Catholic dating - how long before you married?


#1

folks.

normally i used to date non catholic men, since young devout dudes are in short supply. needless to say, the whole celibate before marriage and no birth control caused alot of them to cheat and dump me.

so now im holding out for a catholic dude. but i was wondering:

a) HOW do you date a catholic - is it sinful? is it ok to lust after them since you fancy them? since you cant be making out, what do you do? do you have to pray alot together?

b) how long did you date for before marriage to avoid falling into sin. or should that be bed lol. i always thought i could date a dude for a year then if we wernet engaged i'd dump him for wasting my time and also for lustful reasons.

c)those of you who dated non catholics, how does it differ to dating a catholic


#2

To answer your first question, it’s not okay to lust after anyone, whether you’re dating him or not. There is a difference between lusting after someone and being attracted to him. And there are a million other things to do in lieu of being intimate. Some of them being religious things (going to Mass, praying, or just talking about religion/morality), but also going out to eat, going to movies, watching TV, playing video games, going out with friends, spending time with family, volunteering, cooking together, going for a walk, bowling, mini golfing, shopping, and so on.

I have been dating my boyfriend for several years. Temptation used to be more of an issue than it is now. I guess we’ve sort of gotten used to not doing anything physical. If it’s an issue for others, then perhaps dating as long as we have would have been out of the question, but in my case it took me this long to discern marriage to him. If you aren’t engaged to someone after a year it does not necessarily mean he is “wasting your time”, but you do have to make a decision about how long is too long to wait. You don’t get engaged so that you can get married and have sex, you get engaged because you are called to marriage with a specific person. Everyone figures this out in their own time.


#3

A) You date them the same way you date anyone. Go out, have a fun time. Hold hands, flirt, kiss, joke, have fun, pray, go to chuch, laugh, etc. You don't "lust" after them-it's that simple. You find them attractive, yes-and that's crucial-but you don't spend your time thinking about how they can ::ahem:: satisfy your other needs.

B) Take your time. You don't want to end up on the wrong side of a bad divorce, or, you don't want to be miserable and be stuck with someone you really don't love. If you don't have feelings for them, be honest and move on. It IS sinful to lead someone on.

C) I've dated Non-Catholics, and the big difference is that they either don't go to church with you, or if they do, which is great-they don't take communion. I've dated non-christians before (She was Muslim) and it's tough.


#4

I am not married, single like yourself and also suffering the lack of devout catholic guys but I felt I needed to answer at least one of your questions.

a) It is not sinful to date however lusting after your guy is not being chaste and that would be sinful. We are called to act with love not lust. What you do is get to know the person. Find out where does he stand on issues that are important to you, what is important to him. What kind of man is he. Does his views on marriage fit with yours. Can you pray together.


#5

Your single? And you live in Trinidad? Tell you what-you pay my way for a vacation down there, and you can start planning our wedding!

;);):wink:


#6

:popcorn:


#7

You are funny !!LOL


#8

a) You can kiss. Last time I checked that wasn’t wrong. There are tons of “getting to know you” things…from picnics to video games. If you focus on the sexual you’ll be frustrated. If you focus on all the good things you want to do then you’ll find a way. Again, often it’s about focus. Guys are wonderful…and they do think of one thing…alot…from what I’m told. So if they can “cool it” so can you.

b) I think that setting “a year” is silly. Sometimes it will take longer sometimes it will be shorter. A year or two is a good time frame. At that point you should make a decision…you’re right…waiting can be tempting on both ends. Engagment is a deeper discernment to marriage, a question of seriousness. It is time to really break into the subjects that you’ve casually mentioned over knowing eachother. It is NOT a promise. You aren’t promised to eachother until you’re married. I think lots of people forget that.

c)For one of my boyfriends it didn’t matter at all, but he was Luteran and there was virtually no difference in our masses (we just refrained from communion at the other’s church). For another it was a dealbreaker. He was a good guy but the thread of faith made it always seem as if my morals were “odd” even if he respected them.


#9

a) Lust is sinful, but love is not. Kissing is okay, but making out leads to lust and is not chaste. There is a line between respecting the person as a child of God and getting to know him (love), vs. using him as an object (lust).

b) I think the ideal dating period is 1.5 to 3 years. You need to be together for at least a year to see what they're like in all seasons, and then the .5 year is marriage praparation period if you get engaged. But if you get to your third anniversary and there's still no engagement, it's time to move on. Women have biological clocks... you can't spend your fertile years discerning marriage to a man and decide at the end that he's not who you're going to marry. If you're not sure after 2-3 years I think it's safe to say that you are not called to marriage with him. You might want to get married at some point in your live, and you might even love him, but he is not the one for you. Date someone else.


#10

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:


#11

a) HOW do you date a catholic - is it sinful? is it ok to lust after them since you fancy them? since you cant be making out, what do you do? do you have to pray alot together?

We did a fair bit of walking…skating (roller and ice)…going to the arcade for DDR and then eating takeout over a movie (which we fondly referred to as “dinner and dancing”). We had some mutual interests and hobbies so we took advantage of that. Plus he was always welcome in my parent’s house. Mom believed it was better to keep her door open so we’d spend more time at home than running off to random places. He’d participate in some family functions.

…and what everyone else said about kissing. We had no interest in sex but we did like to cuddle. :o

We don’t pray together though (see below).
**
b) how long did you date for before marriage to avoid falling into sin. or should that be bed lol. i always thought i could date a dude for a year then if we wernet engaged i’d dump him for wasting my time and also for lustful reasons. **

We didn’t get married to avoid falling into sexual sin. Pre-marital sex was something we both mutually decided was a total waste of time and energy. We wanted nothing to do with it. If anything were more anxious to live and travel together…again with the similar interests and hobbies. We were together for a little over 4 years before DH proposed and then another year before the wedding.
**
c)those of you who dated non catholics, how does it differ to dating a catholic?**

Well…I only briefly dated a Catholic (so briefly we both pretty much decided it didn’t count and we’re still friends). But my Catholic friend had a difficult time keeping himself in check before marriage.

My husband is a lapsed Episcopalian (currently identifies as Agnostic). I can’t say “go forth and try dating Agnostics” because at the same time, my husband is very “Catholic friendly”. As I mentioned before he had no interest in pre-marital sex when we decided to date. He’s also been through the Catholic school system (that’s where we met) so he is educated in basic Catholicism. He has never been hostile to the Church. He doesn’t mind going to Mass. If we’re out of town he’ll go with me so I don’t have to go alone to a strange church. He’d just rather sleep in whenever he can. He even acknowledges that in order to properly function, a religion *should *be “organized”. He’s got a good sense of Natural Law and he goes with it. He’s a very good role model.

His Agnosticism is very personal. He doesn’t even particularly think he’s right on any matters regarding God. If I have convictions and being Catholic has been a positive impact on my life, then who was he to deny it to our children?

Also I came from a background where prayer was more personal. Other than attend Mass EVERY Sunday as a family, we had no family prayer. No family rosary (and the kids are finishing college still Catholic BTW). I wasn’t taught to say my evening prayers. We pretty much were left to pray as we saw fit. So while I do have a prayer life, the fact that I don’t pray with my husband has never really felt like an emptiness to me.

I’d say all I’m *really *missing is going to Church together. But once our child is born, we’ll very likely start attending Mass as a family.


#12

wow guys thanks for your messages. im shocked by 2 things.

the lack of rushing into marriage for s_x!! all the (non catholic wannabe gangstahs) expected it after 3 dates, and when it didnt happen, they cheated or dumped. all those dudes brought it up on the first date.

also how old were you when you got married ? i dont know anyone on here so its not a personal question. but im 25 and i havent got time on my bio clock to date someoen for like 3 or 5 years to see if they are the one. plus the activitites you are suggesting are more for youngsters. im guessing you all got married at age 16 - 24 so probably didnt have to do any proper dating.


#13

[quote="shinytoy, post:12, topic:236697"]
wow guys thanks for your messages. im shocked by 2 things.

the lack of rushing into marriage for s_x!! all the (non catholic wannabe gangstahs) expected it after 3 dates, and when it didnt happen, they cheated or dumped. all those dudes brought it up on the first date.

also how old were you when you got married ? i dont know anyone on here so its not a personal question. but im 25 and i havent got time on my bio clock to date someoen for like 3 or 5 years to see if they are the one. plus the activitites you are suggesting are more for youngsters. im guessing you all got married at age 16 - 24 so probably didnt have to do any proper dating.

[/quote]

I'm not married yet, but I'm 28. All the activities I listed, we still do. What do you mean by "proper dating"? The biological clock thing, while it is something I think about and something to be concerned about, is not a good reason to just marry someone because you think you are running out of time. However long it takes to determine that you should be married to someone is the right amount of time.

And, perhaps you are dating the wrong kind of man. The kind of man you want to marry, even if both of you want to have sex, will wait because he knows it's best. Marriage is a lot more than sex, so if you "rush into it for sex", there are going to be major problems.


#14

Sex is icing on the marriage cake. It’s not the cake.

What happens then if you or your spouse became disfigured in an accident and sex was now impossible? Oh heck…what about old age when some men start to suffer from ED? What do you have left in your marriage to keep you going?

And I’m also curious as to what “proper” dating is…


#15

[quote="Kit15, post:14, topic:236697"]
Sex is icing on the marriage cake. It's not the cake.

What happens then if you or your spouse became disfigured in an accident and sex was now impossible? Oh heck...what about old age when some men start to suffer from ED? What do you have left in your marriage to keep you going?

And I'm also curious as to what "proper" dating is...

[/quote]

well all my mates (non catholics) say it isnt classed as a relationship until you are having sex, and it isnt an exclusive relationship (eg for facebook) until say 3 months later when you both agree OR when you move in together. it doesnt count as a serious relatuionship until you've been living together for about a year. my mates say that no guys will wait until marriage. and they say if you arent sexing a dude, he is just your friend not your boyfriend.

i mean how can you compare your 'playing xbox and cuddling' 2 year relationship, with Joe and Jane who've been living together for 2 years ? its not serious.


#16

[quote="shinytoy, post:15, topic:236697"]

i mean how can you compare your 'playing xbox and cuddling' 2 year relationship, with Joe and Jane who've been living together for 2 years ? its not serious.

[/quote]

We got married didn't we? That's pretty serious.

EDIT: To be honest...my first thought was to be uncharitable and laugh.

I mean really now...saying *this *to people who are *already *in committed relationships or happily married? To say that we're not being serious about how we choose a spouse just because we didn't live together or didn't have sex is almost like a joke. It really is.

At foreign as it may seem to someone who hasn't done it there is still *something *in all of this "improper" dating that still works.


#17

You say you’re holding out for a good Catholic man…if that’s true, you need to stop listening to your friends and listen to the people who have experienced what you strive to.

First of all, at 25, worrying about what is or is not an exclusive relationship “for Facebook” is a little weird. And yes, there are men who will wait for you until marriage. Anyone who won’t is just using you.

You’re in an exclusive relationship when you both agree not to see other people, whether or not there are 3 months of dating prior to that. And you’re in a serious relationship when you’re contemplating marrying someone.

Yes, I suppose that living together is more “serious” than cuddling and playing x-box. Which is a good reason not to do it until you are sure about who you want to spend the rest of your life with, and married to him.


#18

Oh dear goodness. I changed my facebook status after something just less than a month? maybe a bit more. What a little slut I am (/scarcasm). FYI he changed his status first…and we’d already discussed that we don’t believe in sex before marriage…so what does that make him?:shrug:

Living together a relationship does not make. I think that you miss ALOT of who the other person is by living together. I had the same roomate (and we were in the same room) for 3 out of the four years of college. We developed a rythm, we knew eachother well, we emotinally supported eachother. Minus sexual activity we were very similar to any couple…we were very close (again NOT sexually). I think that people do themselves a disservice by living together. I thing the value of having your own place deepens YOUR identity, so that when you make the final leap you don’t loose yourself.


#19

[quote="shinytoy, post:1, topic:236697"]
folks.

normally i used to date non catholic men, since young devout dudes are in short su[pply. needless to say, the whole celibate before marriage and no birth control caused alot of them to cheat and dump me.

so now im holding out for a catholic dude. but i was wondering:

a) HOW do you date a catholic - is it sinful? is it ok to lust after them since you fancy them? since you cant be making out, what do you do? do you have to pray alot together?

b) how long did you date for before marriage to avoid falling into sin. or should that be bed lol. i always thought i could date a dude for a year then if we wernet engaged i'd dump him for wasting my time and also for lustful reasons.

c)those of you who dated non catholics, how does it differ to dating a catholic

[/quote]

For me it was like picking two pieces out of a jigsaw puzzle at random and trying to connect them together, now matter how hard I tried it just didn't fit.

When I met my wife it was like I picked up two pieces at random that were supposed to fit together and did straight away.

I like it when people ask me where I met my wife, I met her at the Easter Vigil Mass.

I was told by a female friend many years ago that I would never find a nice woman in a horrible place (she was talking about pubs and clubs).

If a man only wants sex, he will dump you after some time; if he really loves you he would wait for a very long time.

Marry a Catholic.

Go out, have clean fun, hold hands, kiss, go for walks, hug, let it be about love.

Remember you can only marry once (excluding death), you can't have a divorce and try again.

I couldn't do what some couples I know do. One is a Catholic, one atheist. One goes to church, the other doesn't. In the end the children want to stay at home and relax instead of going to Mass. Imaging that your spouse will probably end up in hell for rejecting Jesus Christ.
[/quote]


#20

[quote="Nelka, post:19, topic:236697"]
For me it was like picking two pieces out of a jigsaw puzzle at random and trying to connect them together, now matter how hard I tried it just didn't fit.

When I met my wife it was like I picked up two pieces at random that were supposed to fit together and did straight away.

I like it when people ask me where I met my wife, I met her at the Easter Vigil Mass.

I was told by a female friend many years ago that I would never find a nice woman in a horrible place (she was talking about pubs and clubs).

If a man only wants sex, he will dump you after some time; if he really loves you he would wait for a very long time.

Marry a Catholic.

Go out, have clean fun, hold hands, kiss, go for walks, hug, let it be about love.

Remember you can only marry once (excluding death), you can't have a divorce and try again.

I couldn't do what some couples I know do. One is a Catholic, one atheist. One goes to church, the other doesn't. In the end the children want to stay at home and relax instead of going to Mass. Imaging that your spouse will probably end up in hell for rejecting Jesus Christ.

[/quote]

awww bless all of you on this thread!!! thank you for so many replies!!!

it is good to see there are righteous people left in the world!!! all the stuff in your post is how dating shuld be. there should be no polygamous try-before-you-buy multiple partner, many years and many kids live-in relationships in a try out phase that lasts a decade.

i DO agree with what you are all saying but sometimes it feels like in the guy in that film Shutter Island, where the secular majority is doing one thing and im the only person doing somethig different, so i think i must be crazy or wrong for thinking the right way is even possible in this day and age.

edit: and that story of how you met your wife is wonderful. i think everyone secretly wishes for a story like that. :)


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