You have feelings for him; he’s handsome, he cares about you, he gets along with your crazy family… BUT… he doesn’t share your faith. When the whole “flirt to convert” thing doesn’t work out, many women find themselves in this tricky situation and are seemingly torn between their heart and their conscience. Having previously been in and witnessed many relationships like this, I think there are two possible ways to work with them; either you need to work things out in a way that will benefit both of your journeys to God, or you need to break it off for the time being if not permanently.
That may sound like a very black and white way to look at a situation where feelings are involved but I would like to propose a certain way of looking at it. Dating relationships are for getting to know another person on a more intimate level and will either end in a break-up or a wedding. If you are planning on eventually breaking up with the person you are dating, there is no point in prolonging your relationship. But if you are in your relationship with the hope of a long future, there are certain things to be mindful of.
The first question you might ask yourself is: is he striving for the same things that mean a lot to me? Being in a relationship with someone is all about helping one another along the path of life and eventually Heaven. If your faith means a lot to you, you will want to grow in it and become the best that you can. Does he help you with this or does he hold you back?
In the book of Corinthians, St. Paul says “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) Not saying that your boyfriend is “wicked” or “darkness” but think about what St. Paul is saying… Is your guy pulling his weight when it comes to virtue or is he pulling you back?
I know that there are great and beautiful souls who happen to not be practicing Catholics. I’m not saying that these people are bad. What I am saying is that you may want to take a second look and make sure that unshared morals doesn’t equal uneven morals. If you are working towards a pure and chaste relationship, you already know how hard that can be. When the other person in the relationship is not reaching for that same goal and you have no one to hold you accountable, it becomes easier to fall into sin.
Whether you are in a relationship like the one described above or not, I encourage you to continuously pray for your future vocation whether it be to marriage, religious, or single life. Pray that you may always do Gods will in order to bring His perfect plan for your life to fulfilment. God has a plan for you. His plan will bring true happiness and peace. Do not lose hope and do not settle for anything less than the love that will get you to heaven one day. And on that glorious day when you stand in front of the throne of God and hear Him say “well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much, Enter the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21) you can look to that special person who helped you get there and thank him. It will take sacrifice to get there but it will be more than worth it.
I am praying for you now and always as you seek holy relationships.
God loves you so much and so do I.
1 Corinthians 13