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Dating Rules: 10 Rules for Chaste Dating

Ten Ways to Chaste Dating for the over-21 Crowd and for those who live Outside the Home

Please note that teenagers should never “date” without supervision. 

Alas, there is little one can do for college students who live in co-ed dorms except follow the below rules to the best of their ability.  May St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother be your witnesses.

1. The purpose of dating is to find the person you wish to marry, the one who will become the father or mother of your children. Keep that always in mind and terminate the relationship if and as soon as you realize this is not the person.

2. Never allow yourself to be alone in a closed room or parked car with your date.

3. Always plan to be active on a date.  Have activities lined up (backup plans too) so you don’t find yourself in a position or situation of idleness.  Offense is good defense. Think of activities that will provide opportunities for growth in knowledge of God, each other, and self. Make a regular practice of worshipping and praying together.  

4. Dress appropriately for the occasion but always modestly. 

5. Regardless of who “pays” for the date no one “owes” anybody anything.

6. Any actions that cause sexual arousal (need I define them?) are to be avoided, including forms of dancing that are designed to cause it. Help each other to say no.

 7. A peck, a quick kiss (mouths closed), a brief hug or holding hands are permissible, they are non-sexual expressions of affection. 

8. Don’t kid yourself. You are no different from anyone else. Don’t count on your self-control. You are weak! You just can’t go “so far.”

9. Your soul is at stake and perhaps a happy marriage and a possible vocation.

10. The road to chastity is paved with prayer, the Eucharist, and reading of the New Testament.  If you fail, have recourse to the Sacrament of Penance as soon as possible and begin again.

Follow these rules and make sure your date or companion does also and the search for a spouse and courtship can be a joy. Otherwise you may become accomplices in deadly sin and guilty of objectifying another person for sexual pleasure.  Keep these rules and you will be able to look at your children right in the eyes when you have to guide them on their way to marriage and family.


Fr. CJ. McCloskey III is a Research fellow of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, DC.  His website is: frmccloskey.com.


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  • Melanie

    Thank you Father for this great piece. My oldest is only six and I just printed this article to save for future reference. When I grew up, no adult I knew would have touched advise like this with a ten foot pole and I grew up in a Catholic home. The advice that I received and the advice that all of my friends received amounted to; always use protection. My children may not heed this advice, but I will NOT fail to provide it and pray pray pray for them.

  • Claire Boeck

    These are great guidelines. I highly regret that my husband and I put ourselves in tempting situations more than once. We were borderline chaste, but could have done much more to protect our chastity.

  • sparks1093

    Great advice, Father. I have also printed it out for future use.

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