There has been a lot written about the importance of compatibility in relationships—similar values, goals, lifestyles, and even work ethic. Compatibility VS incompatibility in any of these can make or break a relationship, as too many couples find out after saying “I do.” Notice I didn’t specifically mention religion, race, or ethnic background—because honestly, though these can be deal breakers for some couples, it’s usually because their differences in one of these areas results in a clash in desired lifestyle, goals, and/or values. So where am I going with all this?
Today is Ash Wednesday, observed as the beginning of the Lenten season for Catholics, and a day of fasting and repentance for many Western Christians. Generally speaking it is not a day that those who are casually observant adhere strictly to. By this I mean attending mass or services, getting ashes and going to confession (Catholic), abstaining from meat—and/or making a decision to give something up for the duration of lent. Therefore, those that do are often the more observant among their peers.
If you are a single Christian/Catholic who will be at services today and throughout the Lenten season—you will be doing so with others much like yourself. Some will be much older, others younger, and still others married or in committed relationships. However, there will also be available singles—men and women who may be looking for that right person on dating sites, in clubs and bars, and through work and/or friends. But do they or you (really) look around at the other faithful when in church? Or would this feel inappropriate, and if so, why?
A number of years ago, when I was young and single, a guy actually tried to hit on me in the line for confession—you can’t make this stuff up folks. It made me uncomfortable because it was inappropriate to strike up a conversation, given where we were. I did my best to nicely shut him down and that was that—not my type. However I have reflected on that incident from time to time and have come to the conclusion that if he had attempted conversation after service or just outside church, I would have been open to talking to him, even though I may have still found him to be wrong for me.
What I am trying to say is that Church could be a great place to meet someone—especially if your congregation has other singles, evening masses, social gatherings after services, ministries you can join, etc. And if your religious beliefs are a big part of your life, and if you want marriage/kids with someone who shares your values—you can improve your odds by going to the special services (like Ash Wednesday, Stations of the Cross, etc.), and by paying attention to who else is there. Chances are you won’t be the only single adult in the group, and when you see others you can try to sit near them, exchange a glance/smile, and try to walk out next to or near them following services. Then, ask a question or share an observation and if they respond, you have made a connection. Depending on their response, you could talk a little longer, look for them to sit with the next time you are there, suggest you go over for coffee together after the service, etc.
Love could be just a church service away. What have you got to lose?