That Awkward Moment: Worst Case Scenarios in Catholic Dating (And How to Handle Them!)

Going on a date with someone new can be exciting, tons of fun, and… awkward. It’s probably a given that there will be moments when one or both of you might want to crawl under a rock and hide.

But for Catholics, awkward situations can often pop up in ways that the rest of the world would never expect. And as Catholics, there are a few unique considerations that come into play when we do face these awkward moments.

So here is a look at the first set of blunders and head-scratchers Catholics might run into in the dating scene, and what to do about them.

When You Meet Your Online Date and Are Shocked

When You Meet Your Online Date and Are Shocked

In the world of online dating, hopefully, Catholics are a bit above their secular counterparts when it comes to honesty in profiles. But we’re not perfect, and we’re all still subject to the temptation to exaggerate about ourselves in one way or another.

So it’s quite possible that you have to deal with the awkwardness of something like this: You go to meet a date in person for the first time, and you instantly realize that their profile picture must be several years old.

Your gut reaction might be a disappointment. Maybe this person has way less hair than their picture, or perhaps quite a few more pounds.

The charitable thing to do is obviously to try and look past it, initially, and get to know the person for who they are. Try to figure out whether your disappointment stems from shallow ideals on your part, and figure out whether you can reasonably get past the shock of reality differing from your expectations.

But the other thing to consider is why the person used an old picture in the first place. Probably, they are insecure about what they look like now. Still, if we’re looking at the situation objectively, it is a bit dishonest. You had an expectation for a reason.

So, while you might get past the initial shock and find that you do mesh well with this person’s personality, there is still definitely a reason to be on the lookout for whether the person has a problem with honesty in any other areas of life.

When a Night at the Movies Goes Awry

When a Night at the Movies Goes Awry

Dinner and a movie is often a go-to first date activity choice. And usually, it’s a pretty safe bet. But there is the possibility of a fairly awkward pitfall for Catholics.

If the two of you agree on the movie choice, you might think you’re home free for a casual and fun night… Until, forty-five minutes in, one or both of you is shifting awkwardly and looking away from the screen during a sex scene.

The obvious solution to this problem would be to check the ratings first. This can definitely help, but the MPAA rating descriptions aren’t always super… descriptive? What exactly does “some sexuality” mean in a PG-13 movie? Enough to make you and your devout Catholic date blush and look away, or something fairly mild?

If you want to be safe, you might first check somewhere like the parental guide for content details, or get the USCCB’s take on the movie’s moral quality by looking at their reviews.

But say such precautions slipped your mind, and you do find yourself sitting in a theater beside an attractive date and watching a sex scene. If it’s enough to make you uncomfortable in its graphic-ness or duration, you can always excuse yourself to go get more snacks or for a quick bathroom break.

But after the movie, don’t let it be an elephant in the room. Talk about the issue, and you might find that your date had similar qualms.

Or, you might find that the two of you have very different ideas on what’s okay to watch and what is not. This can happen quite a bit even among good Catholics. But talking about it can lead to some good discussion and can definitely shed some light on whether the two of you are on the same page when it comes to morals.

When You Discover That You Have Very Different Dating Backgrounds

When You Discover That You Have Very Different Dating Backgrounds

This is probably a much more common problem in Catholic circles than in the rest of the world.

Most often in the rest of the world, if a person is in their twenties but still single, they’re probably an experienced dater. But this isn’t always the case among Catholics.

Between people who grew up in sheltered home-schooling or single-gender Catholic school environments, and possibly some men who first tried entering the seminary, it’s quite possible for a Catholic to be well into their twenties or beyond and little to no dating experience.

And of course, on the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of Catholics re-entering the dating scene after an annulment or being widowed.

Initially discovering a large disparity in past dating experience between the two of you can be awkward, but only if you let it be awkward by treating it like it’s a big deal. As long as you’re open and honest, and if the two of you are willing to meet each other where you’re at, it can be a new adventure for both of you.

When Your Date Starts Planning Your Future Family

When Your Date Starts Planning Your Future Family

We all know it’s possible for one of the two persons on a date to jump ahead too quickly to assumptions that things will get serious soon.

But when it’s two Catholics, this can take the form of one person starting to talk about things like how many kids they want. Hearing that this person is open to life and is looking forward to being fruitful is great… But maybe not cool on a first or early date.

There are a couple ways to handle this. If you think things are mostly going well but you’re just a little uneasy at a conversation like this so soon, changing the subject or maybe trying a gentle version of something that says, “Whoa there, tiger,” might do the trick. Perhaps try telling them in a light tone, “Can we circle back to this topic a little later down the road?”

But this route only works if you’re thinking there’s at least a possibility that the two of you work well together like you can see the two of you comfortable having a conversation about it eventually.

If on the other hand, talk like this from the other person is feeling plain crazy, you might take this as a hint that the person is a lot more attached than you are. Best to take a serious look at whether it might be better to break things off before their hopes get out of hand.