Catholics/God speaking

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Dear father

Over the past few months I have seen things that may be signs. They are as mundane as posts in Facebook to people.

They tell me to pray, be patient, and have faith.

The signs started coming when I was praying to date a certain women, later I started asking the same but asked God that she change her life for the better.

I think the signs say I am meant for this person, but do not wish to misread anything.

I was told to talk to a priest about these things and get their perspective. Any insight would be helpful.

ANSWER: Before I answer the question I need more information:

1)  Did you ask this person out or otherwise tell them about how you feel about them?  If so what was her response?  

2)  Currently--what is your relationship with this person?  Why do you think there are signs? What are these "signs?"  Are you "friends," dating, what?

3)  How did you meet her?  Do you see her every day, some of the time, occasionally, what?

4)  Did she give you any of her personal contact information---her home phone?  Email?  Cell?  What?

In your response please give me as much information as you can.  I do feel uniquely qualified to offer guidance to you in this area.  I don't pretend to be the worlds leading expert, but I do think I can offer some guidance that may assist you.  I need more information first about the nature of the relationship as it exists now and in the past.

Thanks!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes I did, I was told I was just a friend.

We are friends for almost a year. My friendships last four months max, we do not date.

I see her every week, I use to see her every day, but that is very clingy since I see her at her job, I've seen her at her house for birthdays and special occasions, I do take her to eat at times. I do t know if they are signs I just see them very often I don't recall having use to, I am merely told to pray, be patient and have faith.

I have her cell, and internet contact information, I also have been to her house on occasion.

She has other friends she sees more often that she has known longer, I am trying to spend more time with her, but have been very ill.

Answer
[Please note: This answer does not fundamentally change my last answer.  It is in essence the same.  I just found some typo's I wanted to clean up and I also wanted to clean up my writing style.]

People should always pray and wait upon God, etc.  However in this case I can add some concrete and practical advice to your situation.  

Bad news first: You will NEVER EVER be anything more than a friend to this women.  Read that statement again and again until it sinks in. I know it is painful to hear, but it is the truth. It is better to hear the truth, than a lie.  It would only hurt you more in the long run if I gave you false hope.   

It is highly unlikely that there were any signs, and more likely you were reading into things.

The male ego is a powerful thing indeed.  The reason men tend to see "signs" where there are none has to do with the fact that men think in terms of THEIR feelings not the WOMEN'S feelings.  Men's feelings are irrelevant.  It does not matter what YOU feel for her, it only matters what SHE feels for you.  In this case she feels absolutely NOTHING for you.  If the women does not share those feelings---it matters not what you feel for her.  That is the first thing you have to get into your head here: YOUR feelings are irrelevant; YOUR feelings are not going to change HER feelings.

Women tend to "categorize" the people in their life.  The reason it will be so difficult for you to move beyond the "friend" zone is that you have already forged a relationship with this women as a "friend."  Hence she has already categorized you as a "friend." Once a women does this it is next to impossible for her to change or to see the man any differently because the man as "friend" has been reinforced through the relationship.  In essence in being this women's friend you have enabled her to see you as a friend thus reinforcing the "friend" relationship!

Now, you said "Yes I did, I was told I was just a friend."  This makes matters worse--because it sounds like you have already poured your heart out to this women and told her how you felt.  One of the WORST things a man can do if he is interested in a women is to TELL her how he feels about her.  Because you did this you all but killed your chance of this relationship being anything more.  Had you not done this I could give you some strategies to help you try to get out of the friend zone. While it would be very difficult to get out of the "friend" zone-  there would at least be a small chance of getting out of it.  The problem is---the women already knows how you feel because you told her.  You have NO chance now. NONE.

A common strategy men will employ when they are in the friend zone is to start to do things for the women, buy her gifts, etc.  If you are thinking of doing this, or if you have done this--FORGET IT.  This women is NOT going to change her feelings for you, you need to let go and move on.  If you are being "friends" with her thinking she will come to see what a great guy you are--FORGET IT.  It does not work that way.  You are in the "friend zone" and you are NOT GOING TO GET OUT OF IT, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO.  

Now some good news: there are plenty of other women out there.  Trust me on that. It may not really help you now--(as you want THIS women, not another women I can understand that) but remember it. Eventually you will find someone. Let me give you some pointers so that you can avoid getting trapped in this situation again.

The first thing you need to understand about women is that it is a myth that men love the chase more than women.  The fact is women love the chase just as much as a man does if not more so!  The way to get a women to have feelings for you is to try to get HER to do the pursing.  A women needs to pursue you as much as you need to pursue her if she is going to fall in love with you.  What this means is that you need to be a "challenge" for the women.  

Understand what I mean by "challenge."  Being a challenge means not being too available and not giving up too much information about yourself to the women.  In this way the women will have an opportunity to wonder about you--you will retain a sense of mystery to the women.  The women also needs to wonder if you really like her.  By being too quick to give information about yourself--you take away the sense of mystery about you and take away the women's need to think about you.  When you go out on a date with a women SHE needs to do 75% of the talking, you do 25% of the talking--and 100% of the listening. You know the old adage: "Be interested not interesting."  

This is why in laying out your feelings for the women you ruined any chance of having a relationship with her.  That was anti-challenge.  The women has no sense of mystery about you and she has no reason to think about you or wonder about you.  She knows everything important about you and thus has no reason to pursue you any further.

When and if you see a women you feel attracted to--you CANNOT, CANNOT, CANNOT develop a "friendship" with her.  If you see a women you are attracted to, and you think she might be sending subtle signs you MUST, MUST, MUST get her HOME phone number.  (Not a cell phone number, not her work number her HOME number--unless she does not have a land line) If she will not give it to you it means she is not interested.  You use the phone to call her and make a date.

When a women will not give out her home number (or whatever contact information she has) it is imperative that you DO NOT fall for whatever line of bull she gives you. "You give me your phone number and I will call you" "I don't like to give my phone number out to people I have just met" etc.  If you analyze the women's behavior you have your answer as to why.  Just ask yourself the question "If this women was really 'in' to me would she behave towards me in this manner?  Would she refuse to give me her contact information?"  When a women is interested in a man--she WANTS him to contact her--so she is NOT going to make it difficult for the man to contact her now is she?  The women's behavior is always key towards knowing where you stand with her.  If a women behaves in a manner that suggests "coldness" leave her in on ice in Arctic Circle where she belongs and move on!  

The reason the home number is important (or if she does not have a land line her personal cell) has to do with the fact that when you do contact the women you want her undivided attention.  When she is home she will be able to give you her undivided attention.  If she is out and about with friends, etc, she cannot give you her undivided attention.  When you do call the women remember that the phone is for setting up dates.  You call, set up the date and hang up the phone. Conversation is for the date.  Do not get into a long protracted conversation with the women--as it is--you guessed--anti-challenge.

It also will behoove you to wait 7 days before calling the women after you get her contact.  That gives her room to wonder about you and whether you are going to call.  It will drive her crazy--which means her interest in you will be aroused even more.  That is what you WANT.  That is what it means to be a challenge.

The source of my information I am giving to you is a man who goes by the name "The Love Doctor."  His articles can be found on the following websites: "Askmen.com" "SoSuave.com" and "Doclove.com"   From my view this man knows what he is talking about. He is the only love doctor I have ever come across whose insights into male/female relationships make any sense--and is based on not simply ASKING women what they want (as if they knew) but by ANALYZING THEIR BEHAVIOR AND PAST CHOICES.  

He sells a book entitled "The System."  The book costs 100 dollars.  I think he also sells other books.  100 dollars is expensive--but from my view it will be the best investment you ever made.  Don't get me wrong--I can't say I would necessarily agree with everything he might write about.  For example if someone asked me about pre-marital sexual relationship I would certainly not condone such behaviors.  I would also not condone living together before being married--as it can lead to sin--pre-marital relations. Nevertheless this guy knows what he is talking about from my view.    

As he points out-most love doctors simply ASK women what they want and go based off their responses: "I want a nice guy" "Intelligence isn't that important to me" "Looks aren't important to me" and so forth.

Most love doctors do not bother to ask the following follow-up questions:

In your past relationships how many men have you dated would you say were "nice guys?" (ZERO)

In your past relationships how many men have you dated that were unattractive or not sexually appealing to you? (ZERO)

In your past relationships how many stupid men have you dated? (ZERO)

You find that what the women CLAIMS to want--bears little to no resemblance to the CHOICES she has made when it comes to choosing men!  It also must be said that a women's past relationships clue you into the type of man she will likely be attracted to in future relationships.

We all know that "Nice guys finish last and it is always the 'bad boy' that gets the women."

We know that while looks aren't everything---they are at least 51% of the equation if not more. In other words if the women is not sexually attracted to the man--it is impossible to have a relationship with him

We all know that women do not find stupid men attractive.  

Why the inconsistency between what a women claims to want and what she chooses?  Because women have been CONDITIONED (even if the responses are confidential and she cannot be identified) to say what people WANT TO HEAR, OR WHAT SOUNDS NICE. "Looks don't matter" "I want a 'nice guy'" and "Intelligence does not matter" and so forth.  If they answer truthfully on the form--they feel guilty.     

Men and women tend to date within their "league."  This means that couples will often (of course I am generalizing) date within their respective attractiveness levels. This rule is of course not always followed--again--it is just a generalization.  Women who are a 10 in the looks department tend to date men who equal them in attractiveness.  Women who are 5's in the looks department tend to date men who are 5's and so forth.  I want to make clear again--this is not a hard and fast rule.  Sometimes you see a very attractive women with a so so man or visa versa.  [AGAIN: I am GENERALIZING---not claiming to create a scientific law.  We all know the laws of attraction do not follow scientific rules.]  

This should not be surprising.  When it comes to relationships like attracts like and opposites  repel.  Men and women tend to be attracted to those who are more LIKE them than different.

In the case of a man--the more attractive the women the more of a challenge the man has to be--because the women will have more men competing for her attention--and they will tend to also be attractive.  This means-the way to stand out is not in the looks department--since most of the other men competing for her attention are equally as attractive. The way to stand out is by being a challenge.  Most men do not get the principle of challenge and so by the second date--they spend Saturday night sitting at home wondering why they got dumped.

I echo Fox News when I say to you "I report, YOU decide."  Look at some of the pieces this man has written, check out the information.  If you find it helpful, great.  If not--dismiss it.  I however find it very helpful and pretty spot on in my ministry and in working with people.

FORGET the women you emailed me about.  There is NO CHANCE you will be anything more than her friend.  Don't waste your energy trying to change her.  Her feelings are not going to change.  Spend your time and energy finding a women you are attracted to who will reciprocate your feelings and love you as much as you love her.  
  
I realize you might be disappointed---even hurt to hear there is no chance of changing the women's feelings.  Nevertheless--you would be more hurt in the long run if I lead you to believe otherwise.  

Probably more of an answer than you bargained for! Even though this answer might have disappointed you I hope you found it helpful and practical. Again, I report YOU decide. If this does not help you--throw this answer into the fire!  

Catholics

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Father Dave Bechtel

Expertise

I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.

Experience

I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.