Catholic dating views

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So he chooses it for himself in spite of his healthy appreciation for the feminine person. During a good talk we had on the subject, my son did some thinking out loud…

If a dating couple does not have marriage discernment as the specific and spoken end goal of their relationship, then what is their goal? “By dating a 16-year old girl, I would basically be asking her to stop considering other options — other guys or other vocational paths — so that she could just focus on me.

Now that I am the mother of a teenage boy, I often hear about his friends who are “in a relationship” with young gals. As my firstborn son inches closer to driving age, I admit to thinking: My word, what idiot decided that a 15-year old was even remotely mature enough to handle a vehicle in populated areas? Does that really honor the dignity of the object of affection?

Poor judgment with a vehicle can inconvenience, injure, or kill people; however, poor judgment in a relationship can wound the very soul. As much as I honor his good nature and maturity, I recognize that permitting him to date would be like encouraging him to text and drive… Fortunately for me, he shares his parents’ belief that modern dating does not honor the purpose of Christian courtship…which is to prepare for marriage. If the greatest relationships are rooted in love and service to Christ, exclusive dating according to modern trends is not necessary to build that kind of rock solid foundation.

Instead of giving me confidence and fruitful life experience, the teenage dating culture tore me down, stunted my understanding of real commitment and love, and trapped me in a pattern of superficial people pleasing.

When I began dating my husband, I was still influenced by those unhealthy patterns and needed time to heal.

The longer I live, the more strongly I oppose the practice of dating among teenagers.

As the youngest canon lawyer in North America, I am less than a decade removed from my teenage years, and I also served as a canonical adviser to various adolescent-orientated Catholic apostolates.Recommended Reading: For those with dating teens, I highly recommend a small book called by Anthony Buono. It is written clearly in manageable chapters and is a good barometer for evaluating dating readiness. I am opposed to teens exclusively dating before a marriageable age with a purpose other than serious marriage discernment. It’s not that all of those boys were monsters (although a couple were mighty strange) but rather that I did not have the time and the freedom to develop purpose and confidence outside of a relationship.I would gladly trade every positive moment with my teen boyfriends to have those years back as my own.

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