The dating scene in the 21st century is difficult and almost impossible for us, as believers. A hookup culture is normalized and unfortunately, the world treats dating as “mini-marriage”. If you find yourself ready to take on this life journey called dating a catholic man or a woman, here are some tips you should keep in mind as a young catholic.
You are already enough in Christ
The first Catholic dating tip is you should be secured that you are complete in Christ. Dating doesn’t mean that you are seeking to find someone to complete you, you will surely fail. You are one imperfect person plus you will find someone that for certain is imperfect too. He/ She will have flaws just as you are. Only when Christ is in the picture, both of you will experience complete joy in your romantic relationship. With this regard, you will have a realistic view of what dating looks like rather than how the media portrays and screams sweeping romance to it. Surely romance will be there but it’s more on teamwork and companionship. You will never discern these things if you in the first place is not intimate in your relationship with Christ (reflect on your personal prayer life). Obeying God’s way is the best way to go, for He knows what’s best for us.
Don’t skip the friendship part
This is where most people stumble and fall into a trap of tornado romance. Your relationship will be much stronger when it’s built on friendship, where two different people walk side by side towards a common goal. Enjoying mutual interest with each other rather than building up the romantic attraction. Getting to know each other in a real friend’s perspective will help eliminate fabricated environment for figuring out his/her actual character and also romantic expectations, where you both will not be pressured that you will be liked back. Enjoy activities that bond you closer as friends but be careful not treating him/her “extra special” as what would romantic couples treat each other. Never rush to go intimate; it will only leave you with a superficial relationship. Take your time. When you eventually get to know them genuinely as a person, it will be easier to elevate with what you have, which is a must in a relationship: authenticity!
Set clear intentions and end goals
One important Catholic dating tips you shouldn’t forget is to set clear intentions. Uncertainty is really what holds us back in giving our best for the other person. Having clear intentions is an edge to lessen the stress and worries in your relationship. You will know exactly how to do your part without going overboard. It is important also that both of you will have a common goal: marriage. We are meant to date with intention and purpose as Catholics. This means that dating for us should not be playing around as it will only lead to unnecessary heartaches and a total waste of time. Limitations and boundaries will tend to protect both of you physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Pro tip: Convictions matter!
Dating someone that shares the same convictions as you have will make it easier for both of you. Knowing someone and eventually loving them fully without compromising your convictions will strengthen your relationship. This Catholic dating tip means being assured in the thought that what you have will honor God. What are the convictions in the first place? They are your strong belief and or opinion on things in this life even if most of the people think otherwise. The depth of your conviction is dependent on how you know God. In the dating scenario, it is difficult to stand in your ground if the other person convinces you contrarily. So spare yourself from being torn and restless from time to time. As Catholics, we are called to be set apart for God; he wants us to enjoy this beautiful experience called physical intimacy in the bounds of marriage at its full glory at the right time. If you are not careful, you will get caught in this trap of today’s culture of instant gratification. Intimacy without commitment is obviously dangerous.
Healthy communication is the key
You can keep the pressure off by having open and honest communication within your boundaries. There may be a lot of Catholic dating questions but tell him/her what you feel, encourage the good. Be open and clear about what you don’t like, leave room for improvements and growth. Be caring without being too intimate. During conversations, honesty is the best thing you can give. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not, a false impression will get in the way of your relationship in the long run. The worst thing you can get is a just rejection, at least you know that you are not compatible and you will have fewer to no regrets in the future.
Listen to the people that seek your highest good
One important Catholic dating tip is to listen to people who matter. Oftentimes when dating, it’s too easy to get caught up in a relationship where you give exclusive attention to your special someone that the other important people in your life with the rest of the world fade into the background. Isolation as a couple from other vital relationship is never a good thing. Listen to your family or godly leaders/ mentor; seek their counsel and advice for they only want what is best for you. They can provide you crucial insights about your relationship. Often times they will be the one to point out your blind spots to help you grow and improve for the better or even correct you if you are heading in the wrong direction. A healthy relationship exists when it is supported and loved by the people that matter to you.
If you think God is now giving you a go signal to date then go for it! Just remember that Christ on the cross is the perfect picture of true love. True love is a sacrifice, a commitment, an action, never a fleeting emotion. Society should not dictate and define what dating means or should be. Dating is not just about convenience and empty promises. Catholic dating tips are meant to guide people and dating should be enjoyed by two people with God at the center of it. Surely it will blossom into something meaningful and is meant to be cherished that will stand the test of time.