If you’re been around this here blog for longer than a minute, you know about my previous attempt at a relationship that failed. If you want to re-live it, check out the post here.
If not, stay tuned for an update on my Catholic dating life.
First, let me tell you how I met this guy.
Shocking. Embarrassing. Crazy. Foolish.
Sure all of those things.
But also the only want I figured I could meet guys who were honestly Catholic … and in my age range. I love the old men I see at daily Mass, but they are not in my age range.
I thought online dating would be an OK way to find guys that fit my standards.
And after my last attempt at a relationship, I think it’s good to have standards. It’s good to know what I NEED a guy to have (be Catholic, be family orientated, be open to marriage and life), and it’s good to know what I’d LIKE a guy to have (college education, travel goals, limited debt or working on getting debt free).
The needs are non-negotiable. The likes are negotiable if the guy is good enough.
Contrary to what we like to tell ourselves, a lot of dating is superficial.
But that’s OK, too. We need to be physically attracted to our mates. It just makes sense.
So I set up an online dating profile on one of the free sites.
Which is scary itself. It’s free… what kind of guys are on it?
While, just like me. The guys that don’t think they should have to pay to meet people.
That’s where I was coming from, that’s how I look at it.
I screened potential candidates throughly. If they didn’t list their religion on their profile, I didn’t respond to a message they sent me.
If they answered one of the questions in a suspicious way, I wouldn’t return a message.
I also didn’t respond to people who called themselves Christian.
This may have been a too-high-standard, but I love being Catholic. I want to raise my kids Catholic.
I don’t want to have to pray for the conversion of my significant other’s soul for my whole life (or relationship like I did with my ex-boyfriend).
I know this can make a person very pious, and those prayers are heard.
BUT I want a family. A Catholic family, and so I want someone who has my back on those issues. (I’m looking at your Natural Family Planning and birth control.)
I also screened based on photos.
Guys can pick which photos they put on their profiles. Why would they choose photos of them half-naked in their bathroom? Why would they choose photos of them drunk?
I wanted photos of guys who looked like they were out doing things.
There are a surprising lot of selfies taken in cars. I don’t know why. I avoided those guys too.
How the guy answered questions was important as well.
Sex before marriage? No thanks.
Drugs? No way.
Why even bother? I want someone who is serious about dating to see if we’re right for marriage and then getting married.
After talking to a guy for about a week (well, texting), we met for coffee. I liked him!
He texted me the next day… and we met again for dinner Friday night.
He is all my NEEDS and LIKES: Catholic, family-orientated, open to marriage; college-educated, likes traveling, school’s getting paid for by employer).
While I haven’t gotten deep into all these topics with him, I know at least on the surface that we agree on these issues. The whole six years I was in my prior relationship, I knew that he and I didn’t not agree on these things. I thought I could pray it away. And I tried to.
News flash: it didn’t work.
So Friday night, you’re wondering, how did it go?
Well, first let me tell you that I was so nervous. And it’s not like me to get nervous. Yes, I’m shy, but I know how to handle myself in most situations.
I don’t know how to handle myself on dates because I never dated. It’s so weird. I have usually just “been in relationships.”
I thought about what I was going to wear for hours. I dreamed about the date. I didn’t stop thinking about the date.
…All things that aren’t that healthy.
But while I was doing that, I was also planning trips that I want to take, things I want to do, projects I need to finish up at home.
It’s like my whole life is re-starting right now. Which is weird.
I was also trolling dumb sites that profess how to snag a guy and have a successful second date and stressing myself out.
I can’t believe how many of those sites exist. It’s really startling to realize how much time we spend thinking about stuff like that.
I tired to put myself in the mindset that we’re just getting to know each other and see if we connect at all.
There’s already a physical connection there. No we didn’t kiss after we got coffee the prior weekend. But we hugged. Scandalous.
The date details
He made reservations for us. I was just blown away by this. Reservations.
And when he told me he made reservations the Thursday before the date, I freaked out a little bit. Reservations!? Yikes.
I honestly don’t even know if I’ve ever been to a restaurant with reservations…
So while I stressed about what I should wear, I really didn’t need to. The restaurant was pretty empty.
He was wearing jeans. Oh well. I had a summery dress on with a cardigan and boots. It’s not the worst thing to look nice.
So we ate. He told me he was a social liberal and fiscal conservative. What does that mean, I asked.
He said he was OK with gay marriage because he has gay friends.
Besides that being completely against Church teaching, I don’t really… care, honestly. Does that say more about me or him? I don’t know.
I agree with what the Church teaches: a marriage is a man and a woman united with Christ for life. It can’t be anything else.
But I also believe the government should be out of the “marriage game.” It makes a mockery of what should be a religious institution.
After eating, we went for a walk. It was nice out. It was nice to walk and talk.
We looped around somewhere, and then on the way back, we kissed.
After we kissed, he told me he had never kissed anyone before.
Part of me is thinking at that moment: OH NO! HE’S GOING TO BE ATTACHED TO ME FOREVER LIKE IN WEDDING CRASHERS.
The other part of me is thinking: Wow, that is so sweet. Here’s this nice, Catholic guy who does sweet things like hold doors and text me and ask nice questions and just act like a gentleman, and he’s never kissed anyone before? Wow. Lord, has he been waiting for me?
Those thoughts besides, we were not synced at all when we kissed. I don’t remember if my first kisses were like that, but I tried to help him out.
But really I just took the lead when I should have let him take the lead.
One time, we were kissing, and I reached up and grabbed his shirt. He jumped. Clear out jumped. I laughed.
I laughed a lot actually that night. He makes me want to laugh. I feel so light and happy when I’m around him.
I told him I wasn’t laughing at him. We kept kissing every block or so as we walked back to our cars. We started getting more synced.
It was great.
He walked me over to my car, where we kissed some more, just kissing, and then he asked to see me on Sunday.
We talked on Saturday night (on the phone), and I asked him about abortion and birth control. Those are two issues that (among other things) came up in my last relationship.
He said he didn’t know.
OK. Then we just decided to see what we wanted to do on Sunday. It was nice having just “we’re going to do something” plans with him.
I called him after I dropped off one of my friends, around 4:30 and asked him to come over.
An hour later, he shows up at my apartment for the first time, and we leave for dinner. We eat, walk around my town for a while and go back to my apartment.
We were waiting for it to get dark so we could do some star gazing. Which I think is super romantic.
Anyway, we hung out on my couch for a while, reading my newspaper and talking. He met my cat which was nice.
We kissed a little bit, but not excessive. I don’t want it to get out of hand, and neither does he.
We went down to the lake. Looked at stars. Kissed a lot.
Found some constellations. Kissed some more. Then we went to the beach. It was nice there. So quiet.
Couldn’t really see stars because of the city lights. He started kissing me and I leaned back against a wall, and we just kept kissing… for a long time.
It was good.
He is a great kisser.
And the way we were angled, I could tell we were both… well. Turned on. So I pushed him a way a little bit and just laid my head on his chest. We were both breathing really hard.
I had no idea kissing could be like that. I told him, even though I wasn’t a virgin, I wanted to wait until I get married… and he wants to wait, too.
And he said he’d tell me if we move too fast. And he did. While I had my head on his chest, he said we should slow down a little bit.
Which is just great, that we’re on the same page.
I told him that we should end the night, and when he drove me home he couldn’t come inside again.
He still walked me to the door.
It was late, but I perused some blogs about chastity and dating, and I think I’m going to talk to him about it when we meet up next weekend.
I definitely don’t think we should be spending so much time kissing, even if it is just kissing. That doesn’t mean I think we should give it up entirely, but if we hug and kiss when we meet for the date, and then when we say goodbye, I think that will be OK.
On to more dating adventures… I’m not sure when we’re getting together again. He’s going to call this week. Can’t wait.