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3 Online Dating Etiquette Tips for Catholics

All dating is difficult. Online dating uniquely so, especially for those of us looking for a specific match in the physical and spiritual world.

The good news is that it can be done, and using best practices and some tips and tricks, you can tilt the online dating game in your favor. Keep in mind, building a great online dating profile is cumulative. There are no silver bullets to taking an online profile from lacking to all-star - instead, there are a host of small changes you can use to up your game. 

Be clear and concise

It's important to know what things are non-negotiable in your future relationship, and make those things known early on in your dating profile. This requires a bit of self-reflection, as you should be spending some serious time giving these 'hard stops' some serious thought. Many relationships are doomed early on when one (or both) parties don't fully grasp their non-negotiables early on. This is a recipe for lost time and heartache. 

Once your non-negotiables are understood, make sure to feature them clearly on your dating profiles. Want kids? Great! Make sure you make that clearly known to any love interest. No kids? Awesome! Don't hide your preferences or hope that 'you'll come around'. 

Spend the time, know thyself, and level with your potential future mates before you become too invested. 

Be open

One of the core difficulties with dating is precisely what makes us search for our better half - intimacy. This means being open to new things, and letting go (to some extent) of having 100% control of our lives and space. The definition of marriage is a partnership, and both individuals must make space for

each other, good and bad, strengths and quirks combined. 

This can be especially difficult if you've been out of the dating game for some time, as we as humans crave stability and predictability. We crave our routines and our space. We crave control. 

The problem is that nobody wants to date someone who has no space in their life for anyone else. Strive to put yourself in a very flexible place - be flexible in trying new things, be flexible in your routines, and allow life to happen out of your control, at least for a time. 

Keep things light

Life can be heavy at times, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Chances are you and everyone you meet will have been through some recent difficulty of some magnitude, some obviously worse than others. 

Take stock of where you are in your life journey as you begin dating. Do you feel mentally healthy? Are there issues or problems that weigh on you on a daily basis? If you feel like you are in a dark place, it may be prudent to delay your dating endeavors until you can spend some time in prayer and in self-improvement. 

While there are no silver bullets to making your dating efforts a success, starting with clarity, a willingness to go outside of your comfort zone, and a light heart will lead to your success. 

Everything else, as they say, is in His hands. 


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