Are you a single Catholic? Meet Your Match Today [close]

Divorce & Annulments

Back when I was dating after my divorce and annulment, a very handsome guy named Eric asked me to have dinner with him.

I worked with him and was impressed by him on a number of levels, so I accepted happily. He made dinner for me at his house (we probably should have gone out instead) and after the dishes were cleared, he began making strong advances and leading me toward the bedroom.

I was doing my best to live a chaste single life and so instead of letting him continue, I decided to turn the situation into something different. I led him back to the living room, where I grabbed a board game from his bookshelf and invited him to play it with me.

Reluctantly he gave in, but we played for a couple of hours and had some great conversation until I went home. As I left, Eric said to me, “That was the best first date I’ve ever had. Thanks.”

I left satisfied that I was able to turn the situation into something good, but wondering how I would ever make it to the altar again without losing the chastity battle. How in the world does a single, divorced Catholic make it in the dating world these days?

Society has twisted the beauty, joy, and life-giving nature of sexual intimacy between a man and a woman into some desperate and cheap egocentric necessity that must be had at all costs. There is an endless parade of flesh and sexual innuendo before our eyes and creeping into our ears every moment of the day.

The media’s message to society at large is simply: “If you’re not sleeping with someone (and really, anyone will do) your life is incomplete and you are a loser.” But this couldn’t be further from the truth of the matter, which is, the best sex you will ever have in your life is something you cannot experience outside of marriage.

 

The good news

Sex within marriage is total freedom, total intimacy, total joy, and something God intended you to experience.

Intimacy within the confines of marriage means you are safe because you are committed to each other; you experience the freedom and joy because there is no worry about whether or not he’ll call the next morning or whether or not she used a contraceptive. Just total and complete satisfaction, precisely the way God intended.

Does this mean that every sexual encounter in every marriage is incredible?

No.

But the joy, bonding, and happiness intimacy brings is the guarantee you get from God when two spouses who love and respect each other come together with the intention of pleasing each other.

 

The bad news

The only bad news about this, really, is the discomfort and disappointment that comes when you are not forthcoming about your expectations when you date. A friend of my husband’s went through a nasty divorce about four years ago and was able to make it through with his faith and sanity in tact.

After going through the annulment process, he joined CatholicMatch to find a good Catholic girl to marry, only he’s disappointed that the women he’s dated still expect to have sex while dating at some point; sometimes they even expect it on the first date. On the flip side of that coin, I’ve noticed female CatholicMatch members complain that even though the male members might respond “yes” to accepting the Church’s teaching on premarital sex, they later find they still want to be sexually intimate while dating.

So may I suggest, my dear friends, that you have the sex talk with your date, either before you date or sometime during your first date. No one is perfect and even with a will of iron and the intention to be pure, there will be temptation.

That’s life as adults.

Be upfront with your date and stress the fact that you need a commitment to each other to remain chaste, even if it is only the first date. This is a good step because it will put you both on the same page and reduce the stress of whether or not intimacy will be an issue which makes for a much more relaxed and enjoyable date.

Another helpful tip: let your outfit do the talking.

Ladies, keep the girls inside when you go outside. It’s a simple rule of thumb that will keep you out of trouble and honest. What kind of message are you sending to your date when you’ve stated you don’t believe in sex outside of marriage but then tempt him with a low-cut neckline?

It just doesn’t jive.

Imagine a first date like this: You’ve agreed to meet in the park and take a walk in the late afternoon, getting to know each other in person and then on to have dinner at a nice restaurant later, if all has gone well to that point.

You’re pleasantly surprised that the CatholicMatch online photo didn’t highlight how attractive your date really is. You walk together and the conversation is light and easy. As the sun sets and the street lights begin to sparkle, you take each other’s hands and head off to dinner and more wonderful conversation.

As your date eventually comes to an end, you part ways with a brief but tender kiss, happily making plans for your next date which, considering the way you feel about this first date, you absolutely cannot wait for.

I pray that your dating experiences will be filled with happiness and good times, my friends. Live this time in your life with joyful anticipation of meeting and getting to know new people and what your future might hold.

 

 

Further reading

More than 60 singles commented on “The First-Date Debate: To Kiss Or Not To Kiss?

(This post has been read 5,268 times)

13 Comments

  1. Ramona-652361 September 15, 2011

    So very true, every word, this was well written. Sadly I’ve found that even after “the sex talk” some men still want to “hit it then forget it”. You can just tell by the conversation what will happen if you don’t hold your ground. It’s very hard and maddening to stay chaste after you’ve been married and had the intimacy freedom. The saying “you can’t miss what you’ve never had” comes to mind. At one point I actually considered hypnosis to make me forget (lol) nah take the lol back it’s not funny. Just one more phrase before I sign off “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince” I don’t mind kissing the frogs ( I think they’re cute, they blissfully croak when you stroke their throats) but I wouldn’t want a long list of sex partners when I finally do meet “the one” and I’m sure he wouldn’t want to know about that list either.

  2. Angie-584510 September 16, 2011

    Waiting for sex until sacramental marriage, it not only pleases God but it is a rewarding experience. Blessings.

  3. Vhie-763540 September 16, 2011

    Romantic intimate moment with a partner is best when it is done with right attitude…free from guilt, both single, unattached, both matured and most of all each must have waited for the right time. I would take time to know the person well, and prepare myself for the most special moment.

  4. Dawn-58330 September 17, 2011

    Beautifully written! Full of truth and, yet, so practical in advice. We are called to take the high road, to set high standards for ourselves and others, and to hold our ground. The sweeter it all will be when the beautiful experience comes to us according to God’s way.

    If it is your intent to remain chaste throughout your life (but not celibate; let’s not get them confused) then it is your responsibility to establish that standard in all relationships from the get go. I’d rather tell the man I am getting to know the way it is to be than to leave him guessing. The good man will agree, the better man will be there already on that page. The right man will safe-guard a woman’s virture because that establishes his own.

  5. Helaena-743478 September 20, 2011

    Hi Lisa,
    The last time I looked this was still America the home of the free. A chaste ( celibate, Catholic ) woman is free to wear what she wants when she wants to wear it. If a man isn’t mature enough to respect a woman’s right to her own personal style whatever that may be – then he has a problem. Not her.
    My breasts are just as Catholic as the rest of me…

    • Michaela-426347 September 20, 2011

      Thank you Lisa! I especially appreciate the part where you say it is important for us women to portray ourselves in a respectable and modest fashion. We as women have the power to lead the morality of the nation by the way we dress and respect ourselves. If we respect ourselves and our body parts as women, we are more likely to get respect from the men! Thank you very much for your post.

    • Lisa Duffy
      Lisa Duffy September 20, 2011

      Dear Helaena,

      I understand your point of view and want to point out that there’s a difference between being celibate and being chaste. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following:

      “2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is ‘an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society.’ Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.”

      This means that we need to be chaste for the good of others in addition to representing ourselves as Catholics. Hence my recommendation against low-cut fashions. I’m not against a woman’s desire to look pretty, I like to look pretty, too. But pretty is one thing, tempting is another.

      I once heard a priest say that one of the most difficult things he had to do was to dispense communion during summer masses because of all the low-cut necklines approaching him. He said he saw more cleavage at one Sunday mass than he did if he had gone to the beach. For the sake of our priests, other women’s husbands, and the men we date, my strong recommendation remains keeping the girls inside.

      As a married woman, I am called to be chaste even though I am not celibate.

      • Helaena-743478 September 21, 2011

        This is even more confusing… You are not celibate? What was the point of your article? What kind of message were you sending your date when you agreed to have dinner with him alone in his home.
        I would think that what you are personally wearing is the least of your personal confusions.

  6. Helaena-743478 September 21, 2011

    OK, I missed the part where you had remairried. Somehow that makes the, “How To,” tone of your article even more offensive to me.

    • Lisa Duffy
      Lisa Duffy September 21, 2011

      Dear Helaena,

      My goal is not to be offensive or obtuse… Simply to help divorced men and women avoid the hurts I incurred during my post-divorce dating period. There were seven years between my divorce and remarriage and I had done a lot of dating during that time – at times the right way, at times the wrong way.. I only wish to impart the lessons I have learned to help others don’t experience that hurt and can have the best dating experience possible.

      I still do encourage you to read the passage from the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” I sited and reflect upon it’s meaning as it pertains to your life.

      My best wishes and prayers – Lisa Duffy

  7. Maria-689654 October 5, 2011

    Hi Helaena,
    My advise to myself is this: Wear the appropriate attire for every occasion. Bathing suit to the beach and Sunday’s best to church. I am not a prude but I try to follow the 3-4 inches below the collar bone for the neckline and hemline just slightly above the knees( as far as I am concerned the knees are the ugliest part of the human anatomy, nothing body hugging or see-through, no short shorts for church attire. Tempting others to sin; specially priests- double jeopardy. To be free means to be responsible and considerate of others specially in church.

  8. Tessa-694373 September 8, 2012

    I wondering…if some of the blogs written on CM are borderline bragging…especially the ones written by married people…once you are married you really can’t relate to the single never married Catholic anymore because society and it’s pressure is changing constantly.
    Example my women friends who married right after college (20′s) cannot relate to dating in the 21st century it is so different because of the attitudes and lack of morals that seem to be the norm…Just my thoughts

  9. Osmany M. May 21, 2013

    megusta gue mescriban en espanol

Post a comment

To post your comment please login:

-OR-