To Date or Not to Date?


#1

About a year ago, I promised Jesus that I wasn't going to date until I got out of high school. Two months after that, I started to discern the religious life.

My friends want me to date. They think I will change my mind if I start dating. My dad and grandma see nothing wrong with dating before the convent. But the thing is, why date and (in a way) trick a bunch of guys into thinking I want to get married one day and then enter the convent and leave a trail of broken hearts? For another, I'm with St. Therese of the Child Jesus. "Once I love, I love forever." Why leave bits of my heart behind?

Should I, or should I not date before becoming a sister?


#2

IMO…if you are absolutely certain you want to be a nun, and you have absolutely no desire to “date”…then no reason to date.
But if there is a small part of you that is not sure, then go ahead and date. Dating isn’t serious, anyway…I mean, it’s really meeting people, getting to know them, seeing what your feelings are…it doesn’t have to imply that you want to get married some day. It doesn’t have to mean falling in love with someone or getting physical with them–so it doesn’t have to interfere with becoming a nun.
If i were you, I’d look at is as…getting to know some young men, that’s all.
You can tell them you are thinking of becoming a nun…you can be honest about that.

But…curious…why did you “promise Jesus” you wouldn’t date until after high school?

You’d want to make sure that you are just not “afraid” to date and not using the convent as an escape in any way…

I do understand what your parents are saying, too. You are young, you are trying to figure out your life…and your dad and grandmother know that many people change their minds at 20 from what they think at, say, 17, so they just want you to make a well-informed decision.
You may meet a young man and fall in love and want to get married and have kids…and if that happens, then that’s yer destiny.
You don’t want to be afraid in any way to search out your destiny…

But all this is hinging on if you are 100 percent sure or not about becoming a nun.


#3

My oldest niece was a junior at Franciscan University when she decided to enter the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, a strict international teaching and nursing order. altonfranciscans.org After a year, the Sisters sent her back to FU to finish her senior year. She met a young and devout Byzantine Catholic man and … the rest is history. She is happily married with two children and her husband just applied for a senior administrative position with FU. My sister (her mother) told me just last week she thinks Rachael would still be a nun if she had pursued a less stringent Order. Take it for what its worth!


#4

[quote="DaddyGirl, post:2, topic:290460"]

But...curious...why did you "promise Jesus" you wouldn't date until after high school?

[/quote]

I don't think high schoolers shouldn't date at all. I see dating as preparing for marriage, not "getting to know guys", I can do that just hanging out with them. So, if dating is preparing for marriage, why date during high school?


#5

I dunno. To me it would seem to be a good idea.

  1. You need to be honest with the boy you are dating, particularly if it seems that he is getting "serious"

  2. If, in the end, you do feel called to a vocation, you will be better able to serve those lay people that you come across, having "been there, done that"

I am obviously speaking of chaste dating, to be clear.


#6

I believe you shouldn't be dating in highschool whatever vocation you aspire to... Unless
its a deliberate attempt to become q single parent... Which is arely a deliberately chosen life path. Especially at your age.

If you are discerning a vocation to marriage, you should "court" poential partners, andnot infill you are ready to commit within a reasonably short time. Say 2-3 years.

You should certainly have friendships with people of both sexes... But it should not enclude dating. That not chaste whatever vocation you are discerning... It's deliberatelyseeking outthe near occasions of sin.


#7

How beautiful!! You are on the right track, and your example will help your friends who are probably telling themselves the same forceful stuff to see beyond the world… keep loving Jesus, he will always be yours!! And he is the best of course. Just tell them you are dating Jesus :wink: Or resolve to change the subject to something you would rather talk about with each of them… God Bless you!


#8

I suppose the big question is, have you ever had a crush on anyone? I'd say wait a while and see if you meet someone you like, before you go on any dates. Give it a year or two. You will not believe how much you change from 17 to even 19!


#9

ps, anuri's response is the truest... I wouldn't take any other advice higher. God bless! Keep God first!! ;)


#10

[quote="White_Peony, post:1, topic:290460"]
About a year ago, I promised Jesus that I wasn't going to date until I got out of high school. Two months after that, I started to discern the religious life.

My friends want me to date. They think I will change my mind if I start dating. My dad and grandma see nothing wrong with dating before the convent. But the thing is, why date and (in a way) trick a bunch of guys into thinking I want to get married one day and then enter the convent and leave a trail of broken hearts? For another, I'm with St. Therese of the Child Jesus. "Once I love, I love forever." Why leave bits of my heart behind?

Should I, or should I not date before becoming a sister?

[/quote]

  1. Do whatever your heart feels is right.

or

  1. If you have had contact with a religious community already talk to their vocation director, or your spiritual director if you have one.

#11

Obviously, this differs a fair bit from person to person, but I would just comment that I think it is very unfortunate that so many people I’ve met throughout the years (even in good Catholic circles) seem to think that a person discerning a religious vocation has to date people “just to be sure” that they’re not called to married life.

I think it’s unfortunate because it is almost always indicative of a double standard. I’ve never heard anyone say that all Catholics who believe they are called to married life ought to enter a seminary or a convent for a period of time “just to be sure” they are not called to religious life. If we were to be truly consistent, we would have to say that all Catholics ought to spend serious time “trying out” both vocations.

As it is, such one-size-fits-all approach to discernment isn’t usually helpful. I’ve known some people who were truly conflicted who really felt they needed to try both (both dating and religious life are designed with built in time for discernemtn before one makes the final commitment). I’ve known others who just knew where the Lord was calling them to and so it was pointless to invest time in both options.

It’s always good to be open to where God is calling you, so I don’t think it would hurt to entertain the idea in prayer. But that’s a fair bit different from seeking out people to date. That definitely could turn into leading people on.

As Triumph Guy noted, having a spiritual director to turn to would be quite helpful in any discernment process.


#12

Well, since dating is for finding one’s spouse, you really shouldn’t be doing it. If you want to, go out in groups with friends or something, but dating isn’t really what any high schooler should be doing, unless they are ready to get married right now.


#13

[quote="White_Peony, post:4, topic:290460"]
I don't think high schoolers shouldn't date at all. I see dating as preparing for marriage, not "getting to know guys", I can do that just hanging out with them. So, if dating is preparing for marriage, why date during high school?

[/quote]

This is the crux of the argument right here.


#14

[quote="superamazingman, post:12, topic:290460"]
Well, since dating is for finding one's spouse, you really shouldn't be doing it. If you want to, go out in groups with friends or something, but dating isn't really what any high schooler should be doing, unless they are ready to get married right now.

[/quote]

Your friends just don't understand this or refuse to understand... one day they will, don't worry, but for you, no chat with a friend is more important than y*our ascention into heaven !!*


#15

The snide remarks are not necessary. And in case you are wondering, my friends DO understand this idea.


#16

[quote="White_Peony, post:4, topic:290460"]
I don't think high schoolers shouldn't date at all. I see dating as preparing for marriage, not "getting to know guys", I can do that just hanging out with them. So, if dating is preparing for marriage, why date during high school?

[/quote]

I know this may be not part of your situation, but there are people that do get married immediately after graduating from high school because they have discerned that is God's will for their lives. I have a couple I've been friends with for many years that got married right after high school and will be married 27 years this coming January. And no, there wasn't an unplanned pregnancy that contributed to them getting married at that age.

If you have been capable of discerning a religious vocation is God's will for you, then certainly some one your age is also capable of discerning their vocation is marriage and begin to date in high school. That doesn't mean you should feel pressured to date if you feel that married life is not to be your vocation, but you can no more dismiss someone discerning their vocation is to be married if you want people to take your decision to enter the convent seriously.


#17

[quote="Peanut7949, post:14, topic:290460"]
... no chat with a friend is more important than y*our ascention into heaven !!*

[/quote]

I never knew it was an either/or proposition but, accepting your premise for the moment, my answer would be "It depends on who the friend is" :)


#18

[quote="White_Peony, post:1, topic:290460"]
About a year ago, I promised Jesus that I wasn't going to date until I got out of high school. Two months after that, I started to discern the religious life.

My friends want me to date. They think I will change my mind if I start dating. My dad and grandma see nothing wrong with dating before the convent. But the thing is, why date and (in a way) trick a bunch of guys into thinking I want to get married one day and then enter the convent and leave a trail of broken hearts? For another, I'm with St. Therese of the Child Jesus. "Once I love, I love forever." Why leave bits of my heart behind?

Should I, or should I not date before becoming a sister?

[/quote]

Yes, you should. I think a scene in the movie "Bells of St Mary" explains it best.

Only until you date, go to dances, and proms, are you able to discern, "yes I want to be a nun" because then you know what you are willingly and consciencely giving up for Christ and you do it freely....

I recommend the movie for that very scene for anyone discerning a vocation.

Also you need some serious spiritual direction in your life when you are discerning a vocation, not opinions, as well meaning as they are, on a website. :thumbsup:


#19

White Peony,

I was talking to a young lady in my parish who just graduated college and is discerning a vocation with the Franciscan TOR Sisters. She just graduated college (not required for this particular community, but for many communities it is), and starts her postulancy in a year from this coming Sept.

franciscansisterstor.org/

She recommends the follow site for information and some insight on what you can expect and what you need to know.

anunslife.org/resources/how-to-become-a-catholic-nun/


#20

[quote="superamazingman, post:15, topic:290460"]
The snide remarks are not necessary. And in case you are wondering, my friends DO understand this idea.

[/quote]

Peanut was addressing the OP not you. Peanut was essentially agreeing with you and was quoting you.

That's how it reads to me anyway.


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