Dating as a Catholic in a secular world

Please forgive me if this question has been asked but is it harder for Catholics to date and should they bend their views to do so?

Let me explain this better. I am a never married 42 year old devout Catholic. I am of the belief that divorce for me is wrong in many cases and that I am not interested in sleeping with someone before marriage. However, because I am older it seems that most of the men my age have been divorced and often with kids. When I tell these men I am not open to dating them they get very angry at me. I’m not sure how one gets an annulment but most of them men don’t have them. I would possibly consider a man with an annulment in some cases, assuming no kids are involved (I don’t want the issues involved with being a stepmother including financial aspects). I prefer never married/childless men but would consider widowers (with or without kids).

Then there is the other aspect and that is the men who engage in premarital sex and expect that before marriage. I was astounded to meet several men who were never married but had children out of wedlock (and many had several out of wedlock). Others had sexually transmitted diseases (they told me this). Still others told me they expected relations within a few dates.

However, I have found a man who does fit what I desire. He is Catholic, childless and I am pretty sure (almost 100%)he has never been married since several people told me he has never been married. He told me he thinks dating in this world is hard and he refused to settle. I did too but sadly most people aren’t like him.

My question I suppose is did anyone else struggle dating in this world we live in?

Yes. It is definitely a struggle. Our society seems to have a three date rule and then intimacy is expected. I can’t even comprehend that.

Please, please do not give in to temptations or bend to conform with society. It is your Eternal Soul and that of your future spouse that is at stake.

I will add you to my daily prayer list. :slight_smile:

Lots of people experience the same thing. Most of the women I know (mostly young married women in their 20’s and 30’s) have similar stories to tell about the guys they met before they found their husbands. The frogs definitely outnumber the princes, so to speak. You are not unusual at all. Stay picky. It’s better to be single than to be saddled with a wrong guy.

Thank you both for your responses. I am praying this guy is “the one” because we seem to click and he shares my morals (to say nothing of shared hobbies). It really is a struggle dating in this society because so many people aren’t serious either about marriage or marital relationships and they mock those who are. I blame myself for not looking sooner for a mate but for a long time I was absorbed into college and then a career which got me to this age and predicament. I’ll often see some of the men who contacted me when I did online and would think “is this all I can get?” and no I’m not talking looks or superficial things but strictly morals. I am content being single if this is what God has chosen for me but am hoping that it’s not the case.

We all know that half of all marriages end in divorce. But, did you know that less than 1% of arranged marriages end in divorce. People tend to not understand that “arranged” simply means someone else picks your dates (being better due to less biases towards normal sexual desires). Mom told me in her day, family and friends tended to “arrange” dates. Without that, there’s not much useful help these days. And so, you have to work through a lot of first dates.

Don’t worry about common interests - it’s highly over rated and those can change (from decade to decade, mine have). My parents had nothing in common. But, everyone who even saw them quickly knew they were best friends (they often danced in stores, etc). Don’t even worry too much about common beliefs because those things change as well (true for me as well). What you want to worry about (which requires you to understand and be able to articulate such things) are your values - those things on which you base your beliefs and interests. You can’t know or love another (including God) before you know and love yourself. And, an important aspect of this is to be able to verbally express as well as somehow artistically produce (such as in your home and work) examples of your values. I can say my values haven’t changed much (unlike my interests and beliefs) since I was perhaps 9. Now, that’s a relationship foundation.

“Faith is not what today is so often called a ‘mystical experience,’ something that can apparently be induced by the proper breathing exercises or by prolonged exposure to Bach (not to mention drugs). It can be attained only through despair, through suffering, through a painful and ceaseless struggle.” – Dr. Peter F. Drucker

Life be the journey.

I’m the same age as you and in the same boat. Turning 43 in August. Guys who aren’t married tend to have issues and if they don’t they tend to be players that’s why they never married. Then there are those never could face up to commitment or just never grew up and are still looking for who they are in their 40s :shrug: Then you have the divorced guys who are angry at the church and won’t get an annualment or those who believe it’s unnecessary or will it will negate or disrespect their children to get one. Even taking all that out you have the guys with children that don’t want to be bothered with marriage again it’s too painful but they just want companionship so they want to eat their cake and get it too. Much of this goes for women as well I’m not saying guys don’t face the same type of women divorced or single/never married I just think in terms of numbers it’s harder for a women to find someone these days than it is for a guy. If a guy is single more than likely it’s because he wants to be.

Not sure I would do arranged marriage but it does have some good aspects. Oddly with this one guy we were introduced by mutual friends who felt we were a great match.Only time will tell what happens. We do have mutual interests. I truly like him which was mising in a lot of men I met.

It is really messed up how many of these men really aren’t marriage worthy. For me I avoid divorced dads not just because of the religion but because of the drama and financial reasons and they have so many issues. When I did online dating I came across many never married/childless men but way too often they were seeking much younger (including men who didn’t have much to offer)or unreasonable expectations for their age. Even this guy that I like has issues. Sure he doesn’t have kids but he lives with his mom and that could be a red flag. He’s also very shy. Also, many men at this age tend to take their time longer than normal and have heard of a few of them dragging their feet for years.

I am in the same bind. I was dating in this secular world for a long time. I spent my time in the military and as a type of mercenary so my morals were, so to speak, irrelevant. I had been raised catholic from birth. However when I broke up with my fiancee whom was also Catholic, I turned back to God. Living the way He wants us to live is the most difficult thing anyone can do. It doesn’t matter whether you are Catholic or Atheist. I like you will not give into sexual desires before marriage anymore. We have our work, especially our patience cut out for us, especially in this world that we live in today.

Have you considered dating a devout member of another christian church, and possible slowly converting them to catholic?

I hate dated men of different religions and none of them were willing to convert. In fact most of them wanted me to convert to their religion. I would consider what happened to my parents, which is my mom is Catholic and my dad was no religion. My dad never became Catholic officially but he attends church sometimes and they were married in church.

I hear you there. I live in a part of the US where we only have less than 3000 Catholics in the area. Not a wide selection. Most around here are Methodist, Baptist or Southern Baptist. One good think I try to look at this area is that people are very devoted to praying and praising the Lord. Not very devout to keeping his commandments though. Plus it seems that everyone is raised to bash the Catholics.

Just remember that God is always with you no matter what, and the Holy Spirit dwells within you keeping you faithful.

We will be persecuted and ridiculed to the fullest extent

I live outside of Chicago so there are a lot of Catholics here. Not sure how I would handle it in an area without many Catholics. I did meet a Catholic man a few blocks away that I really like but he has other responsibilities that come before everything else. Otherwise not sure what I would do since I failed at online dating and the singles groups I attended left me frustrated with the lack of decent men.

I feel and learned for myself from very bitter experiences that online dating is more of a misconception of the true person you are communicating with. People have time to put exactly what they want and what sounds good to everyone in order to get “a good catch.” My only suggestion is (and I really need to take this advise) is to just let go. If God wants you to be with someone it will happen.

My aunt recently told me that you should not keep a list or be too picky in what I want in a girl. Sooner or later that list will get so long that no one will be able to fulfill that list.

As for other religions, I know that relationships with other christian religions could work. For example my cousin is getting married this summer to her boyfriend of 2 years. He is a Protestant from Ireland. She has never been in a sexual relationship yet her fiancee has. With real love and someone who is willing to commit you will find the one for you.

At this point I don’t worry about finding the one because I am okay with being alone. I really like this one guy and he seems to like me and he fits what I desire. I think the timing is off but it could get on track if it’s meant to be. If not it won’t. Online dating for me was a waste of time and money because it never paid off and I had to encounter hours of things like abuse or spend time driving to meet guys, many of them lied.

i concur about online dating. It sounds like if you put time and keep God at the center of this relationship you will be great. I will pray for you.

I struggled a lot with this before I was married. I didn’t date much actually. I kept looking for a husband, but it wasn’t until I gave up looking and focussed on God and thanked him for my current life that my husband, whom I had known for years, fell into my life and we started dating. I’ve never seriously kissed anyone but my husband. Yes, I’d kissed a boy before, but not anything like how I eventually kissed my husband. I still get goosebumps when I remember our first kiss.

Everyone has issues…it’s wether or not the issues make them marriage or able to make a commitment. Commitment phobia and plain laziness are the biggest problems these days. Women look at relationship as security men view them more as a burden in some cases though I know many happily married guys. I also know many that claim to be open and wanting marriage but use every excuse to avoid it. Several ladies I know who are older than me have recently met matches both are engaged after only a short courtship so I firmly believe if a guy wants to be married he’ll find someone pretty quick if not there might be serious issues there. In my case I was taking care of family members who were ill and then raised my teenage sister so I didn’t really start to date till I was older and by then it appears it was too late.

In the case of this guy he is trying to run a business and helping his mom so he does have excuses. He is a great guy and we enjoy each other so who knows what he is thinking. He’s very shy as well. Because I have a lot going on in my life between working, going to school to switch fields and various other activities I am busy with many things.

Red Sparkly, you mentioned you knew your husband for years. Was it a situation that neither or you were ready or feelings developed? I have seen that a lot.

It’s hard where I live. There are almost no Catholics here, and I think it’s important to marry someone with solid morals.

Yes, and I still do. But it’ll be worth it in the end. :thumbsup:

I know the feeling. I’m a 34 year old, never married, never even dated anyone guy. I’ve pretty much settled on the fact that I’ll be alone.

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