With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many singles are wishing for a significant other by their sides. They’d like someone with whom they can share stories and laughter, the day’s events and world happenings, and a glass of wine over dinner followed by an evening snuggled up close for a movie night at home on the couch.
This may be especially true for the recently divorced. The newly dvorced acutely remember those special moments. They combat feelings of loss and worthlessness that accompany the breakup of serious relationships. The temptation to jump into the dating “game” too soon can be great and exacerbated by well-meaning friends and family who don’t want to see you alone or sad.
There are, however, good reasons to hold off dating until the time is right, and Lisa Duffy’s book, The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce helps divorced Catholics understand when that time may be.
Lisa Duffy knows about unwanted divorce firsthand through the painful abandonment of her first husband, and she has turned life around to become a well known author who writes for sites such as Catholic Match as well as her own books. She is also a highly sought after speaker on topics surrounding Catholic dating after divorce.
Divorce and remarriage in the Catholic Church have gotten much air time recently as some push to change or eliminate the annulment process and allow divorced and remarried without annulment Catholics to receive the Eucharist. I do believe there are radical changes the Catholic Church can make around divorce and annulmment. I felt betrayed by the annulment process, but I also believe there is a need for obtaining an annulmemt that many refuse to see.
In The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce, Lisa Duffy briefly discusses, in practical terms, why going through the annulment is a Good thing. This is something she knows firsthand since she also received her annulment prior to meeting and marrying her husband.
My biggest criticism of The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce is that it is misnamed.
Over six years had passed since the affair which led to my husband’s abandonment when Ave Maria Press contacted me and asked me to review The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce. I’d gone to meet one person one time in all those six years. I left that man within 20 minutes of meeting him because, despite his claim to agree with Catholic teachings, our values didn’t mesh and I could see myself being tempted down a wrong path. The experience, even with my annulment, left me wondering whether I was ready to date or whether I should begin dating at all!
The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce isn’t as much a guide to dating as it seems to be a much needed guide to determining whether you are ready to date in the first place, a totally different concept!
The book isn’t about how to act when dating or what to do on a date. The Good Lord knows I could use a book about that too since it’s been almost 25 years since I’ve really dated! Lisa Duffy, if you’re lisyening, maybe that’s a hint for your next masterpiece! 😉 ) It has een so long since I’ve dated that I can only hope I don’t ask some poor, unsuspecting prospect if his shoes are tied, his seatbelt is on, and his teeth are brushed before we drive off together for that first date!
Praise for Lisa Duffy’s Book
This is a book about how to prepare yourself to be open to risk and to be Loved again. With nearly 50% of marriages ending in divorce and that statistic climbing for second and third marriages this book is far more important than learning how to act on a date. Leaning over and cutting up a man’s steak on a first date may be forgivable in the eyes of a gentleman friend and God. Being a weak and miserable person on a first date may not be forgiveable in terms of being second date worthy.
The Bible tells us to build foundations on stone not on sand and yet too many of us run into the dating world with holes still in our hearts. This book helps readers discover holes they may not have realized existed and offers suggestions on how to overcome them and the advice is not just for Catholics dating after divorce. It centers around drawing closer to the Lord and building a more complete self, something all Christians would benefit from.
Dating after divorce is a tricky concept that leaves one vulnerable. Both Men and Women should take the time to examine and build themselves up before attempting a relationship. Is there a perfect time to begin dating? Probably not, but there are many times when the time or the person you’re considering, no matter how faith-filled and wonderful he may be, is not right for one reason or another.
By entering the dating world, you are telling God you are strong enough to guard and protect not only your heart but the heart of someone who may fall for you. Guarding someone else’s heart is a huge responsibility that we only begin to understand when we learn how fragile the heart truly is.
As a women’s life coach, what I like most about Lisa Duffy’s book are the questions and “next steps” she has at the end of each section which help you determine exactly that. Are you strong enough to guard and protect your own heart and ready, strong, and soft enough to return, accept, and protect the Love another offers?
The book is broken down into chapters on topics such as “Being Available,” “Being Affectionate,” and Being Magnanimous,” until the final chapter, “The Complete Package.” The questions relate to examples and points Lisa discusses in each chapter. They help readers discover answers. Next steps give concrete things you can do now to prepare to enter the world of dating after divorce.
It’s been almost seven years since my husband’s sudden abandonment. I have my annulment, and I have felt ready to move on and begin dating again. There are many considerations I need to look at, precautions I wouldn’t have thought of and probably wouldn’t have paid attention to 25 years ago. I am glad to have Lisa’s book to help me prepare for this new season.
I know now how fragile the human heart is, how delicate that life balance is, and how Blessed those who find true Love in another person really are, but I also know that Love from another person is not the be all and end all of existence. Lisa Duffy’s book helps solidify who you are called to be as a Child of God whether you meet a lifelong Marriage partner or not. Her questions and next steps are helpful for all divorced Catholics and Christians looking to build a more attractive, loving self in any circumstance.
And, as always, thanks for commenting, liking, following, and sharing!
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