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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: God witholding marriage from the single person
NewAger
Shipmate
# 10347

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quote:
Originally posted by MaryFL:
I think there are two issues here.

One is, it would be nice to have a spouse to share your life with. The other issue is with marriage being "the norm." Just look at the way people look at others who are over thirty and not married. It becomes obvious (to them) that there must be something wrong with you. This, to me, is annoying. Doesn't annoy me enough, obviously, to rush into a commitment with the first person I find, but I wish people would stop treating singles like they're incomplete persons until such time as they get married. [Disappointed]

Could not agree more. Well said.

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I know I'm psychic because my underpants say medium.

Posts: 51 | From: London, UK | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Paul.
Shipmate
# 37

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quote:
Originally posted by Laura:
But let's face it -- being ugly works better for men than women. A man can be uglier than dirt, old, fat and have a ferocious comb-over and still be surrounded by gorgeous women, assuming a certain number of other sterling qualities.

Doesn't have to be sterling, could be dollars, yen, euros...

[Biased]

Posts: 3689 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Spiffy
Ship's WonderSheep
# 5267

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quote:
Originally posted by MaryFL:
The other issue is with marriage being "the norm." Just look at the way people look at others who are over thirty and not married. It becomes obvious (to them) that there must be something wrong with you.

It's also an issue for those of us what aren't yet thirty but don't 'date' (which, of course, means going out to bars and taking random strangers home for a test drive). Thanks, but I don't see anything wierd in making a pot of soup for my friends on a Saturday night instead of getting sloshed and stupid with someone.

(By the way, anyone who wants minestrone soup, be at my house in about an hour [Big Grin] )

[ 10. September 2005, 23:59: Message edited by: Spiffy da Wonder Sheep ]

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Looking for a simple solution to all life's problems? We are proud to present obstinate denial. Accept no substitute. Accept nothing.
--Night Vale Radio Twitter Account

Posts: 10281 | From: Beervana | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:
What I said, or was trying to say, was not that if you don't have a partner you're not nice. But rather that if you work at not putting yourself first, on being genuinely interested in other people more than you are in yourself, good things will come back to you. It's kind of a "letting go" thing. If you don't look for it, you'll find it. It's a paradox but a generally true one I think.

"Good things" might or might not include finding a partner. If you meant the "it" we're to give up looking for and thus find to be a partner, you're wrong; this is not generally true. Sometimes it does happen. But letting go and not looking for a partner does not necessarily mean you'll find one. Plenty of people on this thread, including me, can testify to that.

Sine, the more I think about it, the more what you're saying on this thread strikes me as some kind of social version of a prosperity gospel. Put others first, be genuinely interested in others (or at least give that impression), don't be self-absorbed, and good things will come to you. Except it just isn't automatically true. There are loads of good people out there doing just that who are getting chewed up and spit out by life. If everyone else was healthy and well-adjusted, what you say would be true. But they aren't. Sometimes there is absolutely no reward at all, at least not in this life, for doing the right thing and caring about others enough to put them first.

And comparing the Psalms to Wonder, Love and Praise? Please. [Roll Eyes]

Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Sometimes there is absolutely no reward at all, at least not in this life, for doing the right thing and caring about others enough to put them first.

Indeed. Sometimes it led to fun stuff like upside-down crucifixion. Not much time for dating in there.

That said, I don't think Sine was preaching a sort of marital prosperity gospel. I think he's giving the Biblical version of "get past it".

But Sine, I think you should take into account that there are people who really are great folks and great Christians who are single and grieve for that a bit. And I don't see what's wrong with that.

I should have said earlier, by the way, that I object to the inherent assumption reported in the OP that a person is single if God has deliberately deprived her/him of companionship. The God I believe in isn't in that business. It's more that whether you've got a love partner here on earth isn't His primary concern. He's more interested in what you do with what you have to work with.

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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I think it's a problem, Laura, with this idea that God is all-sovereign over the minutiae of events in the space-time continuum. Thus if I'm single, or ugly, or have shin splints, it's God's doing.

Not that I subscribe to such a view of God, but I think that it leads to the "God is withholding marriage from me" sort of train of thought.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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I'm familiar with this as "God is My Micromanager" theology. ("He meant me to miss that highway exit!")

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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The same God who finds parking spaces for certain drivers, no doubt.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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miss jane
Apprentice
# 3107

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quote:
What if, deep within she knowns that her life needs ot be joined with another, but that 'other' never comes along. What theology helps this?
The theological perspective that I would genuinely believe helps us understand this is the already/not-yet. The Christian life is fundamentally one of suffering now, glory later. Yes, close, loving relationships are a good gift of God. But being a mature Christian, a nice, even a 'really really goodlooking' person, rich and/or famous, and wanting to get married doesn't mean that it is going to happen for you. I think the infertility analogy is a good one. Life this side of Jesus' return is not how it was supposed to be. The creation groans with longing and all that. Some people experience miraculous healings now. But other faithful, prayerful Christian people die horribly and prematurely. Some people find godly, loving spouses. Others find unfaithful abusive spouses. And still others find no-one at all. We are not in heaven yet. The day will come, however, when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Keep praying. Keep looking (if you can do this without it leading you to sin... bitterness, covetousness, self hatred, sexual immorality; choose your poison), but know that this is not the only age, and that in the age to come, it will be better than O.K, it will be perfection.

with love,

jane

Posts: 50 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
scoticanus
Shipmate
# 5140

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quote:
Originally posted by Laura:
I'm familiar with this as "God is My Micromanager" theology. ("He meant me to miss that highway exit!")

There is also the High Church variation:

Holy Mary, Full of Grace,
Let me find a parking-space!

Posts: 491 | From: Edinburgh, Scotland | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Lady of the Lake
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Re: Esmeralda's post/advice, which I thought was great:

quote:
Firstly, if you are a Christian woman and want your spouse to share your faith, you have to come to terms with the fact that in almost all churches, there are not enough single men to go round. And some of them are going to be gay anyway.
Long before you get to whether or not they're gay, there are other problems to face. Like, are they afraid of women or are they looking for a 'girl'.
Do they agree with the use of birth control in marriage ? (I've seen people get married where they don't really agree on this issue, and it spells disaster. It's expressing all sorts of differences in attitudes, not necessarily just relating to sex, but to roles, priorities, etc.)
Are they just playing the field and refusing to settle down (especially if they're older) ?
Do they rely on a woman to give their life meaning and to give them good self-esteem (I come across an alarming number of Christian men who have this sort of attitude. They often seem to lack close male friendships.)

quote:
All single women seeking church membership should be warned that it will seriously decrease their chances of marriage. Jesus told us, after all, to count the cost of discipleship.
You're right. A friend of mine has done research on single women in the churches, and advocated saying this upfront.
I'd add, though, that the churches have no excuse at all for not seriously working to make more male disciples.

quote:
If you are single and likely to remain so, you will have to make your own arrangements for this. You could house-share, or live in community (which has its own hassles), or do what I did, which is to gather a 'mini-community' of fellow singles around you.
Yes that sounds like a good idea, in general actually. Maybe belonging to a community to which you travel once a year, and whose rule of life you aim to life by all year round, belongs to this mindset ?

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If I had a coat, I would get it.

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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
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Interestingly enough, there was an article about this in this month’s Easy Living. The writer, Shane Watson gives these reasons:

- I haven’t met the right man
- I’m not looking in the right places
- Timing
- Getting picky
- Being scared
- Losing the hunger
- Bad role models
- Becoming an independence junkie
- Serenity (or lack of)
- Addicted to my unfinished story
- The joys of being selfish

Weirdly enough, she doesn’t include any mention of God withholding a partner because he’s a big meanie / insert your reason here.

I was still single in my thirties and came to the conclusion that, in most cases, getting married / acquiring a significant other was more influenced by luck and circumstances than anything I could actually do … And having come to that conclusion, I realised that the best thing I could do was “get past it” and accept my situation as it was and make the best of it. That said, the Pollyanna approach didn’t always work and there were times when I felt pretty pissed off about it. So I used to have a bloody good moan to the Lord about it. (And now I'm married, I have a good moan about that as well).

It’s not just the lack of a companion or a shag that you have to grieve for, it’s the lack of a family, children etc. (And before anyone says anything, I know that being married doesn’t guarantee children either, but it does help increase your chances!) Those are big issues to work through, and one of the things that really used to annoy me was just how lightly those would be dismissed. Stuff like this makes me want to spit in the speaker's eye:

quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
quote:
Originally posted by Duo Seraphim*:
I understand nouwen's friend to be feeling that particular lack, that there is a good that God has bestowed on others - someone to be their partner and to share their life - that He has denied her. And then it is reasonable to ask why.

Is it? Does nouwen's friend also want to know why God has bestowed good things on her that other people lack? Does she cry all over her friends because God has unfairly granted her good health, because she never goes hungry, because her home is dry and the power is on and fresh pure water comes out of the tap at the touch of a faucet?

Why do we act as if God owes us an explanation when we don't get what we want, but accept the things we want without a second thought?


Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:
Has your life experience shown you that people who put others first, who aren't obsessed with self, and try to put good things into the stream of life don't have amazingly attractive personalities that draw people to them?


Well, yes and no. And I do know, I think, what you're saying that if someone is attractive through selfless goodness, it will be seen and appreciated by others, one of whom might want to make a partner of that person. No doubt it happens, but I don't see it as a recommendation for getting hooked up with someone, by any means.

I see many people who put others first and do good things and are genuinelly good people and I think they've got amazing personalities because of all that. But they're still unmarried, lonely and asking 'why?' They don't seem to draw to them people who want to make partners of them, sadly.

In fact, experience seems to demonstrate, very often, that people such as you describe generally draw the kind of people who like to 'use' people like that.

I also see self-obsessed morons who are real takers and contribute nothing positive who manage to get through partner after partner after partner.

Sure, there are some people out there who find their spouse because they were attracted to, or came to appreciate their sterling qualities, but it seems just as likely you can still find yourself a wife/husband if you're a git of the first order and care diddly squat for nowt else but yourself. So the 'non self-obsessed, giving into the stream of life' thing seems to be rather turned on its head.

That's what experience shows me.

Posts: 10002 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:
Has your life experience shown you that people who put others first, who aren't obsessed with self, and try to put good things into the stream of life don't have amazingly attractive personalities that draw people to them?

The problem with that theory is that reduces the whole marriage / singleness issue down to merit. People with amazing personalities that draw others to them get married, those without them don’t. I Think Not. And I can't think of a situation where you could seriously suggest that to someone in conversation where you wouldn't get a smack round the face. What you’re implying is that someone is single because they’re not a nice person.

Much of it comes down to being in the right place at the right time. (In my case, in front of the now husband in a toilet queue at a party [Eek!] )

It's also an issue that people have to deal with in their own way. In my case, deciding to pray for contentment with what I had helped. I also told God that either he had two choices - either take the desire for a husband and family away or hurry up and provide one. But part of the reason for doing that was purely selfish - I thought that life would be more fun if I focussed on what I had rather than what I didn't. But that isn't something that would work for everyone. And reducing what was a long process of getting past it into a few sentences makes it sound much easier than it was.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
I_am_not_Job
Shipmate
# 3634

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Why don't we set up a Ship of Fools dating agency?

All I can say is from my own experience a partner comes up when you least expect it. I'd made a silly vow that I wouldn't date anyone ever again until I met the person I would marry. The next day I met this bloke who was ostensibly the complete opposite of what I thought I was looking for in a bloke and he somehow persuaded me to go out with him and a year later we were married.

OK, sickening I know but let your friend cry her tears when she needs to but then get on with life.

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Hope for everything; expect nothing

Posts: 988 | From: London | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gill H

Shipmate
# 68

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The Ship actually has a pretty good matching record. How many weddings has it been responsible for now? At least 10, I think.

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*sigh* We can’t all be Alan Cresswell.

- Lyda Rose

Posts: 9313 | From: London | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan_of_Quark

Anchoress of St Expedite
# 9887

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On the one hand, we have people saying Christianity is a great way of staying single forever if you're female (even if you don't want to) and on the other, matches apparently made on SoF. OK, I know SoF is NOT a church. But what's going on here? Is it the female:male ratio, are non-Christian men reluctant to date Christian women, do Christian women ALL have to start wearing socks and sandals after a certain amount of time in the faith [Smile] ?

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"I want to be an artist when I grow up." "Well you can't do both!"
further quarkiness

Posts: 1025 | From: The Book Depository | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Auntie Doris

Screen Goddess
# 9433

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quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
The Ship actually has a pretty good matching record. How many weddings has it been responsible for now? At least 10, I think.

OK - so who is in charge? and where do I sign up?

Auntie Doris x

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"And you don't get to pronounce that I am not a Christian. Nope. Not in your remit nor power." - iGeek in response to a gay-hater :)

The life and times of a Guernsey cow

Posts: 6019 | From: The Rock at the Centre of the Universe | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Catrine
Shipmate
# 9811

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quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
The Ship actually has a pretty good matching record. How many weddings has it been responsible for now? At least 10, I think.

Who have met their spouses through SoF? (Sorry to be nosey, but I'm intrigued)
Posts: 2614 | From: Midlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Catrine:
Who have met their spouses through SoF? (Sorry to be nosey, but I'm intrigued)

Yes. Ship romances seem to be quite common, actually...

I checked Limbo, but it seems none of the TDA (Tigglet's Dating Agency) threads has made it there. Oh well...

[spelling]

[ 14. September 2005, 12:02: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gill H

Shipmate
# 68

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I'm one of the few who remembers the first one, Claudine and Ian. She was an Aussie, he was from the UK, they flirted on the ship and within a very short time she was coming over her to marry him. Neither of them are on the ship these days - too busy having a life, I think.

--------------------
*sigh* We can’t all be Alan Cresswell.

- Lyda Rose

Posts: 9313 | From: London | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Lady of the Lake
Shipmate
# 4347

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quote:
Is it the female:male ratio
It's not just that, I find. Plenty of people of both sexes have issues to work through in the churches. It's easy just to think women are all doing okay, and it's easy to kid oneself aboutthat, IMHO.

quote:
are non-Christian men reluctant to date Christian women
Quite a few do, but some resent women who stick to their faith. [Roll Eyes]
Then there are ex-Christian men who do not want to touch Christian women with a bargepole, and ditto for ex-Christian women re: Christian men.
I would never tell women they should only date Christian men though. Plenty of Christian women have good relationships with men who are 'nominally' Christian.

quote:
do Christian women ALL have to start wearing socks and sandals after a certain amount of time in the faith ?
Why not just the sandals ? [Biased]

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If I had a coat, I would get it.

Posts: 1272 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Esmeralda

Ship's token UK Mennonite
# 582

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quote:
Originally posted by The Lady of the Lake:

quote:
do Christian women ALL have to start wearing socks and sandals after a certain amount of time in the faith ?
Why not just the sandals ? [Biased]
Yes, they definitely shouldn't have socks before marriage [Biased]

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I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.

http://reversedstandard.wordpress.com/

Posts: 17415 | From: A small island nobody pays any attention to | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Joan_of_Quark:
On the one hand, we have people saying Christianity is a great way of staying single forever if you're female (even if you don't want to) and on the other, matches apparently made on SoF. OK, I know SoF is NOT a church. But what's going on here? Is it the female:male ratio, are non-Christian men reluctant to date Christian women

In my limited experience its because most Christian women are reluctant to have anything to do with Christian men...

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by The Lady of the Lake:
I would never tell women they should only date Christian men though. Plenty of Christian women have good relationships with men who are 'nominally' Christian.

Presumably they include all the women who come to church on their own, or with their children and no bloke, giving the place the impression of being full of single women when it isn't really? (or at least not single and interested ones anyway)

But this is in danger of turning into a retread of half a hundred previous whinges.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Joan_of_Quark

Anchoress of St Expedite
# 9887

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quote:
Originally posted by The Lady of the Lake:
[QUOTE]Plenty of people of both sexes have issues to work through in the churches. It's easy just to think women are all doing okay, and it's easy to kid oneself aboutthat, IMHO.

Kind of like dating agencies, evening classes and other places which tend to have a permanent rump of the dorkishly unpairoffable (and a hopefully tiny minority of the absolutely barking) in amongst the people you might actually want to meet? Along with all the church-specific issues, that is?

quote:
Originally posted by Esmeralda:
they definitely shouldn't have socks before marriage [Biased] [/QB]

Aha, maybe that's what I'm doing wrong! I get cold feet, you see. (And got cold feet about marriage on more than one occasion [Smile] )

quote:
Originally posted by ken:
In my limited experience its because most Christian women are reluctant to have anything to do with Christian men...

That sounds like a challenge [Two face] ... now where DID I put my bargepole?!

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"I want to be an artist when I grow up." "Well you can't do both!"
further quarkiness

Posts: 1025 | From: The Book Depository | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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In case ken is correct, I would like to point out to any eligible and involuntarily single hetrosexual Christian women (aged 21-35) that I am friendly towards Christians but am not myself a Christian....

[Two face] [Two face]

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Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
Stuff like this makes me want to spit in the speaker's eye:
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Why do we act as if God owes us an explanation when we don't get what we want, but accept the things we want without a second thought?


Sorry you feel that way, Tubbs. I had seriously overdosed on Katrina news last week, among other things, and was feeling angry and uncharitable when I read the OP.

Nouwen asked for a theological answer to her friend's problem. Since I didn't say it particularly well the first time, I'll try again. The theological answer is that you don't always get what you want. Not only that, but you don't always get what you deserve. Solomon himself said that the fastest person doesn't always win the race. Likewise, the most lovely, most gracious, most charming person doesn't always get a spouse. As my father always said, life's not fair; get used to it. Solomon said time and chance happen to everyone.

Life is difficult. It hurts. Bad things happen. And good things happen, too. Sometimes the good things and bad things that happen are the consequences of choices you've made -- you got an A because you studied hard; you got an F because you didn't turn in any homework all semester.

But many times, most times perhaps, the good things you get are not the result of anything you've done; you didn't get them because you are better than anyone else, or worked harder, or had more faith, or because God loves you more. Same with the bad things -- they're not because of anything you've done or failed to do, not a result of a lack of faith, not because God hates you or is holding back on you. They just happen.

That's not an easy answer to accept, I know. But it's the answer that I believe is true.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
andrew1066
Apprentice
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hello, I am new to S-o-F and this is my first posting
what Josephine just posted makes sense to me
I have been both happily and unhappily married, and unhappily and happily single, which I now am.
A question that occurs to me time and time again is:
How do the couple create, enter into, solemnize (call it what you will) a marriage that is valid in the eyes of God-&-the-Church?
I am not asking how to create a marriage that is valid according to [English, or any other earthly jurisdiction] law.
What exactly do the couple need to
DO? and
INTEND? and
PROMISE?
What is necessary and sufficient to the creation of a theologically valid marriage?
(apart from the confetti of course)

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the better it gets is better than the better it was

Posts: 12 | From: truro | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
corvette
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# 9436

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welcome andrew [Smile]


rats, so the confetti *was* important after all, that explains everything. Ain't hindsight wonderful? [Frown]

Posts: 494 | From: ecclesia sans frontiers | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ms Lilith
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# 1767

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Hi andrew1066 I think maybe 'theologically what makes a marriage" would be a good thread of it's own. I nearly derailed this one with an anecdote and some thoughts.

So about singleness… I am 28 and single because
  • I don’t pick up men in tacky bars or go to tacky bars (I understand that people out there meet that way)
  • I wont go anywhere where there might be Christian men looking for a Christian wife (suspicious of speed dating at Greenbelt)
  • Most of the people I meet through my friends are couples
  • I cant flirt
  • I don’t want a man who isn’t as clever as me and the men Ive met have liked their women to be a teeny bit less clever than them
  • The first thing people say when they meet new people is "so what do you do?" and I have had to confess to working for a Christian charity and men back away thinking "get away from me you freak"
  • I like my space, in my head and in my flat, so I don’t try hard enough

And probably for other reasons but I don’t think it is God's fault any more than I think it is God's fault I don’t have a job or a size ten figure or red hair (I prayed for red hair as a child). It is about the choices I have made.

And thinking that, my logical head says "don’t be silly now it is nt God's fault is it" but I remember being in love with a man I couldn’t have and at the time it felt reasonable to cry at God for sending him into my life. So although it has never occurred to me to rage at God for the people I haven’t met I can kind of understand why someone would cry and wonder what the pattern and purpose is behind the pain they are feeling. And I can understand that hearing "but your theology is all wrong" isn’t going to help in that moment because you work out your pain within the parameters you have and later you think about the theology.

[ 15. September 2005, 00:19: Message edited by: Ms Lilith ]

Posts: 266 | From: birmingham | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
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quote:
Originally posted by Ms Lilith:
the men Ive met have liked their women to be a teeny bit less clever than them

Really? [Eek!]

Methinks you may just have met dorky men.

--------------------
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Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
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quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
quote:
Originally posted by Ms Lilith:
the men Ive met have liked their women to be a teeny bit less clever than them

Really? [Eek!]

You'd be amazed, this really isn't (wasn't?) an uncommon view. As a workmate of mine once said to me, quite seriously:

quote:
Well, obviously you want a girlfriend who's intelligent, successful and funny. As long as she's not quite as intelligent, successful or funny as you.
Looking at Mr Rat's generation (40+) he is quite unusual among his friends in being with a woman who is of a similar educational level and career status to him. Most of his workmates are degree-educated men married to hairdressers, shop-assistants and the like. (Which is not to suggest that hairdressers and shop-assistants are not intelligent, but there is an obvious gap in status, education and earning power there.)

Obviously this attitude can't have been universal, or there'd be a lot more educated spinsters than their are, but in certain circles it seems to have been common.

I have to say, though, looking around the partnerships of people my age and younger, I don't see the same gap. It seems the norm to be with someone of a similar level of education to yourself, often met through education or work. And while I don't spend a lot of time around young men, I get the impression they are far less hung up about such things, if they cross their minds at all. So chalk up one improving social trait, IMO, if my impressions are correct.

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Ms Lilith:
So about singleness… I am 28 and single because
  • I don’t pick up men in tacky bars or go to tacky bars (I understand that people out there meet that way)
  • I wont go anywhere where there might be Christian men looking for a Christian wife (suspicious of speed dating at Greenbelt)
  • Most of the people I meet through my friends are couples
  • I cant flirt

<snipped a couple out>

  • I like my space, in my head and in my flat, so I don’t try hard enough

Yep, that's pretty much the list of reasons why I'm currently single as well. Except I'm not 28 yet. And reverse the usage of "men" and "women" [Biased] .

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
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Hmmm...

getting a bit personal here I suppose. But a few months ago I realised that if I looked back over the last 30 years or so & added together women I had had some sort of relationship with (including ones that lasted little more than an evening), the count was now just about into two figures. Which isn't exactly a statistical sample but is enough to do 5-bar gates with. So I wrote down on a piece of paper some characteristics

And found (amongst some rather less expected things) that just about all these people had had better educational qualifications than me, and that one thing they nearly all had in common was being very clever.

Of course that leaves open the question of whether I am more likely to fancy brainy women or they are more likely to fancy me... general observation that it is usually women who decide these things would make it likely that the latter is true.

There is certainly some sorting by education going on. In my age group about 1 person in 10 in the UK has a university degree. Amongst current twenty-somethings its more like a third. Say 1 in 5 is a good average. If it was at random the chance of 10 consecutive close encounters (of whatever kind) being with someone who had a degree would be 1:5^10 which is about 1 in a million. (And yes I know that educational acheivement is a very bad proxy for being clever, and I know that the real odds are a lot less than that because there are class, employment, and geographical issues to consider. )

So my own personal experience from a sample of one (i.e. me) is that intelligence is no barrier. Quite the opposite in fact...

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Lady of the Lake
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# 4347

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quote:
Originally posted by Ken:

In my limited experience its because most Christian women are reluctant to have anything to do with Christian men...

Maybe you're right about some people. In response to your comment:

quote:
Presumably they include all the women who come to church on their own, or with their children and no bloke, giving the place the impression of being full of single women when it isn't really? (or at least not single and interested ones anyway)
Maybe this depends on the church ? The women I'm referring to are ones who are married, remarried or repartnered to or going out with 'nominal' or non-Christian men. I'd be interested to know what some people in those relationships think of the theology of God giving or withholding a partner. [Biased]

People I've known who've done evening classes have been pretty normal and well-adjusted. Maybe this is because people who like learning languages tend to be sociable and well-adjusted in the first place, and are learning languages in order to communicate with other people. [Smile]

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If I had a coat, I would get it.

Posts: 1272 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
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quote:
Originally posted by The Lady of the Lake:
People I've known who've done evening classes have been pretty normal and well-adjusted.

Me too. They have, though, tended to be either young mums or retired couples. So not necessarily a good hunting ground for a single person, whether they're looking for new friends or a potential love-interest.

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Esmeralda

Ship's token UK Mennonite
# 582

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Hmmm...

getting a bit personal here I suppose. But a few months ago I realised that if I looked back over the last 30 years or so & added together women I had had some sort of relationship with (including ones that lasted little more than an evening), the count was now just about into two figures. Which isn't exactly a statistical sample but is enough to do 5-bar gates with. So I wrote down on a piece of paper some characteristics

And found (amongst some rather less expected things) that just about all these people had had better educational qualifications than me, and that one thing they nearly all had in common was being very clever.

Of course that leaves open the question of whether I am more likely to fancy brainy women or they are more likely to fancy me... general observation that it is usually women who decide these things would make it likely that the latter is true.

There is certainly some sorting by education going on. In my age group about 1 person in 10 in the UK has a university degree. Amongst current twenty-somethings its more like a third. Say 1 in 5 is a good average. If it was at random the chance of 10 consecutive close encounters (of whatever kind) being with someone who had a degree would be 1:5^10 which is about 1 in a million. (And yes I know that educational acheivement is a very bad proxy for being clever, and I know that the real odds are a lot less than that because there are class, employment, and geographical issues to consider. )

So my own personal experience from a sample of one (i.e. me) is that intelligence is no barrier. Quite the opposite in fact...

Ken, if only I'd met you when I was single! I suppose I might have not found you brainy enough, but I don't get that impression from your many posts. And our politics might have agreed admirably..

Alas, now it is too late.

I find pretty strange that people won't go where there are Christians looking for Christian partner. There were few enough of them around in my day, that if Christian Connection had existed then, I'd definitely have joined!

Of course you meet the odd dork/axe murderer (all right, there aren't that many Christian axe murderers about, but there are plenty who look and behave like one). But you have to take your chances, or you'll never meet anyone!

It would be interesting to do a poll of how people met their partners, Christian or not. I met mine at a Christian conference, where I'd gone to run workshops on feminism! (and I thought he was a complete dork at first, and for a considerable time after that).

--------------------
I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.

http://reversedstandard.wordpress.com/

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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I've heard it said that generally speaking, intelligent women look for partners who are their equals or betters in intelligence; for men this factor is not nearly so important. (Yes, it's a generalization.)

It was from some kind of study done years ago, and was invoked to explain why (at least in the U.S.) a single woman's chances of marrying decrease with each additional degree she earns, but it is not so for a man. If women normally marry "equally or up," their potential partner pool is smaller than that of similarly educated men, who often choose to marry "down."

From my own experience, I'd say there's something in it. I've met quite a few never married female PhDs and relatively few males. And I've certainly experienced the stereotypical male reaction to my intelligence and / or degree. (Everything from a high school boyfriend's anger when I earned a higher grade in biology, to being told by a grad student that "I had a mind like a man"--he couldn't understand why I got pissed off at his lovely little compliment--to having my past boss use the phrase "intelligent women" as a swear word.)

I got fed up and refused to hide my light under a bushel. Fortunately, I met a lovely man who was actually PROUD of having an educated and intelligent wife. (he brags about me [Axe murder] )

Obviously, not all Western men are like this. But quite a few are. Maybe that explains why I had to marry outside my own culture to find a secure one.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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Rat - I know men who actively want their women to be slightly less intelligent than themselves as well. I even know a few men who actively want their girlfriend to be dense. [Disappointed]

I also know men, such as myself, who would like their girlfriend to be roughly on a par intellectually with themselves. Slightly brighter or less bright is fine. Significantly brighter or less bright is not. But, basically, the same level is ideal.

Have to say that I haven't met many men who want a much brighter female partner, though.....

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
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Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I've heard it said that generally speaking, intelligent women look for partners who are their equals or betters in intelligence; for men this factor is not nearly so important. (Yes, it's a generalization.

This is probably true, although also a generalisation, as you say. Intelligence, or the lack of it, is a significant factor for when deciding whether or not to date a given female.

Ideally (and I stress ideally), I would like my gf to have a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree*, to be well read, to be articulate, to be emotionally literate and to be able to live and let live most of the time. I assume that this is also what most women mean by intelligence?

Papio

*Is that really snobby? [Hot and Hormonal]

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
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Joan_of_Quark

Anchoress of St Expedite
# 9887

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
Have to say that I haven't met many men who want a much brighter female partner, though.....

I was reading up on high IQs somewhere (hopefully no-one will mistake me for someone who thinks high IQ is exactly the same as intelligence etc etc) and it said that generally more "intelligent" people are more "successful" - in terms of jobs, partners etc. However, beyond a certain point they find it harder to get partners. This kicks in at 140ish for men BUT 125 for women. [Roll Eyes]

Also hope no-one thinks I meant everyone in an evening class was a dork - was just trying to say that every place which includes meeting the rest of the human race has a few of 'em. My own worst experience at evening class was being chatted up by the male model during coffee break in a life drawing class - kinda ruins the mystery, doncha know? [Biased]

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"I want to be an artist when I grow up." "Well you can't do both!"
further quarkiness

Posts: 1025 | From: The Book Depository | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Little Miss Methodist

Ship's Diplomat
# 1000

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
Ideally (and I stress ideally), I would like my gf to have a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree*, to be well read, to be articulate, to be emotionally literate and to be able to live and let live most of the time.

*Is that really snobby?

Yes.

Lets put it this way. I'm intelligent, (i'd say I was very intelligent, but that would be way too much boasting [Biased] ). But, I have a third class degree. It's got nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with losing interest in my subject and just not really working. I could have got a first if I had wanted to, but instead I had a good time at university, and have absolutely no regrets about that. I certainly don't think it makes me any less intelligent than people who have firsts. Accademic qualifications aren't everything, and whilst they can be an indicator of intelligence, being intelligent is about more than making the right marks on an exam paper.

Almost top of my list of attributes in a partner is that they would have to be at least as intelligent as me, and I rate that highly because if i'm going to end up with this guy for the rest of my life, I want to be able to have intelligent conversations with him on my level.

Papio, perhaps what you mean is that you are attracted to girls who are more accademic - I think thats slightly different to intelligent.

LMM

[ 15. September 2005, 17:55: Message edited by: Little Miss Methodist ]

--------------------
Tell me where you learned the magic,
The spell you used the day you made me fall....


Posts: 1628 | From: Caretaker of the Overlook Hotel | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Auntie Doris

Screen Goddess
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Miss Methodist:
Almost top of my list of attributes in a partner is that they would have to be at least as intelligent as me, and I rate that highly because if i'm going to end up with this guy for the rest of my life, I want to be able to have intelligent conversations with him on my level.

Kind of where I sit with this issue. I want to meet someone who is intelligent, but that doesn't mean they wil necessarily have gone to uni. I want someone who can string a sentence together though... and has an opinion about most stuff!!

Unfortunately, my last blokes appeared to have had shit for brains. [Frown]

I am (reasonably) intelligent, I have a degree and a Masters, but my real problem is that I have a big fat mouth and I say what I think!!! [Big Grin]

Auntie Doris x

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"And you don't get to pronounce that I am not a Christian. Nope. Not in your remit nor power." - iGeek in response to a gay-hater :)

The life and times of a Guernsey cow

Posts: 6019 | From: The Rock at the Centre of the Universe | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Miss Methodist:
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
Ideally (and I stress ideally), I would like my gf to have a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree*, to be well read, to be articulate, to be emotionally literate and to be able to live and let live most of the time.

*Is that really snobby?

Yes.

Lets put it this way. I'm intelligent, (i'd say I was very intelligent, but that would be way too much boasting [Biased] ). But, I have a third class degree. It's got nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with losing interest in my subject and just not really working. I could have got a first if I had wanted to, but instead I had a good time at university, and have absolutely no regrets about that. I certainly don't think it makes me any less intelligent than people who have firsts. Accademic qualifications aren't everything, and whilst they can be an indicator of intelligence, being intelligent is about more than making the right marks on an exam paper.

Almost top of my list of attributes in a partner is that they would have to be at least as intelligent as me, and I rate that highly because if i'm going to end up with this guy for the rest of my life, I want to be able to have intelligent conversations with him on my level.

Papio, perhaps what you mean is that you are attracted to girls who are more accademic - I think thats slightly different to intelligent.

LMM

I had a good time, did not work that hard, and still got a 1st.

How do you define intelligence then? I think being academically able, emotionally literate and articulate are pretty key indicators. Can someone be intelligent without them? I think not.

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
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The Lady of the Lake
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# 4347

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

I've met qutie a few never married female PhDs and relatively few males.

What are the differences between married and never-married women PhDs ?
I wonder if there are some psychological differences that might explain why some get hitched and some don't. The married ones I know are stable and happy, but one thing they have in common is that they have interests outside work and can handle non-academic types of people. Not all academics one comes across are like this.

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If I had a coat, I would get it.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by Joan_of_Quark:
However, beyond a certain point they find it harder to get partners. This kicks in at 140ish for men BUT 125 for women. [Roll Eyes]

But as you said, IQ scores are complete and absolute bollocks. I have had been tested 4 times, and the difference between the lowest and highest scores is over 20 points. And, no, there is not a progressive increase each time.

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
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Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Paul.
Shipmate
# 37

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
I think being academically able, emotionally literate and articulate are pretty key indicators. Can someone be intelligent without them? I think not.

How are you defining that? Just curious.
Posts: 3689 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by LatePaul:
quote:
Originally posted by Papio.:
I think being academically able, emotionally literate and articulate are pretty key indicators. Can someone be intelligent without them? I think not.

How are you defining that? Just curious.
Able to know, without having to think too much, what emotions other are presenting and whether these seem genuine. Ability to know you feel. Politeness. Ability to leave alone. Ability to push someone if that is appropriate.

FWIW - I think I could improve on some of these.

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
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Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Paul.
Shipmate
# 37

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quote:
Originally posted by Joan_of_Quark:
However, beyond a certain point they find it harder to get partners.

Cool! So it's not that I'm sad, desperate and not NT-Christian enough, it's just that I'm too smart! [Big Grin]
Posts: 3689 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged



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