Sex fogs the mind.

Love is in the will.

When a man and a woman get married, they pledge their love to each other with the words “I do.” That “I do” is a consent of the will. Our will is that aspect of us that decides and acts.

The will differs from feelings and emotions. Your will is controllable. Feelings and emotions are not. Therefore, what the couple is saying at the altar on their wedding day (or what they should understand that they are saying) is that they will to love that person, despite any feelings and emotions that might be in conflict.

Love is a decision. Love is also a feeling, and very emotional. The act of loving is hopefully accompanied by feelings of love, but the feelings aren’t necessary for action. Before you get married, you have to come to terms with the “I do” of the ceremony. Being in love doesn’t mean those feelings will always be there to help you with the commitment to love.

This is why having sex prior to marriage can be a very dangerous enterprise. Sex fogs the mind. The pleasure people experience when they are engaging in sexual intimacy at any level has a natural effect that turns off the ability of the will. Sex creates a fog the mind is no longer able to navigate through, nor have a clear focus for making good judgments and right decisions.

The safe place for sex is within marriage. A married couple is free to express themselves sexually within all the rights that come with marriage. For those who are not married, the sex drive is alive and well, and must be dealt with. Many have given in completely to the modern acceptance of pre-marital sex without responsibility.

However, I don’t believe people have full knowledge of all that surrounds this acceptance. I think they have natural physical attractions and a healthy, normal sex drive, and they simply want to respond to it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what they experience inside. It’s how they act that matters.

That leads us back to the will. All feelings and emotions surrounding the sex drive have no power to act. Only the mind can do that. Emotions certainly work very hard to convince the mind, but they can’t force you to act.

When there is a general acceptance that certain physical actions are okay, the mind is sufficiently deceived into doing some things that appear to be harmless. Those things fall into the realm of petting, embracing, and kissing. Tenderness during the dating process is wonderful and important. You can touch and embrace and kiss without being excessive or prolonging. But start French kissing and you will see what can happen.

Single people have the ability to combat this. It takes strengthening the will. A strong will is not easily distracted by sexual feelings. Faith commitments lie in the will. If you profess to believe in God, to love Jesus Christ, and want to do His will, you must conform your will to His Will. We say “Thy Will be done” in the Our Father prayer, yet we fail to strengthen our own will. It takes a lot of practice, and it takes prayer to build up the will.

And the love that is true and that lasts is found in the will. Are you able to love someone with all your will? Does the person you’re dating prove his attraction to you by having control of his or her will?

Love is not just a feeling. Love lasts when it is an act of the will. The feelings that are associated with love are natural, normal, and necessary. They have their place. But they cannot be put in charge. They cannot be permitted to rule. Only your mind is capable of rational, prudent, and wise decision making.

Sex is beautiful in its proper place and time. Use your time dating and in courtship to focus on each other as a person, building friendship, preparing for the responsibilities of committed love, and enjoying each other chastely.


True love does not require romance

Another Valentine’s Day is upon us.  For some, it’s exciting and romantic.  For others, it’s another stinging reminder there is no one to share it with.

For me, it’s a reminder to write something in the spirit of the holiday.  So I will start with these words of wisdom:

Without romance, love is just an obligation.  

Well, it all depends on what your definition of romance is.  I think it is most commonly understood to be associated with feelings and emotions, as modern novels and movies portray.  We want love to be this way.  

Despite the romantic notion (pardon the pun) of love being a choice, especially when you don’t feel it, no one wants to love because they are obliged to.  And no one wants to feel they are only loved out of duty.  

Yet, Jesus said nothing about romance when teaching about love. The deepest Christian meaning of love is that it’s a decision, an act of the will.  That it has sacrifice for the sake of the other as it’s highest good, regardless of feelings and emotions.  In other words, true love does not require romance. Any Christian who desires to be married must accept and live this definition of love.  Life has no real meaning whatsoever without the existence of this kind of love in the world among individuals and communities.  Putting the welfare of others first is the heart of this love.  It is ‘Agape’.

I have heard many definitions of this Greek word for love as it applies to Christ and His commandment and example.  They are all summed up in the fundamental concept of being fully invested in the love proclaimed and promised – to be fully committed.  God loves in this way.  God has called us to love one another in this way.  Sadly, we all fall short to some degree.  But we should all strive for it at all times, with the help of God’s grace.

Having said this, and accepting this kind of love is the highest priority in Christian love, there isn’t a single person who desires marriage who does not wish it to also include romance.

Romance requires feelings and emotions.  There is no way around that.  Many pious persons would like to dismiss feelings and emotions as a distraction to holy pursuits.  But it’s a mistake to dismiss feelings and emotions.  God created human beings with feelings and emotions.  It stands to reason that they play a major role in our human experience.

Granted, they must be guided by our mind and will.  But we must pay close attention to them.

In the area of dating and falling in love, feelings and emotions are critical to everyone.  How can anyone falling in love without a strong feeling and emotional connection to the other?  Romantic love requires the participation of these very human attributes.

Let’s assume we all agree that to fall in love and get married requires romance.  A romantic relationship has two people mutually attracted to each other. There must physical attraction as well.  

It’s very romantic when the person you are sharing an intimate friendship with develops into a desire for physical intimacy.  This is a must!  Hand holding, hugs, and kissing are the first physical experiences of the romance.  You definitely want there to be a desire for much more physical intimacy that is exclusive to two persons who are married.  In fact, that is one of the most (if not the most) practical reasons to get married.  Physical desire is one of the signs that things are leading to marriage.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, full physical intimacy is expressed far too often prior to marriage, and accepted as common practice within the dating process. A romantic relationship with full physical expression is not so romantic today because it has led to many putting off marriage.  The adage of “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” comes to mind.

So today’s singles have to learn other very important signs of a romantic relationship that can make both persons say “This is the one I want to marry.”  They are not signs noticeable by feeling and emotion.  It takes your wits to notice them.

Two of the most important qualities for creating a strong, lasting romantic relationship are being observant and a good listener. Without these, instead of progressing forward with a solid potential spouse, there is misunderstanding and premature break up.

Being observant and a good listener is actually very romantic!  Experiencing these qualities in the person you’re dating can be quite attractive.

As an observant person, you pick up on the non-verbal cues of the person you’re dating and respond accordingly.  As a good listener, you make the person you’re dating feel important, understood, and loved. Close friends are good listeners for each other for venting, sharing, discerning important decisions, cheering up, providing laughter, and providing healing. Close friendship is a cornerstone of love and marriage.

Many find candy, flowers, expensive and fancy dinner to be romantic. They’re nice. All warm, fuzzy feelings are nice. Being on emotional highs from being in love is an extraordinary thing.  But at the end of the day, most people would trade these in for a good friend who knows when they need a hug, can make them laugh, and  knows what to say (and when to say it).  Someone who will patiently listen to them when upset, or when they want to share the great joys of their day. 

Any man can buy a woman things, take her to nice places,  charm and seduce her, and stir up her feelings and emotions.  How difficult it is, though, to find a man who is willing to, and capable of, investing the time to get to know you, be observant of everything about you, know how to make you laugh, and listen to you with full attention.  

How difficult it is to find a woman who wants to get past the male persona and reach into the heart of a man with all his vulnerabilities and insecurities, support him, has a good sense of humor, and wants to listen to him, rather than wanting to do all the talking herself.

Please don’t take this as a suggestion to abandon all those wonderful romantic things that touch our emotions and make us feel loved.  Just don’t forget that there are other things that are just as romantic, that get overshadowed by the typical trappings of romance.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Karaoke: a universal love language?

Have you ever gone on a karaoke date night?  It can be a great way to get to know each other and see each other’s sillier side.  And definitely, you can get up and dance together to a great song someone else is singing.

You might be asking yourself “What if I embarrass myself or my terrible singing does more harm than good?”  The beauty of karaoke is that people basically expect terrible singing.  Karaoke is hugely popular because it’s fun to see other people attempt to sing songs.  They cheer the worst singers the same as they would the great singers.  Most people are somewhere in between.  That’s what makes it low-risk for your love life.  You really can’t go wrong. Just getting up there at all is what people most admire and applaud you for.

There is one way you can blow it.  That’s by choosing the wrong song.  There are some songs that should never be sung at karaoke. The same rules apply to singing karaoke as they do in public speaking.  Keep the song short, and choose a song that will not turn off the audience.  Think about it.

If I could, I would make karaoke mandatory for all single people who desire to fall in love and marry one day.  It certainly does no harm so there’s nothing to lose, and it can only improve whatever social skills you already have (and develop them for those who have none).

“If you don’t sing, you don’t date.”  That’s a harsh and over-exaggerated slogan to impose or adopt.  But basically, that’s a mantra that could work.  

Karaoke not only helps people be comfortable in front of strangers, but also to overcome nervousness, embrace mistakes, and realize how your body language and voice affect others.  The more you get up there to sing, the less nervous you get in front of strangers (and also when with your date).  As you make mistakes singing karaoke, you realize strangers don’t hold it against you (and neither will your date).  The more relaxed you look on stage and move around more naturally, and as your voice is more pronounced and clear, the strangers respond more positively (and so will your date).

So get out there and practice.  Where else do you have access to attentive strangers? And where else can you fail in public without personal repercussions?  At karaoke, nobody cares.  You have nothing to lose.  Loosen up, relax, and have fun.  After all, isn’t that how you both should be when dating each other?

karaoke on the 2013 Ave Maria cruise

Where to meet single Catholics off-line

“Where do I go to find someone normal and still single?” That’s the recurring theme I have heard from countless single Catholics for fifteen years. The bar scene is undesirable to most, and once you have exhausted scoping the pews at Mass and the singles groups at Church, you’re kind of left to hope for the best in normal circumstances of life, like at work, school, among friends.

Of course, since I run an online dating service, I am a proponent of single Catholics turning to the Internet in a concentrated forum like a dating website. But unless you can move your online interaction to an in-person experience in a reasonable amount of time, the online experience can be frustrating. I always recommend that people not waste their time in prolonged communication online, and to get together in person as soon and as often as possible, or you might both waste your time.

Ten years ago, I was approached with the idea of having a cruise for Ave Maria Singles. I thought that was a terrible idea, and such a waste of my time. Catholics don’t cruise, I thought. That’s for old people, decadent people, affluent people, people who have run out of ideas on how to vacation. Single Catholics have no money, no time to go on a cruise, and no interest in that kind of vacation.

Boy, was I wrong. Catholics not only enjoy cruising, they sure know how to take advantage of a ship and its ports. We starting cruising the Caribbean with Norwegian Cruise Line in 2003, and it’s become a yearly escape. For many it’s a reunion, for many more it is an introduction to tons of new people who feel like old friends from the first day of sailing.

Some have called it a floating retreat, because we have spiritual talks, daily Mass and rosary, evening exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and opportunities for Confession and spiritual direction. (Other passengers on the ship are often thrown for a loop whenever they stumble upon these activities of our group.)

Some have called our cruises their essential yearly vacation. “Where else can you take a week off and go where it’s warm and beautiful, eat like royalty any time of day or night, dance till you drop every night, have daily Mass and group rosaries, and be with a group of people that share my Catholic faith, know how to have fun, and provide me with some of the most wonderful and inspiring conversations I’ve ever had in my life? Nowhere except Ave Maria!” (This is a direct quote, by the way, not a blurb created by the marketing department)

Okay, so I was wrong. Having a cruise for single Catholics was a great idea. Pat Baker, I really thank you for approaching me about it and for proving me wrong.

But that’s not all. What about actually meeting someone special and getting married? Would that happen on a cruise? Once again, I highly doubted it. But I really didn’t have a good reason why. I just doubted it because I didn’t want to let anyone down if I got their hopes up by say “Oh sure, yes, absolutely, there is a good possibility of meeting the person you will end marrying while on our cruise.” So best to play it safe and say “Well, maybe it could happen, but let’s just have a great vacation, huh?”

Um…again….wrong. Donald and Linda were on our first cruise in 2003. He lived in New York, she in California. They took their meeting on the cruise to a post-cruise relationship and eventually married. They later brought their children to our Jamaica trip some years after. Ever since then, every cruise has had at least one couple come out of it, and we have a couple dozen cruise couples now married. (The smaller group we took to Alaska in 2005 for some reason produced four marriages, including Matt and Lillian, but I can’t talk about Alaska cruises right now, sorry.)

I think we’ve really created something special as an answer to “Where do I go to find someone normal and still single?” You can go on a cruise with Ave Maria Trips, that’s where. And though we always have most of our group being single, we find more and more people traveling with their family or friends who are married, as well as our married members attending as well. It’s just an incredible way to take a week of your vacation time and have an all-around enjoyable and spiritually uplifting experience.

This year is our diamond anniversary Caribbean cruise. I’m really making this 10th anniversary special with special guest speaker, Dr. Peter Damgaard-Hansen, joining Fr. Tom Morrow and myself. Dr. Peter is graciously making himself available a great deal of this trip, and believe me, you will want to take advantage of him. He is a brilliant man, solid Catholic, and his approach to his field of psychology is exceptional, and thoroughly Catholic.

People are joining this 10th anniversary cruise at a record rate. We already have 60 people registered coming from 5 different countries, with people in their 20s to 60s. Such a special cruise has special planning involved, so there is not much time to register. Spots are going really quick and space in our group is limited. Yes, that was definitely more of a marketing pitch. But it’s sincere, and no less true. You can find full information about the trip here. Spots are going quickly, and space is limited, so please, sign up before it’s too late.

Our cruises are one of the best places to meet someone who shares your faith. And at the very least, it will be one of the best (if not the best) vacation you will ever have. Our groups are what make the trips every time. Be one of our group and have a beautiful impact on the others as they certainly will have on you.

7 types of false love

There is nothing quite like being in love and sharing a loving relationship. You often hear about finding “true love,” but we seldom stop to think about what that means.

To consider this properly, you need to know a little something about true love. What makes it true? There is much to say about true love, and there are so many various opinions as to what makes love true. True love is a mystery; almost impossible to put into words.

But we do have a guideline for what makes for true love:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.

Single people hope to find the kind of love others have found. Is it possible that singles have not found true love because the love they have to give is false?

I have seven kinds of false love for you to consider. These are seven approaches to love that many people are inclined to take, typically without even knowing it, which have disastrous consequences.

1. The Critical Approach

This is someone who does not believe true love is possible, and criticizes any person they attempt to find love with. True love is impossible to the critical person because they don’t love themselves. Yet, they don’t dare criticize themselves, so they have to find faults in another in order to maintain a superiority. Their love is something the other should feel grateful to have and spend their life showing that gratitude.

They are quick to criticize the person they claim to love, deep down never believing this person could actually love them. The “beloved” is never good enough. The critical person lives as someone who can just as well make due without the beloved.

2. The Scrupulous Approach

This person is very careful about showing too much devotion to a person, fearing that God will somehow be made number two. They feel guilty for wanting and needing a person, since they believe they should only need God. They hold back expressing love and affection in order to prove to themselves (and sometimes to the other person) that they have control of their passions and desires.

Guilt plagues the scrupulous person, because as much as they believe that love shared between two person is unexplainably special and wonderful, they can’t admit it in principle.

Ultimately, they view love not as a gift of God or a blessing, just a necessary evil. They allow their beloved to feel like they are an obstacle to God, instead of a vehicle toward God.

3. The External Approach

This person is only concerned with outward experiences of love. Their love is not giving, but taking. They are anxious if there are not constant external proofs of love. They are say “I love you” and need “I love you” said to them endlessly. They believe sharing love is about quantity, not quality. Lots of romance, lots of sex, lots of gifts, lots of flattering words.

A certainty about love in quiet, unspoken moments is foreign to them. If there is no emotional high being experienced, they are afraid love is fading.

4. The Presumptuous Approach

This person is completely fine with their lousy behavior while presuming the beloved will understand and accept them. Their love for the beloved presumes the unconditional love they will receive, regardless of their actions. Their own passions and needs are the priority.

They are at peace with their bad habits and feel no need to work on their faults. They hide things like their impurity, injustice, anger, foul manners and speech, rudeness, detraction and gossip, while making themselves out to be worthy to be loved by the beloved. They presume forgiveness and second chances.

5. The Inconstant Approach

This person is wishy washy when it comes to love. Sometimes they seem really into you and will do anything for you. Then they can seem distant and uninterested, like they’re a different person. They are willing to invest initially in winning your heart, only to back off after they have won it. They easily change, whether in mind or mood or with the latest difficulty in the relationship.

They willingly make promises and take on more than they can handle in showing their love, and leave you disappointed when it was just empty words and promises. Their love is unreliable. They will only express love as they’re ready to.

6. The Hypocritical Approach

This person has high expectations and strict requirements when it comes to the love received from another, while they do not submit themselves to the same standard. They love with a double standard that sets the beloved up as always being the guilty party for all problems, while they are always justified in what they do.

They display a consistent intent of deception in their love by passing as a good person committed to loving another while not really caring to live it out. They are trying to be someone they are not. Their efforts and actions in love are things they think the other wants in order to win their affection and approval, not things that spring naturally from the heart as part of who they are.

7. The Interested Approach

This person sees love for another as a utility for their purposes, not as a giving of self and respect of a person. They have recourse to you only when they need something, otherwise they have no interest. They love you whenever they can obtain something from you when they want it. They lose patience and show signs of wanting out at even the slightest degree of not getting what they want out of typical relationship experiences (such as discussions, problems, or decisions that have to be made). Their tolerance of you is proportional to the satisfaction of their wants.

All of us can find ourselves in one or more of these. This is because none of us can escape selfishness (the very definition of pride). The more selfish we are, the more prone we are to false love, and the more difficult it is to live out true love.

What is your approach to love? In which of these false approaches do you see yourself? No matter which ones apply to you, it’s never too late to change. Recognizing it is half the battle. But it’s a grace to recognize. We often don’t want to accept when we have a problem, therefore we purposely keep ourselves blind.

Praying for God’s grace to recognize your approaches to false love is a necessity to making progress. Take time before the Blessed Sacrament asking Jesus to open your eyes so you can be observant of false love tendencies and He will surely enlighten you.

Would you date you?

Would the type of person you are praying to meet and fall in love with find you attractive?

When and if it should happen that you meet someone special, fall in love, and get married, the process starts with you.  This is the premise of my first book, Would You Date You?

I appeared on “The Catholic Guy” show last week to talk about my new book. Lino Rulli and Fr. Rob were in rare form as they attempted to figure out just what the title was supposed to mean.  And we must have spent fifteen minutes talking about the Forward.  Why, you ask?  Well, Lino wrote the Forward, and he is very proud of it.

Finally, I shouted, “Hey, enough with the Forward!  What about the book?”  He shouted back at me, then Fr. Rob had to break it up.  In the end, Lino asked me to sign his copy on the air, which I did.  It read “To my friend, Lino.  No, I would not date you, if I were you.  Anthony.”  Seriously, it was a great show.

But I was thinking to myself, I bet I could have interviewed myself better than Lino did.  Then I thought to myself, why not?  So the following is an interview with Anthony Buono, interviewed by Anthony Buono, about his new book, Would You Date You?

Anthony, congratulations on your new book.  Why did you decide to write it?

Thank you.  I was actually approached by Franciscan Media last July to write a book.  What kind of book?, I asked.  Something for single Catholics.  Okay, anything specific?  Whatever you want.  But we need an outline in August.  They approved the outline and we agreed on a finished manuscript by the end of January of this year.  One distraction after another, and it was January.  No finished chapters.  My publisher emails: “Happy New Year!  So how’s the book coming?”  Oh yeah, the book.  Oh boy.  Um….”It’s coming along swimmingly.  About half way there.”  So I commit completely to working on the book, and by mid-February, they had a finished manuscript.  I felt like I was back in college when I wrote term papers the week before they were due at the end of the semester.

Who do you think should read this book?

I think the answer is pretty obvious, Anthony, but all right.  From my experience, many people who want to be married believe that they’re a prize catch, and that any problems in relationships are the fault of the other person.  It’s great to be confident, but problems are always a two way street. We can always find something we could have done better.  No one is beyond self-examination and self-improvement.  This book provides consideration on qualities everyone should be working on, helping you become a better person, and become more attractive.  Did I answer your question?  I guess I’ll just say everyone should read this book.

What is the most surprising advice in your book?

I don’t want to give it away.  But I’ll give you a hint.  Knowing if the person has this quality is more important than if the person is Catholic or not (and there are those who say they’re Catholic who don’t have this quality).  But that’s not very fair of me, is it?  A piece of advice in the book that might also be very surprising is why it’s good to be cautious and protective when it comes to kissing, because kissing is the gateway to all sexual promiscuity. I think once you understand that, you have some real power to go into your dating relationships and make a real difference in the chastity department.

What’s the best piece of advice in this book?

That you would not, in fact, date you, because there is not another you out there.  Just kidding! I don’t say that in the book. Well, not exactly.  I do believe it is futile to get too caught up in trying to find someone like yourself.  The mystery of love doesn’t work that way.  Those who try to find someone like themselves usually end up attracted to someone very different. Better preparation for the dating process (and for love) is to discover and know who you are.  Being comfortable with yourself and having a working knowledge of what needs improvement makes you much more attractive to the person you want to meet, and allows you to bring a real person to the relationship.  Humility about your true self as a whole helps you become willing to accept an imperfect person you’ll actually date, not the perfect person you’ll never meet.   Hey, that was pretty good.  Can you tweet that for me, Anthony?  Anyway, people get caught up in what they want and don’t develop as an individual. So really, the best advice in this book is the overall message: work on knowing yourself.

Do you think this book will help people take action for the sake of their vocation to marriage?

Gosh, I hope so. If they do nothing else, I hope they will at least try out putting the last chapter into practice.  The questions to consider while kneeling before the crucifix are focused on examining the conscience of people who want to be married. I wanted the book to inspire people to take accountability for their own life, have the humility to admit their own faults, and have the courage to do something about it.  But not take themselves too seriously, or become easily discouraged.  The book is about becoming, and we are all always in the process of becoming. Even in marriage, that process continues, so we don’t wait to marry someone who has arrived, but someone who is suitable to share the journey with you.

What is the worst thing about this book?

Having to suffer through interviews (no offense to you, Anthony).  Actually, to be serious, the worst thing about this book is that it was written too fast (that’s what I get for procrastinating).  As I read it, I’m like “Oh gosh, I wish I wrote this instead of that”, and wish I had more time to revisit the chapters.  But my publisher tells me that the worst part about this book is that it’s too short.

Well, I did a pretty good job of interviewing myself.  But to my credit, I’m easy to talk to, especially to myself.  But here’s what I learned about myself as I conducted this interview.  That I rarely actually answer an interview question because I’m so tangential.  Now it makes sense why Lino changes the subject on me so often.  I guess that’s why he gets the big bucks.

To get a copy of Would You Date You?, click here.  And please send me your feedback, positive or negative :-)

Tired of being alone, or, the singles trap.

Dear Anthony,

I’m absolutely fed up!  I’m done!  I’m tired of the singles trap and everyone telling me it’s just not my turn yet!  Why isn’t it my turn?  Why must it take so long?  I’m tired of being alone!  I’m tired of having no one to share my life with!  I’m trying not to be upset with God, but seriously, enough is enough!  And if you tell me it will happen in God’s time, I’m done with you too.  I don’t mean any disrespect, but I can’t handle hearing anymore pious mumbo jumbo.  

That’s a lot of exclamation points, indicating a lot of frustration.  I can’t blame you, especially about not wanting to hear the same “pious mumbo jumbo” anymore.  Of course, it’s not mumbo jumbo at all, but I will admit that many of us advisor types tend to take the easy way out by saying,“it’s all in God’s time” or “when it’s meant to happen to you, it will” or “I’ll pray for you”.

We take that easy way out sometimes because frankly, we just don’t have the answer.

When people are suffer, what they need most is empathy. I have no idea what you are going through and what factors are contributing to your obvious suffering.  I only know for certain that you are in pain.

You want some answers, and fast.  But that’s not going to happen.  It’s futile to insist on and force solutions, and even more futile to succumb to anger and bitterness.

It’s very interesting that you mentioned being tired of “the singles trap.”  That’s actually exactly what you have fallen into, perhaps without even realizing it.  The singles trap is the belief that life is meaningless as an unmarried person. Marriage makes happiness possible at last.

You might be saying, “That’s rubbish! That’s not what I think.”  Maybe not consciously.  But consider how you feel, and what you are saying as a result of your frustration.  You hate it that you are still single, and don’t want to be single anymore.  That’s valid enough.  I fully support that.  But not to the point that you harbor anger, bitterness, excessive frustration, and resentment.

These attitudes are fashioned over time through voluntarily allowing negative realities to penetrate to the depths of the self.  You are slowly but surely become these negatives.  You allow your personal peace and happiness that are gifts of God to be rattled or replaced by the anger.

God created you first and foremost to love Him, serve Him, and be with Him forever in Heaven.  He did not create you to be married.  Marriage is not the answer to your happiness, nor the solution to your overcoming your anger.  That’s a trap.  The singles trap, to be exact.
It sounds to me that you believe you are entitled to be married by now and you are on a quest to find out why you’re not.

There are undoubtedly reasons why you are still single.  Some of it’s probably your fault.  Some of it’s probably the fault of your parents and your upbringing.  Some of it’s probably the fault of free will and those who sadly choose to break up with you for stupid reasons.  Some it probably has nothing to do with fault at all.  But one thing’s for sure…’s not God’s fault.

In fact, it’s also futile to look for fault at all.  When you do find out where the fault lies, it doesn’t help.  It might provide some kind of distorted satisfaction, but you don’t find peace and happiness.

You can let anger run aggressively and recklessly until it becomes who you are, thus you are habitually a bitter, nasty, unenjoyable person to be around.

And then congratulations!  You just made yourself completely unattractive to anyone who might be a prospective candidate for a marriage partner.

Do you see what I’m getting at?  You might very well have good reasons for being upset as to why you are still single.  But you can’t give into it.  It’s not worth it.  You only hurt yourself, and your chances of finding love.

You might never really know why you are still single.  But you are. You are still the unique person God created you to be. He made you for love.  Maybe you won’t live that love in the context of marriage. There are so many ways to give yourself away in love for God and neighbor that can fulfill your life and provide a lasting peace and happiness.

I realize that’s easier said than done.  But honestly, what choice do you have?  Keep succumbing to the anger, and you isolate yourself from God, the source of all love and happiness.

Have some people in your life you can trust and are empathetic when you need to vent.  This will help you prevent your natural and understandable frustrating moments from becoming part of who you are.

Give all your problems, emotions, and negativity to God (really letting it go and making it His problem), and you are truly free.

It might be pious mumbo jumbo to say it, but be happy that you were created by God, you are loved intimately by God,  and you are destined to be with God. Your life has purpose and meaning regardless of marriage.  Be happy, and don’t let anything or anyone take it from you.