I have heard a lot of weird ideas when it comes to online dating. Some are just plain funny and make me laugh. But others leave me scratching my head wondering, Oh gosh, do people out in the world actually believe this nonsense?!
I remember one specific instance. I was at a young adult event in my diocese for a Theology on Tap. Standing in a circle, I observed the conversation as people started sharing and discussing online dating and, in particular, Catholic dating. One man made a comment about how he thought it was inappropriate (with the possibility of trending to sinful!) for a woman to flirt with a man.
I almost choked on my mixed drink.
There are some outdated ways of thinking about Catholic dating out there. Some of those outdated ideas are not helpful when it comes to Catholic singles who are trying to do their best and seeking to find a solid relationship.
As I have gotten older (and dated more!) I have realized there are some unhealthy ideas I have to let go and release when it comes to online dating, Catholic dating, and dating in general.
Sometimes it can feel like there are invisible rules made up about how men and women should interact when it comes to dating and relationships.
It’s time to abandon these outdated dating principles that are not actually doing Catholic singles any favors. Here are a few that come to mind for me.
Waiting a certain amount of time between messages
Who even made this dating rule up?
I have had people say this to me more times than I can count. If you receive a nice message from someone you are interested in getting to know them more, respond back!
Do not cling to sill ideas like, Well I better wait a whole day to respond because I don’t want to come across as desperate or I don’t want to respond right away because then I may come across as being forward.
These silly, unhelpful type comments put more burden on people and take away the joy and fun of dating. Yes, dating should be fun.
There is no rule about how much time you need to wait before responding to messages.
If you are responding out of your own healthiness and genuine interest for the other person, then go for it! Anything can happen and it could be the beginning of something wonderful in your life.
Not going on lots of dates
Practice makes perfect You want to know how you become better at dating, go on lots of dates.
Going on lots of dates does not mean you become exclusive with them or kiss them. However, lots of dates with different kinds of people will help you refine what you are looking for and not looking for in a relationship.
Refine and hone in on what you are looking for in a relationship with a man or woman.
What is most important?
What are things you don’t want in a serious relationship?
Being a healthy dater will also give you lots of real-life practice at trusting yourself. You’ll begin to notice red flags along the way.
When I had an online dating profile, this principle was great for me. It is not a practice I still do, but for a time, it was helpful as I worked to become a more self-aware, healthy dater.
Waiting for a guy to reach out first
This is something I have seen that a lot of women wrestle with when it comes to Catholic dating. We don’t want to appear too forward or pushy to a man, so sometimes we don’t reach out first because we’re afraid of coming across a certain way to a man.
It is okay reach out to a man first, ladies!
If you are genuinely interested in a man’s profile and see interesting things you want to know about further, send him a message. Be friendly, kind, and just the radiant, high-value woman you know you are.
Now if you get no response but continue to send messages, then we have a problem.
Read more: Should Women Make the First Move?
Set aside one hour a day to look at profiles and read and send messages. When I put this into practice, it gave me a focused time to spend on my online dating life without getting overly focused or obsessed with meeting someone.
I also set the goal to try and send messages to a certain number of men each week.
But ladies, please do not feel like you have to wait for a man to reach out and initiate.
What are some outdated dating traditions when it comes to the Catholic dating experience you’re ready to abandon?