Catholic dating questions divorced dating

Do I know my child to be a moral and spiritual leader among his/her peers?

"The more you see your child demonstrating these traits at home — with you and his/her siblings and friends — the more you can safely assume that your child is ready to date," he added.

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The Sigmunds dated for four years and were engaged for one before marrying in 2011. When they began dating, Stu was 23 and Liz was 21; neither had seriously dated anyone before, and that’s the way they both preferred it.

They also both were discerning vocations to the religious life, with Liz being more certain that she was called to marriage, but Stu still divided between marriage and the priesthood.

"There’s no reason to date someone you don’t really think you would marry someday," said Liz.

Our middle son recently announced his engagement to a young woman he has been friends with since childhood and dated for nearly four years.

My husband and I are grateful for the way in which Luke and Audrey have discerned their engagement and their plans for a Church wedding this May.

In our house, group dating may begin at age 16, but one-on-one dating is forbidden until age 18.

Our reasoning is that dating is a prelude to marriage, and no one should date who isn’t ready to begin the search and make the commitment to marriage.

Dating and discernment are important and require the right intentions and approaches, based on individual personalities and holy purpose.

Gregory Popcak, who, with his wife, Lisa, authored (Ascension Press, 2012), says that age is less important than maturity when it comes to dating.

"It’s more about having accomplished certain developmental and moral tasks," he said.

Popcak recommends that parents ask themselves certain questions when deciding whether and when to allow their children to date, including: Does my child know how to be friends with the opposite sex?

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