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or sit alone together in a car: such seclusion only gives space to say or do something you wouldn’t say or do in front of your parents or your priest -which probably means they shouldn’t be said or done at all.Instead, spend time with one another’s family: get to know your date in a family context; go out as part of a group; get to know what your date is like socially.Our middle son recently announced his engagement to a young woman he has been friends with since childhood and dated for nearly four years.My husband and I are grateful for the way in which Luke and Audrey have discerned their engagement and their plans for a Church wedding this May.Dating plays a vital role in the marriage-discernment process, giving young people experiences with the opposite gender so that they can learn what types of personalities may be a good match for them.For Stu and Liz Sigmund of Oconomowoc, Wis., dating was an indispensable factor in their marriage discernment.And so that they may not deplore for the rest of their lives the sorrows arising from an indiscreet marriage, those about to enter into wedlock should carefully deliberate in choosing the person with whom henceforward they must live continually: They should, in so deliberating, keep before their minds the thought first of God and of the true religion of Christ, then of themselves, of their partner, of the children to come, as also of human and civil society, for which wedlock is a fountain head.
Gregory Popcak, who, with his wife, Lisa, authored (Ascension Press, 2012), says that age is less important than maturity when it comes to dating.
So follow these rules and make sure your companion keeps them too, then you will be able to look your children in the eye when you have to guide them on their way to marriage and family life.
If your companion isn’t willing to keep the rules they are not the person you thought they were, and if they are going to let their passion run wild with you, then maybe they would have done that before -and are not the Catholic you think they are.
Do I know my child to be a moral and spiritual leader among his/her peers?
"The more you see your child demonstrating these traits at home — with you and his/her siblings and friends — the more you can safely assume that your child is ready to date," he added.