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15 Questions About the Challenge of Finding Mr. Righteous

Lisa De Pasquale opens up about faith, relationships, and her fascinating memoir.

by
Chris Queen

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May 2, 2014 - 8:00 am
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Since I read and reviewed Finding Mr. Righteous last week, I’ve had the privilege of developing a friendship with the author, Lisa De Pasquale. I’ve been asking her questions about the book as well as her views on relationships and faith.

1. Chris Queen: Where did the idea for Finding Mr. Righteous originate?

Lisa De Pasquale: One Saturday I was crafting an email in my head to reach out to one of the guys in the book about some religious questions. The questions were real, but I wasn’t sure if they were coming from an honest place. Was I using a man to get religion or using religion to get a man? Then the title, “Finding Mr. Righteous,” came to me. I went to my computer to see if the title had been used before. It hadn’t! Even www.findingmrrighteous.com was available! I bought it and started making a few quick notes, which later became an outline, in my iPhone.

2. CQ: How did you develop the idea of telling the parallel stories of your romantic relationships and your faith journey?

LD: I wanted to write a book that all women – not just Christians or conservatives – would read. I thought the best way to do that would be through a chicklit-type book about dating. I went into the book with a loose outline, but a lot of the experiences in the book were happening in real time. There were at least three men in the book I had no intention of including or didn’t know at the time I started the book. I thank God for wrapping this story up in a nice bow. When I started writing the book I didn’t know how it would end. It was more poignant than I ever could have imagined!

3. CQ: How nervous were you at the thought of baring your soul and the details of some of your relationships?

LD: There were some moments when I thought “Should I really repeat some of these things?” but ultimately I thought the message was important enough to put it out there. I also thought that the only way I could truly connect with other women is by being completely honest about my ups and downs. I couldn’t tell a true redemption story without discussing my sins. I started the book with a quote from St. Francis of Assisi that my friend Liz Neaton posted on Facebook one day. I think it gave me armor for telling my story. He said, “I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.”

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A lot of men don't ask women out because they have grown up in a world where there is no clear line between expressing interest and harassment.

I clearly can't speak for my whole generation, but I can speak for myself and my male friends. Yes, we fear rejection, but we fear for our reputations more.

I always hear people saying "the worst that can happen is that she says no." That isn't true today. Approaching a woman, "putting yourself out there" can result in being labeled as a sexual predator, a creep, or even slapped with a sexual harassment claim.

A close friend of mine, one of the most harmless and meek men you will ever meet, was crushed by exactly this. He asked a girl to a dance. The girl responded by shooting him down. She then spread rumors on Facebook that he tried to force himself on her, and ended up filing a harassment claim with the school administration. To this day we don't know why, but she got a whole lot of attention and sympathy in the following weeks. Luckily the administration sided with my friend, but his reputation was ruined, he couldn't handle being "that creepy pervy predator" on campus, and had a nervous breakdown that made him leave school for a year.

Most of the guys I know who don't approach women do so because it is such a high risk proposition. It can end your academic or professional career if she isn't interested, or at least ruin your reputation. It isn't just your heart that risks being broken: it is your life.
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