Dating Choices of Young Catholic Men

Maybe it’s just me and my circle. but I’m increasingly finding that young men in Church today are not interested in dating Catholic women. As a Catholic woman who would love to meet a man in Church, over the past 3 years I have come across man after man after man who either already has a Catholic girlfriend that he has been with forever, or who is not Catholic (but will attend Church with him), or says that he’s not interested in dating, only to then start dating someone outside of the Church… so what’s up?

I see what you describe, and I suspect it’s a product of buying into the modern culture. But can you provide more details about your experiences? Have you ever gotten any feedback from friends who have seen this happen? It could be due to several things, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself since I don’t know what’s happened in the experiences you’ve had or observed.

I see that a lot in guys I know but I honestly would love nothing more than to find a Catholic girlfriend so I don’t have to have intense debates about religion and feel all the hurt caused from it. I think it’s because not a lot of Catholic guys anymore know much nor care much about the religion. The same goes with girls too though, you just don’t see it because you’re not on the flip side like I am.

Well pretty much my experiences are as I described. I am a 31 year old female who has never had a boyfriend, largely because I am introverted (and thus somewhat reserved), but also because I am picky, and have a high standard. Basically that I am looking for someone who can walk with me toward God. But with that said, I have been Catholic for six years, and have attended four different parishes on a regular basis during those six years (two in my former place where I lived, two in my new residence). The parish I currently am attending, I have been at for three years, and have been an active member for the past three years, serving as an Eucharistic Minister, Young Adult group facilitator, and Young Adult parish council representative for the past two years. I am well known by the community, and well very liked by the parish Priest and religious community- who often have me over for suppers. So between the four parishes in two different cities, and all of the ministries, I have had plenty of opportunities to meet Catholic men. But I have noticed that over the past four years, especially, all of the single Catholic men I have met fall into one of the three categories I mentioned above. Any of the ones I have been interested in have either turned out to have a girlfriend, or tell me that I’m great but that they aren’t interested in dating anyone right now, and shortly after they then start dating a non-Catholic girl that they apparently were pursuing the whole time they were walking around telling the Catholic girls that they weren’t interested in dating… My parish Priest also mentioned to me once that he’s had young men from the parish tell him that they go to bars to meet girls because they can’t seem to meet any in Church…!!! Really I suspect that they’re really just trying to get laid, but anyway…

In terms of feedback, really the only thing people seem willing to say is, “it’s men, not you…” but then don’t really elaborate…

Here’s something I hope people find helpful.

Finding a good Catholic boyfriend or girlfriend is difficult because too many Catholics are not living their faith daily or decide these parts of Church teaching are OK while other parts are not. The culture, through the media, is showing young people, and older, more and more bad examples of how to live and making it seem right or fun.

If I was dating today, dinner would be good but almost no movies. Too much sex, profanity and buckets of blood. The same with a lot of TV but there are more choices.

Catholic life can’t be one hour of Church per week and then living like the world does the other 6 days. No, no one is perfect, but we need to help one another.


This may be totally off the wall, but…
Many of my friends who have kids dating or about to begin dating seldom say “I’d like to see you date a nice Catholic boy/girl”. Seems like this has fallen out of parental fashion…
I remember my parents made it clear to me that someone from my our faith would be a better match, and there would be fewer problems in the long run. I know that’s not always true, but the expectation was that I would find a date in the CATHOLIC category.
My friends have nearly 100% skipped that talk. And with teens missing Mass and youth groups…some don’t know who is what and don’t have an opportunity to socialize with Catholics. Just sayin…:twocents:

It is interesting too because there are some beautiful Catholic couples. I do see some very beautiful and faithful young men dating beautiful faithful young women… but they seem to one: be a minority, and two: always find one another at a young age, and get snapped up quickly, so by the time you’re a 31 year old female, you’re looking around wondering where all the single Catholic men are that actually want to date Catholic women, where they have been, and why you were never chosen…

Edit: and to clarify, in my previous post where I mention that I have a high standard, I do not mean that I have Catholic men asking me out all the time that I say no to. In six years of being a Catholic, I have had one ask me out… that was five years ago, and well i found him to be an exhausting and awkward person, even as a friend, so I figured we weren’t much of a match. He has since met someone and gotten married.

After a late return to the Church, I spent 13 years wondering why all the Catholic women were not coming to me, and I realized I had to go out and find them somehow. So I took up ballroom dancing. I am now meeting nice people on a regular basis, so I have a better hope of finding a girlfriend who shares my faith. I had no luck at all in parish life meeting anyone. My current parish, where I’ve been attending for 7 years, severely lacks middle-aged people of both sexes, except in the Spanish-speaking community, so I made some efforts to break the language barrier, but I found that most of them were unavailable anyway, in civil marriages or cohabitating from an early age. I turn 42 this year, and I spent a long time being a particularly poor catch of a man, poor, no car, no job, no phone. And I have become complacent and set in my ways enough that I despair of ever finding a wife. But like everything, you need to invest time in it, so I get off the couch every Friday for a few hours of dancing. I have already made some great friendships, so I for one am hopeful for the future.

I think the problem with this situation is not that there are no catholic men (or women) to date, the problem is that they tend to not make Any noise so they tend to attract little or no attention. I think the issue here is where are you focusing your attention and where are you looking. Usually the people that tend to get most of our attention including on the church tendto be the less practicing for the simple rreason that they tend to make more noise. Most practicing catholic guys also tend to be very reserved, just go and do their own thing and don’t socialize much, so instead on focusing on the guys that make more noise, focus on the one that is alone in the corner and seems more introvert. Also I think there are se gathering groups in se churches for catholic singles, look to see if there is around your area. Hopefully all you need to do is tweak your focus and you will be able to find the other kind of guys.

I hope I can elaborate then! :slight_smile:

First off, I doubt all of these men are looking to get laid. Maybe some are, but hopefully not many.

Now, for what’s going on, here’s one thought. You mentioned before that you are reserved. Would you say that many of the other women in your parishes or YA groups reserved? And is there any playful banter?

Here’s why I ask about this: I dated a gal in my YA group years ago. She wasn’t particularly flirtatious, but she was South American, and part of her culture and thus personality was very vivacious. She greeted men warmly, joked with them, teased them, and expressed her positive feelings with lots of joy. Eventually she confessed to me that every single man in our YA group had asked her out, and that she felt particularly bad about this because all the other gals in the same YA group kept complaining that “none of the men ever asked any of the women out.”

She and I broke up years ago, but we were the only couple in that YA group, at least for the entire time I was involved. We are still friends, and we still talk about that dating phenomenon. We both agreed that, yes, the men were just looking for more vivacious women. This isn’t to say that all of the men were all that exciting themselves. Some of them made Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory look adventurous. But, as silly as men can be sometimes, they still had that expectation.

Do you think there’s anything to this possible explanation in what you’ve experienced?

  1. Don’t lose hope. I see posts on this site and other sites from time to time by Catholic men around your age who are going through a similar situation. I think it would be good to either join a dating site (e.g. Ave Maria Singles or Catholic Match) or to join or start a group on Meetup.

  2. Being single is a good time to work on your relationship with God and to serve others in ways that you’ll be too busy for once you settle down and get married. Volunteering is also a good way to meet people.

Interesting post Harvard.

Yes, I think that when it comes to me, at least, the fact that I am reserved doesn’t work in my favor. I would agree that men are looking for the more vivacious women, except that I have a friend who is vivacious. She gets asked out all of the time, and has even had a complete stranger run across a street to ask to out for ice cream… only all of the men chasing her are outside of the Church, men she met on camping trips, at work, at bars, just walking along the street… and not one of them has been a Catholic. Of the men in the Churches in the area, only one has ever asked her out, and they broke up because it turned out he was embarrassed about being with her, and would let go of her hand whenever they were out in public and saw someone they knew, and would never show any affection when they were with friends etc She did spend a considerable amount of time chasing one Catholic guy. He would come over to our house and play games with her on Friday nights, and did so for months, allowing her to play draw on him, and play fight over the felt marker etc. After a while she finally sat him down and told him she was interested and hoped they could make a commitment to each other, and he said he was happy just being friends… and that at that point he didn’t know what he wanted. Their friendship promptly died after he stopped coming to things she invited him to. And we later found out that he apparently had a thing for some other girl, who while being a church goer, is someone who causes a lot of drama, and who didn’t always come across as a faithful Catholic…

It was seeing this experience with my otherwise popular friend that got me looking around and what might be going on. That was four years ago and so far I have only been able to come up with observations and no conclusions… more questions really :smiley:

Also, in terms of life outside of Church, I have been involved in dance for the past year, going to once a week ballet classes from Jan - April of last year, and then step dance from Sept - Dec of this year, and I start again tomorrow. Step dance has two men, one married, and ballet had two men. One I did try to talk with, but he always stiffened up and got quiet when I was around, and the other never spoke with me. Obviously I don’t go to dance to meet men, I enjoy it, but well, it was suggested that I get out of the house, and I do. Apart from dance, I volunteer once a week at a local soup kitchen, and have done so for the past 2 years. I have also been volunteering at a long term home for the past 4 months. I go hiking, I attend various other faith related talks and groups every now and then, I have been in post-secondary education for nine years, have a job at a hospital, have traveled twice to Japan with my sister, have traveled with other young adults on a backpacking trip across Europe, and on a volunteer mission trip to Guatemala, I’ll go ice skating at the local rink by myself, attend book sales and garage sales by myself… and again, all of this is on top of the ministries I am involved in at my parish. I do spend a lot of time at home, more than the average person, but I’m also not an uninvolved and non-rounded person…

Still I acknowledge that my reserved nature probably has a role to play, but I still don’t understand what is going on inside the church, especially for people like my vivacious friend who otherwise has men outside of the Church fighting over her…

Funny…I just read a post here on CAF that said that Catholic women don’t seem interested in Catholic men.

What I think is the problem is the lack of Catholic places for single people to meet. If I ask my parents’ generation where they met their Catholic spouse, they will answer: “At a Catholic dance”…or “at a Catholic USO”…or “at Catholic school”…amongst my generation of married Catholic friends they answer:" “Through mutual Catholic friends”…"“at a monastery picnic”…“in a Catholic college”… If I ask the younger group, it is a bit more sketchy.

The chance of meeting, dating, and falling in love with someone, anyone, is good in this world. There’s a big pool out there. The chance of meeting, dating, and falling in love with another Catholic is not as good if you aren’t looking around in a Catholic community/neighborhood. I wish that more parishes could nurture dating and socialization of singles.

First, does your parish/diocese,/state have a Catholic singles group that hosts events where like minded individuals can meet? I am in the process of converting. I like to read the weekly bulletin and I noticed occasional blurbs about Catholic singles groups having picnics and other events. The groups here are arranged by age such as the 30+ group and then the 40+ group. If there aren’t any groups maybe you could get together with a few other people and start one.

Second, you may want to consider looking outside the faith to men of a similar Christian denomination or men who are Catholic, but not Roman Catholic. While I know mixed faith marriages can be trouble, there are plenty of examples of successful couples who are respectful of each others beliefs and happy together. Not to mention that there is always a chance of conversion.

I think the problem isn’t men but you. This sort of statement is another way of saying “its not you, its me!”

You mentioned you were quiet AND had high standards. I think part of the problem is that you are either scaring guys or giving off a vibe that they don’t like. I don’t think the problem is simply being too quiet. Being quiet and reserved may be part of the problem but I think there is more to it than that. I think you might need to think about changing yourself to be attractive to men.

When someone says “it’s men, not you” they don’t want to tell you the truth so they are trying to give you a subtle hint that there is something about you that isn’t right. It could be that you aren’t as physically attractive to guys as you might think.

If a guy tells you that you are “great but I am not interested in dating” it means he isn’t very attracted to you either as a person or physically.

I know of different Catholic men who want to meet an available practing Catholic woman to date who say it feels like “Mission Impossible”.

The parish doesn’t have a singles group, but we do have a young adult group for people aged 20-mid thirties. We have a meeting in the church rectory once a month where we discuss any faith related topics we like, and we also have a separate social once a month. The socials have lower attendance rates than the meetings. On average there are two men who consistently come to the meetings, and one of whom has been the only man to come to the socials. He has a girlfriend who isn’t Catholic, and doesn’t come to the group, but will go to Mass.

Oh trust me, I know I am ugly and not attractive… you don’t get to be a 31 year old single and be attractive… I never said I believed it when people said it’s men not you… and I never said that I think I am attractive… what I did say was that I have noticed a pattern of Catholic men in my area dating non-Catholic girls, and of vivacious and attractive Catholic women (so not me) not get asked out by the men around, but have men outside the Church fight over her… so it has me noticing a pattern of Catholic men seemingly not wanting to date Catholic women, and of Church seemingly being a poor place to meet Catholic men… whether you’re me, or anyone else…

Try starting a singles group. I wouldn’t necessarily join a YA group at my age (38), but I may be tempted to join a singles group or attend events a singles group is putting on. I’m sure there are men and women who are in their 30’s and above who’d feel silly joining a group labeled YA. I’d also be there are some singles who aren’t group joiners, but who are desperately looking for a mate and would attend a singles group meeting or event.

With you being an educated single woman in her 30’s I hope you aren’t being “ageist” and are willing to date men who are older or slightly younger. Maybe widen your pool of potentials?

I know women who are classically beautiful and single in their 30’s and some who are not classically attractive who were married young. :shrug: Attractiveness isn’t just about physical beauty. Physical beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Its possibly that a man won’t see you as physically beautiful in the classic sense, but see you as beautiful in your own unique way and be very attracted to you.

My mother says it’s hard for good women to meet good men and also for good men to meet good women! I agree!

Of course, it’d be even harder still if they’re Catholic, trying to meet other fellow practicing Catholics, in addition!

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