Catholics are used to behaving counterculturally. This is especially true with dating, which we believe is ultimately about finding someone to marry. This stands in stark contrast to mainstream dating, where many people merely hook up or become “friends with benefits.”
Some Catholics go to the opposite extreme and think they can’t go out with someone unless they can envision marrying them.
Here are some tips for a better approach to dating.
It’s fine to date someone because they’re fun.
If you meet someone who is fun and attractive, then by all means go on a date. And enjoy yourself!
While marriage should be the end goal, you won’t know whether someone is spouse material until you date them. So don’t overthink things. It usually takes many dates to know if two people are a good match. And if you keep having fun, that’s a positive.
Don’t expect a sign from God.
You may have heard spiritual directors use the phrase “discern something to death.” While you should definitely ask for God’s guidance, know that He won’t give you a clear sign about whom you should date. There’ll be no halo over their head or doves alighting upon their shoulders.
If you wait for an unmistakable sign, you’ll be single forever. Instead, pray to God, get advice from a spiritual director if you have one, and go on that date!
Clearly communicate that you’re asking for a date.
Some guys — usually out of nervousness — ask a woman if she wants to hang out. Fellas, she can read between the lines. She’ll likely know you’re interested and she may perceive you as weak for not having the guts to say the word “date.”
Be clear about your intentions and call it what it is. Women don’t like being left in the dark.
To all the single people reading this: It’s time for action. Is there someone you’re interested in, but you’re holding back because you’re not sure they’re the one? If so, stop waiting around. Ask them on a date.
God will guide you, but you have to take action.