Dating should be grounded in respect, dignity, and discernment. It involves getting to know someone to discern if they are a potential spouse while upholding the teachings of the Church on love, chastity, and marriage. This means seeking relationships that are characterized by mutual respect, commitment to virtue, and a shared faith. Dating should involve prayerful reflection on the direction of the relationship. Ultimately, the goal of dating is to grow in love and virtue, honor God, and discern the vocation to marriage with that particular individual.


Before your child is at the age to begin dating, it is helpful to form him or her with Catholic values and an understanding of the faith early on. Helping your child understand the principles and purpose of dating early lays a solid foundation for any boundaries you decide to set for your child as they begin to show interest in dating. It is also important to model healthy relationships in your own life, encouraging prayer and seeking God's will, and emphasizing the importance of mutual respect and communication. You can foster a positive and trusting relationship with your child by making a point to be available to answer questions, offer advice, and provide understanding.


If your child is about to begin dating or has already begun, you can help him or her navigate the experience of dating. It’s important to help your child set clear expectations and boundaries. Provide guidance on making wise choices and setting their own boundaries as well. Talk openly about dating and relationships. Continue to show a good example of a healthy relationship. Foster a positive and open environment for discussions. Continue to set an example of living out the Catholic faith. Be understanding and patient. Stay connected and involved in their lives. And continue to be available to answer questions and offer advice for practical and spiritual matters.


Learn more about Cohabitation

Learn more about Sex Before Marriage

Learn more about Discernment