Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us togewah today. Mawwage, that bwessed awagement. That dweam, wiffin a dweam -and wuv, twoo wuv, will fowow you foweva… so tweasure your wuv.”

Brothers and Sisters,

One time I was with some friends, and we were talking about dating. One friend, James, actually liked a friend of mine, which is what sparked the conversation. James said to his brother, Mike, and I, “I’d treat her way better than Dean treats girls, that’s for sure. I’d be an actual gentlemen.”

I had no idea who Dean was, so I asked, “who’s Dean?”

James said, “he’s a guy from school.”

Mike explained further: “One time Dean was with us and he said he really liked this girl, but he wouldn’t ever date her, and when we asked why, he said it was because she wore a cross.”

“What does that mean?” I asked, not quite understanding.

Mike looked at me, “it means she won’t give him what he wants.”

oof.

That’s genuinely all I could think when Mike told me that: oof. Then, later on, I formed more coherent thoughts, such as the following: Is this what dating is? Physical, emotional, abuse? Pathetic. If you think dating is a game where you get to take something from someone because you want to, and if they won’t willingly give it to you because they have  decency then they’re automatically worthless, then you never learned the meaning of a relationship. That’s not love. In the words of Jason Evert, “Love can wait to give; lust can’t wait to get.” If you find yourself thinking “I’m like that girl, who wears that cross; is that why no one wants to date me?” Then I ask that you understand this: You shouldn’t want to date anyone who has a mindset like Dean. You should never be the chastity cop in your own relationship. It’s not healthy. Why? Because relationships are mutual. It takes two to tango.

We know that use isn’t just physical. A lot of times, people use each other fully clothed, and not even in the same room; we all know that one guy or girl who has two, six, ten different people that they’re currently “talking” to – all of whom become objects of emotional use, and usually each of these people think they’re the only ones being pursued. You’ll be texting one day, saying stuff like your eyes are like diamonds, you’re so handsome, you’re cute, and on and on, and then it’ll just… stop. And you’re left thinking “what’d I do wrong? What happened? What’s wrong with me?” Use.

You have to be conscious of what you’re doing. It takes 21 days to break a habit, but this continuous -often times subconscious- form of use is going to be a forever thing. With the way the world keeps throwing Use in our faces, it’s a constant battle.

However, it can be made easier:

  • Make it easy to be good. Find good friends; only date someone if you can see yourself marrying them. Don’t waste your time on people that you genuinely can only see as a friend or acquaintance; it’s not worth it. I’m not saying they’re not worth it; I’m saying that pursuing that romantic relationship is. What’s the point if you can’t see yourself marrying them? You’ll end up breaking up, and that’s just more pain.
  • Treat yo’self. And I don’t mean in the Parks & Rec, jump-into-debt kind of way; I mean in the take care of your soul kind of way. You have to work on yourself before you can hold hands with someone else.  Go to Mass, go to Confession, listen to motivational speakers and moving music, hang out with your friends and family, go on a run; take care of yourself and your relationship with God before you chase after the guy in your Chemistry class or the girl in band.

And as for love… what is love? Is it a feeling? Is it an action? Is it a little bit of both?

1 John tells us, Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way  the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

Do you think Jesus wanted to die? No. So, why did He die? Why did He endure all of that pain, for us? Because He loves us. He went through this great act of will, He said, I desire your good, not for my sake, but for your own sake. Jesus died so we could know God and go to Heaven. Our common goal is to know God, so we can get to Heaven. Therefore, until you change your viewpoint on what love is; until you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to heaven, you do not know True Love. This is why it’s so important for you to have real, virtuous friendships before jumping into a relationship with someone; you have to really know them and what is important to them.

Otherwise, you will never be fulfilled, because we are made by Love, to Love, for Love.

This is my last blog post on this wonderful website; I hope you take the message of this post with you: That you treat people with dignity (yourself included!), that you love the Lord first, that you make it easy to be good, that you treat yo’self; that you learn to love selflessly, as the Lord loves us.

When I started this post, I opened with a quote on “mawwage,” straight from The Princess Bride. Without the terrible spelling, the quote goes as follows:

Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today. Marriage, that blessed arrangement. That dream, within a dream -and love, true love, will follow you forever… so treasure your love.” 

May our Maker bless you always,
-Jocelyn Paul.

Written by Jocelyn Paul

God said to me, “spread joy,” and so here I am, with Him, trying to do just that.

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