had a problem with pornography use?” And watch all the guys start hemming and hawing and telling her that statistics show that “in the church” at least 70% of guys have used porn and that she is being way too picky if she uses this criterion.

      She _might_, if she pushes, get them agree to her leaving “do you now use porn” if she takes out the “have you ever.”

      Then again there is the anecdote of the woman with a Christian Mingle (or some such) account who gets berated by guys for making _present_ porn use a make-or-break issue. Supposedly Christian guys.

      Then there is the Mark Regnerus article in First Things last year urging women, for the sake of Western civilization, to be willing to marry guys with a porn problem and hope that marriage acts as therapy to help them to stop.

      So, yeah, I think we can support “many.”

      1. “Many” is absolutely correct. And it is the Catholic men who DO say that “your standards are too high.” How ironic is that? But, I seriously doubt if any of them would want to marry a woman who has a previous/current problem with pornography and masturbation. So, the double standard is striking. I have personally found (MANY times) that there is a night and day difference between those who have had addictions to/problems with porn versus those who have not. I have found pornography turns men into aggressive monsters, and/or emotionally unavailable, angry, and/or just plain scary perverts. Academic/medical study after study now is proving these facts. Therefore, “a man who has never used porn”, for me, is a non-negotiable. If you question this decision some of us make, just ask any married woman who has to deal with porn addiction in a marriage…It’s a nightmare, and I, for one, want nothing to do with it. And pornography is just ONE serious problem men today seem to have, for then you have the guys who are not responsible, can’t hold a job, are obese/overweight (esp. in the U.S.–this is gluttony and sloth, my friends), are narcissistic, expect a woman to serve them, are intimidated by educated women…I mean, the list goes on. I suppose I just think it is sad that many of us “good Catholic girls” were lied to and told that “God would bring us a good man if we prayed and tried to live a good and pure life.” That was a HUGE lie, and I actually consider it a form of manipulation by parents and the Church (albeit well-meaning) as it plays on women’s natural hopes and dreams. Sadly, I have actually found the opposite to be true. The “good girls” are often targeted by perverts (Catholic or otherwise) who literally want our “goodness”/”Godliness”, and the girls who are manipulative and/or sleep with the Catholic guys (yes, “orthodox” Catholic guys) get married. This is the sick reality of our culture and in our world, and I am writing from Asia. Thank you for your article, Matt, I completely agree and I have been of this mindset–Many Catholic women will not get married because the men today are just not worth marrying–for years now. The crisis is with the men and the women who are supporting over-sexualization (porn models, those sleeping around, hooking-up, etc.). The fact is that the women trying to lead a genuine Catholic life can’t compete (and we shouldn’t have to) with porn stars and girls who manipulate/give sex (no matter what the Catholic books on relationships say). Consequently, I, and many Catholic girls like me, have given up. Though this life is short in comparison to eternity, I still think it incredibly sad and disheartening what we have to deal with…

      2. Ginger, you make the good point that women should be willing to say that they would rather die a virgin/unmarried than be married to a man with a porn addiction. There is something intensely manipulative when _anyone_ does not recognize that this is a rational choice. I can scarcely imagine the nightmare of being married to a man who has perverted sexual tastes from porn or who (I have heard of this) is impotent with a normal woman because of porn . The thought is terrifying. Better far to die single than to give one’s heart to a man who is that messed up. Is that hard on men who have been seriously damaged by porn? I suppose it is, in a way, but they made that choice. What people cannot seem to grasp is that women do not _owe_ it to men to marry them. And to say to a woman that she has to be a savior or a form of therapy for a porn addict “or else,” as though she has no value in herself and should prefer that to dying alone is insulting and degrading.

        Now, I can see a girl’s marrying a man if he has been “clean” for years and his normal sexuality has been largely restored, but if he says, “I could go back at any moment,” then _that’s_ a big problem. That’s baggage that a woman has no duty to accept.

        It’s a horrifying thought to mothers who have raised wonderful, pure, innocent Christian girls that they might get stuck with this kind of cesspool in the mind of a husband and not find out until it is too late.

        And it is angering, too, to those of us who are mothers of wonderful girls to hear all of the generalizations arising among the neo-misogynists (there’s been one on this thread already babbling about “hypergamy,” a manospheric jargon word) who will talk about women as if they are all sluts and trash. I had a (male) friend on the phone with me the other day who started to say, “And the Christian girls all want to sleep around with the alpha men, if you’ll allow me to generalize,” and I interrupted and said, “No, I will _not_ allow you to generalize. I know _many_ Christian women who don’t sleep around with _anybody_, and that’s incredibly insulting to them.”

        I only wish I knew as many Christian men about whom I could be _sure_ that they don’t use porn as I know Christian women about whom I am _sure_ that they don’t sleep around (or use porn).

    2. Patrick, in terms of what does “many” mean here, I would have to say anecdotally that’s 90% of the single men I’ve encountered, and 50% of the married ones. Who, incidentally, approach me (a single divorced woman) for extramarital affairs or flirtations.

      It’s Christmas and having dropped my only child off at her father’s (he who divorced me eight years ago during one of his psychotic episodes — truthfully a man with incapacity for marriage), I landed here tonight because I just realized I am probably going to die alone. Connections anymore seem to be based in carnality and not commitment; certainly not in covenant or sacrament. And the idea that I am to serve only Christ, when all along I’ve felt called to the vocation of marriage, feels damning and empty.

      Christ knows my heart, and knows full well why He alone is not enough to fill it.

    Reading this is like finally eating a salad after being fed loads of cotton candy.
    I appreciate how realistic this is, and I find it a very liberating read.

    1. Totally agree with you Rianne. I already knew what Matt said here, but hearing someone else say it is empowering. It’s so hard to not lower my standards and it’s so hard to not take it personally when I don’t get asked out, or even meet any good Catholic men, like, ever. Matt, you actually saying that this is a fact, that there is a shortage of faithful men, makes it feel like it is not something wrong with me that I am still single after looking for a husband for 11 years.

  3. I am a married woman, but I am also a formerly single woman (aren’t we all?) I did not meet my husband until I was 32 years old. During my 20s, I was not often in a romantic relationship. Actually, I had 4 boyfriends prior to my husband. Three of those relationships were 2 months long each, and my last relationship prior to my husband lasted just over a year. When my final boyfriend & I broke up in August 2010, I didn’t date for quite some time. During the 1.5 years I was single after that breakup (I met my now-husband in February 2012), I came to accept that it was possibly God’s plan for me to be single. It wasn’t fun (especially since my ex & I had discussed marriage at length), but I was content with it. I felt an odd peace of acceptance and I was fine.

    Then I met my husband and all that changed ……

  4. I think this is a great concept for all single women to keep in mind – it helps us wait in joyful hope for our God, NOT our spouse. and only by continually looking towards God will be be able to enter into a fruitful relationship, should the Lord chose to bring us to that vocation.
    having said that, it’s bloody difficult, and I think there should be more resources, community and encouragement for single women, not to fall into emotional impurity, or as you say, ‘settling for less’.
    Thanks for being blunt and loving 🙂

  5. What a depressing article. </3
    I will always grant the premise that women do not need men to be happy or successful, and that God has a plan for everyone whether they are called to marry, remain single, or serve the Church. None of that is in dispute.
    This article, however, gave me the impression that all single women should just give up on their dreams of marriage because a) it's probably not going to happen, b) it's not worth it, and c) it's easier to love everyone than it is to pursue a personal relationship.
    I agree that most single Catholic men in America (at least the ones I've met) are timid and not ready for a marital relationship, but that doesn't mean that Catholic women who are neither of those things should give up on marriage. If a woman feels called to marriage, it is hurtful to tell her that it's not worth pursuing, or that she's wrong. I agree that a Spiritual Counselor can help with determining vocations, but this article seems like a push to keep women single and possible join a convent. (Believe me – few things hurt worse than "you could always be a nun!" -_-)
    I have a lot of respect for you, Mr. Fradd, and I appreciate all the work you do and all the blessings you have given me along my journey. This article was not one of your best moments. I think I understand what you were trying to communicate, but it could have been presented much better than this.

      1. I know my reaction is very different from the many congratulations you’ve received on this thread, but I hope it’s no less valuable to you.

      2. Erin: “Believe me- few things hurt worse than “you could always be a nun!” suggests a possible lack of interior freedom and openness to God’s will…God could use any single person to do great things through a vocation to religious life and the concept that it is *always* a possibility that a single person could be called to noble vocation should not “hurt” someone unless they lack the key concept Matt is trying to drive home – all you need is God.

        I don’t think encouraging someone pursuing holiness to find a spiritual director should be taken as a push to religious life. I am a single lay person with a spiritual director whose support and guidance helps me to serve the Church effectively and optimally.

      3. Marciano,
        There is nothing wrong with pursuing other vocations, but the fact is that I *can’t* be a nun. I’ve looked into it and have been told that’s not a viable option for me. The only reason I looked into it in the first place was because I was discouraged from pursuing marriage and had heard this suggestion a few times too many.

      4. Can’t remember what it said before but the changes are good. Sometimes a bit too much bluntness/brutal honesty can encourage people to extrapolate too much.

        Erin, I am sorry being a nun isn’t an option for you. I hope and pray that this part of the article which was really good to read resonates with you as you continue to bear your cross (something each of us has to do in our own unique way):

        “There are many people who are living celibate lives who are living lives to the full. Beautiful, joyful people. I had the privilege recently of meeting the daughter of St. Gianna Molla. This is the daughter St. Gianna gave her life to save. You cannot meet Gianna (named after her mother) without realizing immediately that here is a woman in love with Jesus Christ. She radiates peace and joy even though she has never married.”

        But yeah, definitely we should “never say never” and all things are certainly possible with God. If it’s His will for you to be married, if it’s His will for me to be married, let us continue to place our trust completely in Him to guide us and our future spouses.

    1. Yeah, agreed. Especially the whole bit about how even good Catholic marriages are probably just as lonely as being single. Um, no. Sure, even married people can be lonely, and I can imagine being in a bad marriage can be very lonely, but saying good marriages are just as lonely as being single is absurd.

      1. What I actually said was that I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that married people also experience the same degree of loneliness and frustration at times as those who are unmarried. I hardly see how this is “absurd.” Perhaps you’re unmarried. Or, if you are, perhaps you desire too little.

      2. That’s right. To most folks, being married, though bumpy at times, is far more satisfactory to me , at least, than not being married. Hands down. No contest.
        However, there are exceptions for those married to individuals who have serious spiritual , psychological and other issues creating havoc in the relationship.
        I am not Catholic, but a devoted Christian. I was a divorced single mother due to the infidelity, of my former spouse. He had a pervasive and crippling pornography issue that started when he was a boy that I did not know about previous to marriage. Though I was a believer at the time we married, I was not serious or totally surrendered to Christ’s Will.
        I was driven to Christ by the abuse and devastating loneliness I suffered in this union. I sought the Lord’s companionship and comfort. I began to understand what Godly purity means, and that I myself, also needed cleansing. I had many issues with fanstasy and masturbation that I was convicted of and repented from.
        I was single for many years as God changed my heart and taught me devotion to Him above all. I learned how to submit my mind, heart, body and soul to Him. Its a battle that there are no Words for. Putting down the flesh is not for cowards.
        I also recognized that sexual passion was given by God for His purposes, not my own gratification. I fought many battles as a single, I will never forget them. They were ugly and excruciating painful.
        Long story short, I petitioned God for years to give me a Godly husband. One who listened to God more than he would me. I prayed for my future spouse and wrote him letters to help ease the loneliness. I asked God to prepare my heart and give me experiences that might train me to be the help- meet he would need. And then, I rested the whole matter at the alter. Right. No, I didnt.
        I wrestled and battled and praised and worshiped and cried out for Heavenly help every step of the way. I made mistakes, in thoughts, repented and got back on track.
        Many years later, God answered. Our second anniversary will be in a month. There is no pornography in our marriage. Our focus is Jesus Christ. As the Heavenly blessing comes with that, we both feel content with each other and our needs are met. God brought me a man with a very similar story to mine, who also was a single father living a Christian life, also desiring Christian marriage.
        Is it perfect? No, of course not. Is it more satisfactory than singleness. Do I love the companion and intimacy? Heavens, yes!
        I hope this wasn’t too long. I want to encourage anyone still desiring Christian marriage to do the battle, and keep communion with Jesus. He knows your needs, and cares to meet them. Focus on Him, and be honest with Him.
        I also wanted to elaborate on the statement that just won’t fly about marital loneliness vs. Singleness. If you have a strong desire for marriage, chances are, God, who created it, put it there.
        Being single when you dont want to be hurts in the deepest part of you. I remember.
        God can and will make beautiful things out of ashes and whatever His Will for each season is purpose filled. The seasons of deep pain ,our Winters, are often the greatest times of spiritual growth. He prunes and shapes us in the dark times.
        God is a redeemer, who can take a dead heart and make it alive in Him. Whether or not God provides a spouse is not the point of Christian life. We are to follow where He leads.
        He is our Hope, our very Breath. I pray that as singles read this they do not despair, but continue to fellowship with the Great Counselor every moment. Just because you are single for a season, doesn’t mean its forever. My season was much longer than most, but here, at the present time, I can testify, His timing is indeed always, always, always , Perfect.
        Be blessed in whatsoever state you find yourself. Trust whatever He is doing right now. You will look back and agree He is right.

    2. If you feel the need for marriage, if you feel being single is unfulfilling, pray to God for a husband. Ask and you shall receive.
      I am a 25 year old single Christian. I have hope in God.

      Marriage is beautiful. Dont let anybody give marriage a bad reputation. It seems like a devils plan to give marriage a negative image and let the youth burn in fornication and loneliness and not be “fruitful and multiply”

  6. Right on, Matt! I’ve been single most of my 50 years. It’s been difficult but that’s because of my own doing. Once I submitted to the will of God and focused my attention on Jesus Christ I gained an insight to the call of single life I never had before. It’s a beautiful way to live. Satan still tempts me with despair but I take it to the foot of the cross of My True Love and ‘soulmate’; and he tenderly heals and comforts my heart better than any human companionship ever could because he does it perfectly. I would encourage women who are afraid of being alone to go to Christ every time they feel lonely. Let Him love you. You’ll never regret it.

  7. Thanks for saying this, Matt. I have written similar articles in the past — it doesn’t make you popular, but it needs to be said. The danger is that “God will provide me a spouse” leads to “God let me down.” It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of who God is. My only quibble is that you should have said “If you were born 50 years earlier” instead of “50 years ago.” Fifty years isn’t far enough back to escape the Massive Masculinity Crisis.

    1. Good point. I’ll change that bit. Thanks for your feedback, Mary Beth, and all the good work you’ve done and do for the Church.

    2. I know I posted a comment here. I guess it was rejected. Not to worry, I will email it to Ms. Bonacci privately too.

      But I have read all of her online writings about the single life. Her articles are all unfailingly civil and fair to all. So just exactly what is this “Massive Masculinity Crisis” stuff? Mary Beth, are you just a man-basher at heart? Because that just doesn’t sound like something you’d say, but perhaps I’ve misunderstood what you’re all about.

  8. The female equivalent of porn is hypergamy, and most women are afflicted with it. Hypergamy is a tremendous contributor to the problem women face, and most Catholic websites overlook it as a factor.

    Simply put, women want to “marry up” – marry someone who they perceive as powerful. Given social dynamics, their ability to do so is increasingly curtailed. If they aren’t willing to “settle”, they will, indeed, spend their lives alone.

    1. That’s how women are wired. Women give birth, nurture, and breastfeed the child. That’s how it works. A woman wants a guy that earns enough to give her the opportunity to stay home to feed the baby. Women aren’t going to be attracted to you if you can’t provide a roof over your head. Get a job, work hard, and get a couple of promotions. I wish there was an easier way, but suck it up and get used to it. We need people to get married. You sound like a decent guy. Marry and have babies.

  9. Hi Matt,
    I have just celebrated my 20th Anniversary. The longer I am married the more I realize that “a man” is never able to be the one to meet all your needs. We must each turn to God for this. God is the only one who is capable of meeting our needs and fulfilling us. Even now, after all these years, if I look to my husband to fulfill me I will be disappointed. He is after all only a man (human). We are not bent towards each other, rather, we are together, sharing a journey to our ultimate end which is God. My point is, that the goal of marriage is to make us holy, therefore it involves dying to self. Our goal in single life as well is to be holy, therefore it is a difficult, death to self trust in God journey as well. Either way we must abandon ourselves to God’s will and trust him. He alone knows what we need and is able to give it to us.

  10. Wow Matt, just when I think you can’t get any more depressing or negative, you just find a way to rise to the challenge. I give you credit, you just find a way to ruin everyone’s day don’t you?

    This post, is the exact equivalent of some sweet smiling kid in a park, licking an ice cream cone and holding a balloon, and walking up to him, popping his balloon and knocking the ice cream out of his hands. And if he cries, telling him, “man up, the world is evil and you suck!”

    Seriously Matt, are you okay? Because this article, might be the most negative and harsh assessment of our world that I think I’ve ever read.

    And here’s a couple of Biblical Facts for you, since you did ask for them:

    1.) Never once does Jesus ever utter the phrase, “We live in an evil world.” Or “We’re in the midst of a Spiritual Crisis.” He mostly tended to stick to positive reinforcement, talked a LOT about hope, faith and the transforming power of Love.

    2.) St. Paul DOES say in scripture, “It is better to be married than to be single and ablaze with passion.” 1st Corinthians 7:9 so those who desire marriage the most, will find someone who desires it the same way.

    3.) I’m just gonna go with this, again Jesus’ words, not mine, “Seek first, the kingdom of God and ALL THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART WILL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU.” Matthew 7:33 (I guess this Matthew wouldn’t agree with you, bro.)

    To the Single Ladies reading my post, I’ll tell you the real reason you can’t find a boyfriend. No doubt that Matt has a point, that porn is emasculating man in an alarming rate and that even if a man turns away from porn, he is a poem addict for life. He will always have that struggle. I’ll never deny that, since I am one of those men. I’ve been clean for 4 years, however I don’t boast a single hour of my life, because I could go back in a blink of an eye. But by immersing myself in the sacraments, in Scripture, in prayer and then accountability with my brothers in Christ, I have the HOPE in Christ that I have received a new heart and that my Earthly Princess will find me and become my Queen, who I wait for (sometimes even patiently), to serve.

    But there’s a hidden reason that Matt does not give you as to why you can’t find your soulmate. And the reason simply is Catholic culture. The Catholic dating culture is probably the biggest lie you have ever been sold in your entire life. It is the lie that if you’re Catholic and faithful, the CATHOLIC dating scene is 100% more pure, more loving, more charitable, more christ-centered then secular culture ever could hope to be. However, I regret to inform you that this is just not the case. Catholic dating culture is the exact same culture as secular dating culture. The only difference is, they tried to inject God into the same broken philosophies and broken models for finding a spouse.

    I have no idea when it suddenly became big business to encourage Catholics to date, but that’s exactly what is become. Catholic, Ave Maria singles, the Catholic Match Institute, all institutions who profit off of the broken heartedness and desperation of the very people they claim to want to help.

    And unfortunately, it’s the worst news I can give you, Catholic men and women are just as superficial and shallow as secular men and women. They only want to date the most beautiful, or most handsome person that can find, all that matters to them is good looks, a good job and if they pray too, that’s just a plus. But in reality, spirituality means nothing to these people. They want financial security, they want beach bodies and they want exactly what the Kardashians want. However, I am NOT one of those men. I don’t judge ANYONE on their outer appearance, but only see them for their inner beauty. I dint want your money, I want your time, affection and listening ear, as of course you have mine. I want Love, centered around Christ, period. And there ARE men just like me!! We may not be supermodels or speakers or bloggers for, but we love God, we seek to live for him and are prepared to lay down our lives for Him and you, till death do us part.

    1. Hey John,

      Read the comments and you’ll see how many days have not been ruined, but enlightened, bit harsh of you , don’t you think?

      Matt never said in his article that the world is evil or anything that the church said about that matter, so don’t know where you got that from?
      There is a lot of evil in the world (sin) but God made all of us good and I think Matt is promoting that while not turning his cheek on real issues such as these that a lot of women struggle with.

      You also make a self-refuting claim in which you yourself are literally an example of your entire last paragraph being false.
      You seem to be just as negative as you claim Matt to be?

      Men are awesome, and so are women, As a single women what I take from this blog is not to be waiting for your future spouse, but to turn my eyes completely to God and let him lead me wherever he wants, to offer my desires for a man which i recognise are good, TO Jesus and to let him be the one to hold my desires.
      I don’t feel crestfallen that I will never find a man for me, in fact I hear the Lord speaking to me much as he does in St Anthony Of Padua’s ‘Be Satisfied In Me’ prayer:

      Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
      To have a deep soul relationship with another,
      To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.
      But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
      Fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone,
      With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me.
      With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone.
      Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found,
      Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
      That I have planned for you.
      You will never be united to another
      Until you are united with Me.
      Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
      Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
      I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow Me to give you
      The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
      I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you.
      You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things.
      Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
      Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
      Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry
      Don’t look around at things others have gotten
      Or that I have given them
      Don’t look around at the things you think you want,
      Just keep looking off and away up to Me,
      Or you’ll miss what I want to show you.
      And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love
      Far more wonderful than you could dream of.
      You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
      I am working even at this moment
      To have both of you ready at the same time.
      Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me
      And the life I prepared for you,
      You won’t be able to experience the love that exemplified your relationship with Me.
      And this is perfect love.
      And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love,
      I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me.
      And to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection and love that I offer you with Myself.
      Know that I love you utterly. I AM God.
      Believe it and be satisfied

      1. Yes, not much to respond to I’m afraid. A lot of emotion, exaggeration, a rant about Catholic dating sites. The three verses you cited did not respond to my claim that there is no Biblical warrant for believing “there is someone out there for everyone.”

        Despite your clear annoyance, thanks for taking the time to post!

      2. Thanks for posting. Matt, thanks for the article that impressed this commenter to share this prayer.
        Dear Commenter, you just blew my mind. The prayer you shared I have possessed a copy of it and display it in my home. I was given that copy as a young woman, maybe 20 yrs old, and ardently Protestant. It had no attribution, if that is the right word, and simply noted as Anonymous.
        I became Catholic 15-16 years ago and can not believe God’s Goodness and Guiding Hand from the very beginning of my life to now. Thank you so much for helping me see His Work in my life.

    2. I blind dated a lot of women hoping to find a mate. Turned out I married a Catholic woman I had known for 11 years. I didn’t meet her via dating, but without the proactive posture that dating gave me, I probably would never have asked her out.

  11. There is no vocation to the single life, unless it’s the life of a consecrated religious. And because of that, Catholics who want to marry but haven’t found someone are dropped through the cracks of the Church. We’re not all young adults, and a lot of us wind up marrying outside the Faith, if we marry at all.

    The Church needs to do more on an institutional level — beyond parishes, at least across dioceses to get sufficient numbers — to help marriage-minded Catholics meet each other, not just step in as soon as they’re engaged. You can’t build Catholic families unless you start with a Catholic marriage.

    As for those who remain single, some acknowledgement of our existence outside of pity and assurances that “God will make it all better” would be helpful. We’re busy people, too, as we support ourselves alone. We’re not just the automatic parish volunteers or the person you call when the married parents aren’t available.

    Sadly, megachurches do a lot better job of ministering to singles of all ages than does the Church. But we often feel invisible in our parishes. I know I do.

  12. This is a very hard truth but I think emphasis should not be placed so much on “single” or “married” but on “committed” or “not-committed”. One HUGE problem of the eternally hopeful crowd is that whether they turn 40 or 50 still have not found “the one” , they will continue to search or wait aimlessly and indefinitely; wondering from retreat to retreat, degree to degree, mission trip to mission trip, party to party hoping and then dispairing.
    And all of this hinders them from making any kind of commitment because “who knows” what’s in store tomorrow.

    We need to give up our lives for others, which means total commitment, that’s the essence of any vocation. As such we need to make a decision to stop waiting and to commit to cause or people or place. If we do that, we will not die alone. If we do that we will have a fulfilling life, not one lived on stand-by, if we do that, we will have answered the call to love as Christ loves. And you should probably make that decision sooner rather than later.

    I was 20 when I decided that if I am not married by the time I turn 30, then I will gladly commit my life to Christ in consecrated life and never look back. Getting on with your life means making that commitment ” for better or worse” and spending the rest of your life perfecting your love for those you have chosen to serve.

  13. Yes yes yes! Also, God creates many of us for consecrated life, and I am pretty certain He would not create a soulmate for those people. We all have a soulmate in Christ, so take courage! Thanks, Matt!

  14. It is very unfortunate that this is the reality that single Catholic women are facing. You are right on about that. The self-centered society of fleeting pleasures has taken it’s toll and the fact of the matter is there just aren’t enough committed, faithful, Catholic guys out there. As much as I am aware if this, I was also a little saddened by reading this because I am holding on to hope that God truly does know the desires of my heart, to be a wife and mother and will fulfill those in His most perfect timing. In the meantime, I focus on living a joyful, adventure-filled life sharing my love and talents with those that God has placed into my life, including many precious little children. We have to focus on what we DO have and not on what we DON’T, but we should wait with expectant hope and faith – rather than be discouraged, which is honestly a little how I feel after reading this. :/

  15. This is a difficult read for single women, but I also appreciate the honesty. I pose this question: how will this cultural shift affect vocations to marriage versus vocations to single life? For instance, I feel very strongly called to married life (after some discernment about other possible vocations), and I know that our vocation comes from God. But if less and less men answer the call to the vocation of marriage, what will happen to the women God is calling to marriage?

  16. I think another interesting point is that in light of “the fact that many men have been emasculated and juvenilized by porn”, the very nature and difficulty of “the cross that marriage can be” has changed. In my (admittedly limited) experience, a shockingly high percentage of ‘good Catholic men’ who value their faith have long histories with pornography use or addiction. It’s almost impossible to find a man who has somehow escaped this epidemic.
    So you enter into marriage (or in my case, dating) already having to face the damage done by infidelity. Almost every woman (and many men) will begin marriage knowing that theirs is not the only body seen or known by their spouse. With God’s grace, our men can heal. Their minds can be cleansed and their hearts made pure again. Praise Jesus for so many examples of that! But even those who do overcome will not magically become ‘perfect marriage material’ that any single catholic lady is looking for. These are real struggles, and have caused much suffering in my own life even in the absence of a relapse into sin.
    I know sexual sin has always been, and in some ways this is probably nothing new. However, it’s hard for me to imagine that the proportions have been this staggering until recent years.

  17. Thank you Matt for this article! As a single woman in her twenties who has never dated, I admit the reality of what you are saying is scary, and I don’t like it. But at the same time, it’s true, and it’s refreshing to hear someone say it. Everyone -my family, friends, etc. always would try to reassure me (since I had never been asked out) that one day it would happen, and they would say it as though it was just a fact that it would happen and that I was ridiculous to think otherwise. But they don’t know, I might be called to a celibate life, a religious vocation! Or the single life. I don’t necessarily prefer that life, but does that change the truth? I have firsthand experienced the shortage of good Catholic men -I am friends with SO many women, solid, Catholic, beautiful women in their 20-30’s, who are all single and not a man on the horizon. When other people look at them, they say, what, you’re single?! Because they know these women have so much to offer. Of course some of those women like we mentioned could also be called to religious life, but I agree that due to pornography and the emasculation of men, combined with perhaps if I may suggest the loss of fatherhood, the feminization of the liturgy, whatever it is, we are losing and have lost many men and the Church needs to find ways to attract them and bring them back!! (That being said, in the particular parish where I live we are blessed to have more good Catholic men practicing their faith than is the norm (certainly more than I have experienced in other parishes -some parishes I have experienced a 10 or 15 to 1 ratio of women to men at young adults events). The second part of the issue is that when you do find good solid Catholic men, they all go to the seminary! I mean, we need priests, certainly, but we also need holy marriages!)

  18. I am a married woman (very happily) of a previous generation. I have a number of young female friends currently wanting to be married. I am seriously concerned for them. (I am Protestant, by the way.) The pornography problem is a huge worry, and even worse is the increasing attitude that it is “only to be expected” or that “everybody does it” or even that somehow men are not to blame if they use porn, because some woman or other was responsible to give them more sex in order to prevent it.

    What we increasingly have, including in Christian circles, is the death of marriage-mindedness. It may well be that the young women I know are atypical in being marriage-minded, so my perspective may be skewed. But from any sort of traditional gender role perspective, it is the responsibility of the man to pursue, and the Christian young men of the marriage-age generation right now are, by and large, not pursuing. The excuses they come up with _not_ to ask a girl on a date are bizarre–sometimes pathetic, sometimes puzzling. They all seem desperately afraid that it won’t work out, or that they will feel rejected, or that a girl will think they are “creepy stalkers” for trying to get to know them better. Things are so bad that it is almost made a virtue to date someone you do not know previously (via an on-line dating site) and “weird” or “stalker-like” to show interest in a woman you meet in a natural fashion. “Oh, I couldn’t date her. I work with her. People might think that’s unprofessional.” “Oh, I couldn’t ask her out. Wouldn’t that be weird? She’s younger than I am.” “I think I will wait about a year to ask her out and just ‘hang out’ in the mean time to try to figure out if we are compatible.” “I couldn’t date her. She goes to the Christian student club at which I am an officer. Wouldn’t that be considered weird?” And on and on and on. In the end, it seems that some men feel more safe making up a dating relationship and giving out all their personal information to a total stranger than getting to know _better_ a girl they already know _somewhat_. Such a phenomenon almost cries out for some kind of pscyhoanalysis related to personal insecurity.

    And all the while, it seems that some man needs to take these guys aside and point out to them that presumably they _do_ have some…drives, God-given, that *should* motivate them to seek marriage, to try to get their lives together, get jobs, ask girls out, show an interest in getting married and having a family. All that stuff that was taken for granted even thirty years ago as a goal in life. Someone needs to preach this to the Christian men. And to tell them in the meantime that porn use is *absolutely out*. Maybe (to be blunt) if they don’t feel they are morally permitted to obtain a cheap substitute, they will instead seek to find a godly wife and make a home and a life with her.

    1. I found myself nodding at every dumb “reason” as to why some men wouldn’t pursue dating. Unlike the other negative posts I read this one and although a bit unease to swallow I know that if I am not content with God alone right now I won’t be when I am with him in heaven.

      Thank you for sharing. We sure need brave men in our Christian circles.

  19. This article was refreshing to me. Yes, I have heard-far too often, “there’s someone out there for everyone”. What if there isn’t? Is my life over? Of Course not! Maybe Im happy being single. I have a lot of freedom to volunteer and help others because Im not tied down to a family. I see and hear about the stress suffered by married people and I find myself feeling grateful that Im single. Admittedly, I do occasionally think about getting married some times; how nice it would be to have a certain someone to spend you time with. Someone to witness your daily life, not just the special moments or sad ones we share on social media. I think that social media can be part of the problem, come to think of it. We only put on there what we want people to see and know. We can portray whom ever we like and who’s really going to know? Im glad to be single for the most part; I get lonely but I really think that everyone does at some point.

  20. Saint Elisabeth Arrighi Leseur. Saint Monica. Women who were married to men who were not even Christian. They prayed for their spouses unceasingly. Did this somehow endanger their souls or limit their spiritual lives? No, in fact, I think it probably gave them a lot of spiritual persistence and strength. And in Saint Elisabeth’s case, it brought her husband to God so much he became a priest.

    I think this article is limiting. All things are possible with God, so why should we believe and hope for anything but the best?

    Or you could always find a nice Christian man and start a Green Scapular devotion (known for conversion).

  21. Thank you for the reminder Matt. However, I couldnt help but feel discouraged after reading it. I understand that we are supposed to be truly satisfied with Christ. (something that we should always be striving for and it can be hard sometimes!) I also know that the bible doesnt say anything about how we SHOULD find a spouse if we are not called to the religious life.
    I guess I just feel that this topic or advice can’t really be generalized like taht to the entire population. Obviously, this post seems to be directed more towards women. I guess, sadly, this is becuase its very hard out there for men today. The devil knows that men are supposed to be the protectors and spritual leaders of the family. If this is gone, then, well… the family sufferes greatly or even ceases to exist. We know how the devil has been doing this: pornography, objectitfying women, and also men are left with great insecurites.
    I am 27 years old. I attended Fransican University. When I was studying nursing there, deep down in my heart, I really just wanted to be a stay at home mom. As a little girl, I have always dreamed of being a mother. I have always felt a strong desire in my heart that God was calling me to do great things. One of these great things, was to be a mother and have a family. It would bring me to tears sometimes just thinking about it. I long to rock my babies to sleep, have my husband stand along side of me, knowing that we are a team fighting the battle together to get to heaven. I long for our mission, not only to get my husband to heaven (and children) but to work toghether to lead others as well. I know marriage can be extremely difficult. But I want that. I desire that, because in the end you not only see the joys of marriage as beautiful but also the sufferings as well. The sufferings end up being your path to that sanctifying grace.
    I know Jackie Angel and you and everybody who is married can write those words above without any pain in your heart. But for the single woman, who longs to read her little kids books and see them in their little pajamas wide eyed on christmas morning, is sometimes too painful to even think that we may, in fact, die alone.
    Yes, God is enough. But it doesnt keep my heart from desiring that special union with somebody here on earth. And marriage, just like religious life, is a beautiful gift from God.
    Ladies, don’t ever lower your standards out of fear or thinking you dont deserve anything better. We need to hold our men up to high standards and trust that God will honor OUR trust in Him. Keep seeking God. He knows every desire in your heart. He knows exactly what is best for you, even if you have to be patient with time itself. But, learn to live in the moment and keep growing closer to God. PRAY for our men today and for marriages around the world.
    Never give up
    Thanks Matt for your post. I think for some women, it still may be hard to read.

  22. Thanks for the article Matt,

    As hard as it was to read, it definitely speaks the truth. I’m still in my early twenties but so many of my friends are getting married and having children that it makes being single really hard sometimes. More than anything in the world I want to be a mother, but I still don’t know if that’s what God wants for me. I just don’t know if marriage is in the cards for me, and maybe you’re right, maybe it’s not. I am happy about where my life is as a single woman and I have a lot to be thankful for. This article emphasised the fact though, that I just need to place my trust in God as difficult as that is, and trust that I will find joy in whatever his vocation for me is.

  23. In Genesis God saw that everything he created was Good. Yet one thing was not Good: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; 22 and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, * because she was taken out of Man.” * 24* Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

    1. I’m not sure if this meant to be a proof-text for the belief that “there is someone out there for everyone”. If it is, I think it fails spectacularly. If it isn’t, would you elaborate on why you shared it? Thanks for commenting.

  24. My son and I talk about this all the time. He doesn’t believe that God has prepared someone for each of us. He believes that since love is a decision, you just have to make up your mind who you’re going to love and once you’re married sacramentally, stay true to your commitment. But I just recently read about St. Therese of Lisieux’s parents. The two of them were crossing a bridge, when her mother heard an interior voice tell her, “This is he whom I have prepared for you.” They married soon after. This tells me God does indeed have someone for each of us. Perhaps given our current culture, the person He intends for us has “lost” their vocation due to “never being ready.”

  25. I think this article is, well, mostly absurd! God is good, God wants us to be happy, don’t ever forget that. Don’t forget ladies, the Bible is filled with stories which have been handed down and translated by men for years. Whether we think the religious life is for us, by the way the nuns who practically raised me for 12 years taught us how to discern this calling, or if the Church would have been there for me when I needed support, I wouldn’t have had to divorce, after um what – 4 hours of marriage prep for a lifetime of marriage- this article is easy for you to say, you are a man. How dare you relegate single Catholic women to a life of “Well if it happens, great – if it doesn’t you should accept loneliness and hurl oneself into volunteering at the church, or religious life!” I’m sure you wrote this article addressed to younger women, in that case I agree with this article to a point. Younger women should never lower their standards just to get married. But this is where you need to stop. Why are you crushing Hope with your assessment of why there are single women? I am astonished at the raging rapid river of ‘life advice’ for women out of the Catholic church. Sorry, but like I stated at the beginning, God wants us all to be happy! We are all capable of finding our own happiness, and asking for help and direction from the Holy Spirit. We can always hope, in fact we are to never lose hope – for that perfect spouse. The perfect spouse may not be Catholic, the Bible is full of Jewish unions; you are implying a Catholic woman needs to give up hope if she cannot find a Catholic man??? Sure Biblically there may be no specific reference to “God will promise everyone a spouse” but if God wanted us to ‘die alone’ as you put it, then why did Noah have to herd 2 of each? This article is well from a patriarchal institution that loves to impose thoughts and restrictions on women. I would love you to find a priest that would agree with you. I would never teach my daughters to never hope for happiness in marriage or the religious life, it is up to them to pray for discernment to the Holy Spirit, not for you to insinuate a proclamation of “you may never find the perfect spouse and yes, die alone.” Thank you.

  26. Awesome article! I’m 28 and single and the greatest joy that I’ve experienced has been coming to the realization that letting go of that part of my heart that was being kept for my future husband alone and actually giving my entire heart to God was in no way giving up on my happy ending but was in fact pulling myself out of an unhappy mire and bringing me back onto the path to glory that is following the Lord. Yes, it’s a cross and I’m not about to sport a prosperity gospel but it’s also a great joy! God does not want us to be miserable and He has an incredible plan for your life! If you’re not there yet, don’t worry! Be honest with yourself and God. I’ll never forget when I had to come to terms with the fact that I was “one of those girls” who was miserably hung up on my happiness being directly proportional to my level of singleness. I was embarrassed and angry but I had to start there. Speak truth into your life. Surround yourself with occasions of grace. Pray and go to the sacrament of confession. God is faithful and He is always good.

  27. While what you write is logical, the words are harsh, especially to single people longing for a spouse. (I notice that you are married and have four children!) Yes, it is obvious that some will not be able to marry, just as we know that at any moment disaster or tragedy may befall us. We are called to the theological hope of heaven and our complete fulfillment in eternal life. Yet, theological hope often builds on natural hope. Why not keep on hoping for a spouse while working in the vineyard of Our Lord and acknowledging that he is our ultimate spouse? The two are not mutually exclusive.

  28. I am a single Catholic woman who appreciates your refreshing frankness and honesty. Indeed, marriage is a cross, and singleness is a cross. There isn’t “better” or “worse”, just different. We may not know now which cross we will have to bear in life, but if it were revealed to us in a sudden and miraculous way, how many of us would actually accept it? So we trust God and let His love work on us, unable to see how we will ultimately be transformed or who we will become. Who knows what the Lord has in store for my life, but I have peace knowing that He walks beside me even though the loneliness and difficulty.

    “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” – St. Augustine

  29. Thank you so much for this article. And thank you for including Gianna Emanuela Molla. What a blessing to have met her in person.

    God bless you.

  30. Thank you for this article, Matt. What stood out to me most was when you said that men have been emasculated and juvenilized by born, which has caused an imbalance…Catholic women who are ready to get married, and Catholic men who are not ready or willing.

    The one time I came even remotely close to being in a relationship with someone, he was addicted to porn and he admitted that it had affected his ability to commit and think logically. I was then friend-zoned…because porn had such a stronghold on him. I cannot compete with porn.

  31. Hi Matt,
    Fantastic…First I like that the article was short and to the point. I can share it without saying “make sure you take time to read this”. Having been with men my whole life (I am 44 now) and married for 4 years to a man who was addicted to porn, I have now been celibate for 8 years. At first, I did fall into the trap that there has to be a “good catholic” man for me. However, I dated a man for under a year and realized that there are some people that “it would be better if they stayed single”. When I say that I am referring to myself not him. This past year and a half have been the most freeing that I have experienced. Not because I am in between boyfriends but because I have chosen to “date” Jesus. I am completely open to what God has in store for me but I am not going to chase it down anymore. God’s will be done. Thank you for your awesome work to “Kick Porn in the Face”.

  32. One of the recurring hazards of a young Catholic man is that you may find a good, faith-filled woman, become friends, consider asking her out, etc. only to discover that she has been discerning the call to religious life, turns you down and then enters a convent. I’ve just been struck by this hazard for the 3rd time in a period of 6 years!

    On the issue of porn, many young men were never told that there is anything wrong with it. It is fairly typical that at about the time a young man receives sexual education at school, they develop a natural and perfectly healthy curiosity about it. The trouble is that they are embarrassed to talk about it to anyone and most will eventually start viewing pornography, with the intention of wanting to know more about sexuality, but being given a distorted understanding of it. All because a young man was not able to find someone that they could learn from.

    In my case, I am approaching 30 and have not dated now for about 7 years. I increasingly find that the issue is not a desire for sex, but a desire to have a companion. It is actually now a very spiritual thing that I desire someone to be my life companion, someone who will walk the journey of life towards heaven with me.

    “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
    – Ecclesiastes 9: 9-12 (RSVCE)

  33. I wanted to thank you so much, Matt for writing this piece. I have currently started discerning my vocation as a religious sister and it came as a VERY harsh reality that I may not be a mother or wife to a single husband/family. I felt that I had been taught how to be the perfect Catholic wife and mother my whole life. I bought into the “good things come to those who wait” mentality. Many chastity speakers practically PROMISE young ladies that if they stay faithful to Christ or grow closer to Him, then He will finally introduce her to her future husband. Her “reward” for following His teachings is a perfectly imperfect family. IF they do talk about religious life, they throw it in as a sloppy second afterthought. I honestly think that is how the Church is treating religious life nowadays as a whole, but that is another subject entirely and understand why the Church has its reasons.

    It still hurts to think about how my role in life has completely changed from what I thought it would be, but we need more posts like this one. Many women don’t even understand what religious life is like, let alone why they should discern it. Living in false hope is so, so hard on the soul that we–as members of the Catholic Church–need to teach young ladies and gentlemen that God has great plans for us that DON’T always involve marriage. He has called us to love one another and love comes in many different forms. Our Church needs more articles like this because I don’t want more women to feel as let down and hurt as I did.

    1. On the other hand Margo, I have always thought that I would marry but I’m 59 and never close.

      I think that if God had wanted me to be a Priest he would have called me …

      While I appreciate your viewpoint, apparently you’ve made a decision..

      You have committed to Christ so you aren’t really single anymore.

  34. Mr. Fradd, we know that you earn your living with your monotonous message that all of society’s ills should be blamed on porn.

    But I also know that when the only tool you own is a hammer, that all problems look like a nail. This article being a fine example of that. Let’s blame men and their porn, for all those poor eligible virtuous Catholic women being unable to find mates.

    It’s easy to trash men. The Church has begun doing it too: the bishop of Phoenix, Arizona (my bishop) just published an “exhortation” to men which beats them up thoroughly, blaming them for the huge declines in Mass attendance and in Catholic weddings over the last generation.

    We’re supposed to nod in sad agreement when a devout Catholic woman (and her friends… and her mother and grandmother and aunts…) wails “boo hoo, I can’t find a Catholic man.”

    But it’s always been taboo for men to speak up. Is it unmanly? Are we supposed to bite our tongues? I say enough is enough. It’s time to respond to this nonsense.

    I moved to my diocese right after college, almost thirty years ago now. In all that time, has ANY parish had an activity to help single men and women merely identify each other? Has anyone introduced me to a single Catholic woman? Pointed one out? Asked if I was single – since I come to mass alone, week after week and year after year?

    No, no, no and no. And that’s the problem. It’s not the lazy cop-outs like “the sexual revolution”, “those evil men” or even porn. It’s the breakdown of the community. The failure of parishes to build community. You can’t isolate the “youth group” from the “seniors” from the “mothers” from the “Knights” and abandon the single adults to flounder on their own. This is the result. Catholic marriages have dropped to near zero. Very few singles are left. They leave and they don’t come back.

    Those of us who stood by the Church and played by its rules, don’t even get a consolation prize. We get a Big Nothing.

    That’s what’s really going on in the Church today.

    1. As,a Catholic Woman who married outside of the faith to a wonderful protestant man, I agree with you. I attended a young adult catholic group back in the 1990s, there were 15 women and 2 men. Of the 3 of us who got married out of that group, 2 of us married non catholics…sad but these are the facts. In the protestant and non denominational churches, there are many activities and encouragements for young singles, divorced singles, older singles to interact and to be married if this is Gods will. There are very few activities for the above groups and for families with young kids in the Catholic Church. We still attend catholic church along with a non denominational evangelical one…the difference in the youth and young adult ministries in both these churches is huge and obvious…thank for your post…even though I do agree with what Mr. Fradd said, men have fallen by the wayside(yes, the culture does not help), the wages of sin(porn) is death(of marriages and families)…men as leaders must take responsibility and accountability. thanks again…

  35. It is nice to hear what many people have probably noticed, however, for future presenting, if I was writing it, I would emphasis that this situation (not being able to marry because of lack of numbers, which is probably something that God works around in many situations anyway, it’s just hard to see for the individual) is not the ideal. It is way better to be alone than in a relationship that God did not call you to, but, being alone is not the way people were created. Aka – I think this article is fine as long as I’m not supposed to feel enthusiastic over the content. Also, we have no idea where God will take the structure of the family in our lifetime. There is a problem, but I wouldn’t get up hope.

  36. Larry is right on…

    I’m Roman Catholic, Single, never married..not even close to being married and 59…

    Fact is that times have changed…It’s no longer possible for The Church to just be very no, extremely lazy in thinking that folks will just find each other and get married and have families!

    And while I don’t ignore or think too badly of dating sites, I really think it’s time to re-think this marriage thing!

    You see, our Church doesn’t provide a sense of community anymore and that’s a crime..
    Especially if you don NOT already have a ready made family with children who need to go to school, public or not, needing religious education etc.

    A Single person just doesn’t have all those needs so he or she is lost.
    And if you are new in town because you moved…you are lost.

    It’s time to create a new ministry in our Church…

    Not just in one parish but every parish…

    IF our church is serious about getting Catholics to create new familes…

    We need to find new ways of making it far easier for us to meet!

    This needs to be down yesterday!
    And as far as Porn is concerned…


    I’m not talking here about 10 year olds either….
    (that’s an entirely different discussion)

    Let’s face it ladies, God made men more visual creatures probably so we could pair up so ladies…by all means do take care of yourselves!

  37. Thanks Matt for a solid blog! I’m actually very grateful that you didn’t mince words and spoke truth into a subject that can become so cliche for women. We often tell ourselves these words to try to keep ourselves from a hole of despair where we think we will never find anyone (at least this is my case). It’s particularly discouraging when I see men who are good but so noncommittal. I will be bookmarking this and reading it over and over again when I get discouraged about my vocation!

  38. Hi Matt,
    Loved your article and especially highlighting that marriage isn’t “the end all be all”. I know that when I marry I won’t be completely fulfilled by my spouse, only God can fill me.

    I also really appreciate the acknowledgement of the shortage of men or the men who struggle with pornography and therefore cannot connect or commit. In my little bit of experience in the dating realm, there’s a lot of good Catholic men but many are just simply afraid of dating. Whether its fear of commitment or fear of rejection or worrying that they might lead a girl on too much, there’s just not enough guys asking girls out. I think this may be due to the lack of strong father figures. If your dad isn’t affirming, or teaching a boy to be confident then he’s going to shy away. In other words, I think there is a fear of dating In the Catholic world. Maybe I’m wrong but I’m 30 and there aren’t people asking me out all that often, whether online or out in social circles (and I socialize a lot).

    Thanks for reaching out to those of us who are waiting and hoping to have a family someday!!

  39. I often hear those seemingly comforting sentiments as a single 30-year-old woman. I know that there is no guarantee that I might meet someone so it doesn’t make me feel better. It actually makes me feel worse because it implies that I cannot live a full life/serve God as a single person. This is a lie with which I already struggle and I don’t need anyone to reinforce it, so thanks for being frank. That being said, I want something deeper. Assuming that I won’t be desperate, that I won’t settle, that I won’t force a vocation to which I’m not called, how do I embrace single life? How do I best live this vocation? I don’t need an answer right now but I think it bares exploring. Even if I do eventually find a worthy man to whom I am called, at this moment I am supposed to be single and need to live it out fully, not just bide my time. There is a vast shortage of guidance on this, especially considering that everyone is single at some point, even if it’s not a permanent stage of life for them. Any guidance would be most appreciated!

  40. God is so good, and so is this article. I was dating a guy (for a short period of time) and totally wanted him to be the guy that I married because he met many of my wishes in a future spouse. We broke up and I realized that my mission requires me being single right now.His selfless love taught me so much, and gave me hope to Catholic men my age. They are out there! I met one and go to school with so many more! I am currently in college and have many apostolates to focus on as well as school. There are so many girls that need my love and companionship that dating was a big distraction that I hadn’t realized during that time. I am able to dive deeper into these relationships and love them and let them love me since breaking up with this amazing guy. I don’t know what my future holds or whether or not I will get married, but I currently have great joy being single and loving people around me. Yes, I miss the companionship OFTEN and the thought that a boy likes me and wants to spend time with me, but I have been working on satisfaction in God alone. I know, big prayer, but that is what we are called to with everything coming in second place. Just my thoughts, but thanks for the article, Matt! Definitely helped me in multiple ways.The line about married people feeling lonely like single people struck my wishful heart of marriage bringing it back to reality. It always blows my mind how porn effects so many aspects of life that I don’t think about.

  41. Nice article, Matt. As a 20-year-old Catholic woman, I found it be refreshing and insightful. I would propose this to you: Do you think we are each called to a specific person to marry (if that be our vocation) or do you believe there are many possible people we could marry and be just as fulfilled with? Put simply, do you believe we have a saintmate preordained for us from the beginning of time or do you believe it is more a co-operation with God’s grace in time in finding our spouse (which could easily be many different options)? God bless you and your great work for Jesus!

  42. I really think there is a bigger issue here than we think, which lies further beneath the surface of this article. I do not completely disagree with the claim being made here, but here is an interesting thought for anyone identifying with this or questioning their hopes for marriage. Our outlook should NEVER be that someone is out there FOR us, think about that wording for a second. What a completely selfish statement to make, the true purpose of a loving relationship is to be there FOR someone else, and I think that anyone who is alone needs to think long and hard about that, because yes, you will be alone for the rest of your life if you do not realize that only YOU have the power to engage in a relationship with someone else not for yourself, but for them. And to the women who require that their potential suitors need to have never viewed porn, you should probably change this view and think about a few things. If the man you are talking to has in fact viewed porn, (99% chance this is the case), what you really need to do is find out if he has taken the necessary steps to stop that behavior and pursue sexual control and purity, rather than condemn him instantly. Forgiveness is one of the main reasons that Christianity even exists in the first place, so requiring your suitor to have never viewed porn is borderline completely un-Christian if you are not willing to forgive them (keeping in mind that they absolutely need to be constantly striving for purity to deserve your forgiveness).

    The main point that I am trying to make is that marriage is not supposed to be about being given a 100% perfect ideal Catholic man or woman out of nowhere, it’s supposed to be that you find someone who is TRYING to uphold the same beliefs that you are, and even if they have sinned in the past, as long as they are trying, it is up to you if you want accept them for who they are and strive to love them as a flawed human being (all of us are) and pursue Christ, keeping in mind that nobody is perfect and the best people out there are the ones who are TRYING and who never give up trying.

    I am sorry to say it, but you will never be truly ready for anything life changing in your life such as marriage, nor is your potential spouse, no matter how prepared and disciplined. What I have come to realize is that I have never actually been TRULY ready for any huge leap in responsibility and beneficial lifestyle change, but I still choose to do these things, because sometimes you have to jump off a cliff not knowing if you have a spiritual/metaphorical parachute in order to improve your life and put yourself in the position that you want to be in. I have never actually felt ready for almost EVERY SINGLE huge accomplishment or success in my life, but I was always willing to take the chance that with hard work and faith in God that success would result from my pursuits. The decision to enter into marriage with someone is not supposed to be like finding the pot of gold at the end of a drunk and happy leprechaun’s rainbow, it’s supposed to be two people deciding to start a long and hard journey pursuing TRUE love in Communion with God, and these two people need to constantly be trying to improve their decisions, improve their faith, improve their physical and mental health, and most importantly, improve the lives of others through the manifestation of their love for each other. So if you’re not ready to love and trust another flawed human being who is willing to do the same for you, you are not ready for marriage and will be alone for the rest of your life. Unless in fact you are completely fine with that, go for it, the only person stopping you is yourself.

    But this is all my own opinion anyway, with little facts to back up my claims, so I respect if you disagree with anything I said, just don’t take it personally.

  43. Hey Matt! Not going to lie, the first time I read this yesterday I was slightly discouraged. It was the last thing I wanted to hear. After reading it a second time today, my attitude towards it changed, I actually found this article to be quite freeing. I was living my life waiting for some guy. I was placing all my worth on being in a relationship and the idea of getting married as opposed to knowing my worth in my identity as a beloved daughter of God. I don’t have to wait to start living, I can start right now. So thanks for the article, it was great to reflect on!

  44. I just want to say, that although many men certainly have been emasculated and stunted by exposure to pornography, there is another reason why some women may end up alone. It seems to me many women have this list of things they want in a guy and if he doesn’t stack up they won’t even bother talking to you.

    I had a Catholic Match account which I recently deleted. I deleted it because I got in contact with a girl who seemed pretty nice, but the reason she rejected me just made me sick of being judged based on a few paragraphs I wrote, most of which I didn’t even remember what I said. She appeared to take her faith seriously, went to an FSSP parish, loved children, and was beautiful to top that off. Well within 12 hours of talking with her on facebook she had a bullet point list of all the reasons why we couldn’t be friends and ultimately that she wasn’t interested. I am to serious, to traditional, to long distance, to this, to that. We’ve never met, never talked on the phone or skype, she just didn’t like the way I answered one of her questions on her survey. And in all honestly all I was looking for was a friend, I only set up a Catholic Match account because a priest told me to try online dating as penance. I find the few women that are around in my city are exactly the same, they won’t make any effort to talk or come out to events where we might see each other.

    Women there are many great men out there who take their faith seriously. You won’t find a guy who you will agree with on everything. Marriage is about humbling your self and working at it every day. It’s not a fairy tale, it’s hard work. I’m not saying you have to drop the bar, I’m saying don’t be afraid to be friends with a Guy. It’s my experience that these kinds of women are the ones who get married quickly, women who aren’t afraid to actually talk to people and try and build up community in and given group you may find yourself in.

  45. A really fascinating post, and something that is incredibly healthy to think about and (hopefully) accept. The thing is, it’s also a really difficult thing to accept that you may never have the picture of love that every song, movie, and person says that you need in order to really start living. I know that this article might rub some people the wrong way, and that’s okay. The truth isn’t always the most palatable thing to hear — but perhaps infusing it with one more dash of optimism could go a long way. Perhaps the title is misleading. Because there really IS someone out there for everyone, and his name is Jesus. And he understands you more than a spouse ever could, and he loves you more than a spouse ever could, and if you let him, he shows you exactly where you fit into this crazy mess of a world. And there is rest in that, at least for me.
    Thank you for writing and doing all that you do. I really hope to see you speak sometime.

  46. As a single, Catholic woman in her 30s, I could not agree more with your thoughts!

    The cliche’s that people say to “make you feel better” about singlehood are VERY annoying.

    We don’t need pity, but we do need encouragement, and to be reminded that we have something valuable to contribute to our Church. At the very least, we should be addressed and remembered, in homilies/ church activities/ etc. We exist!!

    God bless!

  47. Thanks to who helped me with my marriage problem by bring my husband back to me after 3years of separation. I never believe in spell on internet till i meant Dr.Stanley, who i saw his email address online and i contacted him for help and what he told me was that all your problems will be over within 3days. I was so surprise on that word till after he told me what to do and i did it and after 48hours i saw my husband in my office on his knees begging for my forgiveness and i did because i love him so much. That is how i got my husband back.

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