My advice is to leave them! Now!… Just kidding. That doesn’t sound right, does it?
My first response to that question is: that doesn’t really tell me anything about that person. I don’t know who he, or she, is so I can’t make up any opinions about them.
Dating someone of a differing faith can be difficult and in some cases spiritually dangerous but it can also be fruitful if done the right way. Before Dianne and I started dating I wasn’t a person of faith. I was born into a Catholic family but I was only Catholic by name and for the hour that I was in Church on Sundays. Other than that I was not a person of faith. If Dianne refused to take another look at me because I wasn’t a practicing Catholic we wouldn’t be married today and this blog probably wouldn’t exist.
I believe faith is an essential part of a relationship. Here is my advice to any person who is interested in dating someone who is not Catholic or not a practicing Catholic:
1) They must respect your faith
If he, or she, is an atheist they must respect for your faith and not prevent you from practicing. It’s better to date an atheist that helps foster your faith out of love for you than to date a non-practicing Catholic who constantly ridicules your faith.
2) They must have an interest in learning about your faith
Just like anything else in relationships they must have a desire to learn about the things that are important to you. That doesn’t mean you have to give them homilies everyday and try to convert them. Just make sure they show genuine interest in learning about your faith. Make sure they are willing to go to Sunday Mass with you and attend other events that are important to you and your faith.
3) Love them for who they are and not what they believe
Couples should always challenge each other to be better. However, many people get into the mindset that they have to change the other person and control what they believe. You should never base your friendships, or relationships, on what the other person believes. You should try and love them as a person regardless of what they believe. Their dignity is given to them by God and not earned by their knowledge or beliefs. Chastely loving the other person and practicing a sound faith will witness the Catholic faith to them more than anything you can say. You must respect their free will to pursue Truth as they must respect yours.
4) Live Chastely and Be Aware of the Consequences of Marrying a Non-Catholic
Lust clouds your better judgement so if you become involved in a very physical relationship you won’t be able to discern whether it is a good relationship that can lead to a strong marriage. As time goes on you’ll need to try and align yourself on important issues. Where does the other person stand on abortion, same-sex marriage, contraception or divorce? If you haven’t considered any of those things you’ll need to start communicating and discerning what kind of husband or father, wife or mother, that other person will be. Eventually you are going to want to teach your kids right from wrong and guide them on important moral issues. You’ll need your spouse to stand beside you and align with you on those issues.
The bottom line is that every situation is different. Only you can pray and discern whether God intends you to be with that person. If your relationship helps you grow closer to God and challenges you to be a better person than that’s a great indicator. If your relationship causes you to distance yourself from friends and family, miss Church, and fall into lust than you probably already know that person is not good for you.