“Don’ts” on Dates
Though the following suggestions are directed mainly to girls, they are equally applicable to boys, inasmuch as boys will know what is expected of a decent girl and will cooperate with her in preserving her virtue.
I. Don’t forget that the chastity of your soul and your good name are your most precious possessions; protect them by mutual self-respect. Therefore, always keep your courtship on a high plane and follow a “hands-off” policy and by your manner give men to understand that your loveliness is not to be marred by unruly passion and sin.
II. Don’t permit expressions of love or friendship for another to be prolonged to the point of danger of lust because all sexual pleasure outside marriage, that is directly willed, intentionally procured or accepted is a mortal sin.
A selfish indulgence of your own passions regardless of the welfare of the one you “pretend” to love is not really love, but lust.
III. Don’t ever permit passionate kissing to mar your date, for true love is dominated by mutual respect for each other’s character, not by mere emotion, passion and lust.
IV. Don’t be so soft as to pay for an evening’s entertainment with cheap kisses, “necking” and” petting,” because a man who is not strong in chastity will probably take all you will give.
A decent man, even though he may be weak, does not respect that kind of girl. Don’t give a casual friend the caresses that belong only to the good Catholic man you will some day meet, who will be your husband and the father of your children.
V. Don’t be so imprudent and reckless as to date this one and that one without knowing anything about them beforehand. Avoid being alone with strangers.
VI. Don’t consent to keep company in a parked car, for darkness and seclusion are favorable conditions for sin.
VII. Don’t allow your escort to enter your home late at night after a date; this would subject both to danger and suspicion.
VIII. Don’t fall into the bad habit of permitting long “good nights” and “passionate goodnight kisses.” These have brought about the death of many a friendship and killed many a soul.
IX. Don’t encourage a young man to visit your home too frequently, or to protract his visits far into the night or early morning, to the discomfiture of your family and the detriment of your own and your health, virtue, and reputation.
Turning night into day three or four times a week in courtship is not a good recipe for the preservation of health or the increase of corporal fitness; this is particularly true if the long visits are accompanied with an emotional strain.
X. Don’t seek out or continue companionship with others whom you know to be inclined to evil jests and words. Never let your date be marred by a single filthy story, but show your displeasure at once.
XI. Don’t take part in dances that may be a source of temptation to yourself or others. In dancing, don’t hold your partner too tightly, lest you become an occasion or a cause of sin.
XII. Don’t go to see movies rejected by the Legion of Decency; even those that are partly objectionable should be avoided.
XIII. Don’t frequent taverns or roadhouses of questionable character; this is a disgrace to womanhood.
XIV. Don’t drink intoxicating liquor; it prepares the way for immorality by arousing the passions, blurring the mind, and weakening the will.
XV. Don’t dress unwisely so as to invite lustful interest, but becomingly, so as to accentuate your best gifts.
XVI. Don’t smoke, not because it is morally wrong, but because it cheapens your personality and detracts from your womanly charm.
XVII. Don’t hold to the opinion that the only enjoyable date is an expensive date. Real fun is found not on dates where a lot of things are done for you, but on dates where you are doing things together. Get interested in foursome or six some dates; they cut the need for adolescent lovemaking to a minimum.
XVIII. Don’t fail to avoid dangerous occupations in courtship, or permit yourselves to be too much alone. Rather, take part in healthy worth-while hobbies and pastimes which you find mutually delightful and in which you can indulge without loss of mutual esteem or virtue.
Enjoy good music; read and discuss worth-while literature; attend respectable dances and social pastimes, preferably such as are given under Catholic auspices and with proper supervision; frequent unobjectionable shows on the stage or on the screen; go on hikes with other young people and take an active interest in various wholesome sports.
XIX. Don’t be so snobbish as to think that the social activities of your parish church are not good enough for you. You should feel privileged and honored to contribute to others’ success by your presence and cooperation.
XX. Don’t get involved in a friendship that may result in a mixed marriage, for married life is difficult enough without having a difference of religion and moral outlook as a cause for further trouble, such as the question of divorce, birth control, Catholic education.
XXI. Don’t disregard the voice of your conscience upon returning from a date. If that voice is joyous and peaceful, your company-keeping is good and clean.
If it is sad, remorseful, accusing, something is wrong in your company-keeping, something that must be corrected at once or else the company-keeping must cease. The state of your conscience is a decisive test.
XXII. Don’t get serious about a boy who is not willing to prove himself by avoiding sin, especially impurity and drunkenness, frequenting the sacraments at least each month, and spending a reasonable amount of time in prayer daily.
Never think of marrying someone who will not be able to make you better for living with him, for the foundation of a happy marriage is a holy love which will enable you to aid each other to practice virtue and fulfill your duties.
XXIII. Don’t neglect to use the means of grace God has given you to keep pure. The best protection against falling a prey to one’s passions is regular Confession and frequent Holy Communion (preferably each week, or even daily), because these sacraments give you special actual graces to help you practice virtue and avoid sin.
Other aids are daily Holy Mass, the cultivation of will power through little acts of self-denial, the avoidance of dangerous occasions of sin, the counsel of one’s regular confessor, the reading of good books, the companionship of virtuous friends, the daily Rosary and frequent recourse to God and Our Lady in prayer.
Company-keeping prepares you for marriage. Every date has an influence upon your future. You sometimes need forcible reminders lest wild desire for fun bring tragedy. Right or wrong companions can make or break your life.
You should know exactly what is morally right and wrong on dates; this you will learn from the contents of this booklet. Though girls or boys don’t rush madly out to sins of impurity, all too often they are tricked into what they were not properly warned against.
Now God gave you a fourth commandment: “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother.” Your conscience tells you to obey your parents as God’s representatives. They are responsible for you.
They are right in fearing moral dangers from “solo” dates and friendships with doubtful characters. They also have a right and duty to make rules regulating your dates, because they really want to protect your fun and your future.
The best thing to do is sit down with your mother or father and talk things over. They are your best friends. Let them decide what is right or wrong.
Obey the rules they make concerning your life, and dating in particular. Keep in Mind the Following Simple Suggestions:
I. You must have permission for dates. Permission can be given on a general basis (every Friday night you may attend school games and parties); or on a date-by-date basis (you may go to the basketball dance next Saturday).
Your mother and father need not know each detail of dates, but they should have the general picture.
II. Always ask permission if you intend to be away all night; this should be only with families your parents know and trust.
III. Your parents have a right and duty to make some rules about cars and about the beginning and end of dates. The boy should call for the girl at her home, come in and meet the folks, bring her home and say good-bye (not at great length) at the door.
Prolonged farewells in cars easily become dangerous. It is sometimes best to keep your dates on a group basis, that is, house parties, dances, skating parties. Group dates can be frequent in high school; “solo” dates should be spaced out.
Too much dating can very soon breed violent infatuation. And familiarity breeds a lot more than contempt; it leads you into sin.
Silly “going steady” (exclusively with one boy or girl) has ruined many a promising youngster and even many a possible good marriage.
IV. Build up ideals in your mind. Obey rules because you are convinced they are sensible; this is far better than blind or reluctant obedience. Obey and respect your parents because they have your welfare at heart and wish to please God and protect your future.
V. Your best assurance of a pure and happy youth is a close and tender friendship with Jesus and Mary. Such a friendship is fostered by at least monthly Confession, frequent Holy Communion(weekly, or even daily), regular prayer, especially the daily Rosary.