So first question: how am I doing? Honest answer? Sort of weirdly. I am “healing” I think. Teaching’s a weird job to have at this stage because its phases are intense. Whilst teaching, I’m my fairly optimistic good-natured self. When lessons end and I find myself alone in my room, there’s a sudden shift; everything returns mentally and for a brief few moments, I see my life as pretty worthless. I wouldn’t ascribe any usual mental health conditions – I’m not anxious or depressed. I am still heartbroken which seems silly given the circumstances, but there you go.
Anyway to the point. So as a Catholic and having talked to other Catholics, women of the same faith (understandably in our modern setting) tend to have a fair few requests – you know, chaste, loving, understanding, patient, polite and well-employed spouses-to-be. A list like that would make most men’s eyes water. Oddly, if this recent experience has taught me anything, it’s that I’m very aligned to this way of thinking and I (it would appear) meet the criteria! Hooray. But then why has this happened? I don’t technically know if it was down to physical attraction or not. She claimed not! That’s why this has proven to be such a brambly thicket.
I can tell you that every profile I’ve ever viewed on CatholicMatch (unlike secular ones) claims they’re not bothered as to the “looks” of dates etc. It’s personality and attributes etc. Which is a lovely notion, and one I used to buy into wholesale. Until this charade. I mean – she complimented me in everything: looks, nature, attributes, marriage-ability, thoughtfulness and went as far as telling me I literally could do nothing to change or improve. Undoubtedly meant as a softening blow but she wasn’t to know what a bayonet-twist it would actually be!
One part’s that stuck with me is the part of the conversation where she insisted if attraction were a switch, she’d want to switch it on! This is why I’ve been in such a miserable place recently – I felt like I couldn’t control how I felt about her. If she’s telling the absolute truth, then she can’t control that she doesn’t feel the same way. So despite our twinned Catholicism, our mutual outlooks and our compatibility, there’s still an elusive something?? What’s that if not a cosmic joke?
So the question I wished to raise – how important is attraction? I mean if you’re talking long-term love and commitment in a Catholic sense, this is more than do-able without massive physical attraction. So, in other words, should folks settle (looks/spark wise) if they know their prospective partner could be amazing as a partner in all the other ways? Likewise, and at the risk of sounding sexist, should women change their attitudes? What I mean by this last point: a high number of women seem to find manliness in “bad” traits (mistreated, lack of sincere affection, tough-guy persona) and they find themselves attracted to this but they still desire a decent bloke for a life-partner! It’s often incredibly hard to reconcile those two. So, is it fair to recommend that a given woman needs to change her outlook? And does that mean she’ll never be attracted to the man in question?
We’re getting nearer and nearer my deadline day. I’ve got two weeks left and then I’ll be firing off my final-effort contact. She hasn’t made any effort to contact me at all during this period – as ever, this could mean anything: genuinely uninterested, too confused, or even too scared/ashamed to make contact again!
Still on the blue side…