Finally deciding to enter into a committed dating relationship brings a sense of relief and hope as a love story begins to unfold. Dating exclusively provides the opportunity to get to know someone on a more intimate level and also explore long-term compatibility.
Prayerfully consider the following questions which can help you evaluate if your significant other is the one for you—or someone to say goodbye to. In the vocation of marriage spouses love, serve, and sacrifice for one another, and these practices should start before marriage.
Is your boyfriend or girlfriend leading you closer to God, or further away from him? Pursuing God and growing in holiness is a lifelong journey, and there are certainly ups and downs, but a shared commitment to making it to heaven is the most important component of any relationship. Being able to share your hopes and dreams with someone who understands, supports, and shares them is one of the most rewarding aspects of any relationship.
Does your significant other support your dreams and passions, and do your hopes and desires align? Is he or she excited to support you as you pursue your dream, and are you able to do the same? Disagreements and difficulties happen in even the strongest relationship, but a spirit of Christian charity can keep misunderstandings from escalating. This reality includes the mystery of maintaining your unique identity and at the same time forming a new type of identity as a married couple.
There is a sense of connection that is appropriate beyond independence; we call this interdependence. If the relationship is built on a friendship as mentioned above, trust is naturally included. This means you can share your secrets with your partner; you know he or she will give reverence to your vulnerability, and you give the same. There is no question of lying, cheating, or in any way consciously hurting the other person.
You feel free to talk about anything: You are free to be yourself. The fact of the matter is that we are perfected in and through our vocations, not before we enter into them. The vow of marriage is meant to turn us into saints, so how can we expect to meet one before we are married? Mistakes will be made, and feelings will be hurt. The Church knows this, and that is why there are significant marital graces that flow through the sacrament of Matrimony to aid couples in their journey to holiness.
In the meantime, it is healthy to have realistic expectations and not hold onto those wounds from the past.
Dating + Discernment
Be merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful see Luke 6: While it is healthy to want the best for your partner regarding virtue and goodness, it is just as important to forgive when he or she misses the mark. In his Letter to Families , St. John Paul II called on couples to be actively involved in the marriage discernment of their children. While not every family lives up to this ideal, parents often know you better than you know yourself. Even divorced parents, if they are able to resolve or separate their own wounded feelings regarding love, can offer personally tailored and critical insights regarding your relationship.
As God created the family to exist, however, parents should have an active role in the process.
This Is What Really Holds You Back in Dating
In most cases, a healthy relationship is one that a family supports. For married couples, parents or in-laws can sometimes be a surprising source of wisdom and support. While normal day-to-day interactions might include all the normal tensions of intersecting family dynamics, I have had more than a few couples tell me stories of being pleasantly surprised when sharing deeper struggles with parents or in-laws. You are able to support each other during tough times, but you also know when you need outside help.
These points might reveal flaws in your relationship. We will be working through our weaknesses for the rest of our lives, so there are sure to be times that we are unhealthy toward our partner and times when he or she is unhealthy toward us. It is good to know that at times it is OK to ask for help. You can go to your family, trusted friends, a spiritual director, or even a therapist to get through tougher issues. Sometimes in marriage there is the realization that marriage counseling is necessary to grow.
Underlying all of these points of a healthy relationship is a humility that allows a couple to know when to support each other internally and when to step outside the relationship for help. You can find the institute online at CatholicPsych. You must be logged in to post a comment. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings.
Knowing When to Walk Away from a Relationship
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. The Magazine for Catholic Living. By Gregory Bottaro On Jul 24, One of the most common questions I am asked as a Catholic psychologist relates to whether or not someone is in a healthy relationship. Other times a man will want to talk about his relationship with a girl he is dating because he wants to propose but there are issues that need to be cleared up first.
You put God first and trust him to direct your steps. You become the best version of you. In a healthy relationship you become a better version of yourself. Mutual dignity is respected. You seek friendship first.
I used to be indecisive…now I’m not so sure
There is interdependence — not independence or dependence. The relationship is built on trust.
You have realistic expectations. You listen to your family.
Related catholic dating discernment
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved