Category: Dating & Singles

Modesty: Who's Responsible?
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Modesty: Who’s Responsible?

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Some recent events in the news have highlighted just how difficult it is to affirm modesty as a virtue worth instilling.  In one particular instance, a public school principal took a stance for modesty, and may end up in court as a result.  The principal refused admittance to two girls attending their high school prom […]

Can We Stop Fretting About Modesty?
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Can We Stop Fretting About Modesty?

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Seems like, lately, everyone’s been writing about how much women should wear, why it matters (or doesn’t), how too-strict standards can be emotionally damaging, and how we’re all contributing to the rape culture. I agree that modesty is important, but I’m sensing an unhealthy dose of fear, insecurity, judgment, and tunnel vision. Guys, we all […]

Oh No, He’s Discovered the Opposite Sex!
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Oh No, He’s Discovered the Opposite Sex!

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As soon as the men of the world perceive that you seek the devout life, they will launch forth all their raillery and slander against you; the most ill-natured will pronounce your altered ways to be hypocrisy, affection, or bigotry; they will assert that the world having slighted you, rejected by it, you turn to […]

The Joyful Mysteries and Dating
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The Joyful Mysteries and Dating

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If I’d had any idea how much Mary would have grabbed hold of my heart when I started praying the rosary consistently I’d like to believe I would have started praying the rosary a lot sooner. Then again, she knew exactly when she could grab hold of my heart and bring it to her Son. […]

Plan Ahead to Oppose Cohabitating
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Plan Ahead to Oppose Cohabitating

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To: Marybeth From: Opposed to cohabiting Can you offer any advice for my young adult daughters about why not to live with their boyfriends? I feel strongly that living together is to be saved for marriage, but it is hard for them to understand because “everyone is doing it” and they think I’m just old […]

Dating and Discernment
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Dating and Discernment

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Question: Hi Mary! I’m 16, and discerning. At the moment, I feel God wants me as a sister, but I’m still unsure. There’s a guy I know who has expressed his interest in me, and I feel the same way. I’ve asked several people if it would be wrong to date if I felt drawn […]

A Case Against Abstinence
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A Case Against Abstinence

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I don’t really like abstinence. Wait. What? I certainly think restraint is valuable–I resist the kind of trips where you go to Target for two things and come out with ten. I try not to eat meat on Fridays. I teach Natural Family Planning (NFP). In some cases, however, particularly the case of sexuality, abstinence […]

Silence the Voices
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Silence the Voices

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More often than not in life we remember criticisms more than we remember compliments. When someone asks me to recall the last time I received a compliment it takes me at least twice as long to recall than if someone asked me to regurgitate the last insult or criticism thrown my way. Chances are that […]

Love Conquers, Not Man
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Love Conquers, Not Man

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A male reader of my post “This Modern Love” wrote an aside of how “man conquers woman” in the courtship process. He gave a personal example and said that though he did all the right things (e.g. gave her flowers, wrote her letters), he did not win her heart. He also wrote that, at one […]

Sorrowful Mysteries and Relationships
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Sorrowful Mysteries and Relationships

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Each of the sorrowful mysteries relates to what it is like to be in a relationship, what relationships call us to, and how to unite ourselves more deeply to Christ. For the purposes of this particular post “relationship” is limited to the context of dating and courting. Agony in the Garden My “agony in the […]

Boyfriends and Other Women
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Boyfriends and Other Women

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The following are actual questions from real women who have concerns about their boyfriends and other women. My boyfriend works in an office with some really beautiful women.  I can’t imagine why he hasn’t fallen for one of them.  I don’t know how much longer I can stand it.  He knows I’m uncomfortable with it […]

This Modern Love
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This Modern Love

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To pursue, or to be pursued? That is the question. ‘Tis nobler in the mind to date until your breath is taken, or heart is broken… Dating – in the man-meets-woman, man-asks-woman-out way**- may sound outdated to those more liberated in their feelings. Instead, people get to know each other by hanging out and never […]

All The Days of My Life: A Chastity Tale
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All The Days of My Life: A Chastity Tale

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Imagine my surprise when a friend who works with the parish youth group asked me to give a chastity talk to the middle and high school aged girls. “Who, me?” I said, raising an eyebrow suspiciously. I thought, Why not someone who has actually lived chastely her whole life? Me? I did it all wrong. […]

Getting Over a Failed Relationship
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Getting Over a Failed Relationship

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Have you ever had someone tell you to get over it when you’re expressing the pain of a failed relationship? It’s not easy to get over it.  Whatever “it” is, you have been affected, and you can’t control your feelings or your memories. In your mind, you wonder how you are supposed to get over […]

Three Myths About Single Life in the Church
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Three Myths About Single Life in the Church

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Single men and women who living out faithful lives in the Church are often met with tension with regards to what it means to be seemingly vocationless or “in limbo”. Fortunately, there are a number of people in the Church (leaders, religious, priests, and single lay Catholics themselves) who are working tirelessly to address the […]

Love is Tough
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Love is Tough

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I sat in my seat in a circle of students in my counseling theories class. Pen in hand and a self-inventory worksheet on top of a book on my lap, I thought about the question at the top of the paper: What did you learn about love from how your parents treated you? This is […]

Top Five Obstacles to Getting to ‘I Do’
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Top Five Obstacles to Getting to ‘I Do’

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I’ve written about Catholic dating for about five years now and also coach women one-on-one to get to ‘I Do.’ From day one, my approach was a little different because I’m a no-bones-about-it realist. We Catholics love to cling to our ideals! We aren’t always interested in how things are, and prefer to focus on […]

Guard Your Heart
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Guard Your Heart

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” – Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” – NLT “With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life” – NAB “Keep your heart with all vigilance, […]

Why Young Men are Giving Up on Marriage
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Why Young Men are Giving Up on Marriage

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Fewer young men in the US want to get married than ever, while the desire for marriage is rising among young women, according to the Pew Research Center. Pew recently found that the number of women 18-34 saying that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things rose from 28 percent to […]

The Goal of Chastity
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The Goal of Chastity

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I have suspected for a while now that there is little clarity in our culture regarding the goal of chastity. This is probably in part because there is little clarity regarding the difference between abstinence (which ends at marriage) and chastity (which never ends). But it is also probably in part because chastity contradicts the […]

How is a Relationship Like a Garage Sale?
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How is a Relationship Like a Garage Sale?

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…from a distance it looks like it could be interesting, but up close, it’s just a ton of crap you don’t need. These are the words from something I found on Pinterest, minus the profanity (though you have to admit, it’s the right choice of word). I laughed, of course, at first because I can […]

Does Love Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?
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Does Love Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

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Dear Anthony, I have gotten very serious recently with a man I met on Ave Maria Singles. My only reservation so far is that I have never heard him say he is sorry for anything. I seem to be the only one who has to be sorry for things. If I try to tell him […]

When Love and Career Collide
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When Love and Career Collide

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Like most women in my post-feminist generation, I grew up knowing exactly what I did not want when it came to love and work. I did not want to sacrifice my personal life at the altar of the all-consuming career. Nor did I want to surrender professional success in a fit of passion or panic […]

Are We Getting Married Too Soon?
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Are We Getting Married Too Soon?

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Dear Anthony, My pastor is skeptical that long distance relationships can have the personal and practical growth to move toward marriage. My fiance lives in California, and I’m in Canada. He first wrote me on AMS nine months ago. We met the first time two months ago. A month ago I flew to California for […]

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