Like an increasing number of young adult couples, I’m in a long distance relationship. Although there are many unique challenges and joys of dating from afar, one of the more interesting hurdles is how to share our faith with one another. Sometimes, opportunities present themselves. When I was in RCIA, my boyfriend (who was also my sponsor) frequently drove up to sit in on my sessions, and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations those shared experiences sparked. And of course, on the weekends we have together, going to Mass is a must.
But for all of these joyful times we share, there are many missed moments: dropping by adoration, shared service work, and so on. Although God should be at the center of every relationship, it can seem daunting when traditional avenues (like attending Mass together) aren’t available.
How can you work to be more connected with your significant other regarding faith?
My favorite way is sharing a book that relates to Catholicism in some way. Our tradition started innocently enough. While I was in RCIA, we thought it would be good for us to work through the Bible in a year so we were both on the same page. We decided to continue the tradition this year with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was a much shorter read. Many people do both books in a single year! As we’re gearing up for our third round at the beginning of 2012, we’re looking at starting with Rediscover Catholicism, and then moving through a few other books to finish out the year.
One of the perks of reading a common book is that it allows the two of you to work through the book independently, according to your own schedule, possibly with certain milestones (we try to have a weekly goal to stay close together). At the same time, when you do have an opportunity to chat or meet up, your book provides an easy starting point for working through your faith. Not only do you both get thoroughly catechized, but you also have an opportunity to grow together, both in your joint understanding of Catholicism, as well as your understanding of how your significant other views and lives out their faith. While we don’t make a point to discuss every aspect of whatever we’re reading, even just knowing that we’re reading the same book makes the distance seem smaller.
What ways do you find to share your faith with your significant other, regardless of whether you are long distance or not?