It’s Time to Have the Courage to Date

Depending upon the view you take, humanity has been around for anywhere between a few thousand to a few million years. One estimate puts the total number of people who have ever been born at 108 billion.

So, with all that time, why are we so bad at communicating? Specifically, why are so many young people afraid to leave the herd, approach someone of the opposite sex, and begin the process of finding a spouse by (brace yourself) going on a date?

Some of it relates to changing social and moral norms. Some of it’s about spending too much time on technology and too little time with people.

Perhaps many are still not sure if they’re “ready” for marriage. (Hint: nobody is.)

Well, be afraid no more! Single Catholics can watch a cool webinar which I’m co-hosting with Catholic Match on May 19! Cecilia Pappas and I will discuss how men can intentionally, intelligently, and respectfully approach a woman — and when a woman should say yes.

We’ll also tackle how to handle rejection. The short version: men, being turned down is not a rejection of you as a person. If you take it personally…well, women talk. If you handle it like a pro…well, women talk.

You decide how you want women talking about you.

For women – it’s counter-intuitive to tell a man “no” if you think you’re going to hurt him. Do it anyway. Don’t drag him along, “ghost him,” or do any of those other things which seem designed to lessen the hurt…but will actually cause him greater emotional turbulence and frustration.

In short: tough love is almost always the better approach to take when turning a man down.

For both sexes, this down payment on improving one’s intestinal fortitude will save time, money, effort…and prepare you for marriage. Success in marriage requires the courage to be straightforward and the love to do so in a charitable way.

It also requires the wisdom of knowing when to be silent and when to speak up. Like any other skill, courage tempered by wisdom takes practice. Starting now will help your marriage be truly one of a kind.

Another important topic we’ll address is how women can give a man the opportunity to be interested. Contrary to popular rumor, there is a way for women to let a guy know she’s interested without replacing him as the pursuer.

And, no, it has nothing to do with lowering standards or spending lots of money and time on makeup. It has everything to do with putting yourself in front of a guy – perhaps by saying hi at a dessert table at a house party, inviting him along on a hike with friends, or (if you are an online dater) reaching out to say hello.

Many Catholic women turn their nose down at the idea of initiating a conversation with a guy in whom they are interested. But what if he’s a shy introvert who just needs a little nudge? Maybe he’s had a bad day, and just needs someone to put a smile on his face to spike his interest.

Saying “hi,” sitting down at his table, inviting him and a bunch of folks over for a game night – all of these are simply human interactions. It’s then up to him to step up and pursue if he’s interested.

In the end, most of this is on men to have the courage to ask women out. Yes, it’s an often-true stereotype that traditional Catholic women overthink a first date. Yes, you risk embarrassment or upsetting your social circle by asking out a friend. Yes, you may have to go way outside of your comfort zone.

Too bad. We aren’t told to be fruitful and multiply through group activities. Marriage is a lifelong commitment with one person, not one person and your combined closest friends. And you can’t get to marriage without a date.

So, start asking. But first watch the Catholic Match Live webinar on May 19 to learn the tricks of the dating trade.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

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Dustin Siggins is founder and CEO of the publicity firm Proven Media Solutions. He was previously Director of Communications for a national trade association, a public relations consultant, and a Catholic journalist.

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