Many of our schedules change when the summer months roll around. With summer weddings, vacations, and holidays, you may be traveling more this time of year, too.
Catholic dating can become complicated with all of the changes that summer brings, but it doesn’t have to!
Here are four things to consider when dating during the summer.
1. Set realistic expectations about how often you’ll be able to see each other and talk to each other
If you and the person you’re dating live in different cities, you probably won’t be able to get together every day. You might not even be able to get together every week. Maybe you’re a wedding photographer, so you’ll be traveling much more during the summer than you had been during the winter months. This is fine, just be realistic!
Communicate that it will be hard for you to have long phone calls while you’re traveling for business but touching base through text midday daily would be nice. Since we’re talking about Catholic dating, a cool idea for this is if you pray together through text by one person texting the first line of the prayer, then the other texts the next line, etc. Here are some prayers for Catholic couples.
If you live in different cities, perhaps making the commitment to travel to the other person every other weekend will be good for you. If you live in the same city, maybe you can meet up a few days a week for a short period of time each day. Whatever it is that would be good for you, make sure to let your partner in on that and be willing to compromise.
2. Discuss how you fit into each other’s plans
Sometimes summer plans pop up at the last minute. To keep those sudden summer changes from completely quaking your relationship, make sure you and your significant other know what plans each has for the summer. That is, if you’re serious about it each other.
If you have to take a week to travel, make sure your partner knows ahead of time. It’s not very considerate to drop that information on your partner the night before you leave! Likewise, if you’ve been invited to a friend’s wedding and you’d like your significant other to go with you, ask them with plenty of time in advance. This gives the person a chance to make sure it fits into his or her plans and that he or she is ready to take this step with you.
Maybe it’s been a very stressful year for you and you’d like to take a trip by yourself or only with some close friends so you can unwind and recharge. That’s a very good thing! Communicate that need to your partner. They shouldn’t demand to come along or get jealous of time you spend with others people. Look for someone who respects your need for the space, and give their space and plans the same respect.
3. Don’t go hog wild and plan things that would put you or your morals in danger
It’s important to know your own limitations and weaknesses and set appropriate boundaries. For instance, a week-long secluded trip to the Bahamas with no one else you know and only your significant other who you’ve been in a relationship with for a month probably wouldn’t be a good idea.
We always have to work through our shortcomings, but there’s no reason to test our limits unnecessarily. Also, seeing how your partner responds to your boundaries (and you to theirs) is a great way to discern how this relationship is panning out.
Maybe sharing a hotel room while going to friends’ wedding doesn’t cross your boundaries, but maybe it crosses your partner’s boundaries. Or vice versa. Respecting each other’s limits and faith and virtue journey is a huge deal in a Catholic dating relationship (and really any relationship, but as Catholics we are intentionally striving for virtue and holiness). Don’t forget that the goal of a relationship is to get each other to heaven, even if you’re only dating.
4. Plan different activities or trips!
There are so many options for spending time together in the summer. You could go to weddings, visit family, or spend time outside. You may have to get creative if you’re in a place where Coronavirus restrictions are in place, but that doesn’t need to stop you from getting to know someone better.
Trips and activities are fun, and being able to spend time in leisure together is vital to a healthy relationship. Likewise, seeing each other in different environments will give you both a more well-rounded picture of each other and your relationship and help you discern where it’s going or what you might need to work on (or even if it’s time to say goodbye).
Catholic dating doesn’t have to be dull. In fact, it should be the most adventurous of all. Get out there and enjoy God’s creation together and enjoy his creation in each of you.
Summer is exciting and can be a great opportunities for Catholic couples to take their dating game to the next level. But it’s also a period of time that needs a lot of communication to keep it from getting murky and feelings getting hurt. Take advantage of the sun and fun and really set your relationship on fire.