Dating do’s and don’t’s for the single Catholic.
Okay, this one’s culled from experience. Painful experiences dating.
1.) If you don’t believe in the whole dating thing? Don’t ask a woman out to dinner. No, this happened to me. I was at CalArts, and a guy there (also a practicing Catholic) and I hit it off. We were friends, and he asked me to dinner. I said what the hey and went. While there, we got talking about the whole grad school application thing. I’d gotten accepted to my school, and he hadn’t gotten an acceptance letter yet. He proceeds to tell me that I should withdraw, because I won’t need to go on to grad school when I start having his children. I ask him to clarify, thinking I didn’t hear him properly. He mentioned that he only dates people he’s interested in marrying. Check please.
I think the underlying problem, here, is that there is a segment of the population who doesn’t view women as people. That is, they don’t think that they should have dreams, ambitions, and goals like everyone else. If a woman is happy with a traditional role? Mazel tov, and I’ll fight to the death for her right to be happy in that life. Me? It’s not the best use of my gifts and talents. It also makes me wonder what kind of attitude that sort of a man would have towards his wife, should she not wind up being as perfect as he hoped.
2.) Don’t belittle your SO, then wonder why he/she won’t sleep with you. Come on, people, this is a no-brainer. For instance I just read on a forum where a man is denigrating his wife, shaming her publicly for getting a tubal, then wonders why she won’t touch him. God, I have no freaking idea. I mean, wouldn’t you really want to sleep with someone like that?
3.) Missionary dating rarely works. I think why the Hoopy Frood and I have gotten on so well is that we aren’t out to convert the other. Seriously, if the whole different religion thing won’t work out for you, it’s probably better to break up than expect your partner to convert.
There will be differences. Every couple has them, it’s just a matter of how you deal with them. Some differences are deal-breakers. (I wouldn’t ever be happy dating someone who’s fundamentalist in their beliefs.) Others aren’t. (I can deal with the Hoopy Frood not being Catholic.)
4.) If someone creeps you out, don’t feel obligated to be nice to him/her. I’m talking people who aren’t weird, but raise your danger sense. I think far too often women (especially) are socialized to be nice all the time, which means being a doormat for those who prey on such people. Stand your ground, make a boundary, stick with it, and be loaded for bear (metaphorically speaking), if that doesn’t work. People get killed for thinking they have to be nice to everyone. I think The Gift of Fear should be required reading for most people.