By Angela Han

With all of the romantic storylines we see in books, TV, or movies we’ve seen since we were kids – you’d think that we would have dating and relationships down pat. After all, isn’t that knight in shining armour supposed to come and rescue me so that we can ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after?

If it were only that easy!

In real life, it can be a maze trying to navigate the dating scene to find Mr / Ms Right. After all, relationships can become messy and the person that we like may absolutely be the wrong person for us.

Last month, St Benedict’s Young Adults Group in Applecross invited Natalie Thomas to speak about dating and relationships in the Catholic context. Our group is for those 18 – 30 years old, and each session that we have at our parish is called a ‘Soul Food Session’. These sessions are designed to feed the hearts, minds, and our stomachs with learning, fellowship, and food.

We opened up the session with an ice breaker using M&Ms designed to get to know each other better. It was a huge hit, especially with people from different parishes around Perth attending the session to find out more about relationships and dating.

Natalie’s talk was an eye opener about what true, authentic love is really about. Believe it or not, the main purpose of marriage that Natalie put forward was not to be ‘fruitful’ (i.e. have kids). Instead, the main goal of marriage was to mutually sanctify each other. Each person is a gift, and we need to get to know ourselves and give ourselves to God to become a true gift before we can begin to even love and cherish the other person.

Other pro tips that Natalie shared were:

  • Listen to those who know you best when you’re with someone and they all seem to say that they dislike that person. Love can be blind and they may be on to something.
  • Don’t idealise the other person’s qualities.
  • That you need to share the same values and beliefs that are important to each other.

After the talk, there was a Q&A session with questions such as how to approach someone you’re interested in, if going out for coffee is really a date, and what to do if you’ve been rejected by someone.

Due to all the different messages about love floating around, it can be confusing to know who to listen to. However, with God’s grace, we will be able to find Mr/Ms Right for us by remembering these tips and by making God at the centre of our relationships with others.

Angela is one of the youth leaders of St Benedict’s Young Adult’s Group ages 18-30. They meet regularly every month for fun, faith, and fellowship. To get connected, email stbeneyoungadults@gmail.com. 

Photos are from St Benedict’s Young Adults