Ahh dating… The thrilling, nerve wrecking, terrifying mystery that is dating. Whether you are currently dating somebody or are single and praying for God to send you that person, this blog will help you prepare and ensure the one you find is the one God wants for you. Dating can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a scary voyage that seems to never end. Dating as a Catholic can sometimes feel even worse, because we want to find someone with the same views, values, and desires for God as us. In this culture of people hooking up, ghosting, and playing games, dating can feel incredibly painful and tiring. Girls yearn for someone to long for us and magically fall from the sky, while men are afraid to ask a girl on a date. Here are some Catholic rules for dating to avoid heartbreak and find the right person God has in store for you.
Years before I met my boyfriend, as a young high school girl, I longed for someone to love me. I longed for the love that they show in movies and books; the love that most girls crave, the love where you know that you are seen and loved. I would walk around and look at every cute boy I saw and think, “What if he is the one I fall in love with?”. I could not look at a guy and not see a potential candidate for a great romance. It became a bit of an obsession and honestly, I did not even realize that I was craving for a love that I had all along.
Fall In Love With God First
Before I ever knew that God loved me unconditionally, before I ever knew that I was a part of the greatest love story ever told, and before I ever thought about God as my Beloved, I was loved. I was loved with a passion that could ignite mountains and a profundity that was deeper than the ocean. This simple, beautiful truth is one that many people live their entire lives without ever realizing. We yearn, crave, and desire to be loved with all of our hearts because we were made for love and to be loved. I did not realize it then, but what I truly craved and longed for was God, who is our Beloved. God loves me passionately, just like a husband loves and cares for his bride. I am His bride, and I am His love, the great love of His story. It is a simple, profound truth that is life changing when you truly discover the way God longs for you. Before you can ever hope to find a life partner to be with, you must first fall in love with the greatest love of your life.
Fall In Love With Yourself Second
Nowadays we always hear about how important it is to love yourself and to love who you are. But we cannot love what we do not know, and we cannot love ourselves if we do not know who we are. Who we truly are, who we were made to be, and what our purpose in this life is. We must come to the realization that we are who we are because of God.
During my freshman year of college, I was still looking and searching for who I was. If God had not given me a period of singleness and waiting, I perhaps would have found my personal worth in who I was currently dating. I was foolish, and just longing to be loved. Yet God revealed to me that who I am is rooted in who He is, and that I am beautiful and magic because he made me to be that way. I am a part of God just as much as He is a part of me. God made me, revealed that I am His, and showed me how to love myself after years of despising myself. Without this revelation, I would still be seeking my worth in others, broken and desperate for Jesus. You must first fall in love with the magic of who you are before you can ever hope to love someone else.
Date Intentionally, Don’t Date Just Because
Stop playing games, stop dating for fun, stop being intimate emotionally and physically with just anyone. Boys, just ask that cute girl out on a date (ask using the word “date”, not “hang out”), if she says no that is totally okay! Girls, stop letting him play with your emotions, he is just not worth the heartache. Dating is emotionally exhausting when done wrong, and there is no need to put ourselves through these feelings. I understand because I have been there and understand what it feels like to feel torn over what you know is right and what your heart desires.
So what does it mean to date intentionally? Date with a purpose, and don’t date because they make you feel less lonely or because you don’t want them with anybody else. Date because you truly see a future with them and you are willing to discern a vocation with them. Before you ask someone to be your girlfriend or boyfriend, sit down and discuss what the purpose of your relationship will be. Is it to help each other grow, lead that person to God, and be a friend through the hard times? Or is it to have fun for a short time and feel good together, without considering what God wants for you both? Consider this: Does God want me to be with this person? Have I truly asked God what HIS will is for this relationship? Is this a person who I will help lead to Heaven, and vice versa?
In this messy, crazy world of dating, be the change and treat others the way you would like to be treated. Remember that before you can be in a relationship with others, you must have a relationship with God. Before you can hope to find your person, you must first discover and encounter the true love of your life, our Beloved God. Your worth, purpose, and dignity comes from a God who created you to be loved by Him. We wish for a magical love story, when the greatest love story of our lives has been by our side all along. Open your heart to Him, let Him in, and watch as he gives you His love and everything else your heart desires. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33)”. God first, everything else second.