Q: Is it okay to date someone if they are not Catholic?

A: We get this question a lot – and unfortunately there’s not a definite yes or no answer. As Lisa Cotter explains in her blog about “evangedating,” “sometimes God uses human love and attraction to bring people closer to Him.” Check out her article to read about scenarios where dating a non-Christian could be where God is (or isn’t) leading you. I can tell you from my experience, though, that there are a lot of advantages in dating (and marrying) a Catholic.

Before I met my husband Brian, I dated guys all over the faith-spectrum – from Catholic gone atheist, to non-practicing Protestant, to Catholic-ish, to Evangelical, and some in between. During this time I realized how much faith affects our life, from the little things (the sign of the cross before meals) to the big things (sex before marriage). Faith is not a separate area of our life that we can keep in a box. It always ends up becoming an issue (because, guess what, it’s hard to keep God out of your life).

While dating Brian, I got to see the real beauty in dating someone that had the same values and faith that I was striving for. Relationships are never easy, but when you’re both able to trust in God and share your faith, you gain so much. Our relationship with Jesus should affect every aspect of our lives, so naturally having that in common with whoever you’re dating is a huge blessing.
We should always try to be growing in our own faith life. Dating a practicing Catholic, someone who is in love with the Lord, can definitely help you do that. Our lives should be centered around the Sacraments and prayer, and getting to have your significant other by your side for those things is a huge plus.

There were many things about Brian that attracted me to him – he’s hard-working, considerate, athletic, funny (in my opinion, of course) – but it is his faith and desire to make God the priority in his life that make the biggest difference in our relationship. While dating, Brian and I were able to go to Mass together and encourage one another to get to Confession (which helps your relationship a lot). We were able to sort through issues that came up with prayer and the guidance of the Catholic Church. Now that we’re married and have a child, we know that we share the same values when it comes to raising her. We attend Mass and worship and praise God together as a family. (You can read more here about how faith impacts my married life).

The most important relationship in our life should be the one we have with God. Even the most loving and holy spouse can only act as an arrow pointing us to the love of God. It is God’s love whose endures forever (Psalm 136). The goal of dating should be to discern if this is the person God is calling you to marry. Marriage is about two people committing to love, serve, and support each other on the journey toward Heaven.

If you want to know whether you should date someone, Catholic or not, pray and ask the Lord for His advice. The answer may come through Scripture, a feeling of peace, words from a trusted friend/advisor, or perhaps a married couple you admire. No matter what the circumstances, continually seek the Lord in all of your relationships (dating and otherwise). Trust in the Lord and His timing, knowing that He will fulfill the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Do you have a question about dating and relationships you’d like to ask Brian and Courtney Kissinger? Email them at Itscomplicated@lifeteen.com and your question could be the next blog post!

About the Author

Courtney Kissinger

I graduated from law school and then decided to become an elementary school teacher. I’m married to an arguably attractive youth minister, Brian, and we have the cutest daughter and son. I hate cheese. That includes cheese on pizza, Nacho Cheese Doritos, cottage cheese, and cream cheese. I will eat cheesecake if it’s covered with chocolate.

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