US Catholic Faith in Real Life

No such thing as Mr. Right

By Megan Sweas | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Christine Whelan and U.S. Catholic readers offer plenty of relationship advice in "Only You? Shattering the myth of the soul mate," but if that's not enough, a 79-year-old priest has more to contribute. Father Pat Conner has been giving his "Whom not to marry" lecture (mostly to women) for about 40 years. Maureen Dowd collected some of his wisdom in this New York Times column. Here are some interesting nuggests:

“Never marry a man who has no friends. This usually means that he will be incapable of the intimacy that marriage demands."

“Steer clear of someone whose life you can run, who never makes demands counter to yours. It’s good to have a doormat in the home, but not if it’s your husband."

“Is he overly attached to his mother and her mythical apron strings? ... (I’ve known cases where the mother accompanies the couple on their honeymoon!)"

"The strong, silent type can be charming but ultimately destructive. That world-class misogynist, Paul of Tarsus, got it right when he said, ‘In all your dealings with one another, speak the truth to one another in love that you may grow up.’"

Connor's list of requirements for the perfect partner goes on and on, and at the end of his lecture, he says, he gets complaints that he's eliminated everybody! But perhaps that is what you should expect when you ask somebody who has vowed his life to God and been celibate to tell you "whom not to marry."

How about a more positive approach: Whom to marry. What qualities should single people look for in--if not their soul mate, perfect match, or Mr. Right--their significant other and possibly future spouse?