Repost: A Courtship Q&A - Catholic Young Woman

One of the blogs I occasionally read is Catholic Young Woman, written by and for girls trying to be feminine and faithful.  A couple of the authors are Christendom people, which is fun!  I hadn't caught up with it for a while, but when I did go over yesterday I found an awesome article by Clare Asper that not only rang true for me, but I thought might be useful for some of y'all who (I think) read my blog.  The full article is here but I thought I'd add a few things that particularly struck me.  Now, obviously, I'm at the beginning of a courtship, and this is written by a newly-married woman.  But still, there are a few things that make me happy, because it makes me feel like Kevin and I are doing something right! 

Okay, I basically put in the whole article.  But I highlighted in purple the especially relevant parts.  :)  Not that they exactly line up, but just that it is good to know how other people do things too.

1. Why you did court rather than date?

Right up front, Peter and I always referred to ourselves as dating. The name wasn't important to us. What was important was that our relationship was for the purpose of discerning marriage, call it what you will. We chose that path because it was the only thing that made sense to us. We cared for each other, and it was more than friendship. Because we were serious about following God's plan and avoiding distractions, a more involved relationship had to be about His plan and not about distractions from it. 


2. What was it like to save your first kiss for "the one"?

It was nice, and for us it was very, very good. I'll talk more about why in #7.


3. When did you start praying for your future husband?

When I was about 15 years old. Up until that point I was convinced that my calling was the religious life. Marriage just suddenly appeared in my heart (it sounds corny, but I don't know how else to put it) towards the end of my 14th year. After being grouchy about the idea for awhile, I decided that just in case it were true, I should pray for the man I would marry. The more I prayed, the more open my heart became.


4. How can us girls prepare for God's perfect match?

Develop your relationship with God. There is nothing that is going to help you navigate through the messiness of a relationship than being on good strong terms with God. Live NOW. Don't get caught up in the future. If you don't work on your weaknesses now, it will make any relationship even messier. Really seriously consider the religious life. It was one of the best things that I did between meeting Peter and dating him. 


5. Did you ever write qualities you were seeking in him, prior to meeting him?

I talked with my girlfriends about it, the way girls will. But if you mean did I have the list he had to live up to, absolutely not. Viewing any human like that isn't a good idea. Viewing the person who most significantly figures in God's plan for your life really isn't a good idea. God's ways are above our ways, and He always surprises us.


6. In a world like today, how can we live pure and striving lives, though temptation is all around?

Be super hardcore about avoiding any occasions of sin. Stay away from people who tempt your purity. Stay away from media that tempts your purity. And be honest about it. Even otherwise innocent things can touch on our particular weaknesses. "Pride and Prejudice" and all its multiple adaptations are a lot of fun and very good, but if it's leading your imagination in the wrong direction concerning Mr. Darcy, then it's not good for you right now. Purity is tough, and the devil will use really bizarre means to get at you. Also, PRAY.


7. What were your limits and guidelines while courting?

We didn't have a lot of the rules and limitations that couples have. Our goal was to stay chaste. Because it was so deeply a part of our formation, temptation in that direction was very minimal for us. We knew that the guilt and pain we'd feel the morning after, along with the damage to our relationship, would just not be worth it at all. A lot of people do suffer serious temptations on this front, though, and that doesn't mean that they aren't properly formed. It just means that Peter and I were exceptionally blessed to not have to deal with it. And here I'll say that this is probably the Number One reason that I'm glad we saved our first kiss. Though it's always possible, it's way harder to get carried away when you're not kissing.


8. How did you know he was "the one"?

Prayer. I prayed about it and prayed about it and prayed about it. And I just knew. It was just this deep conviction inside of me that he was it.


9. How can we still find a "gentleman" in a modern day world?

I really don't know. The way I've done it is by having an open heart. Some people have such harsh, harsh standards about what makes a gentleman. I've heard women say that if a man doesn't open her car door for her on a date, then he just crossed himself off the list. That's ridiculous. External niceties are, well, nice, but they don't make a gentleman. Those niceties change from culture to culture and time to time. The gentleman is the guy with the noble heart, and that doesn't require car doors to be opened. Peter never opened a car door for me on a date, though there were plenty of other little nice things he'd do. I knew he had the noble heart. He opens every car door for me now, of his own accord. 


10. Was there anything you wish you knew before you got married?

I wish I'd known how precious the single life is. I would have lived my life with so much more purpose. I wouldn't go back, because I'm madly in love with my husband and crazy happy in my married life, but I sure do wish I'd known how much good could be done with the amount of freedom I had. There's a lot of good that can be done in marriage, too, but it's a whole different ball game.