As an 18 year old guy I'll give my two cents from the opposite perspective here that might help in some way. First off, I attend a public high school and what is considered normal dating here is completely the opposite from what the Church would expect of us. There are few virgins left that will be graduating with me, unfortunately. So most people's (even the Catholics) goal in dating is "hooking up" as they say. NOT just for fun, socializing, and far from finding a spouse or discerning one's vocation in life. Now I pretty much held off on the dating until now because I was attempting to discern whether or not I should enter the seminary after high school. I tried to do both for a while but once a girl I thought was mature said she wanted to sleep with me I thought it best to stop since there obviously were few girls at my school that shared my view on how dating should be. Given this atmosphere at my school- I see little point in dating now to be honest. Most girls are immature, there are few Catholics, the handful of Catholics here are the most liberal you have ever seen. I'd rather wait until I get to the Catholic college next fall when I can actually find mature Catholic women.
I've also been impressing on them how important religious compatibility is, but I haven't told them they can't date non-Catholics. I thought it might backfire. Any opinions?
Ideally I would like to date only Catholic girls but there are so few at my school that isn't really an option. The girls at my SSPX chapel are almost guarded by their fathers (who must have all entered the strong man competition last year together or something) so striking up a conversation isn't easy. The girl I am courting at the moment isn't Catholic but I'm not looking to marry the lass or anything. Although it has presented some obstacles already- The Faith is the most important aspect of my life and if a girl doesn't understand it how can she possible begin to understand me?
For those who have raised teenagers or have teens now, how did you handle dating? What were your rules, expectations, etc. I'm now raising two teenage boys that have started dating (no pointing and laughing from the peanut gallery) and I've shocked even myself by dusting off the word "chaperone". I'm winging it. I'm raising them with a completely different set of values and rules from anyone else I've ever known and anyone else they've ever known. I'm a little bit out of my element here, but I suppose that's normal. Any advice or commiseration?
Let me just say that my own mother (not Catholic) has pushed me to date girls to a point that seems absurd. Even more so when I was attempting to discern whether or not I should enter the seminary after high school. She was completely opposed to it because she has no idea what the priesthood is. She thought a few girls would distract me from that notion. I did NOT appreciate this as you may imagine. Please do not compare your children to their peers in this area! I have no wish to be like my peers in any way! My mother says I have wasted my teenage years because I haven't dated as much as my peers (once I explained that most of my peers are sleeping with each other she stopped bothering me about it). She has no idea the self-control it took to say "NO" to a girl that wanted to sleep with me. I may have been able to do that once but if ten girls had asked me I do not know how long I could have said no. I personally am fine with how things were in high school with me and girls. I do not see the point in dating just to date.
I wish my mother had a traditional Catholic view of dating!
I doubt your children's school is as bad as mine. We had twenty girls that were pregnant last year and five so far this year. seriously
I am extremely old-fashioned in my attitude toward women and dating. I do not act my age. I have very different priorities than my friends. Most of my close friends are in college or even older. People always call me an "old soul". (I cannot tell if it is an insult or not) Tell me I am too serious etc. Maybe my experiences are not the most helpful for you then. Perhaps I was more dissatisfied with my school and the dating scene in it than most people my age would be. I do not know how your children go about dating or what their school is like so I don't know how helpful it was but I thought it might help to hear the perspective of a teenager even an odd one like myself.