Dear Every Catholic Teen Guy,
Hello darling, I have noticed you noticing me. The awkward passings in the hall have got to stop. I wanted to capture my thoughts in this letter because the flow of words on paper is easier, and because there is no autocorrect in life.
There is no better time than traveling with the parents to write this letter, to see a true example of love and to help me escape “adult conversation”. Still it is cute the way mom makes sure dad’s travel mug is within his reach, and the way dad points out all the scenic points of interest, in their journey through life together, even cuter when mom corrects him days later.
Their trip has been full of twists and turns. If only they had a GPS for their relationship. Then it hit me, this is my road map for you, for us, and for our friends.
Ding Right turn in 2 miles:
Not all of us girls want an expensive date, rather we love creativity in the plans that you make. If you’re already friends with the girl you’re crushing on, you’ll know what things she’s into. Movies are a timeless tradition; they are also shared with many people, loud, distracting, and sometimes a moral pothole. Don’t get me wrong, I like movies with groups and after we know each other, but it’s not the way to make that first and lasting connection.
The $20 you’ll spend on tickets and popcorn for two hours, can make a great picnic in the park or an adventurous outing (science and art centers, museums, and mini-golf can help create that personal connection, just search for things she likes in your area). If you’re a little timid, make it a group event! We want to get to know you and your personality. Don’t be afraid to make us laugh or wow us with your knowledge. These are the things we find attractive, not how much money you’re willing to spend.
Ding in a ½ mile merge left:
Want to know a secret? When a girl is into you, she’ll still make time for you. She won’t make excuses; she won’t be washing her hair or practicing for the school play. However, don’t expect her to swoon like a Belieber every time you offer to take her out. If you’re reading things correctly, you will know the yield sign from the stop sign. Still a little uncertain? Here is another hint.
You can also tell by how she reacts when you pass by and she’s walking by with her friends. Girls tell each other everything, so if she’s told her friends about you they will start nudging her or whispering to her when you are around. Sometimes life IS like an after-school television show, girls also like courage and confidence, so make it a point to say hi!
Ding In 500 Ft. make a U-turn
Catholic girls absolutely adore a guy who isn’t afraid to show or speak about his faith. In a world filled with torment for those who bear and carry His cross, it is the most refreshing thing to see a man so proud of the gift of truth he has been given. Wearing a shining suit of armor for God also shimmers in her eyes. Guard her and be a protector of her purity. Remind her that true beauty comes from Christ within her.
I am not asking you to turn water into wine. However when you start dating a girl, in your heart the main goal should be marriage (with time, of course!). Those discerning the priesthood should avoid leading on any girl. Heartbreak is bound to happen, we are teens, it’s what we do. We cry, we hurt, we heal, but we move on. Yet, no one should be left blaming the Church and the calling of the Lord.
If you feel called, that is the greatest gift the Lord can give. Letting her know up front is a gift you can give back. Saint John Chrysostom said “The husband and wife should be similar to the hand and the eye. When the hand hurts, the eye should be crying. And when the eyes cry, the hand should wipe away the tears.”
Ding keep right then keep right
Some girls love guys with talents (sports, art, music, even if you can eat more mini burgers than them). Some girls love guys that are more than ordinary, others love guys that are mysterious- as long as they are puzzles we can solve. This is why it is so important to not be afraid of who you are. Remember, girls like everything from the phantom (from The Phantom of the Opera) to Ford Prefect (from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). We like the things that make you you and that’s why we’ve chosen to give you our time instead of any other guy out there.
Just like a good book in which the further in you get, the more you can’t put it down, interest her with a chapter at a time. It doesn’t mean keep all your important secrets inside, but slowly reveal these things. Let her believe she knows what’s on the next page, and then provide the big plot twist. Send her flowers from her admirer, leave her a trail of notes in her locker, or write your own story leaving the ending for us to write together. It will always be 42.
Ding your destination is on the right.
Take things slow; it isn’t a race to get a girl’s heart. If you rush it, she will feel pressured. Remember there is only fast food along the highway. If you want a five star meal, one that is warm and soothing, and will last (like a great love) you’ll take the side roads, the paths least traveled. Yet, be confident enough to avoid falling into the friend zone.
Finally, never forget the power of faith and its ability to bring destined relationships together. If both of you are constantly growing closer to God through prayer, valuing your purity and getting to the Sacraments, you will also grow closer together. True love takes trust in God and the willingness to let Him lead you, just like my parents who start the morning off with prayer together and end it with scripture. Try offering a Skype call to pray the rosary every week or if she wants to go to weekly Mass with you(after you’ve known her long enough) go for it.
With a little bit of advice (you need to find a person filled with wisdom to talk to about relationships, not just your friends), the understanding of Saint Joseph, the caring of Mother Mary, and the intercession of the Holy Spirit you can be my extraordinary Catholic Teen Boy.
Your Catholic Teen Girl
Looking for more relationship advice? Join us for an online conference on with experts in Dating.
“To one extent or another we’ve all been poisoned by the culture’s false idea of love, dating and sexuality. No one is unscathed, and we could all use a good detox.” ~ Jason and Crystalina Evert in the Foreword of Kevin and Lisa Cotter’s new book, Dating Detox.
One summer, Kevin and Lisa Cotter spent five weeks interviewing dozens of singles on their experiences with the modern dating scene. By the end, one thing was clear – we live in a toxic dating culture and, whether you’ve been in one relationship or 50, we’ve all been effected. Despite the bad news, the Cotters also found reasons for hope as they began to discover patterns and solutions for detoxing from the world’s way of dating in order to make authentic love possible.
Using real life stories from their interviews, as well as offering practical steps for detoxing, Kevin and Lisa will discuss the four greatest toxic beliefs that are preventing you from gaining the freedom to love and be loved.
Kevin and Lisa Cotter have worked with university students for over a decade as a missionary family with FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students). Together they have co-authored Dating Detox: 40 Days of Perfecting Love in an Imperfect World, and are the co-hosts of the How-to Catholic podcast. Lisa is the founder of Made to Magnify (madetomagnify.com) and speaks to young adults on dating, femininity, and living life with excellence. Kevin holds an MA in Sacred Scripture and is the Senior Director of Curriculum for FOCUS. He has authored three books on Pope Francis. Lisa and Kevin reside in Denver, Colorado, with their three children.
Here is the Cotter’s video invitation to the Online Conference:
What will participants receive?
- Conference: You will participate in a live, online conference (or “Webinar”) with Kevin and Lisa Cotter.
- Questions and Answers: after the presentation, the Cotters will respond to any questions that might have come to mind during the conference.
- Additional Material: during the days leading up to the conference, we will be sending you a series of spiritual resources (texts, videos, book extracts, etc.) that can help you to prepare for the conference.
- Recording: A few days after the conference, you will receive by email a link to a recorded version. This way you can go back to anything that you missed or would like to review. Also, if for some reason you weren’t able to make it to the conference, no worries. You can watch it later when it’s most convenient for you.
- Video response to written questions: This is a new feature! Sometimes we’ve run out of time to address all questions after a talk. Or, maybe a question or a doubt occurs to you only after the conference had already finished. As a participant, you can send an email to the speaker(s) and he or she will respond with a final video.
The conference time for each city
To see what time the conference is where you live, click HERE. In any case, remember that the conference will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017: 9 AM in Los Angeles, 12 PM (Noon) in New York, 1 AM (12th) in the Philippines.
Pacific Time Zone: 9:00 AM
Mountain Time Zone: 10:00 AM
Central Time Zone: 11:00AM
Eastern Time Zone: 12:00 PM
Central European Time Zone: 6:00 PM
Philippine Time Zone: 1:00 AM
You can also take a look at a live countdown by clicking here.
**REMEMBER that if for any reason you are not able to make it, we will be emailing you a link to the recorded version after the conference.
How to participate?
If you would like to participate, all you have to do is make a voluntary donation to Catholic-Link. Immediately afterward, you will receive detailed information explaining how to access the platform that will host our workshop. Any donation amount is acceptable! This money will go to covering the costs of our websites and to maintaining our evangelization projects such as the series: “A Minute with Pope Francis.”
Free for Catholic-Link Benefactors!
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Be sure to check your email for the most up-to-date conference information. Please, do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.