When I received an email recently from Emmy asking if I would consider posting tips she wrote for Catholic dating, I though the timing couldn't be more perfect with it currently being National Marriage Week and St. Valentine's Day quickly approaching. I've already found my husband, but I know there are many men and women still looking for the spouse God intended for them. If you are currently looking, hope these tips help (and don't hesitate to try out online dating, I would never have met my husband if it weren't for the internet!).
With billions of people in the world, finding that one person you want to spend the rest of your life with can be a difficult process. It’s especially harder when there are so many differing opinions and beliefs. For those who are still looking for their partner in God's Life Path, here are a few tips on dating the Catholic way.
Image source: Luz Maria Espinosa
Do: Find someone who shares your beliefs.
Catholic dating sites (and regular ones) have many, many options for the single Catholic. Just be clear about your beliefs and what you're looking for in a date – preferably someone with similar wants and needs as you do. The same rule applies when you meet someone in person, whether in a coffee shop or a bar. You’ll have an idea of who they are and their interests after you exchange your first e-mails or texts before the date.
Don't: Rule out everyone who is not of the faith.
While it’s easy to rule out a date because of a difference in religion, keep an open mind and remember the lessons you've learned over the years from your faith. If they are non-denominational, it may be because they were not introduced to the good ways of the faith when they were young. Keeping an open mind makes you and your date more inclined to learn about each other's beliefs.
Do: Be a gentleman/lady.
A Catholic man and woman know how to conduct themselves properly on dates. Dress appropriately for the occasion and the place where you're meeting. Be on time and if, for some reason, you’ll be late, inform them beforehand.
Don't: Be a diva.
Be considerate of the other person and go somewhere where you know you can both afford the prices of the meal. A gentleman would want to pay for the entire date but even so, bring enough cash and offer to split the bill.
Do: Ask for their preferences.
For first dates, it’s much better for both parties to have an idea of what’s going to happen on a date. Plan and ask for their opinions on where to go and what to do. Spontaneity may be fun but it can be off-putting for some people, especially if you've only just met.
Image source: Thom Wall
Don't: Be steamrolled into going somewhere you don't want.
While it’s a nice gesture for you to consider your date’s preferences, don't forget your own. If they suggest a place where you’ve had a horrible experience, propose a similar venue. If they want to go dancing and you have two left feet, be honest and tell them in the beginning that you might be stepping all over their toes on the dance floor – literally!
Dating in this modern world can be a mess, but with these tips, it doesn’t have to be. Finding the one you to share your life with is easy when you set your cards on the table.
Emmy is a freelance writer for an online Catholic store that sells first communion gifts, rosaries, scapulars, and the like. She met the love of her life in Church and they’ve been happily married for almost a decade. They’re lucky to be blessed with two beautiful twin daughters.