We walked to a table and the conversation quickly turned to our jobs. He paused with glass in hand and said, “Oh, you’re religious.” I nodded. Yet in a strange way the encounter exemplifies some key elements of the dating scene facing young adults today: We’re trying to be open, to build relationships, to find someone who shares a worldview that reflects similar morals, perspectives, ethics, a desire for growth and, well, other stuff.
And we are still working out the details of how best to make that happen.
Upon my arrival at the bar, I immediately regretted it. “Huh, that’s sexy,” he said, taking another sip of his beer.
The man who would be my date for the evening was already two drinks in, and he greeted me with an awkward hug. This particular gentleman didn’t turn out to be my soul mate.
“I think what’s missing for young adults is the comfort of knowing what comes next,” Cronin says.
“Years ago you didn’t have to think, ‘Do I need to make a sexual decision at the end of this date?
And Catholics who consider themselves loosely affiliated with the church are more open to dating outside the faith than young adults were 30 years ago.
Yet young people of all stripes express frustration with the uncertainty of today’s dating culture.
“In a way, I am always looking,” says Rebecca Kania, 28.
In 2013 Kania traveled to the National Catholic Singles Conference in Philadelphia.
She went for the speakers, the fellowship, and the info on theology of the body, but not necessarily to meet someone, she says. No matter what, she says, “I pray for myself and for my future spouse as we both are on our path to grow closer to the Lord, and if it is God’s will, we will meet when we are both ready.” Yet for other young adults, dating events geared specifically toward Catholics—or even general Catholic events—are less-than-ideal places to find a mate.
“She need not be Catholic, but it helps.” His models for good relationships come, in part, from two unique sources: “I think the perfect Catholic relationship is George and Mary Bailey [from the film ].
Their relationship is about three things: the love they share, their love for their children, and their love for their community.” His other source of dating advice?