While in many ways the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, for Catholic Singles it can feel lonely, isolating, and just plain frustrating.
Christmas, New Year’s, and the ever approaching celebration of Valentine’s Day can leave single people with a sense of urgency to get out there and find that special someone.
For single people, January 5th has quickly become over the last few years the busiest online dating day of the year.
Known as “Dating Sunday” or “Singles Sunday,” many well-known online dating sites such as Match, Bumble, and Tinder have reported they see a high increase in new members and engagement on their sites on this day in January.
So what is a Catholic Single supposed to do in this situation?
How are we supposed to navigate this coming from a different worldview and perspective than the wider secular culture?
Here are a few ideas to help you prepare and steer through this informal dating celebration.
1. Take dating seriously, but not too seriously
Take your dating journey seriously. Set aside time each day to read messages, make connections, and message other people who spark your interest.
But do not let your entire life be overrun by your desire to meet a high value man or woman as soon as possible.
Make time to take dating seriously, but at the same time, don’t take it too seriously. Have a balanced approach and mindset.
A date is just that, a date. It is not a promise for exclusivity, a marriage proposal, or any lasting promise.
It is okay to go on lots of dates with different men or women. This will give you practice in the art of dating, as well as help you discern what is most important to you in a relationship and what you are looking for.
2. Show up as your authentic self
Don’t try to be someone else or who you think the other person wants you to be. Living your life behind a pretend mask gets exhausting.
Not to mention that it is hard to build good, true intimacy with another person if your fakeness gets in the way.
3. Date from a place of wholeness, not neediness
Dating from a place of wholeness isn’t something I always live out well. I used to date coming from my own neediness and wounds. I carried the perspective that I dated because I wanted someone to love me and fulfill in me all that was lacking or what I did not like about myself.
When you put yourself out in the dating world, you want to be the most free and whole version of yourself! You want to believe your core you are already living your best life, finding someone to share your life with would just enhance your life, not complete you on a soul level.
When we bring that kind of energy to the dating world, I have found it attracts more high value people.
4. Remember your current reality is the will of God
The way my life looks in its current reality is in the will of God, even if it doesn’t look the exact way I want in every area of my life.
No aspect of our life goes unseen or overlooked from the divine perspective of Heaven. There are reasons and seasons for why our lives look a certain way.
Don’t despair or feel hopeless. Have hope that there is more going on behind the scenes you are not necessarily aware of or can see. Your current season of life is in the will of God.
5. Don’t pursue dating with a sense of urgency
As a woman, I see and hear this perspective more from the ladies. There is often this underlying urgency when it comes to dating and finding a high value person to share your life with.
I think the pressure for women comes with the understanding that we only have so many childbearing years. But at the end of the day, dating with this mindset is not healthy or really good for any of us.
Urgency can lead us to make poor choices or perhaps end up with someone who is not well-suited or matched to you.
Dating is not a race to the altar. It is not a marathon that you have to finish with a certain time to win the race. Dating is a journey, a process of self-discovery. Don’t rush through it just because you want to find someone. Give yourself time and space to go at your own pace.
Maybe you are on one or multiple different dating sites. Perhaps you are currently taking a break from online dating. Maybe you are in the early stages of a budding new relationship and seeing where it develops.
Wherever you find yourself on the journey, do not allow a pseudo dating holiday to throw you off your own unique process. Where you are is where you are, and that is perfectly okay.
Continue to grow to be the man or woman God created you to be, and allow that reality to guide you in the world of online dating as a Catholic.