As a Catholic, should I avoid dating any non-Christians

After just starting University, I’ve quickly found that there are a tiny tiny amount of practicing Catholics in my campus of 20,000(about 20 active in total). Furthermore, the number of Christians is also small and dwindling. Does anyone have any experience with dating outside of Catholicism in to the many sects of Protestantism or even better, does anyone have any experience as a Catholic, with the increasingly common group of young people who identify themselves with no religion and professed atheists.

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My wife converted to Catholicism right before we got married. Once she knew the truth deciding to covert was easy. I dated all kinds of girls, from Christians to atheists to Muslim. Nothing ever worked out because whenever I would talk the truth they wouldn’t listen. Now we have 3 children and openly talk and pray around them. In today’s world I feel very strongly that it’s important for 2 people to be the same. If you know the truth how can you decide to ignore it with your significant other? Now if they are open to discussion that’s completely different.


Do you mind me asking what your wife converted from. Because the issues, that I would see are that if someone is non religious, they are really going to frustrated with the idea of chastity. I can’t imagine that people who are okay, with forgoing sex, for a few years, for no other reason other than the other person believes it to be the right thing. This would seem especially true, in the early stages, when they are less likely to be open about these things.

Dating leads to feelings of romance and “falling in love”. If you are okay with marriage to someone who is not Catholic and ready for all that entails (read the jillion posts here about the “I married a non Catholic and it was fine but now he/she won’t let me baptize our kids, let me go to Mass, abide by the Church teaching on XYZ, out a crucifix in our house” posts.)

20 Catholics out of 20,000 students is a pretty stunning number. Maybe you have simply not met the other Catholics?

In a uni that large, there must be a University parish. Are you involved there? Is there Newman or Focus or Theology on Tap?

As they used to say when I was a kid, date those who you’d want as your mate.


She was Methodist.

The less common ground you have to work on, the more opportunities for conflict to arise. And then you have to decide, what’s more important-- my belief in x, or my relationship with y.

Me, I married someone who was baptized Methodist, and was non-practicing. When we dated, he would go to Mass with me, and we got married in the Church. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but it ended up more complicated than I expected. For example— NFP. I’m like, “Hey, the science.” And he’s like, “That’s baloney.” And I’m like, “Uh, science. Science is good, right?” and he’s like, “Eeep! I’m scared we’re going to have kids I don’t want.” And I’m like, “Uh, I thought we were going to work on kids in the future, right? Like, settle down and have a family?” and he’s like, “You know, I kind of like things the way they are. But in the meantime— eeep! I’m scared!”


Or, for example-- saying prayers with kids. Sometimes, even though I knew intellectually he was raised Methodist, I wonder if he’s really agnostic. Or atheist. Or something. Because faith plays no visible role in his life. And so sometimes, doing ordinary things like saying bedtime prayers with the kids— you kind of wonder, in the back of his head, “Does he think I’m being silly? Or dumb? Or superstitious?” And I shouldn’t be thinking about what DH thinks about, say, me doing a rosary with the kids. I should be paying attention to other things. But it’s still there in your head. Because you don’t have that common ground, but you do have that vulnerability that comes from wanting someone you love to approve of you/not sneer or look down on things that are important to you.

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Oh goodness, the numbers really are atrocious unfortunately. I would be heavily involved with Catholics in my University and in other Universities two. I guess there are other people out there. But they are not very interested in their faith. I guess there is a stigma at the moment, from a non religious perspective catholics often look puritan. It doesn’t help that the Catholic societies are really doing a bad job of trying to break away from this perception.

Also what about evangidating :joy:

Do you think it makes a difference, If the Husband is the religious head of the family. Say for example the roles were reversed and you were the Methodist closet agnostic kind of person do you think that would make things different. (hope that doesn’t sound patronising in any way)

It makes a difference insofar as, you both want to be working in the same direction.

So, say the husband is the religious head of the family, and is Muslim. OK, that means that all of the kids are automatically going to be raised Muslim, even if the wife is Catholic, or Presbyterian, or Anglican, or whatever. The wife may have an expectation of being able to raise them in dual religions… but that’s really rough territory to try and tread-- “Believe in this because it’s true”-- and then give them two very different social/moral codes to follow simultaneously. By the same token, a Muslim woman marrying a Catholic man— that’s a big no-no from a Muslim standpoint, even if the Christian promises to raise the kids Muslim.

Suppose the husband is Baptist, and the wife is Catholic. The guy I dated before I met my husband was Baptist, and I thought it would be cool. We had our differences— like his Baptist roommates arguing with me about Purgatory and Mary and whatever— but we were on the same page on other things, like no sex before marriage, etc. But as it turned out, he decided he wanted to be a Baptist minister. And that would be really weird, having a Catholic wife who would have her own beliefs, and her own church, and so on. We broke up for other reasons— but ultimately, he needed someone who would help him be a Baptist minister, and raise a nice Baptist family.

In an ideal world, it would be awesome if the husband is religious and took a leadership role in the family’s upbringing. But you’d have to make sure that the wife’s religious outlook is compatible. If the wife is just kind of mehhh, apathy is easier to work with than hostility. But if it’s too mehh, that leads to its own complications.

That WOULD be prudent; but is it also practical.

KNOW though that even in a mixed marriage; BOTH parents MUST agree to raise ther offspring in the RCC. That is why it is FAR better to seek out a fellow Catholic.

God Bless you


Don’t be in any rush to date. You just started university.

When you are ready to date: Changing your criteria for a spouse because it is difficult to find those who meet it is not a good strategy.

I’m non-denominational, wife is Catholic. We’ve been married 14 years, together for about 18.

Not true, I had to make no such promise. I just needed to be made aware that my wife was required of the promise.

You’ll get many views on this. My own personal opinion is that it’s better to confine yourself to dating committed Catholics. It just makes things easier.

I know not everyone will agree but my criteria for dating was as follows:

Ba a Practicing Catholic
Care about the faith and passing it to future children
Attend weekly mass and be open to receiving ongoing formation
Care about the pro-life cause and not be apathetic about important issues
Love Jesus

Personally, I’d rather have stayed single than married a non-catholic.


I was raised Roman Catholic but my family left the Church after Vatican II. I married someone who loves the Lord with all their soul, heart, mind and strength. We married in his Pentecostal church. 30 years later he converted to Eastern Catholic, and brought me along with him. We both tried several years trying to enter the Roman Catholic church but our diocese is dismal.

Which is a more accurate reflection of reality, there was a time when the non-Catholic partner was required to promise to raise the child as a Catholic, that is many years ago and most children of such couples would be getting on by now. The requirement now is as you state that the non-Catholic partner is made aware of the Catholic partner’s responsibility.

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I’ve been kind of wondering what would be better, to date a practicing protestant or date a non-religious person as long as they’re not a committed atheist or anti religious. I would think that a non religious person with no set religious beliefs would be more likely to convert to Catholicism than someone who already has firm beliefs in a protestant church. I could be wrong so if anyone can expand on that, it would be interesting.

Do not date someone/marry someone hoping they will convert.

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Your evangelisation game better be on point.

Don’t worry. I don’t plan on dating anyone. This was just something I was curious about.

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