Tag Archives: dating

The Other 98%

It’s hardly our fault.  From the time we are very young we watch Disney movies that begin with “Once Upon A Time” and end with “Happily Ever After.”  From our earliest years we are told that the greatest good we seek in life is True Love.

And in theory, there’s nothing wrong with this.  I do agree that love is the greatest good.  It’s just that, if you ask around, it seems nearly impossible for us humans to settle on an objective definition for what real love actually looks like.

At my graduation last month, our commencement speaker challenged our graduating class with the task of redefining love for the culture.  “There are so many songs or stories out there about falling in love,” he said, “when falling in love really only makes up about 2% of what love actually is!”

You can see how this is problematic.  Not only are we looking for the treasure without a map, we haven’t even really any clue what the treasure will look like when we actually find it.  We know the 2% of how the story is supposed to begin, but we are less familiar with how to live out the remaining 98% of the equation.  Enter broken relationships and confused hearts.  The truth is, a lot of people could fill the first few pages of several books with the 2%, or the “Fairytales” of past relationships—but because we have believed for so long that “falling in love” is the whole picture, the remainder of our love stories are empty pages.  And then we wonder when “true love” will come.

A wise priest once told me, “Once falling in love ends, true love can begin.”  Falling in love is a feeling.  It’s a rare feeling, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed that it will only happen once in your lifetime.   True love is more than a feeling; it’s a choice.  And it’s not just one choice; it’s a series of choices.  It’s a lifetime of choices, and it usually comes down to the choice between yourself and your beloved.  You can tell it’s real love when you find mutual self-gift—when both parties involved choose their beloved over their individual desires.

If there were no choice in love, then it would not mean a whole lot for someone to say that they loved you.  The other 98% of love is not always easy, and it’s not always fun…and it definitely doesn’t always feel romantic and fairy-tale-esque, but it’s real.  Personally, I’d prefer to be chosen.

More Than Cheesy

Since the dawn of time (or at least for the past several years), women everywhere have been dragging their dutiful boyfriends and husbands to their fair (or perhaps unfair) share of romantic comedies.  And as long as this has been going on, there have always been men who, 2 ½ minutes into the film, proudly proclaim that they have figured out the ending to the film: the guy and girl who, at present, hate each other will end up falling madly in love and will go onto live happily ever after.

Case closed.  Can we go see Captain America now?

Seasoned boyfriends and husbands eventually figure out that women typically do not go to the movies to figure out the ending of a story.  Of course the guy gets the girl in the end.  Frankly, we wouldn’t be watching the movie if we expected it to end in any other way.  We want Happily-Ever-Afters.  More importantly, though, we want to see just how the story plays out.  How will the characters find their Happily-Ever-After?  This is what keeps us coming back (and bringing you) to the same kinds of movies over and over again.

You may laugh at this, but I’d like to propose that this is not all that different from how a Catholic ought to view life and the world around him or her.

If you think about it, we know the ending to this story.  Good wins out; evil loses.  The problem is that, in life, things rarely happen according to when and how we think they ought to, and unlike a movie, we don’t have the luxury of assuming this drama will tie up neatly at the end of two hours.   So we end up getting so caught up in the story that we forget we already know the end.  And when we have forgotten this, we have forgotten God.

Of course this is not to say that we are to abandon all responsibilities and just say, “God is taking care of it”.  No, we are still characters in this story and we have important roles to play.  And unlike the cheesy and predictable romantic comedy, our story is meant to be a great one (God doesn’t do mediocre).  We just have to trust that the writer knows what He is doing.

Have More Babies!!

k, last post on babies, I promise.  Just thought this was relevant to yesterday’s post/discussion.

Should We be Worried About Overpopulation?

Quite simply: No.  And here are some pretty awesome videos illustrating why:

Think about it.

The Problem with Porn

A little over a week ago, I posted a poll on this blog asking for feedback about your thoughts on pornography.

As of yesterday, an overwhelming percentage of you believed that looking at pornography is always wrong, no matter the circumstance. (Of course, these results are likely more so a commentary on the mentality and values of the people who read this blog than they are an accurate and scientific representation of what the average person today thinks of pornography.)

  • 11% of you yesterday believed it depended on the person/circumstance.
  • 6% saw no problem with it whatsoever, thought that it is sometimes healthy and/or necessary for a person, and is only wrong if in a committed relationship or married.
  • 3% of you had no opinion.

The reality is that if you are reading this and are over the age of 11, chances are you have been exposed to pornography at least once already in your lifetime. And if you are a young adult male reading this, chances are extremely high that you regularly view pornography at this time in your life (statistically speaking, anyway).

Alright, but what’s the big deal? I mean, provided you’re not in a relationship or keeping it a secret from your significant other or anything. We are human, after all. Sex isn’t dirty or wrong; and we should all be free to give into our natural desires. We have “needs”, right?

Pornography as “Healthy”

This kind of mentality about sex is nothing particularly new. It goes back as far as the 1930s, and even earlier than that. In 1936, a German man named Wilhelm Reich wrote a book called The Sexual Revolution. In it, he wrote that:

“Sexuality…is the productive vital energy, simply speaking. Its suppression leads not only to medical damage, but also quite generally to damage in the basic functions of life. The essential social expression of this damage is purposeless (irrational) action by human beings: their insanity, their mysticism, their readiness for war, etc…The core of life’s happiness is sexual happiness.”

What is Mr. Reich saying in the above quote? Essentially, if we suppress our sexual desires, we are more likely to be unhealthy, uptight, angry, and violent people.

…Sound familiar? It’s the mindset of most of the popular shows we watch on TV today. The character who plays the president of the chastity club is an uptight prude (and usually a cheerleader?? I’ve never quite understood that…but I digress). The characters that engage in sexual activity are often portrayed as more mature or wise. The thought goes something like this: “We need to be able to do things like look at pornography. It keeps us healthy. It makes us happy. It keeps us sane.”

No Such Thing As Selfish Love

But does it really? Interestingly, most of you who believed that pornography is sometimes healthy or necessary actually thought it was NOT ok within the context of a marriage or committed relationship. Why? Presumably because the thought is that, within a relationship, you should be fulfilling each other’s needs, and that pornography within that relationships is, in the very least, “emotional cheating”.

Let’s think about that for a moment, though. Do you really think of a person you are making love to as just “fulfilling a need” of yours? I honestly think that most reasonable people (religious or non-religious) would say no. Sex with someone you love is supposed to be more than that. It’s supposed to be about love—an expression of that love— not mutually using one another.

If we really believe that sex is about more than using someone else to fulfill a need, then looking at pornography can never be ok. Why? Well, as we have just shown, pornography trains those who look at it to view sex as absolutely nothing more than selfish gratification (read: “fulfilling my needs”). It’s naive (read: “wrong”) to think that your mindset will just magically change when you enter into a committed relationship.

I don’t think anyone would argue with me when I say that love cannot be selfishIt has to be selfless.  Begin training yourself in love today.  Waiting for tomorrow may be too late.

In case you missed it, here’s the poll again:

Also Check Out: “5 Ways Porn Saps Your Manliness”

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In light of the Rep. Weiner scandal that has been taking place recently, I thought today I might pose a question that may make you a bit uncomfortable…

The average person is only 11 years old when he or she is first exposed to pornography.  Though it’s not something we like to talk about in polite company, the fact that a majority of men (and a growing percentage of women) view pornography regularly is something that is widely accepted as normal in our culture today.

I just can’t imagine Rep. Weiner’s case started out any different.

This whole thing makes me wonder why, as a whole, we seem to have no problem with porn but take major issue (and rightly so) when a scandal like this breaks out.  Seems like a pretty thin line to walk, if you ask me.