'Normal' Catholic courtship?


Hello, I am in my early twenties, still in college and living at my parent's house. I started seeing a good Catholic man about a month ago. He has briefly met my parents, but never for more than a couple of minutes at the door or in passing.

I didn't really think anything of this, until I was eating lunch with a friend of mine who is also Catholic, who said it was "strange" or "unorthodox" for him to have not REALLY met my parents yet. I have really only been Catholic for just under 3 years, and I have never been in a Catholic relationship before, so I was going to ask you all for your opinions: should I be bringing him around to spend time with my parents?

I could understand doing so if my parents really cared to meet him, but they have not said so in the slightest. In my last pre-conversion relationship, my dad basically implied that he expected me to (and did not really care if I did) have sex (I did not, but it is the message I got from him). My mom generally never asks details about anything, and I don't really spend much time with my parents at all. They work a lot of evenings and I am not at home much.

I don't know, am I doing something wrong?



I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. I’m also in my early twenties, about to finish college. My (now) fiance hasn’t spent much time with my parents either over the course of our 2.5 year courtship. It’s mostly because they are still angry/uneasy about my leaving their evangelical church for Catholicism, and the fact that I met/fell in love with/plan to marry someone who did the same thing. It gets sticky, and my fiance and I sometimes have trouble being charitable sometimes. :blush: We live in a different state, though.

If your parents were attempting to act as good spiritual mentors and you were simply shutting them out, then that would be a problem, but I don’t think what you’re doing is.


The Church doesn’t really set any sort of courtship/dating formula that the faithful are obliged to follow (other than basic morality). A Catholic relationship should be chaste and with an eye towards the prospects of marriage; otherwise, there’s no right or wrong way beyond your own mutual comfort.

Given what you’ve said about your parents, I’m not sure how having them spend time with your boyfriend would be of major benefit. Based solely on your brief comments, they don’t seem particularly interested in getting to know him well, and almost certainly won’t be watching for some sort of moral defect in an effort to protect you (e.g. if he’s just going to use you for sex and then dump you).

Not that he should never meet your parents, but if they’re in no rush, then you should feel no obligation to rush, either.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight


There are no rules about meeting parents the important thing is that he is Catholic, that you are both discerning whether to marry rather than just dating and that your courtship remains chaste avoiding even near occasions of sin for however long it lasts and he is respectful towards you in regard to your chastity.


It doesn’t matter.


While the idea of courtship (where the man meets the parents of the girl first and asks the permission of the parents to court and eventually marry the daughter) is a great idea and has some very positive benefits to a relationship…

…it is NOT a Catholic requirement.

By not doing so you are not doing anything “wrong”.


[quote="jlr247, post:1, topic:184920"]
In my last pre-conversion relationship, my dad basically implied that he expected me to (and did not really care if I did) have sex (I did not, but it is the message I got from him).


If your dad is going to meet your date and in some way convey the expectation that you will have sex before marriage, it might be better for them not to meet much! ;)

I agree that if your parents kept pressing for a meeting and you were putting it off, that would be odd after a while. But they've seen him, they know his name and so forth, and after all, it's only been a month. I think you're fine.

The "classic courtship" pattern outlined by SMHW is beautiful and a great idea, but it doesn't make sense if you aren't particularly close to your parents and they don't appear to want to assume that sort of role.

You might have some of your dates be to meet for Mass on Sunday and then have lunch afterwards, and/or you could pray a rosary together some time. That sort of thing helps ensure that you aren't just two Catholics in a relationship, but are two people in a Catholic relationship (if that makes any sense). There's no rush, though. A month isn't very long.

But as other people have pointed out, there aren't really any rules about it, except the ones about moral conduct.



Unless “unorthodox” was a metaphor, someone has a problem. Contrary to what some people may think, 1890 standards are not morally binding on Catholics and whatever *is *binding is not so because it’s old or strict but because it follows from the 6th commandment (and as long as it does). Respect for *some *traditions of one’s community or family may follow from the 4th, but Victorian revival does not come under it.


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