I’m not saying date people just to date them, but if your standards are so incredibly high that you’re not going on any dates at all, you might be doing it wrong. And if it goes well, it will lead to another date, not a sacrament – that comes a lot later, after a lot more dates.You’re going to need at least five more dates before you’ve got enough of his background info to start doodling his name on your notebooks… And if it doesn’t go well, then it’s not the end of the world… The Situation: Speaking of names doodled on notebooks… Even though it’s a great Catholic buzzword (here’s a throwback blog on it), many of us still don’t quite know what it means. Team Leininger will be weighing in on this one together, because, well, we’re Catholic and we like dating each other. It can be all of those things in the same week, even. And because we’re here to help you, we want to briefly address five of the most challenging aspects of the Catholic dating world.Just don’t place unfair expectations on the guys you date – they don’t have a Hollywood imagination (let alone budget) working on your third date. And if you are dating someone, you’re just dating, you are not engaged or married. The Situation: Guys and girls are attracted to one another.The Solution: There are rom-coms and there’s real life, so just try to stay rooted in reality: when a man wants to ask a woman out on a date, he will. We live in a world that treats sex (and other sexual acts) like no big deal, where “as long as you’re in love, it’s okay,” and where you don’t have to go looking for porn, because porn comes looking for you. He Says: We tend, especially as men, to think chastity is just saying no, but it’s so much more than that. It is saying I will respect myself, my family, my girlfriend, my future wife, and my future children.Be clear and kind in the break-up process, but for the love of God, don’t put all the blame on Him.
And just as often they carry us into a crazy over-analysis of every text ever exchanged ever. Dating is an awesome, terrible, challenging, great, heartbreaking institution. It can leave you floating on air or crashing back to earth.The Situation: Things seem to be going pretty well – and then all of a sudden it ends with one line: “It’s not you, it’s God.” Sometimes, well-intentioned Catholics will use God to get out of a relationship they don’t want to be in anymore. Those are both decisions that we made for ourselves, but they sound way better if God told us to do it.Break-ups are always tough, but they’re even harder when the person you’ve been dating tells you that they’re ending things because God told them to. Someone once ended things with me by saying, “It’s what God wants” – and I can 100% say I’m glad that didn’t work out, but I wish she wouldn’t have played the God card.I would have preferred that she just tell me how she was feeling.