the dating war

  • Facebook Black Square
  • Twitter Black Square
  • Instagram Black Square

Dating

Videos
Q & A

Q. How do you know if the person you are seeing is the right one?

 

A.  A good place to start with any important decision is by consulting God. Have you prayed and talked to God about the person you are dating? What would God want for you and what would God think of your relationship? In the end everything we do on Earth is a journey towards our Heavenly home and so a good question to ask yourself is' "Does this person make me holier?" Or, "Am I a better version of myself with this person?" Lastly, talk to those who care about you the most. What do your family and friends think of this person? Often those who really know us best can be a great help to us with the journey of life. In the end they usually want the best for you and if they aren't quite sure about your relationship then perhaps you need more time or maybe it is a good indication you should have another look at your relationship. (also checkout our marriage tab for more insights and advice)

 

Q. I've been single for ages and can't help but think there must be something wrong with me...

 

A. It is easy and common to feel the way you do. There is an unhealthy portrayal of the need to be in a relationship in society and the media. The truth is that you don't have to be in a relationship. Being single is an amazing chance to grow, serve and live life to the full. Don't get me wrong, relationships and marriage are also great opportunities to become holier but so many people miss the blessing that single life is to themselves and the world around them. Besides, you don't want to be in a relationship that isn't right or is just a relationship to make you feel better about yourself. If there is someone better for you then that current relationship may be the very thing stopping you from being in a better place. Often when someone is single it is because they are strong enough to not just go with the crowd and mature enough to know they don't need to be in a relationship to be happy.

Q. When is the right time to tell someone, 'I love you'?

A. That is a tough question, to which there is no simple answer. You see, every relationship is so unique. It can depend on so many factors, like how long you have been dating, how serious you are about committing to this person, how they will respond or react to those three words (perhaps they will freak out; perhaps they have never had someone say that to them before or perhaps they've heard it so many times but never really 'felt' loved; or maybe it's exactly what they have been waiting to hear). The longer you have been dating someone the more you will know them and perhaps know how they will respond to those three words. Remember it's not just about you expressing how you feel. You also need to consider how they will feel when they hear you say this. 

If you're still not 100% sure it might be best to wait and seek wisdom from friends or parents or someone you trust. And remember that there are so many ways to show love, apart from saying, 'I love you'. So often our actions can speak louder than our words. Showing someone you love them by caring for them or planning special dates, buying them a gift, or doing someing thoughtful for them are all great ideas. Saying all that, if you're at the point of engagement or marriage and you still haven't told that person that you love them, it might be time to work up the courage and tell them how you feel ;).

Q. Is it okay to date online?

A. As a young adult, absolutely! There is nothing socially or even morally wrong with dating online. In our highly digital world, it is becoming quite common for people to meet online and we actually have numerous friends who have met through online dating sites and ended up getting married. There are some great Catholic sites listed below.

 

However, if you do decide to try online dating, there are some very important pitfalls to avoid!! The online world allows for people to create a persona that is totally different to what they are actually like in real life. So, it's important not to get too caught up in an online relationship without having any 'real' contact with the person - e.g. FaceTime chats or meeting in person. The second highly important thing is that you never give out personal information. And if you are planning to meet up with someone, always meet somewhere public where you will be safe. You want to make sure that the person you have been chatting to is actually who they say they are.

We also wouldn't recommend online dating for teenagers as there are many people who pry on young pole and pretend to be someone they are not. This is something that you may want to explore as you get older and is usually something people use to find a partner later in life, as opposed to just casual online dating. 

Q. I'm in high school and I'm wondering when is the right time to start dating?

A. That's a really great question! And it's hard to give a specific answer. Every person is different and the family you come from will probably have different ideas when it comes to this question. On that note, have you asked your parents/guardians?

When I was in high school, I was allowed to date. At the time I thought this was great and pretty normal. My husband, on the other hand, was not allowed to date until he left highschool. At the time he thought this was so aweful. He hated it. But when we both look back and reflect, we wish both our parents had encouraged us to wait until after high school to start dating. We know this is really hard. The truth is, we have natural desires to be loved and cared for and be in a relationship. However, I can see how dating in high school became a bit of a distraction. I was often worried about which guy I was or wasn't dating to the point that I sometimes neglected friendships, studies and other hobbies and interests. My husband, however, was able to focus on his study and build some really great friendships with the girls at his school. It gave him more time to invest in his sports and other interestes and also to get to know himself more. 

So, we would encourage anyone in high school who is considering dating to first chat with their partents or guardian - to get some advice and wisdom. We would also say, don't be in a rush! There are so many years ahead to date and get to know people in a more intimate way. This is a great time to focus on you, your studies and building great friendships with both guys and girls in your life.

Q. What if we've already had sex but now want to wait? How do we do this? Can we start afresh?

A. Absolutely! It is never too late to start afresh. There are some awesome scriptures in the Bible telling us that God makes all things new, and we understand that the God we serve is a loving God, who wants to forgive us and give us a fresh start. There are many Catholics, including many on our team, who have had sexual relationships in the past and have at some point decided to wait until they were married to have sex. If you are Catholic, you may have experienced the Sacrament of Reconciliation before. This is a beautiful gift that our Church gives us. God is always merciful and wants to gives us the opportunity to begin again. So, we encourage you to make use of this Sacrament. We know it is not always easy to go before a priest and confess the mistakes you have made, but it is always so worth it and often not as hard as we think it is going to be. 

 

As for going forward from this point, we realise this is not easy. It's natural to want to physically express your love and affection for someone, even when you have made the commitment to wait until you're married to have sex. So, it is important to have some clear physcial boundaries. Eg. we won't go into a room alone and close the door or we won't make out, as we know this only leads us to want to do more. Every couple is different but it's realy important to have clear and open discussion about the physical side of your relationship and how you can best respect each other's physical boundaries. It can also be great to have an older couple or a mentor who can check in and keep you accountable on staying true to your boundaries and your desires and goals for your current and future relationship/s. Also check out some of the video links on our Marriage page, particularly Sex: Why Wait?

Q. I want to show my BF/GF how much I love them. Why shouldn't we have sex? It feels like the right time.

 

A. It is normal to want to be physical with someone you are romantically involved with however our "feelings" aren't always the best guide to what is best. Sex is a huge step and is a physical expression of a total and complete commitment to someone. It is a physical gesture and a promise to love someone always. The reason why sex is best kept for marriage is because marriage is a commitment to love someone completely, unconditionally and forever. During sex, two people (mind, body and soul) become one. They are making with their bodies the same commitment (the same vow) as what they made when they got married.

 

Very few people regret waiting longer to have sex and I've never met a person who has regretted waiting until they were married to have sex. However most people when surveyed regret having sex for the first time if it happened outside of a committed relationship, such as marriage. The Bible says, "Love is patient..." (1 Cor 13) and real loving relationships are a great chance to demonstrate this love. True love wants what is best for the other person, not just what we desire right now.  Someone who truly loves the other person would want to garantee the other's happiness by treating sexual intimacy as a special gift worth keeping for one person. The only way to do this is by saving sex till marriage. It is a gift for your future spouse. If this person you are dating goes on to be your wife/husband then it will be a gift for them. If this isn't the person you end up marrying then you will be glad you waited for the right person who you will spend the rest of your life with.

Q. How far is too far?

A. This is a really common question and often we are thinking about the question of physical boundaries from the wrong perspective. We would suggest that a better question to ask is, 'How can I best love this person and is our relationship drawing him/her closer to God?' As Christians, we ultimately believe that all relationships that we are in are to teach us about and draw us closer to God. So, if our focus is more about what we can get from this person physically before it's considered 'sinful' or 'wrong', rather than loving that person and revealing more of God to them through our actions, then I'd say we might need a perspective change.

If your goal is to give your whole self as a gift to your spouse, then you want to save everything you have to give to that person and you also don't want to take that gift from someone else. Some people would choose even not to kiss before they get married, and that is obviously a very personal decision, but I once heard someone say that our goal is that at the end of any dating relationship we can look back and know that we have drawn that person closer to God. And an even greater challenge is that we would be able to go up to the bride or groom of any person that we have dated in the past on their wedding day and have them say, 'Thank you! Thank you for drawing my husband closer to God and not taking what was mine to have this day'. Bam!! Theres a challenge, hey!

Saying all this, we realise it is really hard. If you are dating someone that you really like, it's normal to want to get physical with that person. So, it is important to have some clear physcial boundaries. Eg. we won't go into a room alone and close the door or we won't make out, as we know this only leads us to want to do more. Every couple is different but it's realy important to have clear and open discussion about the physical side of your relationship and how you can best respect each other's physical boundaries. It can also be great to have an older couple or a mentor who can check in and keep you accountable on staying true to your boundaries and your desires and goals for your current and future relationship/s.

Links

www.chastityproject.com

- A great, American based website with loads of resources related to dating and relationships

 

www.chastity.com

- Another American based website with resources and links related to dating

www.catholicmatch.com

- A Catholic, online dating site

 

Books

Catholic

  • How to Find your Soulmate Without Losing your Soul

    • Jason and Christalina Evert

  • How to Get the Man of Your Dreams

    • Jonathan Doyle

  • If you really loved me

    • Jason Evert

    • 100 questions on dating

  • Good News about Sex and Marriage

    • Christopher West

    • Answers all the big questions

  • Theology of the Body

    • Various authors, but Christopher West’s TOB audio is accessible for the average person

Christian

  • Captivating

    • Stasi Eldredge

    • For women

  • Wild at Heart

    • John Eldredge

    • For men

  • Pure

    • Linda Marshall

    • For teens - small, easy read

  • Worth the Wait

    • Jason Stevens

    • Footy player, easy read, Aussie​

  • For Men Only

    • Shaunti Feldhahn​

    • For engaged/dating couples men to better understand the opposite sex

  • For Women Only

    • Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn​

    • For engaged/dating couples to better understand the opposite sex

  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye

    • Joshua Harris

  • Boy Meets Girl

    • Joshua Harris

 

 

 

 

Subscribe for event updates