Ask Father Josh: Catholic Dating, How Far is Too Far Before Marriage, and Spiritual Intimacy

In this Valentines Day special, Fr. Josh answers questions about feeling invisible in the Catholic dating scene, how far is too far before marriage—especially in regards to kissing—and spiritual intimacy when not married.

If you have a question, comment, or response for Fr. Josh, email us at You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!

Snippet from the Show

You are exactly how God created you to be today. So reverence your body and your soul. Reverence who you are because God delights in you. He reverences you.  


Glory Story (2:34)

Fr. Josh shares a love story about him and God.

Listener Feedback (4:33)

Catholic Dating (6:00)

First of all, thank you so much for the show. It always brightens my day. (For the record, I like your musical interludes… You must be as ADHD as I am ) My Question is this: as a young woman  I have basically lived the life of the good old song “You Belong with Me.”(Taylor Swift) I’m the quiet, nerdy, plain looking girl who mostly has guys for friends, but somehow they always end up dating other girls who are thinner, shorter, more party animal, and frankly, more stupid. Do you have any recommendations for trying to feel good about myself when to me it is obvious that who I am is not even attractive to guys that I’ve known for years? Also, any advice you might have on locating Catholic guys who are serious about their faith and a little nerdy would be great.


Spiritual Intimacy (14:27)

I was listening to a past podcast as I just converted to Catholicism last August and enjoy listening to your podcast because it teaches me sooo much about the Church and Catholic beliefs. My question is about the “Is your spouse your friend?” question, and you talked about friends and spouses and how to keep them committed to the church. Would one treat a boyfriend as a friend since they aren’t married or how does that work? I was dating a boy that I thought I was going to marry and didn’t know if it’s okay to start trying to get them to heaven before you’re married for future relationships.


How Far is too Far Before Marriage (21:34)

How far is too far physically before marriage? One priest told our youth group leaders that French kissing before engagement was a sin, and it stirred quite an uproar. I know other priests have said otherwise… so what are we supposed to do? In a relationship, isn’t it okay to be aroused by the other?


Universal Points (27:59)

(Please note that these are a summary of the answers Fr. Josh provides in the podcast.)

  1. Catholic Dating – Define the Relationship (DTR) from the beginning. What are you looking for in a friendship, working relationship, or a dating relationship.
  2. Spiritual Intimacy – We are always trying to get people to heaven. Start now and let the Holy Spirit build upon that as time goes on.
  3. How Far is too Far Before Marriage– It is different for everybody, but certain actions can be inappropriate because of what they can lead to.


Broken and Blessed book by Fr. Josh Johnson

Want to browse the resources Fr. Josh recommends? Click here to select an episode and view the shownotes.

Meet Your Host:

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. One day, in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest. Now, Fr. Josh is the pastor for Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Louisiana, and he is a presenter in two of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, and YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body and author of Broken and Blessed.

1 Comment

  1. After 49 years of marriage, I still struggled with believing that things my husband and I did before marriage were sinful. I kept asking God to show me where I wasn’t getting it. In my spirit I heard :”Because it robbed you of the joy I had for you on your wedding night, and in your first encounter with each other.” After this I was able to have true sorrow and went to confession at the age of 74.


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