Is there life before marriage? (MP3)



So this past weekend I was at the Southern Kansas Young Adult Conference (SKYAC). I gave a few talks on the retreat, which I’ll post here over the next couple of days.

The afternoon opened up with a talk on relationships from the magnificently-bearded Dave DiNuzzo (“Relationship Martyrdom vs Relationship Suicide”).

Following Dave’s presentation, the married couples on the retreat had their own breakout talk, but all those without wedding rings on their fingers were sent to another room to listen to…me! In my talk, I tried to answer the all-important question…is there life before marriage?

“Is there life before marriage?” (Download)

Friday Frivolity: Christian Mingle Inspector

A lot of my friends have complained about their experiences on Christian/Catholic dating websites. Well, it turns out that John Crist has the solution…

Catholic Dating: Should I date a non-Catholic? (Part 2)

Wedding rings on top of an open bible

Today is the concluding part of yesterday’s article, “Should I date a non-Catholic?”. In the previous post, I explained that this is a question I’ve heard often in Catholic circles and I shared a little bit about my own experience of dating non-Catholics. We spoke about the reason for dating and concluded that its purpose is ultimately marriage. Therefore, when we speak about dating a non-Catholic, we should really talk about marrying a non-Catholic, since this is ultimately the point of dating someone.

We ended the previous post by looking at what the Catechism has to say on the subject of marriages to non-Catholics. We read that the Catholic Church does allow marriages to non-Catholics, but cautions Her children not to underestimate the difficulties involved in this kind of union. In today’s concluding post, I would like to discuss in more detail the potential areas of difficulty alluded to by the Catechism and then offer some concluding thoughts.

Practical Considerations

Since this two-part series focuses primarily on dating a Protestant, it is good to emphasize how much we share with our Protestant brethren. A couple composed of a Catholic and Protestant will have much in common, as did I with my former girlfriend whom I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Having said that, when discussing this subject with friends, I find it helpful to ask questions about three areas of potential conflict:

1. The Wedding
Who will marry you? Will it be a Catholic priest or will it be another kind of minister? Will you get married in a Catholic Church or will you seek dispensation to marry in some other denomination’s building? How will your respective families react to this?

Who will teach your marriage preparation classes? What will be the content of that formation? Not all views of marriage are the same. For example, the Catholic Church’s teaching is that marriage is indissoluble. Will this be taught during your class?

2. Religious Practice
Where, as a couple, will you go to church? Catholics are required to attend Mass each week. In an effort to accommodate this, will you go to a Catholic parish together?

Or, will you attempt to go to both a Catholic Mass and a Protestant service each week? I speak from experience when I say that this can quickly become exhausting!

Or, will you fulfill your obligation by going to the Saturday Vigil Mass alone? Are you okay with that?

Is the subject of religion taboo with your potential spouse? Is it a regular source of conflict? Are you supportive of one another’s religious practices? Are you leading each other towards holiness?

When spiritual issues arise, to whom will you turn as a couple?

3. Children and family life
Will your potential spouse be open to life, or will he want to contracept? If it is suspected that your unborn child has Down Syndrome, for example, will he urge you to abort the child?

When seeking permission to marry a non-Catholic, you and your fiancé will be told that you are required by the Church to make sure that any offspring from the marriage are to be baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church. Will you and your spouse do this? Or will your children be dedicated, rather than baptized? Will you teach them the Catholic Faith in its fullness, or will they be taught the lowest common denominator between your respective faiths? How will you respond when your children ask questions about the differences between the teaching of the Catholic Church and your spouse’s denomination?

An ex-girlfriend of mine had an interesting take on the subject of children. She would ask herself if she felt confident, in the unfortunate case of her early death, whether her husband would raise her children as she would desire.

Read more

Catholic Dating: Should I date a non-Catholic? (Part 1)


It has been quite some time since I wrote my series on Catholic dating. Those articles were certainly among the more popular here at Restless Pilgrim. The subject matter of those posts generated considerable discussion in my local Catholic community of San Diego, which pleased me no end since this was my main goal in writing them in the first place. The fact that it was also an extremely cathartic writing experience was just an added bonus! 😉

During the intervening three years since writing that series, my own love life has been, to put it mildly, anything but dull. Despite this, I’ve never felt inclined to write further on the subject of dating. That is, until now…


Over the past few months one particular question concerning dating has come up again and again, particularly as my thoughtful friends attempt to marry me off and enlist me in the ranks of the blissfully domesticated. The question has been “Hey David, what do you think about dating a non-Catholic?”

Read more

Guys, make sure you ask out Nicole Kidman

Gentlemen, I’d invite you to watch this video and learn from Jimmy Fallon’s mistake….

Jimmy’s reaction is just priceless (“What?! Wait…what?!”), but I think there are some important lessons for us men to learn from this:

1. Be ready, you never know when Nicole Kidman might want to come around to your apartment. Make sure you keep it tidy.

2. If Nicole Kidman comes round to your apartment, put the X-Box away and talk to her (unless she challenges you to a Halo deathmatch, in which case just propose straight away).

3. When Nicole Kidman says she wants to meet you, make sure you properly ask her out on a date.

4. Always have a cheese platter in the fridge ready to go.

Several years ago, a good friend of mine gave me a sage piece of advice: “If you like a girl, ask her out. Even if she’s so beautiful that you think you don’t stand a chance, ask her out. If she says ‘no’ then you won’t regret that you never tried, but if she says ‘yes’, well, then you get to go a date with the girl of your dreams”. Trust me guys, this is good advice.

Getting that date: Five suggestions

"The Loobenfeld Decay" -- After hearing Penny (Kaley Cuoco, pictured left) sing, Leonard (Johnny Galecki, right) lies to avoid seeing her perform, but Sheldon (Jim Parsons, not pictured)takes it one step further with a more elaborate lie that leads to the appearance of his non-existent cousin (Guest star D.J. Qualls, not pictured), on THE BIG BANG THEORY, Monday March 24,(8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network.
Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS.
©2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Date MeSo, a while back I wrote a series of posts on the subject of dating which turned out to be rather popular. People clearly love to read and talk about relationships! At the end of the series, several of my friends asked me if I would be writing more entries, but I told them that I’d already said everything I had to share on the subject.

Well…it turns out that I was wrong, because here I am, a year later, writing another post on the subject of dating. A while back, I had a friend of mine message me and say “I wanna ask someone out. Any ideas for a date and how should I ask her out?” Clearly, word had got around that I now have a beautiful girlfriend and this qualifies me to answer a question of this magnitude!

Seriously though, as I wrote in an earlier article, Catholic guys are generally pretty terrible at asking girls out, so I think it’s worth publishing the answer I gave my friend. Not everyone will agree with what I have to say, but that’s fine, please leave a message in the comment box.

Now, I have not always followed the suggestions I am about to give below, but I wish I had. My advice represents the solution to some of the different kinds of mistakes I’ve made in the past… 🙂

Read more

Friday Frivolity: St. Patrick’s Worst First Date

Since it’s nearly time for St. Patrick’s day…


1 2 3 4