How to Have an Intentional Dating Plan This Year

I’m a bit of a podcast fiend. From NPR politics to theology and spirituality conversations to book recommendations, I love the thrill of finding a new show to subscribe to and enjoy.

As a single Catholic, I have recently discovered a podcast (The Irresistible Woman Podcast) from one of the female dating coaches I discovered online. One of the episodes I recently listened to spoke about how to create and have an intentional dating plan. The dating coach suggested that people make a ninety day dating plan with practical suggestions for their interior and exterior dating life. At thirty and sixty days, you evaluate the plan and see where tweaks or changes need to be made. Then, at the end of ninety days, you reflect on where you grew, how you grew, and what new things you learned about yourself.

I’ll be honest with you, the idea of an intentional dating plan was a whole brand new concept for me.  But the more I thought about it, the more I began to see being intentional about dating as a more effective way of putting yourself out there hoping to meet someone. Yes pray, but also pray and act.

So let’s break this idea of a dating plan down a bit more, shall we?

What is a dating plan?

Think about dating like running a marathon. I’ve ran two marathons, and one of the things I have learned in my two races is the time and dedication you put into training. If you work hard and train well, it will pay off on race day. You cannot show up at the starting line and just wish or hope you finish. You have to come prepared.

The same thing can be said about dating. It is not a sprint to the finish line or getting a serious relationship, but it is about pacing yourself just as you would in a marathon.

Developing your own intentional dating plan can help you grow as a dater, but hopefully also have a more enjoyable online dating experience.

Here are a few different questions to ask yourself and consider for helping you create an intentional dating plan, especially as we head into a new year.

Focus on interior and exterior

To enter into healthy dating relationships as a single Catholic man or woman, you have to look at both your interior and exterior perspective. What heart work do you have to focus on? Are there attitudes or beliefs in your mind you need to release?

See what work you have to do on yourself on the inside and outside. It gives you focus as you decide to begin dating and see if you’re in a good place to date. When we do our personal work, we become a healthier version of ourselves.

Where (and how long?) will you log in?

Start the year off by deciding what dating apps will be your go-to this upcoming year. Hopefully, Catholic Singles is one of them (and don’t forget Catholic Singles has a new free messaging app to try out!).

Download the Catholic Singles app today to access free messaging and favorites!

You could also try several dating apps at a time. I’ve found that this approach widens the field of people to meet. After you decide what apps you are going to use, make a plan to commit how much time each day you will use

What resources do you need to support you?

There are some great books out there to help you enter into healthier relationships as single Catholic man or woman. Podcasts provide great conversations to help you grow in your dating skills. And many dating coaches offer free resources like podcasts or YouTube videos to help you learn and grow. 

Read more: 4 Podcasts To Listen To While You’re Traveling This Holiday Season

Take advantage of the many free resources available online to help you in your own unique dating plan. With limited time, choose things that will be the best bang for your buck and most effective to your specific dating needs.

If you were to create an intentional dating plan, what would that look like? What would you include?

Maybe consider this as a new practice to try as you head into this new year. You just might be surprised what you learn about yourself.