Friday 26 June 2020

I May Have to Return to Writing for Singles

People. I'm supposed to be working, but I got led down a Twitter rabbit hole.


People, people, people. By whom I mean Trads. Men Trads.

This is not how you write personal ads.

YARG! If you are looking for a wife on a site called Traditional [or Traditional Catholic] Singles, you do NOT have to spell out that your future wife is not going to use birth control. What you DO have to spell out, at once, is what you do for a living.

Let's think "traditional" here. Traditionally (and also on Traditional Catholic Singles), men look for pretty, good-tempered, charming women to make their domestic lives nice, have their children, and be a good companion on the weekends they're not out with the boys. Traditionally, women look for men who can pay for all that. 

So the first thing I want to see after "Hi, I'm Bill, 31, from St. Ouain-Ouain, Quebec" is "I'm a software engineer/forest ranger/managerial trainee/firefighter/dentistry student/market gardener."

A dating profile is an ADVERTISEMENT. The whole point of advertising is to SELL something, and in this case you are selling the idea that you are a good catch. What would make you a good catch to a 50 year old millionairess is not what would make you a good catch to a 20-something traditional girl who wants a home, garden, children and flock of hens.

Men who want "traditional Catholic" women had better prove up front that they are "traditional Catholic" men. Unless the Traditional Catholic Single Man is a university professor,  Traditional Catholic Single Woman doesn't want to read all about his theological interests--at least, not yet.  Theological interests don't get Suzie Catholic her home, garden, children or chickens. I have an M.Div., so I know what I'm talking about.

Traditionally Catholic men wanting to get married generally left theology to their priest pals and got on with work.

Incidentally, anyone who thinks women should wear skirts 24/7 (I'm including nightgowns) and then has a seizure because such women prefer men who make enough money to support a large family is a fool not a good catch.

In short, if you want to have a really catchy personal ad, make sure you say up front and fast what you do for a living and what you will be able to offer the woman who consents to be your wife.


Mike, 30,  from Craighart, Scotland. Hello, I'm a research chemist for one of the UK's largest pharmaceutical firms.  I'm the second of five siblings. I hope some day to have children myself, but I'm open to whatever number God sends--one, five, ten, whatever. I'm renting a flat with some pals while I save up enough for a deposit on a house. My dream is to live in a big farmhouse in the countryside one day with my wife and children. My interests are metal-detecting, archaeology and football. My pals and I play five-a-side every few weeks.   

Unfortunately I don't trust the local Catholic school system, so I'm looking for a university-educated woman who will homeschool our future children. If my wife wants to work once the kids have graduated, that's cool with me. My feeling is that my wife shouldn't HAVE to work, but if she wants to when the children grow up, that's fine.  I'm not open to adopting/fostering, just so that's out there. I go to the local SSPX chapel for Mass, and I help serve Mass and set up for retreats, so that's also a non-negotiable. That said, I'm interested in meeting girls who currently go to other Latin Masses, too! 

End of. Going on about headship and skirts and age difference and all that stuff is just dumb. When you apply for jobs, you don't tell the company what it can do for you but what you can do for the company. I strongly suggest the same here.

Update: I added the "bad news" in the second paragraph--no adoption--because it's need-to-know but also off-putting to some girls. Maybe many girls, although women under 30 won't be too worried about that yet. But don't put any hint at a possible heartache in the first paragraph.

Update 2: Healthy traditionally masculine interests and friendships are attractive and suggest you are "normal", so into the first paragraph they go.


  1. A dating profile is an ADVERTISEMENT.
    Yes, thank you! I have been registered on a Catholic dating Website for a year now, and it seems so many people there have not grasped that concept. It starts with the terrible pictures they post of themselves. (Or worse, they post pictures of Jesus and Mary. Guys. I already know Jesus and Mary. I want to get to know YOU.) Guys (and girls),if iyou want to win a high-qualiy woman (or man), prove that you are high-quality, too.

    I think I would like for you to return to writing for singles, Auntie Seraphic. But I am also fine with posts about gardening and country walks. :-)

    1. Thank you! From what I seen, a good long read of the Traditional Singles website will give me more ideas for rants.

  2. Reading through the "looking for" section on various profiles gets my blood up. Then again, perhaps that's one reason why I'm not on a dating site. The GCM near me all don't have jobs, or are permanently studying or perhaps discerning and act as if one is a blazing feminist if they have a good job, and enjoying doing it. (Which I do, but also a girl's got to live somehow...)
    Even if you never write for singles again, you should know that I took refuge in your old blog this past week to help me try to get over a crush. Your straight talking and wisdom are a great help.

  3. Dear Clare, I'm so glad I continue to be helpful and doubly glad you enjoy your good job. As for the GCM, it's terrible that they don't have jobs. The phenomenon of GCW getting on with life and careers while GCM seem to be stalled in hobbies and discernment was first pointed out to me in the 1990s. I wish GCM weren't so stupid about women's jobs; it should be obvious to them by age 21 that jobs bring money and money is rather important in building a Catholic families, to say nothing of proper Catholic schools, Catholic charities, Catholic magazines, Catholic anything!

  4. How I have missed your dating advice! I've been a loyal reader for years, even though the dating scene in Nigeria where I'm from and live is quite different. Please consider posting more dating advice! Maybe a biweekly column? For old time's sake if not for any other reason. Thanks!!

  5. Yes! Please write for single catholics again! At some friends insistence, I was on catholic match for a grand total of two month a few years ago. It was horrible! Needless to say I've never gone back because it made me even more resolute in my firm belief that through prayer and fasting and good sense, the Good Lord would bring about His Will for my life. And He has! I'm engaged to the most sensible and wonderful man in the world, who moved to my city and to my parish quite providentially. But I know so many catholic women (both peers I sympathize with and young friends who ask for advice) who need to hear your dating tips and advice!!

    1. Yay! I'm so glad God brought the right man to your actual parish. Every Sunday I pray for Singles--that this sort of thing happens, or that they find the right religious order, or whatever God knows is best.

  6. Auntie Seraphic, please start doing a weekly column for singles again! when I was single I discovered your blog and loved it, it helped so much.
    Also, I was wondering if you could write something on the Gordon brothers (authors of Rules for Retrogrades). I noticed that you covered Tim Gordon losing his job after tweeting about BLM. I am rather concerned at how popular they seem to be in traddy circles given their very dubious teaching - namely, that it is a mortal sin for a married woman (not just a mom with kids but any married woman) to work outside the home. They also advocate for scrapping maternity leave as it encourages women to stay in the workplace. I had PND and returning to work (P/T) saved me. They seem to blame all the world's ills on feminism but as a young professional woman, and traditional Catholic, I am very grateful that there are so many more opportunities for women today.
    You are so wise, and a full length article on this would be really helpful! Thank you!

    1. Hello, Juliana! Sorry I am so late getting back to you. I didn't see your comment to approve it. And I will see what I can do about writing on behalf of Traddie Catholic Married Women who Work Outside the Home. Did the Gordons really say that it is a mortal sin for women to work outside the home? How mad. I can see why people object to mothers of babies and children working outside the home--IF and only IF--this means they neglect their husbands (if they have them) and children, but otherwise, I cannot see the problem. If the problem is that house prices remain high thanks to women's employment, that ship has sailed. Meanwhile, although I work FROM home (most of the time), I work for an employer OUTSIDE the home, and my poor husband would be indignant if someone told him this was a mortal sin.

  7. It would be nice to occasionally have posts about single life. I have some suggestions.

    1. There's the problem of ghosting. I haven't personally been through this (yet), but some women have mentioned that it's common. They'll go on a date or even have a boyfriend who they never hear from again without explanation. How long do you wait before it's clear that he's done with you? Women are hurt and wonder what they did wrong to lead him to make such a decision.

    2. Some people in Christian circles say that people should be friends before dating or courting. You can learn what their values are and their character. That way,you'll avoid wasting your time on someone who say believes in living together before marriage or who mistreats his family.

    They're not clear on how long a friendship should last before becoming a couple. I've heard people argue against this practice because it can lead to hurt feelings. I personally question how this could work. Wouldn't it be something hanging over your head making your "friendship" interactions awkward? How many people would be willing to be friends first?

    I can understand if two people who are working through personal issues in their lives that need to be resolved or are too young to begin a relationship like teenagers being friends or acquaintances. Then when they've healed and matured they can get together.

    3. I feel insecure because I think that I'm too weird or annoying to be wanted by a decent man. There are things about my life I'm embarrassed by. I have a fear of driving and I've been told it's ridiculous that someone my age can't do it on their own. I've been working with an occupational therapist to drive because of my anxiety and autism, but I have a long way to go. I've done counseling and one psychologist suspects that I have O.C.D.

    It's tempting to wonder, "Maybe I should just be grateful for any guy that shows interest in me considering what I'm like."

    4. Finally, there's the topic of being bitter about the immature actions of men. It's frustrating how so many don't make it clear if they're asking us out on a date or if we're just hanging out as friends. I don't want to be a nag to them, but they need to learn social skills.

    1. Tiny Therese, these are all excellent ideas. I'll tell you now, though, that I don't drive either. I never learned to drive, and I can't see the point of learning when we don't have a car. We have excellent public transportation where we are, and in a pinch, there are taxicabs. In a way I'm sorry I can't drive--it is a useful skill--but I don't NEED it and we get to save the money we'd otherwise be spending on insurance, petrol, etc. Meanwhile, don't listen to mean voices in your head telling you to settle for any guy.

      As for the dating/hanging out thing, this can be settled as soon as the plans are made. Men (apparently) like plain speaking, so you can ask "Is this a date or just hanging out?" without worrying he'll melt like a snowman.

  8. I worked for a year doing career development for a very orthodox Catholic college. My part-time secretary was an eldest daughter of eleven children, and I never met such a practical, capable girl in my life. I used to say I could ask her, as she was leaving the office, to have the Statue of Liberty moved to Teaneck, New Jersey, and she'd say, "Okay," and next day it would be done. She sent her young man to see me about jobs, and we had to find something he could do to support a family while he was working toward his goal of becoming a poet. The obvious choice was teaching, and I wondered if that would keep fed and sheltered the large family they hoped to have. If anyone could make it happen, she could.

    1. How sorry I am to have read this comment so late. I hope everything worked out well for your secretary and Augustus Fawnhope--I mean, her young man.