He’s Just Not That Into You(r Faith)

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I was 12 years old the first time a guy used the excuse of being “sick” to avoid going to Mass with me. Sadly, that was not an isolated event and I quickly learned that while I may enjoy my faith, the guys I found myself involved with didn’t seem to feel the same way. So, for a time, I joined the ranks of women who lived their faith in a life of quiet desperation.

So what do you do when 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 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. However, if you are in your relationship with the hope of a long future, there are certain things to keep in mind.

The first question you might ask yourself is: is he striving for the same things that are meaningful 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 person that you can. You should ask yourself: Does he help me with this or does he hold me 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). This is not to say that your boyfriend is “wicked” or in “darkness” but think about what St. Paul is saying. Is your guy pulling his weight when it comes to virtue or is he holding you back?

I know there are wonderful people who are not practicing Catholics. I’m not saying that these people are bad, but you may want to take a second look and make sure that those unshared morals do not equal uneven morals. If you are working towards a pure and chaste relationship, you know how hard that can be. When the other person in the relationship is not reaching for that same goals 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 calling 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 fulfillment. 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. So 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.

I am praying for you now and always as you seek holy relationships.

God loves you so much and so do I.
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Rebekah Hardy lives in New Jersey and is currently a Junior at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland where she majors in Theology and Education. She is the vice president of the SGA executive board for her university, is a retreat leader for Campus Ministry, and is a FOCUS student leader. She enjoys playing sports, praying the Rosary, and drinking all different kinds of coffee. Her blog can be found at catholiclifesite.wordpress.com The Facebook page for her blog is www.facebook.com/ClassyCatholic and her twitter handle is @bekahhardy7.

28 Comments

  1. I love this. Beautifully written article. Thank you so much for publishing this.

    By Melanie | 1 year ago Reply
  2. I wish I had been counseled like this when I was 22, but honestly even then I’m not sure I would’ve taken the message to heart. Now 22 years and 5 kids later of living exactly this kind of an unequally yoked marriage, I can still completely empathize with the girl in this article. Still quietly desperate. Not even sure of what I’m doing and painfully lonely. “Flirt to convert?” Marriage is hard enough without having the most fundamental building block in question. I realize that people are different and some really can and do change, however in my experience total stagnation prevailed. I do not recommend settling for anything less than a spouse with compatible fundamentals.

    By Sarah | 1 year ago Reply
    • I agree. While it has only been 6.5 years (going on 4 children) for my husband and I, I still feel the distance bw our unshared faith. While I hold out hope and faith that God will prevail as always, it is most definitely a cross to bear, and I wish many times I had taken advice such as this to heart.

      By Sheila | 1 year ago Reply
    • Thanks for sharing.

      By cece | 1 year ago Reply
    • I honour you for your desire for your husband to know and have a full relationship with the Lord. Please do not lose hope. May St. Monica pray for and with you in your journey with the Lord and in bringing your entire family to Christ.

      By Czarina | 1 year ago Reply
  3. Thank you so much Rebekah for writing this. As a Catholic guy in his mid-30s, it is so tempting to settle. I mean most of the Catholic women my age are married. I can’t tell you how tempting it is to just find someone who is “available.” Thank you for reminding me not to settle for just any “cute thing” that comes my way.

    By Andy | 1 year ago Reply
    • Right there with you Andy. It is so hard to be patient when everyone else has what you most long for. Just keep praying for your future wife! :)

      By Sarah | 1 year ago Reply
    • I share your thought as well. In my case, I am a woman in her 20s, and it is kind of sad sometimes to go to mass and look around you to find out that there are very few men your age and who are still single. However, we must have faith and pray because God knows very well all our longings. May God bless you.

      By Quira | 1 year ago Reply
    • Wow! Your comment was just as encouraging. Thank you! No matter the age, it is important to never settle.

      By Ann | 1 year ago Reply
    • Wow! It’s good to know that there are still guys out there who do not just settle for what looks good in the eyes but also are very much after what matters most to them. God bless you Andy!

      By Geraldine | 1 year ago Reply
    • Having been in such an uneven relationship for the last four years of my twenties I’m much clearer on what kind of relationship I want in future. The problem is that there seems to be a drought of single Catholic guys in their mid 30’s here. When such a rare jewel is found they turn out to be of the submarine variety (only surfacing for hatch, match & dispatch occasions). I don’t want to be the wife that goes to Mass alone or drags the kids along while they protest that “daddy doesn’t have to”. That’s not the life I or family I want for myself. So I took the best alternative; adopted a cat and got comfortable in the single season.

      By Bec | 1 year ago Reply
  4. Well written, beautiful article. Thank you for sharing this and I pray many young men and women take this to heart.

    By Sheila | 1 year ago Reply
  5. Thanks for this- I’ve taken flak from friends for refusing to date anyone who isn’t an active practicing Catholic. I grew up in a family of ‘mixed religion’- some people can make it work, but there are a lot of struggles in life and I don’t want my faith to be a point of contention within my marriage. I’d rather be single for the rest of my life than settle down with a guy who doesn’t love God & his Catholic faith like I do!

    By Elizabeth | 1 year ago Reply
  6. Excelent article. I have a relationship with someone far from my faith this and it just wear you off constantly. Some people even in the church don’t listen when this type of advice is given. You are very brave to share this words with the world. Thank you!

    By Daniel | 1 year ago Reply
  7. I just wanted to say that this article was good. The only thing that I would add is that it goes both ways. I have been in relationships before where I thought it was going somewhere until the issue of faith came up. It became very apparent to me that women too don’t always share my Faith and sometimes have no Faith at all. After having the conversation of Faith the women would completely tune out of the relationship and we were then separating very shortly after. I have strong Faith that if I am to be married someday then God will place the correct person in my path, and if not then I know I’ll be okay with that too.

    By Roland | 1 year ago Reply
  8. It is hard to understand. When you are in love you can ‘settle’ or ‘flirt to convert’ and Im 20 and already felt like a waste of my life having those tyoe of relationships.
    – This can do sound like a black and white, but… marriage is very important to start neutralizing it since the beggining. Because I did: ‘Maybe we can pray leter, he’s not used to it’ ‘Maybe we can do this now and later Ill tell him why its against God’ … not cool.
    And whoa! Sarah (above) is a testimony… its so hard!

    By Lina | 1 year ago Reply
  9. I really agree with this. It’s also important to pray FOR your future husband or wife as often as possible. And be specific when you pray for them. So, when you meet you will both be on the same page faith wise. Pray for their purity of heart, for a deep healing, for the virtues.

    By Michelle | 1 year ago Reply
    • @Michelle . thank you for your amazing advice on being specific in prayers for our future mate . i never knew to pray for deep healing. God bless

      By Sarah db | 1 year ago Reply
      • @SarahDB – You’re so welcome! :) Check out these books: Woman in Love by Katie Hartfiel and Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn. Jackie Francois-Angel also inspired me so much with her testimony about the 54 Day Rosary Novena for her unknown future husband (Bobby) http://www.jackieandbobby.com
        P.S. JASON AND CRYSTALINA – PLEASE WRITE A BOOK OR BOOKLET ABOUT PRAYER FOR YOUR FUTURE SPOUSE!

        By Michelle | 1 year ago Reply
  10. Hi there! Thank you for your encouraging words!! I, for many years ended up dating guys of different faiths and paths in life and finally realized I was wasting my time and losing my faith. It took me a lot of prayers (specific praying, detailing what I wanted in my spouse) courage and trust in the Lord to find my soul mate but it was the only way it was going to happen. This year we are celebrating 10 years of a happy and holy marriage. We met in our late 30’s in catholicmatch.com. We lived thousands of miles apart, spoke a different language (well, I had a medium level of English and he had High School Spanish, lol) and our family/friends were very skeptical and scared of this “crazy” adventure. So, my advise: Do not lose hope, keep praying and try other ways to meet catholic people :) God bless!

    By Libby | 1 year ago Reply
  11. Having once been the guy in this relationship, I strongly recommend women break the relationship off at least temporarily.

    My ex was a living saint, and our relationship certainly led to my return to the Church and a relationship with Christ. But I only found that relationship with Christ after we broke up.

    We went to Mass together all the time, and many of our dates were to adoration or daily Mass or even confession (my first time in years!). But I wasn’t strong enough in my faith to be the man she needed, and we began to grow apart.

    The problem, and the reason I recommend the break-up, is my faith during this time was more centered on her than on Christ. I loved going to Mass, because she was there. I loved confession not for the sacramental grace, but because it made me look good in her eyes. Even though I began fulfilling my obligations as a Catholic even when she wasn’t there, it was very much about a relationship with her and not with Christ.

    When we broke up, I was lost for a few months. It was difficult to go to Mass without her. When that finally passed, it was only because I finally found my relationship with Christ. I never would’ve made it there with her by my side.

    By Bryan | 1 year ago Reply
    • That’s very brave of you to share, Bryan. Thank you for being so open and honest. I’m glad this experience brought you to a closer relationship with Christ and a more faithful, engaged member of the body of Christ, the Church; God works all things out for our good!

      By Linda | 1 year ago Reply
  12. thank You so much for these article, i am foury all must, no relationaship for more then seven years end god has bien change so much um my relationaship that i dicid to wait in him. I ecourage everyone to do the same.

    By Rose | 1 year ago Reply
  13. I can definitely relate to this article! I recently went through something similar in my last relationship. As a single 31 year old catholic woman, I have been tempted to settle many times. Thankfully, I have realized that whoever I am called to enter into marriage with, needs to help me GROW in faith and holiness, not be a stumbling block. It is difficult to find patience at times, but that’s better than being with the wrong person and falling away from Christ who should be the centre of our lives and relationships.

    By Catherine | 1 year ago Reply
  14. I have always asked myelf that question and i have even asked my mother is it ok to be in a relationship with a guy that dose not gave the same belifes and faith as you? My Mother has always said you should find a guy that love Jesus more then you. then my next thought is but what happens if he is the one for me the guy that God had found for me. I understand a little better now and its shorta has answerd my Questions so thanks!

    By Kayla | 1 year ago Reply
  15. I understand where this is coming from, but what if you both believe in God, but you’re both different denominations? If you both love and live through God, why should your denominations matter? If you love each other and God, I think that He will make it work out for you.

    By Kay | 1 year ago Reply
  16. I recently broke up with someone I loved who was not into my faith. He wanted to try but only for me, not for himself. I just feel that if we weren’t together, he would never pursue God. I’m heartbroken and a part of me feels I made a mistake because I’m in my late 20’s and I feel that I’ll never find someone, but I have hope. this was a good reminder. Thank you.

    By Janique | 1 year ago Reply
  17. Hi what about when you are dating another Catholic who is a regular church goer but does not share other things with you like attending mass during the week or going to adoration weekly. He goes with me but on his own he wouldn’t consider going.He agrees with the teaching i tell him the church holds but he doesn’t investigate what the church teaches for himself or read about it outside of my encouraging him. I feel discouraged. Is that reason to leave?

    By Lisa | 1 year ago Reply

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