3 Questions to Help You Decide Whether to Date Someone Who Experiences Same-Sex Attraction
We live in a confusing time when it comes to sexuality.
Since the sexual revolution in the 1960s, secular society believes anything goes when it comes to sex. Along with an abandonment of traditional views on chastity came a changing acceptance of things like homosexuality and bisexuality.
The Catholic Church teaches that persecution of those who are attracted to members of the same sex should never be allowed. But there are also aspects of secular society’s views on homosexuality and bisexuality that we cannot support.
What happens when a Catholic encounters a potential date who is experiences attraction to both sexes? While it might seem like a complicated scenario, it doesn’t have to be. Here are three questions to prayerfully discern when trying to decide whether to date someone who experiences a same-sex attraction.
1. What does the Church teach about same-sex attraction?
There’s nothing explicit in the Catechism of the Catholic Church about Catholics dating bisexual people, per se. But it’s important to know what the Church teaches on homosexuality and bisexuality in general.
First, the Catechism states explicitly that all homosexual acts are sinful, because they’re “contrary to natural law… close the sexual act to the gift of life… [and] do not proceed from a genuine effective and sexual complementarity.” The Catechism also says that we can never approve of homosexual acts.
Note that this is speaking only of acting on inclinations of attraction to the same sex. Then, the Catechism goes on to say a lot more about people who have this inclination.
The Church teaches that this inclination is a trial for most people who have it. We must respectfully and compassionately accept them. The Catholic Church also teaches that unjust discrimination against those experiencing same sex attraction is wrong.
Most important for our concerns, the Catechism says that those who experience same sex attraction are called to chastity. As Christians, they should unite their sufferings to Christ’s. This situation is not unlike the case for all of us when we’re attracted to someone we can’t have.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with our dating someone who is attracted to members of their own sex. But that doesn’t mean it’s always a prudent idea in every case.
2. Is a healthy relationship possible?
We never know how things will turn out with anyone we could date until we give it a try. However, there might sometimes be indicators that dating someone who is attracted to members of the same sex may not be a prudent decision.
The first point of discernment is to ask whether or not the person experiencing same sex attraction agrees with Church teaching on the matter.
Relationships between people of mixed religious and moral convictions can work out well sometimes. But this is probably one of the few areas where radically different ideas are pretty likely to spell disaster.
If the person is not Catholic and does not agree that homosexual acts are wrong based on the Church’s teaching, they may feel personally disapproved of by you in a deep way. A future filled with disagreements about their support of the LGBT-lifestyle might be in store.
On the other hand, if the person does understand the Church’s teaching on the matter and is committed to living chastely, there’s a much higher possibility that things could work out between you.
As long as attraction between you is strong, and you won’t be having disagreements about what is acceptable along these lines, the only thing that might stand in the way of a healthy relationship is you.
3. What about your own relationship history?
While we know intellectually that there’s nothing wrong with dating someone who experiences same-sex attraction, that doesn’t mean it will be easy for all of us.
Have you ever had a bitter end to a past relationship that involved learning your significant other was bisexual? Hopefully you haven’t. But for people who have, unresolved feelings of resentment might be a big obstacle to a healthy relationship with someone else who has this experience.
You might be one of the countless people who struggle with jealousy in relationships. If you’ve often found yourself anxious and insecure over your significant other’s friends of the opposite sex in the past, then dating someone who is attracted to both genders could be difficult for you.
If things along these lines are concerns for you, it’s probably not a prudent choice to date someone who experiences same-sex attraction. Take time to deal with you’re own issues and build confidence that you can overcome them. If this describes your situation, it is definitely one case where it may not be a healthy relationship to pursue.
However, if you are free of bad predispositions from the past and aren’t particularly disposed to jealousy, continue to prayerfully discern a relationship with chastity-committed person who is attracted to both genders.
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.