First date went really well and planning a second one. When would it be appropriate to bring her to a Newman center event? (See details)

We work for the same small company, so I’ve ‘known’ her for close to a year now, but didn’t really know much about her till the first date. I know it went well because she couldn’t stop laughing and we have a ton of things in common, and she wants to go on a second date. I was hesitant to bring up the fact that I am Catholic or even believed in God, but I do spend a lot of my time at the Newman center (I’m 22 and so is she.) Luckily she was very receptive of hearing about what I did mention (I was still a little vague on purpose to not scare her away). She was never raised with any sort of faith but it’s something she’s wanted to get into for a while but didn’t really know where to start or maybe a little anxiety with getting into something brand new with no guidance.

As a side note, God has spoken to me in an inaudible sort of way that I am called to be a leader of some sort, and also that I am to lead her. She has a very quite and reserved personality, like someone who could use a boost in confidence and a bit of guidance.

So it wasn’t my plan to invite her to Mass right away, but more of a low key weekly community supper for students kind of deal at Newman. Do you think that would be appropriate for a second date, or is that too soon?

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I wouldn’t. It’s better to get to know her more. I don’t know if this event will allow you to spend enough time talking to her to be able to do that. Do something that she will be comfortable with.

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This right here would make me think that this shy girl who has no faith would be uncomfortable going on a second date there. Do something she likes.

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Sometime it’s hard for those of us who were raised in the faith to understand the mindset of someone who was not, so it may take a while longer to discern what is appropriate. I recommend that you read Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler. She found her way to faith and Catholicism as an adult after having been raised as an atheist, and this book documents that journey.

There is nothing wrong with her knowing you are Catholic. I would suggest going on a few more dates before inviting her to any Newman events. If you don’t, it could seem to her that she is some kind of a conversion project for you. Just keep getting to know her. When the time is right, you will know. She may even surprise you and ask to come along to mass or to an event.

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After you’ve gone out a few more times, simply mention that you enjoy attending events at the Newman center and she’s welcome to join in if she’s interested, and give her a few examples of what’s going on, then let it go.

If you continue to see one another, she’ll naturally hear of plans you have to attend or you’ll share with her something you did and she’ll have an opportunity to show whether or not she’s interested.

Have fun, hope things continue to go well for you!

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First, make sure there is not a no-dating policy. In small companies, ill ended romance can be a disaster.

If she causes you to be this afraid about your faith, I’d say maybe time to leave it at office friends and spend time growing in your own faith, in courage about your faith.

“Missionary dating” is the name for this idea.

NEVER date someone thinking you can change them, and that God has sent you on that mission. For serious dating, the idea is that you want this person to grow old with you, to be your partner in raising children, exactly as they are today. No changes on faith, politics, demeanor, etc. Just as they are.

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Yeah, I’m sorry but this is just creepy. It’s way too early in your process of getting to know this girl for you to be deciding that God told you to lead her. I would just put that thought on the back burner for now and focus on having fun, getting to know each other and opening up to her a bit more about your religion. If being Catholic and believing in God is such a huge part of your life that you think God is sending you messages, then why are you “hesitant” to bring up your beliefs on a date?

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Just get to know her more and your faith will come up naturally. If she cares to accompany you to a Catholic event, she will let you know in some way. I wouldn’t force it.

When you asked her where she wanted to go, what did she say?

I agree with those who say it is a bit soon to conclude she is more than a friend from work whose future with you includes nothing more than going out from time to time to enjoy each other’s company. That is the kind of thing that helps you grow as people, and it is legitimate, provided neither of you lead the other on to think it is more than you intend it to be. It is quite alright (and I would say advisable) to refrain from “laying it all out” as you might if you get to the point of deciding whether you’d like to make your relationship some kind of exclusive thing that is considering whether marriage is in the cards.

Having said that, I’m a little surprised that someone you’ve worked with for a year has no idea whatsoever that you’re Catholic. I wouldn’t avoid making comments that let on that you practice a religion. I’m not talking about getting into religious debates, but just mentioning you go to Mass or abstain from meat on Fridays or continue childhood traditions that involve church or whatnot.

If your relationship progresses to the point that you’d like her to get to know friends you have outside of work, of course you can suggest things that go on at the Newman Center. It is a way for her to meet your friends and see you interacting with them. I would make it a point to choose a social event that isn’t primarily religious in nature, rather than taking her to something right off the bat where her lack of a religious background might make her feel ill-prepared or out of place.

Speaking of: my husband is non-Catholic. If you take her to Mass, ask around at the Newman Center if they have any materials to help her follow along. My husband has often commented that Catholic missals are notoriously NON-user friendly to newbies. You don’t want to put her in the position of feeling she’s in a class that had a prerequisite course she did not take. That can be really uncomfortable.

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