The two of you are so perfect together! Except for… this issue, that issue, popping up and making you wonder about your future together.
There will always be points of contention between two people in a dating relationship. But how big of a deal do the issues you’re facing need to be?
Let’s talk about another set of problems a Catholic dating couple might face, and whether those problems could turn into something legitimately serious.
The Two of You Have Very Different Taste in Movies
Now I know most people aren’t as obsessed with entertainment media as I happen to be, so even widely differing movie genre preferences might not really matter to some couples. Maybe you have tons of other things in common that you can do together for recreation. If so, wonderful!
But for those of us who do love a good movie night, differing tastes could spark an argument, and an occasional argument about this really shouldn’t have to be a big deal.
Even in the case of my husband and me, where our tastes span the spectrum of nerdy sci-fi (him) to young adult romantic comedy (me), it’s possible to make movie nights work. It just means that we try to find movies with elements we both like, and we both occasionally just suck it up and watch something a little unappealing for the sake of the other.
Like a lot of issues, this one is only as big as a couple lets it be. If you’re willing to compromise and practice sacrificial love, you’ll probably end up finding some common ground.
But if the difference in movie tastes is actually becoming a repeated point of contention and you find that you argue about it quite a bit, it might actually be signaling a deeper incompatibility and showing you that the two of you aren’t that great at working together.
Your Significant Other Has an Over-bearing Family
Most of the time, when you’re dating as an adult, your parents and family members are probably not a huge influence on your dating relationship. But that’s not always the case.
Now I’m all for close, tight-knit, loving families, even after children and siblings move out of home and part ways geographically. But sometimes, you end up with a family situation that’s a little too close.
If you’re significant other’s family members are into his or her business to the point where it seems unusual or even unhealthy, you might have a problem on your hands.
His mom still shops for his clothes? Her dad still tries to scare away her dates like he did during her high school years? Possible red flag territory.
The real question is whether or not your significant other is okay with this high level of family involvement or recognizes it as a problem. Because if the two of you are on the same page, a united front in the matter, then even the most intrusive future in-laws shouldn’t really be able to get in the way of your happiness. The two of you can figure out how to handle it together.
But if he or she sees nothing wrong with, say, parents planning your dates all the time, or maybe even prematurely planning a wedding, watch out. Give it a few years, and you’ll probably end up with in-laws who want to buy a second house next door to yours and pop in for a visit at the most awkward of moments.
Your Significant Other Always Has to be Right
Guilty. This is me.
I like to have the last word in an argument, and it takes a lot to make me admit I’m wrong.
Typically, the way my husband and I fight when we really disagree about something big is much more of the quiet, passive-aggressive nature than a big blow-up. So my need to always be right tends to only manifest itself in the little spats between us, the all-important questions like, “How do you pronounce that word, anyway?” or “Is this route really quicker?”
But I can only imagine that, if we were the type of couple who frequently had big blow-ups, my need to always be right would be a killer. Worse still would be two people who both constantly need to be right fighting all the time.
In all relationships, at least once the initial infatuation starts to wear off, there will inevitably start to be some disagreements. If you’re some time into it and still don’t have a good handle on what it looks like when the two of you fight, you might want to investigate.
Because my amazing husband deals with this fault of mine well, and I do try to work on it. But for some couples, the need to always be right in one or both people can become a real killer.
Your Significant Other Actually Kind of Hates Kids
Huh. Hmm. Yikes. That could get tricky, if you’re considering a Catholic long-term future together, i.e. marriage.
I almost hesitate to admit this, because the show has a lot bad material in it at times, but I’ve watched all 13 seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” (for all its moral faults, it is mighty compelling). In this show, one of the characters ends up marrying a woman who doesn’t want kids. They get divorced over the matter. Later, he actually makes the same mistake again by marrying a second woman who doesn’t want kids. Come on, man!
Don’t let this be you. I would dare to say that as a Catholic, you can’t let it be you. And I would hope that, at least when your relationship starts to become serious, you would have a conversation about the two of you having kids in marriage someday. But even before that point, if your significant other starts to show warning signs that he or she doesn’t like kids, take heed.
Maybe they complain about that crying baby in the restaurant, or they’re unmoved by the cute toddler antics nearby in a store. These things don’t necessarily spell doom, but you might want to check into it.
Nothing could be worse than assuming you’re on the same procreation-is-awesome page, only to find out that this person you’re growing fond of isn’t really into the idea of being a parent someday.
Obviously, not every married couple is blessed with fertility. But to enter into marriage not even intending to have kids? That’s a dealbreaker in every sense of the word – as in, it’s not even a complete Catholic marriage taking place. Don’t let this be you.
Some problems are small. Get over yourself and figure out how to carry on lovingly with this person you’re otherwise very fond of.
And then, there are issues that seem small but could explode into something hugely important. Stay tuned for more in the Dealbreakers series for help figuring out which is which.