Dating is tricky to navigate. Add religion in the mixture, and romance and relationships will seem like a huge hurdle one has to cross. It may seem especially difficult if one’s partner is strongly entrenched into their faith and religion. Misinterpretations and differences of opinions are bound to occur if each partner belongs to different faiths, or if one is a non-believer and the other is a believer. For example, when a non-Catholic person is dating a Catholic person, there is bound to be miscommunication and differences of opinions. Respect and support are the two crucial elements to make a relationship work. Apart from these, it is essential to understand the various nuances of each other’s faiths and avoid any faux pas whenever they are with each other. If one is dating a Catholic man, here are a few things one ought to remember.
Be supportive of their belief system: For a Catholic person, the tenets of the Holy Eucharist and Resurrection are important aspects of their belief system. A non-Catholic partner may find it difficult to accept these tenets. However, to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship, it is important to be supportive of what their partner believes. One does not necessarily have to follow their partner’s belief system and can harmoniously agree to disagree without any emotional stress. Moreover, a Catholic person has to follow an all-loving and all-forgiving principle. They have to be ready to forgive anyone who does them wrong and have mercy on the unfortunate. They do not hold grudges against another person. It is essential for a non-Catholic partner to accept this aspect of their partner’s personality without any conditions.
Accept that Sundays may be no-date days: A practicing Catholic has to attend mass every Sunday and on the holy day of obligation. For them, praying is an essential part of their spiritual life. They make time for attending mass and personal prayers. A non-Catholic partner has to be understanding and accept that the person they are dating may not be able to make time for them on Sundays. It may be difficult to plan dates on Sundays, and they may have to end their Saturday date nights early.
Refrain from premarital sexual intercourse: According to Catholicism, premarital sex is not permitted. Sexual intercourse before marriage is considered a mortal sin. A person indulging in premarital sexual intercourse must go for confession. A Catholic is not allowed to have sexual intercourse until married; it is irrelevant how long two persons have been dating or wanting to live-in together for. If either of the partners is non-Catholic, they ought to accept and respect this tenet followed by the other person. A non-Catholic partner should avoid ridiculing their partner for following this belief. There can be physical intimacy without going all the way. There ought to be a strong commitment between both the partners.
No artificial contraception: Catholicism is pro-life; it is open to life and opposed to contraception. The use of any form of contraception is considered to be contrary to true love and life according to the Catholic belief system. Contraception pills, condoms, or any method that prevents the conception of a child is not supposed to be used by those who follow the Catholic church. A Catholic person has to refrain from artificial contraception before marriage as well as in a marriage.
Accept their need to go for Confession: For a practicing Catholic, it is essential to confess mortal sins to a Catholic priest, absolve themselves of their sins, and perform penance. They have to go to Confession if they are aware that they have committed a mortal sin. A Catholic person, therefore, knows everything that the Church considers sinful. They need to regularly examine their actions and conscience. A non-Catholic partner has to be understanding regarding this need for Confession and absolving of sins of their Catholic partner. They should embrace the fact that their partner considers the teachings of the Church and its authority highly important in their life.
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