What is the church's opinion on dating an atheist or agnostic?

Some disagree and I think my standards are too high. I’ll never find a perfect match and my biological clock is ticking. The longer I wait the less valuable I become. The older I get the less likely it is for me to find someone who is planning on remaining chaste.

I have an account. I think I need to be more open to possibility. Does that mean lowering my standards?

Why would you think that? :flushed:

Maybe you need to widen your geographic location.

If that were a fact, myself and a lot of other men may never have had an opportunity to come to know the truth of our one Holy and apostolic church.

I can’t speak for others, but I would never have found the Church had it not for having married a little Catholic girl!


My mother is Baptist. My dad was a practicing Catholic.

They were married for 54 years until his death and have four children.

It can be done.

This is quite possibly the cutest and sweetest thing I’ve ever read online. :slight_smile:

1 Like

While abstract to you now, a baby is another person,whole and complete.

Their needs will always come first.

Your duty a a Catholic is to spend 18 years of intense work and many more after helping them get to heaven. It’s a hell of a lot harder (pun intended) when you don’t have a spouses help…or heaven forbid he becomes intolerant of the demands of a faith life.

1 Like

Some people tell me I’m expecting too much to want a Catholic husband because as women age their sexual market value plummets. Which obviously pissed me off and it came across as sexist. How dare a woman have standards and I should accept any man that comes my way because the closer I get to a certain age the less likely I can get a boyfriend.

I’m totally believe love conquers all. I feel fell passionately in love with a man and he loved me too. Isn’t that enough? Obviously he has to have life together and not be anti Catholic. In my ideal world, I’d marry a Catholic Cary Grant or Marlon Brando lookalike.

I would probably compromise on other areas before dropping Catholic (in fact I won’t be dropping practicing Catholic. I know that I will want my spouse’s support in living my faith and while it would be lovely to have someone convert because I introduced them to the faith it’s simply not a path I’m prepared to risk. I also have to be OK if they don’t convert, and I honestly would not be). However, I am also content to remain single if necessary.

My thought is if God wants me to be married he will find me a spouse when the timing is right.

1 Like

I’m married to a non-Catholic Christian man, he is very devout and we encourage each other in our faith. I don’t see a lot of single Catholic men (or even teenage boys) these days so it’s inevitable that there will be more mixed marriages.

  1. You are worried about not finding a Catholic man to date
  2. You are worried about having children
  3. You are worried about sexual marketplace

Honestly, all three of these fears used to be my fears when I was young and it lead me to rush into a marriage with a Catholic man which ended a disaster. I will give you the warning I wish I had: don’t let your heart be troubled with this and don’t let these fears rush you into anything.

On point 1, trying to find a Catholic. When I met my ex (Catholic), I would do anything to “make it work” but but things didn’t feel right, but I turned a blind eye to it all. It turned out he lied to me and was gay (he was using me to hide it).

On the fertility issue. God did bless me with a child. But I didn’t have my child until my late 30s because as a homosexual my husband wasn’t interested. It was a natural and easy pregnancy, no need to rush to have a child in my 20s. If I stopped to look at my family history I would have noticed that women were having babies into their early 40s. It’s not like something magical happens at 30 and suddenly you can’t have children. Have faith.

I ended up a divorced single mom because of my fixations which are similar to yours.

On this sexual market place stuff. It’s psyco-drivel. It basically says women in their 20s are dating men their father’s age because men want only younger women and women want rich men. This is untrue. If you look at marriage statistics in the US (from the Census) you will see that most people marry within 5 years of each other. Marriage of 20+ years difference is less than 1% of the population.

If there is any truth to “sexual market place” drivel is that yes, as a woman ages the number of men “chasing” you goes down, but the other side is that the potential relationship quality of the men goes up. Gone are the days when men would catcall, shout lewd things to me, see me as a potential sexual conquest, etc I don’t miss that AT ALL! It’s a relief to be invisible to such men. Now man are interested in connecting to me as a human being and in a spiritual way. And it’s now, later in life that I met someone who is truly wonderful and more of a soul mate. I think things are better.

When I was dating, more so than secular men, Catholic men seemed fixated on the potential fertility of a wife. At least, when Catholic men my age said I was “too old” they politely explained it was because of the issue of having children.

It’s my opinion that such men, while they might have good intentions, are misunderstanding Catholic doctrine. I say this because this is exactly what I was thinking in my 20s when I rushed to marry (and what caused the disaster that was my marriage). You are supposed to be open to children, not throw caution to the wind and do anything possible to have children. Have faith in God and look to St. Elizabeth whom was blessed with her son John the Baptist… or even Abraham and Sarah (and their son Issac) for strength if you need to.

I wouldn’t advise dating an atheist or someone of a non-Christian faith. That’s quite a big difference and could cause a lot of problems. But there are exceptions to every rule, so even this could work out.

As long as they aren’t anti-Catholic, I don’t see any reason not to date a non-Catholic Christian! You can help and encourage each other in your faith, you’ll have many discussions that will help you deepen and understand your own faith, and as long as you both respect each other it can work out. In fact, it’s better than being with a luke warm Catholic. And as others have pointed out, even if you hold out for a Catholic you could end up in a bad marriage or divorce.

Who knows, maybe if you marry a Protestant they’ll convert! That’s what happened to me, and my husband was not pushing for it at all. Maybe God is calling some Protestants back to the Catholic faith, and maybe marriage is a way he does that.

We should re-title this thread
"How many misconceptions can we cram into a single thread (no pun intended).

There are many people on CAF alone that met fine, adult, Catholic men online who were not hound dog skirt chasers. I met my husband when he was 45 and yes, had never slept with anyone. Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple of other frequent posters who have had a similar experience, not to mention the many men of your age on CAF that lament that they can’t find a good Catholic woman who wants a genuine relationship, including sharing faith.

You will find a match. There’s a good chance he will be a practicing Catholic, and you will have time to bear a child
Calm down!
You are valuable at ANY AGE.

If you yourself have made mistakes in the past (posting history comes into play here) show mercy and likely someone will show you mercy.

I would not say you are washed up, used up, or undesirable at 30 something.
I don’t see why you would belittle yourself like this, particularly since more of your postings have to do with being critical of others.

Be kind. Kindness attracts kindness.
Good luck to you!


Yes, there are people who were converted through missionary dating/missionary marriage. These exceptions are wonderful. They are rare.

1 Like

The term missionary dating/marriage is kind of odd. It’s not like you go out intentionally to convert someone. It’s just that you fall in love with who you fall in love with, if they happen to be Catholic, great! If not, no problem! And if God can use that marriage to bring someone to the Church… all the better!


“Expecting too much” to share the most important aspect of this life?

It must be difficult when your “village” is so secular they cannot grasp how vital faith is :frowning:

Have you attended Catholic Singles events at the Diocese, region or National Level?

That reflects the modern, secular view of marriage.

That love is something you catch like the flu and there is no control, you love whom you love and it is magic.

Thing is, we choose the people we are going to have as friends or to date, from those relationships we choose to love. A mature adult does not choose to enter a romance with someone who has diametrically oppositional worldviews.

1 Like

A Catholic dating a non-Catholic does not mean they have diametrically oppositional world views. This is where we are disagreeing I think.

Also, I’m a married woman. I know that love is not some fairy tale magic… or the flu as you put it. My husband chose to marry me because of my faith, my values, my morals, my sense of humor, the fact that I would be a good mother, and a list of many other things… but I wasn’t catholic. So should he have ignored all of that?

Sometimes the best match for you may not be Catholic. I think there are many people on these forums who have, or had, mixed marriages that would agree with me. I’m not saying don’t try to find a Catholic to date, but I’m saying don’t reject perfectly good people just because they aren’t Catholic. In this day and age it’s hard enough to find a Christian at all.


Catholics believe that Mary is the Mother of God, that she is to be honored, that she was immaculately conceived, remained a virgin all of her life and was assumed into heaven.

Non-Catholics believe that Mary is the mother of Christ in His humanity only, that she was a virgin when Christ was born but that she then had other children, that honor to Mary is worship and therefore wrong and that she died and rotted just like any other human.

Opposite views.

Catholics believe that, unless dispensed, we are to attend Mass on all Sundays and other Holy Days of Obligation.

Non-Catholic Christians believe that going to church is a good thing to do,but, it is also okay to skip church when you feel like it.

Opposite views.

Catholics believe that Baptism is important and is to be done in the first weeks after a baby is born.

Non-Catholic Christians believe that baptism is either a symbol of obedience that can be done when a baby because “tradition” or that it is salvific and must wait until the person is old enough to choose for themselves.


Belief about sin, confession, opposite.

Belief about the Eucharist, SUPER opposite.

Sexual morality, contraception, divorce and re-marriage, opposite.

All of these opposite beliefs can be okay for a family without children. You do your thing, I do mine works. Once there are kids involved, kids are smart and kids know that two things cannot be the opposite AND both be true. You either convince them that each person determines right and wrong for themselves (heresy) OR that mom is really wrong and dad is right (because it is great for kids to pray every night, quietly in their beds, that mommy does not go to hell because she does not go to Confession).

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.