“It’s hard to express skepticism about that without sounding overly negative, because I’d like to get married, but it’s not a guarantee.” She says that when she’s able to ignore her friends’ Facebook status updates about relationships, marriages, and children, she recognizes the fullness of her life, as is, and tries not to worry too much about the future. “Just being open to people and experiences and meeting friends of friends makes sense to me.” As young adults move further from their college days, the natural social circles within which they may meet new people become less obvious.
Many seek out young adult events sponsored by Catholic groups, parishes, or dioceses in an effort to broaden their circle of friends.
No matter where she finds her partner, she would like him to be a devout, practicing Catholic.
“I would want my husband to have God as the first priority, and then family, and then work,” she says, adding that it wouldn’t hurt if he also likes the outdoors.
The major challenge posed by the dating world today—Catholic or otherwise—is that it is just so hard to define.
Most young adults have abandoned the formal dating scene in favor of an approach that is, paradoxically, both more focused and more fluid than in the past.
Upon my arrival at the bar, I immediately regretted it. “Huh, that’s sexy,” he said, taking another sip of his beer.
“In fact, it can be a downright awkward experience.After graduating with a theology degree from Fordham University in 2012, Stephanie Pennacchia, 24, joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Los Angeles, where she worked at a drop-in center for teens experiencing homelessness.Today she is as a social worker who assists chronically homeless adults and says she is looking for someone with whom she can discuss her work and her spirituality.Pennacchia was raised Catholic, but she’s not limiting her dating prospects to people within the Catholic faith. “It has shaped how I relate to people and what I want out of relationships, but I’m thinking less about ‘Oh, you’re not Catholic,’ than ‘Oh, you don’t agree with economic justice.’ ” For Pennacchia, finding a partner is not a priority or even a certainty.“People talk [about love and marriage] in a way that assumes your life will turn out in a certain way,” she says.