Do you feel like you’re inexperienced when it comes to dating? There are a lot of different reasons why you may have less dating experience than what seems to be usual for someone of your age or place in life.
A lack of dating experience can feel like a big obstacle. You may think that your lack of dating experience is keeping you from meeting that special someone. Suddenly, the idea of even trying to begin dating can feel intimidating, even to the point of hopelessness.
If you lack a lot of dating experience and you’re concerned at the thought of beginning to try to date, here are three reasons that this inexperience shouldn’t make you feel hopeless.
1. It turns out that no one knows everything
Some people and personality types have trouble admitting that they don’t know all there is to know about something. However, in certain areas of life, it’s impossible to really know what you’re doing all the time.
Take people in artistic industries, for example. Even after years of experience, there is no secret formula that ensures success in every project. The same can definitely be said of parents. Any parent who is being fully honest with you will tell you that they don’t often feel like they totally know what they’re doing all the time.
Try to apply this same principle to your dating journey. Some people who have gone on a lot of dates will seem more knowledgeable about how the dating process works. You might look at them and feel inadequate if your experience level just doesn’t measure up to theirs.
But even for people who have dated a lot, each new dating experience and relationship will be different. Just because you know the basics of how to get to know someone doesn’t make the difficult process of searching for someone special magically become easy.
This means that having a minimal amount of experience in dating doesn’t automatically make things harder.
2. You can continue to grow in confidence
A lack of experience in dating doesn’t have to mean you’re clueless about how dating works. Most of us know at least something of how dating typically works just from watching romantic comedies or listening to popular music. But let’s be honest, a lot of that information isn’t necessarily super realistic or helpful.
If you don’t have a lot of knowledge of dating outside of these sources, make an effort to learn more about how the dating process typically works from reliable sources. You’re already reading this blog post about dating, so that’s a step in the right direction. Definitely try reading more on the topic, both on Catholic Singles and elsewhere.
Where can you start to learn more about Catholic dating? Bobby and Jackie Angel have a lot of good resources and information about dating on their blog. For Your Marriage is another great resource with lots of articles on Catholic dating. Another place to learn is with “The Dating Project,” a documentary produced by a few religious media companies.
You can also start conversations with friends and relatives about dating. You might be surprised at what a wealth of information others in your life can be about dating once you ask them what their experiences have looked like. The more you can learn about modern dating before you go try it, the more you should be able to feel like you’re not embarking on some giant scary unknown thing.
But apart from the research aspect, there are other ways you can grow in confidence as well. Work on growth in the platonic relationships in your life. Having solid friendships and a healthy social life can make the interpersonal connection of dating feel a lot less awkward and intimidating.
Consider taking an inventory of things you like about yourself, and perhaps of areas that make you feel insecure. See if there are concrete things you can do to work on your weak areas.
Knowing that you already have a game plan in place like this to work on becoming your best self can go a long way in giving you the confidence boost you need to dive into dating.
3. Remember that despair is not from God
If you feel hopeless when you think about dating, know that this hopelessness is not from God. It’s a temptation from the devil. The devil wants you to feel inadequate. He wants you to feel powerless and unable to find happiness.
But guess what? The devil is a dirty liar. You’re not inadequate, powerless, or unable to find happiness. Dark feelings of despair can happen to any of us. Most of us do experience feelings like this at least at some point in our lives. It is not our fault when we do experience these feelings. But what we must do is resolve not to give in to them.
If you’re feeling hopeless or despairing, it’s important to bring these feelings to prayer. Tell God how you are feeling, and ask him to free you from these dark feelings. Entrust your struggles to God. Ask Mary to do what she does best and crush the devil’s head. The devil should not get the last word. Do not let him.
Instead, acknowledge that these feelings of despair are not from God and do your best to rise above them with God’s grace.
Inexperienced in dating? Don’t despair! At Catholic Singles, we’re here to help. We’ll help you create your online dating profile in less than ten minutes. Then, we’ll match you with other single Catholics who share your interests. Download the Catholic Singles app today.