Three pieces of advice that aren’t useful

Recently I asked for advice in finding a wife. Most of the responses I got were sympathetic and helpful, but three stood out to me as counter-productive and pointless.

  1. “Looking now? You should have started when you were 18!”

Not really, no. You did not know me at the age of 18. While ideally at the age of 18 I’d have been in a position where it made sense to look seriously for a wife, speaking practically I was very much not.

Do I regret not being in such a position? Yes, obviously. But I am where I am now, and that’s what I need to deal with, so if you have useful advice, that would be great.

2. “Actively looking for a wife? You’re doing it wrong. Focus on your mission and if a woman doesn’t want to join you on that mission, drop them.”

Comments like this are a misread of my personality at best. First off, the reason I am asking now is that I AM focused on my mission before God. I work full time, with a respectable job and respectable salary, and in my free time I focus on creating art and improving myself. I take my religion extremely seriously as well. In what way am I not focused on my mission?

Maybe I’m focusing on the wrong thing. I should be “asking if a woman wants to join me on the mission!” Except, great, I’m back to square one? Where am I finding women to ask? How do I approach them? What should I be doing? Where should I be going?

This sort of thing simply does not come naturally to me; if I seriously dedicated NO time and NO effort to finding a wife and just “focused on the mission” I would simply never speak to anyone because I’m that naturally introverted.

So please; where do I approach women to ask if they want to join me? How should I speak to them? Dress, act, approach, all of that fun stuff. Because “just focus on you” isn’t going to work, and now you’re just back to giving me normal advice like I originally asked for.

3. “Why are you searching for a wife? Shouldn’t you only be getting married if you’re burning with lust for another person? Isn’t it better not to be married?”

I get it. I read the Epistles too. I’ve thought long and hard about this; you apparently don’t agree with the conclusion I’ve come to. In that case, your option is easy: Don’t give me advice, but my mind is made up. I’m going to search. We’ll debate Paul at Bible study.

Every time these things have been said to me people have meant well, but I thought it needed to be said.

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5 Responses to Three pieces of advice that aren’t useful

  1. steaksquatsvinyl says:

    I hear you — the advice above is not particularly helpful. The mission one is okay — you can’t obsess about finding a wife at the expense of your mission, but it’s not wrong to actively seek and want a wife. Your read of your own personality seems correct.

    Two things: 1) if your church has a group of married women that are somewhat sound in their faith, expressing to them that you’re actively seeking a wife is a decent start. Many of them have friends/sisters who may be suitable and come pre-vetted. Granted, your definition of attractive doesn’t always match theirs, but godly married women (usually a little older, like late 30s) have connected me and many a single friend in my church to suitable partners. You also need some clout with them to do this — if you’re not on good footing with them, it won’t work. 2) I met a lot of solid Christian women on Coffee Meets Bagel, including my eventual wife. I had far more luck there than on any Christian dating site — many women serious about their faith there (and many who say that they are but aren’t). Don’t know where you are or if that pool has changed much in the past 5 years, but it’s a data point from me.

  2. dpmonahan says:

    People mean well but there really isn’t a useful script out there for finding a spouse.

  3. GJ says:

    “Looking now? You should have started when you were 18!”

    That might not have helped. It takes two to get married, after all, and unless you happen to live in a community where marrying early is normalised, chances are that none of the ladies that age will be thinking of marriage, and few if any will be mature enough to make a good spouse.

  4. Chad says:

    Ugh, those pieces of advice are useful.

    Look, talking about a mission is useful for a male mentality and it’s the closest to useful. But still far off because the person speaking doesn’t get the female way of interacting with the world, which is primarily through emotions. What you need to do is be able to captivate a woman on your dream. Your dream must be an emotional rendering / painting of your mission in which a woman can see her appointed place in it, her importance to it without overtaking it, and start investing in such a dream from day 1.

    That would be my first piece of advice, is cultivating a mission and learning how to express it in a dream / emotional based mentality where a woman can see herself as your wife. Can see how her sacrifices will matter, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, start imagining what that life would look like to her.

    Second is simply to cast nets everywhere. I went dancing, to diocesan events, church events, etc. Lots of coffee dates. Lots of being forward about intentions with women I’d be interested in, and dropping it if they disqualified themselves. Lead events when possible. Lead boys in parishes when possible. Do anything to get respect and authority, and grow it as a most precious asset. Opportunities will then come, and one will work. It is a LONG SLOG though.

  5. c matt says:

    On No. 1, good advice would be:

    The best time to look for a wife was when you were 20. The second best time is now.

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