When dating is hard.

As a Catholic, I believe that dating is for discerning marriage — for discovering the truth about each other. For deciding whether to choose to love each other until death.

Sometimes, dating is fun. You can go to aquariums together and stuff. There are otters at aquariums. Need I say more? Dating is good. If you pay attention, you learn about God and each other and yourself. Sometimes dating is easy — when you’re laughing, or at Adoration, or noticing a new reason to appreciate him or her.

But sometimes, dating is hard, like when there is conflict. Miscommunication. Insecurity. Distance (all the kinds). Inconsiderate decisions. Resistance to vulnerability.

Humans doing what humans do, given the fall of man.

But what fascinates me — I mean, this truly fascinates me — is that some people who are dating break up when it’s hard, because it’s hard.

Not because it’s bad. Not because it’s abusive. Not because the relationship hurts your relationship with Christ. Not because they don’t like or love each other.

But because it’s hard for a minute (or a day, or a week).

Do you know what that means? It means that we are discerning marriage without considering the vows.

Because when we get married, we promise to be true to each other in good times and bad, in sickness and in health — to love and honor each other for all our lives.

Except we (lots of people) will dump the person who dates us because of a bad time. We date in order someday to promise that we won’t walk away when it’s hard, but quickly end quality relationships that provide us with chances to practice that.

Perhaps we should reconsider.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Stella

    I think I want it to end for quality reasons. Like the fact that I felt trapped with him, the fact that he’s not Catholic, and kind of far from Catholic on the spectrum of Christianity. Or the fact that he’s slightly prejudiced at times. Or the fact that my parents don’t like him much. Or how a few times he has complained about my legs not being perfectly shaven. But I feel like he would see this article and say, “see? We can’t just give up because it’s hard!” And it is hard. Really, really hard. But I already stuck through a lot of difficulty with him, and I’m so tired. I’m so tired, even though I agreed to give him one last chance to make me happy. But honestly, I just don’t want to be with him anymore. I just hope that I’m not giving up the man that God wants me to marry. Because this boy is so sure that God wants us together, even though I feel the opposite. Anyway, sorry for the rant. Beautiful article as always, Arleen.