I have never joined in for the Not Alone Series,
a link up intended to build and support single Catholic women.
I honestly did not know much about it until after we were engaged
and my focus shifted to preparing for the next stage in our lives.
As Lindsay and I prepared for our 7 posts in 7 days challenge,
she invited me to join her in this series until we say, "I do".
I loved this week's prompt and hope you enjoy this new little series on the blog every once in awhile.
What are the qualities and characteristics that you are looking for in your future husband? We have talked about what we don’t want, but it’s good to have an idea of those things that are important to us. Discerning religious life? This applies to communities, as well!
If you would have asked a teenage Christina what she was looking for in a spouse
her answer would have been something like:
"tall, handsome, on fire for his Catholic faith, funny, smart, older than me...
Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant combined."
I would, like most teenage girls, have a checklist for ridiculous details of his likes and dislikes accompanied by high expectations of how much he would adore me
and how many butterflies I would need to feel in order to know it was true love and he was the one.
Then it happened. I met and began dating a young man that fit everything on my list.
I remember telling a friend that our relationship, how we met, our first date,
everything was like a fairy tale.
It was perfect.
But then it wasn't.
It was perfect on paper.
Despite all my dream boxes checked and all the butterflies felt, we broke up and moved on.
I learned something valuable then. A broad list is a good starting point, but it is not the end all be all. Lists can change and sometimes they change when you meet the person not on your list.
This isn't to say that you shouldn't have an idea of what you are looking for in a spouse,
I think you should,
but to be open to learning what you are looking for in your spouse as you discern.
I dated a few boys seriously and went on many dates before B and I began seeing each other.
From those relationships I discovered qualities that were more important to me
and some deal-breakers I had not foreseen prior.
Even in my relationship with B I can see God fulfilling my desires in ways I knew
and ways I was unaware. It is exciting to see this process continue as we grow through our engagement and I know it will only continue in marriage.
What was I looking for in a future spouse?
The answer is simple:
my Saint Joseph.
Someone humble, kind, wise, desiring a family, able to put others first, seeking after God, with a sense of humor and love of life.
I will not lie, the Jimmy Stewart-Cary Grant qualities combined in one person
are still pretty high. ;)
I just see them through a (hopefully) more mature light.
And because I know he will ask...
what are some of the things that I did not know I was looking for, but fill a spot in my heart?
I am a planner. I plan to plan.
B is a bit more spontaneous.
Okay that is an understatement, but you get the picture.
Some of my favorite memories and our best conversations have come from spontaneous moments.
Finding someone that was trustworthy was always a high priority,
but I never knew how important it would be to be with someone that returned that trust offering the same vulnerability to the other and integrity in honoring that trust.
This is so very key, especially as we move towards marriage.
I can worry and stress myself out with the best of them.
He calls me to worry less, slow down, and relax.
He reminds me of the good and to hope for it even when I cannot see it.
I could go on and on.
Thank you for letting me gush a little.
I am so grateful to God for bringing us together and fulfilling my heart's desires.
His list was so much better than my own anyway.