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“Ask a Priest: How Can I Learn to Not Be Attracted to People?”
Q: I have been looking for a relationship for a long time. I really do want to meet my soulmate. I lose hope on the weekends when it gets really lonely. I have tried several novenas, dating apps and young adult events, etc. Is there a way I can train myself to just focus on God and not have this desire anymore? Is there a way I can force myself to not be attracted to people and not have any feelings for anyone anymore? I want to not care about finding a relationship anymore. To do this, I need to not want it. I want it so bad it is deterring me from praying for other people, and I have done sins while waiting to meet the right one. How can I not care anymore? I want to be able to spend my life not caring/wanting to meet anyone. Kind regards. — P.A.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: Your desire to find a soulmate is understandable. As a woman you have a heart that has a special capacity to love and to be loved.
In this sense, it’s unnatural (and unrealistic) to think that you can force yourself to not be attracted to people, to not care about finding a relationship. We are all made for relationships of one sort or another.
If you haven’t found the right relationship yet, it might be because there is some work you need to do first in order to receive the gift fruitfully.
There might be some purification and acceptance (including self-acceptance) that you need to accomplish, aided by grace. In the meantime your focus on God might help you, in your loneliness, to avoid entering a bad romantic relationship.
A path forward might be this: Try dedicating yourself to works of charity. Volunteer for Church-related work where you can do things for others. This is how you can express your love for others and exercise your heart muscle, so to speak.
Alongside this, in prayer, you should strive to be open to the possibility of not meeting Mr. Right. This doesn’t mean that you resolve to remain single forever. Rather, it means accepting the present and future as God reveals it to you, moment by moment.
The key here is that with an intense life of prayer and charitable works you will sense that you are loved dearly by God. He knows the desires of your heart, and if he wants you for himself, that is OK.
One other point is worth noting: A life of deep prayer and charitable works can also make you more attractive. A woman with a strong sense of purpose and a generous heart will feel more confident about herself – and more appealing to others.
In any case, being proactive will help you avoid leaving your life stuck in neutral. You don’t want to remain “on hold,” waiting for the right guy to come along.
Then again, you do have Mr. Right in your life: Jesus. Stay close to him. He is the only perfect love you will ever find in this world.
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