Men are marvellous, and I wish I could help you guys more than I have. I spent most of my youth being afraid of men my age, and then when I got over that, I assumed men thought just like women. Writing my Singles blogs, however, has made it easier to understand men and being married has made it easier to identify with you. For the first time in my life, I've written a story from the perspective of male protagonists. I never dared to before.
The past fifty years were a weird time for men to be born in. The whole concept of masculinity, which was once narrow but easy to figure out, has been questioned. Women, freed from some bad stuff but also robbed of some good stuff too, often treat men terribly. But deep down, women, like you, want to be loved just as much as they want to be respected. The longing for love eats us up.
I think it a tremendous shame that the Women's Revolution, the Sexual Revolution and the so-called "Spirit" of Vatican II (as opposed to Vatican II) all happened at the same time. Amongst the casualties was the bloodied corpse of traditional Catholic courtship. Hands up everyone whose parents (or grandparents) met at a dance in the parish hall. When was the last time you were at a dance in a parish hall? Ah ha ha ha.
When Singles ask me what they should do, and I say "Get out there, make lots of friends, pray, be patient", I'm thinking mostly of women. And if you think it's easy for a woman to point out that men are different from women in many important ways, you haven't been excommunicated by the feminist sisterhood by being bodily carried out of the Woman's Day parade and dumped on the side of the road.
I think Single men, too, should "get out there, make lots of friends and pray" but I don't think you should be so patient. If you want to get married, get cracking. Go to Catholic social events (like coffee after Mass), find out who knows the cute girls, and get yourself introduced to the cute girls. You are less likely to get instantly shot down if someone who knows a cute girl introduces you to her. This was common knowledge in every century before this one.
Do you have a sister? Does she have cute friends? Has she introduced her to her cute friends? Why not?
Do you have an off-limits female buddy? Does she have cute friends? Have you asked her to introduce you to them? Why not? Is it because she'd hit you? Are you sure she's off-limits, then?
Do you have a priest you're good friends with? Have you told him you want to meet the future Mrs You? Has he suggested any Catholic events you might go to? Has he introduced you to any nice Catholic girls he knows? Why not? Rabbis and Evangelical Christian pastors think getting people in their religious communities married to each other is part of their job.
It is absolutely bizarre that every effort is made to throw Catholic boys and girls together before they are mature enough to marry, and then very litle effort is made to throw Single Catholic men and women together after they graduate from college. It's like you have the three- or four-year window of college Catholic Society to find somebody, and even then most are too young and poor to marry. However, that's how it is, and we just have to suck it up, and you men have to take matters into your own hands. Catholic women really, really, want you to.
By the way, you can also help out your buddies by introducing them to each other. Around the same time Invocante was telling Benedict Ambrose he should read my cool blog, Aelianus was lecturing me over Skype about my supposedly-heretical love of Lonergan and I was interrupting him by looking at photos of his Facebook friends.
"Can't you set me up with any of your friends?" I whined. "What about X? X looks cute."
"Oh, X. He got sent down from Oxford for [egregious scandal]."
"Well, what about Z?"
"Oh, Z. He got sent down from Oxford for [even more egregious scandal]."
"Would you like to live in a Historical House?" asked Aelianus. "My friend Benedict Ambrose lives in a Historical House."
Now I live in that exact same Historical House. We both already liked him a lot, but now Benedict Ambrose and I think Aelianus is the veriest cat's pyjamas.
Time to take the locks off the comm box and solicit suggestions from Catholic ladies and other ladies of good will to their Catholic brothers as how to go about finding the future Mrses Them. I want DOs, please, not don'ts. Keep it kindly, remembering that they are your brothers in Christ, whom Christ died to save just as much as He did for you.