Father Knows Best

In the News Father Knows Best MoDo gets the goods on whom NOT to marry from, yes, a priest -Nicole Christie OK, this is refreshing. In a society that perennially preaches to women about what to look for in a man – that same-old, same-old good job, good brain, good looks, good personality – New […]

In the News

Father Knows Best

MoDo gets the goods on whom NOT to marry from, yes, a priest

-Nicole Christie

OK, this is refreshing. In a society that perennially preaches to women about what to look for in a man – that same-old, same-old good job, good brain, good looks, good personality – New York Times op-ed goddess Maureen Dowd has found a 79-year-old priest who preaches the flip side, gleaned from his decades of marriage counseling.

Oh, glory be to God! Honestly, if I’d read this when I hit the dating scene three years ago (after the end of an 8-year marriage/15-year relationship), I’d have voted several suitors off my island a lot sooner. Like many women, my greatest mistake has often been my conviction that all people operate from a place of goodness and with the best of intentions (including working through rough patches). And while I refuse to believe otherwise, it’s often led me to give the benefit of the doubt for FAR TOO LONG.

And that’s where Father Pat Connor comes in – to help high school girls (and all of us trying to be more discerning on the dating minefield) heed the red flags. A few gems from his Top 10 “don’ts”:

• Never marry a man who has no friends
• Steer clear of someone whose life you can run, who never makes demands counter to yours
• The strong silent type can be charming but ultimately destructive

Think about how some women take these stop signs and turn them into green lights. No friends? “Oh, he’ll have more time to spend with me!” Never makes demands? “He’s so accommodating!” Strong and silent? “Quiet confidence!

Uh-huh. Yeah. Right.

I’m not saying these are absolutes – they’re warnings. Take note (and keep taking notes), delve further, ponder carefully, never assume. Here’s an analogy I concocted and shared with a friend the other day: My pie is whole. Since my divorce, there’s no longer a piece missing, because I’ve filled it with other things that nurture my soul. But I’m open to new ingredients – particularly one main addition. He just needs to sweeten the recipe instead of lacing it with arsenic. I encourage you to do the same: Think about who you want in your pie – and who you don’t. Then engage Father Connor’s advice to keep out the poison.


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