But when it comes to the questions of dating non-Catholics, a lot of questions begin to surface. What are their opinions about the teachings of the Church? Are they hostile or friendly to Catholicism? And if the relationship leads to marriage, what are their thoughts about contraception and NFP?
Should Catholics date non-Catholics?
If you ask this question to five Catholics, you might get six different answers. That’s because the answer is not that clear and will vary from couple to couple.
Many successful and very holy mixed marriages exist thanks to the generosity of Holy Mother Church. There are couples who are devout, who seek holiness through the sacrament of matrimony, and live in such a way to witness to the life and love of Christ.
So what do you do if you find yourself interested in or dating a non-Catholic? Consider the four points below. Remember that your situation may be different than somebody else’s, so consider them in prayer.
1. Your non-Catholic boyfriend or girlfriend needs to love you for your faith, not in spite of it.
You want to be with somebody who loves you for who you are and what you believe, no matter what. If your boyfriend or girlfriend does not go to Mass with you, does not want to talk about God or the Church, or is totally opposed to discussing NFP, you need to seriously consider where the relationship is going.
In return, you need to do what you can to ensure they are on the path to God as well. Love them for who they are, and do what it takes to make them thrive.
2. Realize that your non-Catholic boyfriend or girlfriend may never become Catholic.
While people do change over time, you cannot enter into marriage believing that you will one day convert your husband or wife. You can certainly influence them, but do not marry somebody expecting that one day you will change them or their opinions about the Church. It doesn’t work that way.
Answer this question in sincerity: if I marry this person, I am 100% okay with the fact that we will never receive the Eucharist together.
3. Consider how well your non-Catholic boyfriend or girlfriend can really know you if they don’t live a Sacramental life.
Catholics often forget how integral and central the Catholic faith is. What you see as a normal experience, like confession or Eucharistic adoration, others see as totally foreign, stupid, or maybe even idolatry.
If receiving the Eucharist or worshiping Jesus in the host is the source and summit of the life of a Christian, consider how well your boyfriend or girlfriend can really know you and your soul.
4. Find Spiritual Directors and Mentors.
If you want a successful marriage, find a couple who has been doing that for along time and ask them how to do it. Who better to ask about successful mixed marriages then a couple in a successful mixed marriage?
Seeking counsel from experienced people regarding marriage, or any situation, is always a great way to learn wisdom.
- ForYourMarraige: ForYourMarriage.org
- Pastoral Letter on Marriage by the USCCB:
- Marriage Guidelines and FAQ by the USCCB