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When to start looking for a spouse?

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by Eli ana, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Eli ana

    Eli ana New Member

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Dear brothers and sisters,

    Thank you for your community and shared brotherhood in Christ! Social media tends to be so sin-saturated; it's refreshing and comforting to find Christian community during COVID online.

    Lately I've been having trouble with temptation to lust. Fortunately, there are no specific behavioral stumbling blocks around me at the moment. However, it brings to mind 1 Corinthians 7:8-9: "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." I'm not entirely sure yet whether God calls me to singleness or to marriage, especially as this isn't a problem I normally have. However, if God does have it in his plan for me to be married, then eventually it would be good for me to meet single men who are marriage-minded and love Him.

    One caution I've had against dating right now is that I'm a student (I'm 21), and don't know where I'll live or how long I'll be in school at the moment. For that matter, I'm not even sure if I'm meant to be married. As an Orthodox catechumen, I'm really curious about monastic life and vocation. This fall is the last year of my bachelor's degree; next summer, I'll hopefully start a 15-month master's degree, and be applying for jobs or PhD programs in two years. One of my dearest friends, who is also my academic advisor, strongly recommends that I look at PhD programs in Germany. It would be a huge joy to research, but I'm in the humanities and full-time academic jobs are close to nonexistent; getting a tenure-track job would involve years of relocating, searching, and sacrificing.

    Given that I don't know what the future holds, should I entirely put off dating until I'm done with my last degree? How about until I have a full-time job? Although God says through Paul that it's better to marry than to burn with passion—and also, the idea of having a lifelong partner sounds wonderful—God also says that it is good to stay unmarried. There is still so much sin in my heart that can be conquered.

    How do you pray when you're looking for direction?
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  2. Olmhinlu

    Olmhinlu Well-Known Member

  3. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    I honestly wish I had dated more in college. I wish I had seen and even created more opportunities for dating in college. It's been double-digit years since, and I'm still single. The only way I'm coming out ahead is if I would have gotten divorced had I gotten married, but I can't really know that.

    I'm not saying you won't have opportunities for dating after college, you likely will, but college is one of the easiest places to meet someone. Lots of single people, everywhere. Be open to meeting a fellow Christian and dating him. What I would suggest is researching what marriage really is, and what it means, in unglamorous detail. This is so you don't rush in, but you can prepare yourself while remaining open. You won't ever be fully prepared, but nobody who gets married is. Find your spot in the middle between the two extremes of strictly waiting for too long, and rushing into marriage.
  4. Ronit

    Ronit Well-Known Member

    United States
    I'm waiting for a spouse too
  5. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

    The nature of academia is that, by the time you have tenure and can relax a little (average age 39), your chance of having children becomes very low.

    So, if you do wish to follow the path of marriage and motherhood, it can't be postponed forever.
  6. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    I agree with Sketcher. If you don't date now, you will not gain the insights and the experience of interpersonal relationships and different personalities, etc. that are so important if and when a potentially serious relationship leading to a marriage comes along.
  7. Eli ana

    Eli ana New Member

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Thank you all so much for your input. I’ve never asked anyone about this, and it’s good to get some outside perspectives to guide me towards reality.

    I feel kind of confused emotionally regarding meeting new people, which is something for me to talk to God about. For one, before I came to know Jesus and became a Christian, I had some awful experiences. (Yes, at a very young age.) The idea of “falling in love” seems scary to me; in reality, it has to be true that marriage has nothing to do with falling in love, and everything to do with the covenant bond between Christ and His Church. It’s about loving, not falling in love.

    Some of my closest friends are not people my own age, but a married couple in their 80s. If it’s possible to fall in love as friends, then I fell in love with them.

    These are my unstructured ramblings. Perhaps I should talk to elders at my parish, or a Christian counselor. Of course, it’s not as if it’s urgent that I meet a man and find a husband; it’s okay that I’m single.
  8. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member Staff Member Trainee Supporter

    As a young person, you will meet and attract the attention of many men, pray for discernment to know the ones who are responsible, usually a responsible and upright person can be known by the words he speaks (out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks), are his words upright and moral? does he only talk of carnal things? chose wisely. There's nothing wrong with singleness but are we truly single? no one who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him/her is truly single, you already have a helper, a comforter, a teacher, a guide that can give you direction, ask Him if this is the right time to seek a spouse
  9. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

    United States
    I think dating should be simply looked at as wanting to get to know a person better. Becoming friends .... if it is the Lords will then it will blossom into a serious committed relationship.