A couple relationships questions


would it be a bad idea to travel/ vacation with a boyfriend/ggirlfriend. obviously with separate hotel rooms and other appropriate precautions. would it still be scandalous in this case?

second scenario, let’s say a person gets a civil marriage license before their church wedding then felt that they did not want to marry the other person anymore due to trust issues, are they still required to try and make something like that work? the church doen’st really considered them married yet, right? could they still end the relationship as if they were still dating or something? and I mean this in cases where you require a state sanctioned license in addition to the church wedding

  1. No. It’s fine. Just use your brain.

  2. If you have such severe trust issues at that point, get the heck out. As for whether you are really married or not, and therefore have an obligation to act like a spouse, well, that doesn’t at all seem to be the case, provided you are reserving your intention to marry “for real” at church… UNLESS THERE WAS AN EXCHANGE OF VOWS. At that point, yes, the Church sees you as married until proven otherwise before a tribunal.

Never a problem in the states, as the two go hand in hand (for now) - the celebrant signs the license himself. Not sure aboot Canada, eh.

If this is a real situation for you, go talk to your pastor. If it is a real situation for someone you know, tell them to do that.


It’s hard to give advice without knowing a lot of details on the relationship, so I’ll just say this: know thyself.

This kind of situation can be an occasion of sin, or it could not be, depending on you and your girlfriend.

Another thing to consider is the opportunity to cause scandal. Might you cause others to think that you are fornicating? Is the kind of travel or vacation such that it would encourage such a belief?

Take as many factors into consideration as you can. And talk to your priest or other spiritual advisors you have access to.


well, in this day and age, everyone seems to think everybody else is fornicating so…

I don’t know if it would give an appearance of scandal, that’s why I’m asking.


I did it; we used to stay in hostel dorms on holidays and would mention to our friends in passing that that was our plan. But I’m sure there were people who didn’t get told what our sleeping arrangements were and jumped to conclusions.

In my personal opinion, it really is their problem. If you have no intention of causing scandal and try to avoid it and people jump to the wrong conclusion it isn’t your problem.

I mean, one could also argue that showing up to an early morning mass with your BF is scandal… people might jump to the conclusion that you spent the night together. That is their problem.

This is just my 2 cents, others may have a different opinion.

Also, the hostel idea does make it harder to be tempted while you are on hols! :slight_smile:


Just because someone gets the license to marry does not mean they are married. You do not have to marry them if you feel you cannot, so I am not sure what you are actually asking. Of course you can end the relationship if you are not yet married.


Well I’m afraid it isn’t really possible for me or anyone here to conclusively tell you if it would give scandal without knowing you and your environment directly.

What I would do given this situation:

I personally would not go on a vacation alone with a young lady I was courting. I have no fear of falling into sin myself, and given the kind of lady I’d be courting I would also have little to fear that she would be tempted. However, I would not enter such a situation, because I would want to protect her honor. I would feel duty bound to protect her reputation (and mine, for that matter) from any question of impurity, and taking a vacation alone would be unnecessarily risky in that regard. Considering there will be plenty of time for all that after we’re married, I just don’t see the need to take such a vacation.

Furthermore, I would take the opportunity to inform my significant other in this situation of my reason for not wanting to take a vacation alone, probably increasing her trust in my good character.


I get what you are saying. I just don’t understand why others have to be so nosy and assume things.

so many innocent things have to be avoided because others might get the wrong idea. though Jesus didn’t really care about getting a bad reputation, to be honest


So, tell us when Jesus got his “bad reputation?” :confused:


Considering the state of today’s society, one can argue that even using the word “dating” to describe marriage discernment to be a scandal, because most people assuming “dating” to involve sex as a matter of course.

While I find much of the “courtship” movement to be quite misguided, as **Xantippe **once mentioned there is nothing magical about slapping the word COURTSHIP on your romantic relationships, I do acknowledge that if I would assume that a “courting” couple is NOT planning to have sex before marriage.

I did meet a Catholic couple once who did not go away on vacation by themselves until their honeymoon and then spent a lot of time traveling to make up for missed time. They still referred to their relationship pre-engagement as “dating” however.



We’ve been over this. What you have written above is NOT scandal.

  1. If others go out of their way to break into your personal life, there is no error on your part. But if you are giving occasion for people to gossip - which, by the way, would only happen nowadays if you were claiming you and your partner required a transspecies accessible room in a hotel - then yes, you need a sufficient justification for that. Use practical wisdom in determining whether or not your reasons justify the chance that your actions will lead another to some sin or other. I can tell that you are overthinking it at the moment.

  2. If you were the Messiah turning over tables in the Temple out of justice and to fulfill prophecy, yes, that’s fine. But you’re talking about going on a vacation. There is simply no comparison. Christ had every justification for causing people to gossip, calumniate, revile, and eventually kill… He’s God doing God stuff.


No, what we do reflects on others. Look at the swim team guys on Brazil: one of them apologized and said as much. And how do you think groups get bad reps? Like fraternities as being party houses and worse, if not from the actions of their members?


I think it would not be scandalous in the old-fashioned sense, because everyone assumes sleeping together is normal and everyone is doing it.

But it might give scandal in another way: Oh, she’sCatholic and talks about chastity, but she went off to the beach with her boyfriend.

second scenario, let’s say a person gets a civil marriage license before their church wedding then felt that they did not want to marry the other person anymore due to trust issues, are they still required to try and make something like that work? the church doen’st really considered them married yet, right? could they still end the relationship as if they were still dating or something? and I mean this in cases where you require a state sanctioned license in addition to the church wedding

I suspect this would not be a problem due to lack of form; IOW, it would be like when one or two lapsed Catholics marry outside the Church and later change their minds.They still have to go to a priest to sort it out properly.


That’s right. My son was “married” for 9 years, and when that marriage fell apart and he returned to the Church, he went to a priest who facilitated the proper permission for him to remarry - this time inside the Church with no less than nine nuns and two priests in attendance (friends of the bride). His earlier marriage in the park by his first wife’s father, a Protestant pastor, was dismissed because of “defect of form”. But it was less complicated than a full-fledged annulment. A mere formality.


I know we have, but apparently scandal doesn’t always have to involve actual sin, just an appearance of sin.

it’s still hard for me to understand why people would be scandalized if I’m not actually doing something wrong. aren’t they guilty of rash judgment by assuming?


so it’s the person’s fault if they want to go on a completely chaste and innocent vacation and others use that as an excuse to gossip? it’s simply because many people don’t believe that chastity is possible

and it doesn’t have to even be vacation. people have gossiped about me simply for having male friends, or speaking to a guy in public. somehow that turned in to me trying to hit on all the boys and I must be dating all of them. and of course dating translates in to having sex.

when I got good grades in school, other started rumors that it’s because the teachers felt sorry for me because of my disability.

I don’t know, I just don’t understand assumptions. unless someone specifically tells me that they are having sex with their boyfriend, I don’t even think that, even if they live together. or I don’t think that a male and female are dating just because they are out in public together


this would be true if you are actually doing something wrong. but many people make baseless assumptions


that doesn’t mean that anything unchaste happened at the beach. people just assume that because they think chastity is impossible. just like how many people believe that it’s impossible for priests and nuns to be celibate, therefore they must all be hooking up in secret. yes, there are people who think that


You are looking for a general rule to follow. I’m sorry to say that there isn’t one - you just have to feel it out… Is what I am doing a reasonably foreseen occasion of sin to another? If so, am I justified on account of how important what I am doing is, in relation to the seriousness of the possibility of sin?

There are certain things which are always sufficient - life, justice, and doctrine. Other justifications require the use of practical wisdom, meaning weighing things prudently.

Getting good grades would be an example of NOT needing to alter behavior… Yes, scandal is being taken, but scandal is not being given… and you are bound more to do well in school than cater to the potential gossip, in my estimation.

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