This month, the Single Rev’s Guide to Life goes to the lighter side with a brief list of survival guidelines the rocky territory of dating in the church. Enjoy – and feel free to add your own tried and true rules in the comments!
1. Never date a parishioner.
2. Don’t let the little old ladies in the parish set you up with their niece/nephew/grandchild/any sort of relative. Bad.
3. As an ordained person, breaking up can be disastrous; you’re a public figure, and people can be mean and vindictive in break-ups. So, treat others with dignity and respect, and be honest and transparent during the break up process, should it occur. You don’t need the drama of a bad break up, and neither does your congregation.
4. Be cautious about bringing your new person to church. Wait until after you’ve established a foundation, and you’re ready for your congregation to latch on to him/her.
5. Never, never date a parishioner.
6. If you use online dating services, such as eHarmony, prepare to be recognized. Seriously, it happens.
7. Always be honest about what you do. Being a priest or minister is something that you’ve worked hard for. Don’t compromise your beliefs, identity, or integrity just because they might be uncomfortable. If they love you, they’ll love who you are.
8. Don’t be afraid. Establish friendships and make connections. From there you’ll find happiness with or without a partner.
9. You can be bold and use your significant other to help you out of a situation (sometimes even if you don’t actually have one). For example, if someone says something inappropriate about your appearance or about wanting to set you up, it is fine to say, “My boy/girlfriend would not appreciate hearing you say that.”
10. Never, never, never date a parishioner.