Dating Advice: A 22 year-old Catholic and a 24 year-old Mormon


#1

Hi everyone,

This may seem like a silly question to you but it really has been bothering me for while now. My problem is, I have really fallen for this guy I have been dating. He’s just my type. My only problem, he’s Mormon and I’m Catholic.From what he has told me he’s “not that religious anymore” and I don’t consider myself a strict Catholic but I am worried that he might have a problem with me being a Catholic. He doesn’t know that I am Catholic, yet. We have only gone out a couple of times times. He knows I went to Catholic school and when I told him that, he acted like my parents had sent me away to a prison-style boarding school! My school was like any other school except we had uniforms and we incorporated religion into our classes, activities, etc.

His response kind of shocked me and since then, I have been worried that he might not like the fact that I’m Catholic. I don’t know much about Mormonism but what I’m asking here is, do you think because he’s a Mormon that he’ll have a problem with me being Catholic? Is that religion strict to where they can’t date certain religions or do they look down on different religions? I don’t think he’d quit dating me because I’m Catholic but if things went as far as me meeting his Mormon family, would I be in for a bunch of people disapproving of me because of my religion?

Personally, I think it’s terrible to look down on someone because of their religion. I have lots of friends who aren’t Catholic and some who don’t believe in God. Do I share their beliefs? No, but that doesn’t stop me from being friends with them. I just wish everyone could treat eachother that way. I’d appreciate anyone’s help or comments on this matter.


#2

They would just try hard to convert you. As you say you are not a “strict” Catholic, they may succeed. How would your parents feel if that happened?

I have a Faith I am willing to die for if necessary, to have one of my kids join another religion, which isn’t even Christian despite the name, would break my heart.


#3

My parents are both Catholic. They would be really upset if I converted but it would never come to that. Me saying I’m not strict, that means I don’t go to church as often as I should. But I am Catholic to the core. I’m used to people trying to convert me so that would be annoying but I could bear it.


#4

Why not invite him to go to Mass with you? If nothing else you would find out what he really thinks about the Catholic Church. Best to find out now, before a bonding relationship has developed.


#5

Good point. That would work! Thanks for the great advice!


#6

This advice is very good; I would add this: when discussing your faiths, it’s important to define terms as we share language with the Mormons that doesn’t necessarily have the same meanings. Catholic Answers has excellent apologetics material for your faith and his.
Good luck, and remember this - your faith attachment at 22 will be different when you’re 32, 42, 52, etc., depending on your values. Children have a way of affecting those values.:smiley:


#7

Guard your heart, guard your heart, guard your heart!

If you’ve only dated him a couple of times, you shouldn’t be head over heels in love yet, I hope. I hear so many people say “This, this, and this are wrong with my boyfriend” (sometimes serious stuff like drug or alcohol addictions or inability to hold a job for any length of time) “but I’m so IN LOVE with him that I’m going to stick with him no matter what.” That puts the poor woman in store for a lifetime of heartache.

Please get to know a guy a LOT better before giving yourself permission to “fall in love” with anyone. You should have a list of characteristics you’re looking for in a husband and father for your children, some that are nice but not essential, but some characteristics that are “must-haves” or “deal-breakers.” I suggest that being a serious, practicing Catholic be one of those “must haves,” but only you can decide that for yourself. What that means is, after a date or two, you’ll have found out if he’s Catholic or not, serious or not, and know whether there’s any potential long-term relationship, or if you should break it off before you get emotionally attached. At 22 years old, marriage in the near future (two to three years) is not out of the question. You may be thinking of a date for “dinner and a movie” but before you know it, you’re really in love and it’s difficult to impossible to break it off. I’ve been there.

About Mormonism specifically, they have some REALLY umm unusual religious ideas, and yes, I think they do “look down” on Catholics and specifically target Catholics for conversion. If your boyfriend is not all that serious about his Mormon faith, trying to convert you may not become an issue, but it’s still in his background and in his family and would affect your married life together and raising children together. Joining two separate individuals, separate genders, separate family backgrounds, (“scripts” of how life is supposed to be) is hard enough work without adding extra difficulties from difference of religion. And I say this as the wife of an interfaith couple. I think people (e.g. Dear Abby) who dismiss religious differences as unimportant, “Oh, marry whom you love, don’t let religious bigotry get in your way,” are doing others a real disservice.

I know it’s easier said than done, but GUARD YOUR HEART!


#8

Dating outside the faith is unwise.

You say he is “just your type”. Let me suggest you should redefine “your type” to include “faithful Catholic”. Remember, the purpose of dating is marriage, and the purpose of marriage is to beget and raise children in the faith.

A house divided religiously is one built on very shaky ground. You have a grave obligation as a Catholic to practice your Catholic faith and raise your children Catholic. You cannot do that effectively if you have a non-Catholic husband. And, the Mormon religion is completely incompatible with the Catholic faith.

You’ve only dated “a few times”. I suggest you move on and focus more on your own faith (going to church weekly for example, since you know missing mass is a grave sin) and finding a Catholic spouse with whom you can share all aspects of your faith and building up of a Catholic family.


#9

I second this advice.

The Bible teaches us that we must be “equally yoked” in marriage, meaning that we must have as much in common with each other as possible, especially -

Religion (needs to be the same).
Attitude towards finances. (Don’t marry someone who thinks it’s okay to be in debt all the time.)
Attitude towards children. (Catholics are required to be open to life; we cannot have childless marriages on purpose, and we can’t use birth control. We are also required to raise our children to be good Catholics.)
Similar level of education.
Supportive of each other’s choice of jobs.
Attitude towards housework and household chores needs to be similar.

Marriage isn’t just a fun thing where two people who like each other a lot get to live together - it’s actually a vocation (a set of duties that must be accomplished for the good of society as a whole). That means that the couple has to work together as a team, but if each member of the couple has different goals, then they end up pulling in different directions, and most of the time, what that does is it pulls the marriage apart - and that leads to all kinds of pain and heartache.

It’s much better not to get into a relationship, to begin with, where the other person’s goals in life are so very different from one’s own.


#10

In all probability, in cases like this, either one partner changes to the other partner’s religion, or both cease to practise religion altogether, or a marriage breaks up.

Neither Catholics nor Mormons consider their faith to be an add-on. It’s integral to their lives. ANd remember: Mormons are not Christians, so the disparity is quite significant.

Blessings,

Gerry


#11

If you’re serious about your faith, it’s best to be forward w/ your friend from the beginning.

Let him how important your Catholic faith is.

If he’s not on the same level as you are or are not interested in your faith whatsoever, then quit the relationship while it’s still ‘fresh’.

No use continuing when there’s no hope in sight. Not fruitful. Why create unneccessary heartaches :shrug:

But if you’re not serious…

It’s you who will be converted :eek: … and I don’t mean for the better !


#12

Thanks for the great advice everyone! I’ll keep you posted as to what happens.

And by the way, I’m not at all ready for marriage yet. So that’s not an issue but I agree that things could happen and I could fall in “love” with him and change my mind. I think the chance of this is slim to none but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t fall in love with him and end up marrying him down the road. I’m just not ready for marriage until I’m atleast 26. I’m too career oriented right now and getting married would definitely change things that I’m not ready for.

I really appreciate all of your help.


#13

The purpose of dating is to discern marriage.

So, if you do not want to marry for a number of years, then why are you dating this man in the first place?


#14

um… ok. So to be dating someone you have to be ready for marrage soon? I definitely don’t agree with that. It wouldn’t be bad if I found the guy I was going to marry now, but honestly, I don’t think I am mature enough or ready for marriage. I don’t think marriage is something you rush into personally. I don’t think there is anything wrong with dating someone for years before you are engaged or ready to marry them.

So you’re saying I can’t date unless I want to get married right now? That’s not right.


#15

That’s the purpose of dating. What do you believe the purpose of dating to be?

It’s good to reflect as you are doing here.

But, again, I ask you-- what purpose do you seek in dating this man who you have proclaimed you have “fallen for”.

No, it isn’t.

Four years is a very long time to remain chaste and in a holding pattern of “dating”.

And, in a relationship there are two people. Would the other person want to start a relationship with you and invest time and emotion if they knew you had no intention of moving forward for years?

No, I did not say that.

I said the purpose of dating is to discern marriage and I asked you what purpose you believe dating to have since you have proclaimed you have ‘fallen for’ this guy, but simultaneously assert you have no plans to marry for 4 or more years because you are “focusing” on your career.


#16

Well fallen for doesn’t mean I am in love with him. I haven’t even known him for a month. I just really like him.

Dating to me means that you are seeing this person to see if you want to marry them in the future. You are seeing if you match eachother’s values and qualities that you want in a future husband. You define what future is based on what you want.

Plenty of people date for years and remain chaste. That doesn’t mean it is easy but it can be done.

As long as he knows I’m not willing to get married soon, I see nothing wrong with dating someone for 4 + years. What do you have to lose? Its much better than rushing and dating and then ending up wanting a divorce or being misrable. Some people need to date a while before they are ready to marry someone. Some people only need months. It depends on the person.

I want to meet guy to potenitally marry but I am not ready now to marry, no. And I see nothing wrong with dating until I find that I am ready to marry a man and he feels the same way.


#17

My two cents: typically Mormon’s don’t care for us Catholics. I think it get’s stuck in their craw that we “officially” view their religion a cult. Meaning their baptisms and other sacraments such as marriage don’t “count” in our churches. Besides the fact they have some might funny rumors coursing through their temples about us. I have heard some doozies from my Mormon friends. My only response: “now why in the WORLD would you believe that?” There is a lot of resentment and angst towards our church, although justified? Hardly. Which is probably why he thought your Catholic School Education was forced torture.

I rather enjoy it, the conversations and the questions, but then I am not dating, nor hoping to secure a more lasting romantic relationship with a Mormon. Good NIGHT, this could be tough on you.

I am really concerned you didn’t come right out and say you were Catholic though. Why not? It would have been the first thing out of my mouth. That’s not something you should keep quiet just because you like this guy. This could be a major impediment to any sort of relationship, and the LORD knows that if it’s going to be a problem: it needs to be out there now so niether one of you has more than a slight share of heartbreak.

I SERIOUSLY doubt his parents would be pleased to hear about your religion. However, he’s going to be less pleased if you keep silent about it. Practicing faithfully or not, he’s still Mormon just as you are still Catholic, even though you are not attending Mass as you should. If he seems ok with it and cares for you enough to keep moving forward my BEST advice is to find out his motives, immediately. Does he feel you can love him enough to denounce your faith (which you just gave him reason to think you might since you didn’t say you are Catholic up front.) and join his? Or just denounce your faith? Does he think it’s possible if your relationship does move on to a higher level that you can live as a Mormon wife does, which is typically subservient? IF you do move forward these are things you should know now, not after years of dating, emotions invested and heartbreak inevitable.

Let me tell you, IF you do go forward and don’t hash this out in the beginning you are going to have some serious problems later over faith. Deal breakers. Sure it’s possible for love to conquer all, but it better be with yours and/or his clean heart and intentions. Sometimes love serves as a catalyst to convert others. Usually though, people convert - or simply promise to marry and then raise their children in the faith - thinking they are SO in love it’s the right choice. Then their own faith starts nagging at them. The slightest argument can turn into world war III over this choice people make when love is in the air. I mean it can make those people feel as though they are no longer in love, that they are fools, and worse thing of all: that they betrayed God. Like I said: deal breakers.

So now that I have given you my doomsday predictions, I’ll reign it back and again suggest: just start out with honesty. See where it goes from that point on. If he can’t see you or forward the relationship because of your faith, then he can’t. End of story…

and on to your current Plan Of Action: keep dating while establishing your career. I am sure the right guy will come along. And hopefully: he’ll be Catholic! LOL :thumbsup:


#18

That’s what dating is all about, is finding out if this man that you are attracted to is worthy to be the father of your children. Otherwise you are wasting both his time, and yours.

That’s why we aren’t allowed to date outside of our religion - because we aren’t supposed to be marrying outside of our religion. Does it make more sense, now? :slight_smile:

If you’re not ready to think about marriage yet, then there is no reason for you to be steady dating - stick to casual nights out with friends, but not a “boy friend,” as such.


#19

Marrying people of other religious denominations is a problem. Catholic doctrine is VERY different to Mormonism. Take your faith more seriously, there are 1.1 billion catholics, and you had to end up going for a Mormon? I am not trying to condescend to Mormons, but I am sure they too will agree about the problems of mixed denominational marriages.

Catholicism does not allow condoms, other birth control methods. What if you two get married and he wants to contracept? It is wrong for a Catholic, and it is a core Catholic belief.

“What hath righteousness with unrighteousness”

Do not be afraid to tell him your Catholic, what is he going to do? Make fun of you? If he does, then he obviously isn’t for you.

I am sounding rash here, but that’s just it, there is no other way, unless he becomes a Catholic too, you will probably find yourself back on this board after marriage complaining about problems from conflicting views.

God before man. God before woman.


#20

I say, you must not be in love is why you’re thinking so sensibly.

Good for you ! :thumbsup:

So you’re saying I can’t date unless I want to get married right now? That’s not right.

There’s nothing wrong w/ dating even if you’re not ready to marry, but who to say you wouldn’t fall in love and do stupid thing ??

Is there any rule to ‘love’? Why you think ‘love is blind’ ?
Have you seen couples who are so mismatched.

Just don’t get too close to the flame or you’ll burn yourself, unless you’re ready for marriage.

That’s what dating is. :wink:


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