Lack of Dating Experience: Concerning or Irrelevant?


“We wish we could give you advice, Jessica, but we just can’t. We’ve never dating anyone else but each other.”

It was just over a year ago that I was sitting cross legged on the couch in front of two of my best friends who married in their early 20s, after meeting as young teens. They dated through the transitions from high school to college and from college to real life – never breaking up and never dating anyone else.

Long before I toasted to love and prosperity at their wedding reception, I questioned why I had to withstand awkward dates, emotional break-ups and the trials of singlehood before meeting my Prince Charming when these two had found true love in a high school classroom.

And here I was, sitting on their couch yet again, voicing my frustrations at why God didn’t allow me to be one of the lucky few chosen to skip the drama we all know too well in the world of dating.

CatholicMatch member Dawn-758914 posed this question in a CM forum: “Do you prefer men with little to no dating experience?” The 41-year-old from Illinois said that she had met a wonderful man, but he had little to no dating experience and did not know how to date. Despite his lack of dating history, Dawn said that this did anything but scare her off.

Dating experience can be invaluable – by putting yourself out there, you develop an inner-confidence like no other, while learning what you need and hope for in a future spouse. But dating experience doesn’t automatically translate to a perfect significant other. Dawn would likely agree that the more significant others that find their way into our hearts, the more baggage that continues to pile up.

One of the most significant lessons I’ve learned along my broken road of dating is that you can never fairly compare relationships. Maybe God knew that I needed to kiss a few frogs before meeting Mr. Right, and maybe God knew that my friends needed to grow together as a couple instead of apart before marrying young.

Trust that no matter where you are in the spectrum of dating experiences that this is where God wants you to be.  You did not get to this place in your life by chance, so rest in the peace of knowing who really is in control.



  1. Michael L. May 20, 2014 Reply

    I’m 58 and I’m one of those who have little dating experience. My single biggest problem was lack of resources when I was younger. I never had a car until I was 33. My first date was at 35, and the last one was at 46. Five dates in my life, and none of them were any fun. I waited too long to use or so I will take the rap on that. After 50 you find very few people available or even interested in dating anymore. For me it’s just another source of anxiety and dread. I’m sure I’ll be disappointed or the other party will be. The prime dating years are 18-30, after that it’s really rough. No one ever told me how limited the prospect pool is after 40. When my subscription expires, I’ll be done with and as well. I’ve seen some good prospects, but most were seeking people under 55.
    I’ve aged out of the dating market. I’m tired of trying out for the team, and trying to pretend it will happen if only I pray enough or whatever. I’m fighting colon cancer now, so dating isn’t too important. I had my time, and it’s gone. I can’t go back, and I can’t be young again. My advice to anyone 50 plus is: if you want to keep chasing the dream, great, but you don’t spend your life chasing rainbows. Manage your expectations and be realistic. We can’t have everything we want in life. Age limits your options in this culture.

  2. Ray-914631 November 22, 2012 Reply

    James is brilliant.

  3. Jim-579484 October 29, 2012 Reply


  4. Marina-562434 October 23, 2012 Reply

    All I can say is just keep trying and be hopeful. You will meet the right person to spend your life with. I have met many “frogs” but I have learned a lot too. I will be 44 soon. Learn from your experiences. Everyone has a different level of dating experience. Take care. M. Trust in our Lord.

  5. Mary-763818 October 22, 2012 Reply

    This makes me feel so hopeful and happy 🙂

  6. Pete-22641 October 22, 2012 Reply

    Maybe society is also trying to tell us how to date , when to date , how much money to drop on a date. There is the slim few that wants to date but does not have a social network of friends to go out on the limb and ask the person of the opposite gender. Or they are scared that they will be made fun of , of the back end of somebody else’s jokes and ridicule.

  7. James-404829 October 22, 2012 Reply

    Dating experience is inconsequential. It makes a man clunky perhaps in the same way that young girls with little or no experience with infants and little ones makes for jittery first time mothers.

    Going a little tangent, we might consider re-phrasing the question posed. “Little or no courtship experience…” so as to approach the whole issue of experience as the way Christians should. I can easily argue that there are many more folks who have little or no courtship experience than there are folks with dating experience. Indeed, I can certainly back-up the consideration that many married men and women have never courted. This is systemically evident in the rates of divorce. Couples who court have divorce rates around 2%. Let us do this less scientifically.

    It might be worth our time to explain the difference between dating and courtship, but do so would only be beating a stubborn mule. I think many of us know the difference, and have experienced the regrets of mixing about with the modern world’s version of the Canaanites citizenry. Saintly doctors of the Church have argued in favour of courtship for centuries knowing that dating is at best a rocky road toward a bumpy path. And, this is why in Her wisdom the Church tells us that men should they express themselves as available for entering into a relationship but have yet to achieve fiscal solvency are erring in begetting their own spiritual life by presuming they are ready to beget physical lives of their children.

  8. Tessa-694373 October 22, 2012 Reply

    Some of the men on here with little to no dating experience…lack alot in some areas and are somewhat creepy….at least that has been my experience…but still trying to keep an open mind…God has his plan…

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