Dating as a Catholic, single woman in the world today is difficult enough, but add the online dating component and it becomes even more frustrating of an experience. Many of us choose to attempt the online dating route because it is extremely rough trying to find a man who is a practicing Catholic, truly devout in the faith (not in the casual way that the term “devout” is thrown around these days by the media) in our everyday, out and about lives. Many of my friends, including myself have gone to the Traditional Latin Mass and the Ordinary Form of the Mass, and still do not happen upon available men in their 30’s or 40’s who are unmarried and looking for a future spouse. It is simply the harsh reality.
Online dating may at first glance appear to be a convenient way to meet a potential spouse, but the truth is that it often falls short in the search for finding men with the strong values that should come with being a Catholic, who are local, who do not lie on their profile, are actually real-life persons and not a spam account. It can be disheartening to encounter profiles that don’t prioritize or even acknowledge the importance of Catholicism in a relationship.
In my own experience many of the men on even Catholic or Christian dating sites have “Catholic” listed on their profile, but then at a quick search through their “About Me” section one can find almost immediately that he most often does not agree with the Catholic Church’s teaching on no sex before marriage, no use of contraception, and sanctity of life. When I have found men who could be a possible match they are often on the other side of the country. And other times it came to my attention that the conversation I was having with someone did not match their profile, whether it be during messaging back and forth, or eventually on actual dates with one another.
Earlier this year I dated a man who I met through a Catholic dating site who seemed extremely promising even in our online interaction through the website, and our first month of dates, but then eventually his views changed completely from what he had on his profile. Our many similarities in our views and expectations of a Catholic spouse was why I responded to his message in the first place, only to be met later with extreme disappointment and even anger that this man tried to use manipulation and gaslighting to attempt to get what he wanted in the relationship. I learned for the first time the meaning of “love-bombing.” I became the means to the ends; he wanted to just marry any woman who would do what he wanted without question in the relationship. Six months after the relationship ended, he was engaged to someone else, and will be married later this summer.
Despite the frustrations of online dating, I try to remain hopeful. I believe that online dating can still be a valuable tool if approached with patience and discernment. It is of much importance for myself along with other single women to stay true to who we are and our Catholic values, the non-negotiables, that are most important in the search for a practicing Catholic spouse.
For the time being I continue to find much comfort and solace in connecting with other like-minded Catholics through the ministries I am involved with at my parish. This avenue provides me with a means by which to meet more and more individuals who are also practicing Catholics and share the same beliefs and values that we should share as being members of the Mystical Body of Christ. It provides me with a more authentic and grounded foundation for a possible relationship in the future if God wills to send a man my way.
For the time being I am content as a single Catholic woman who loves God and finds much favor in serving the Church in various ways. I remain open to God’s will in my life, and I trust that God’s plan will unfold in due time. Patience, prayer, and an open heart are of the utmost importance as I continue to navigate the online dating world as a single Catholic woman.