Over the past several years, Fr. Martin Connor, LC, has been busy: he, along with a team of collaborators, has launched a book, a podcast, and a digital platform called Wired To Love, all designed to challenge today’s distorted view of love by letting the human experience speak for itself. His newest release is a dating resource for singles called The Dating Booklet: Practical Guidelines for Lifegiving Relationships, and presents guidelines for young adults seeking life-giving relationships based on the Gospel.
The booklet, which offers a pathway to equip young adults to navigate the often complex digital dating world with confidence, was something of a covid project for Fr. Martin. In the beginning of the pandemic, when all activities and events had been put on pause, he suddenly had the space to work on a idea that had been on his heart – to create a dating resource that proposes solid practical guidelines on how to foster real authentic love, beginning with self-awareness and self-knowledge. Over the past five years, he had already conducted over a hundred interviews with young adults on the theme of emotional chastity and authentic love, which he developed into a book in 2020 called Reclaiming Love: Connecting the Head and the Heart. Using the wisdom he collected from those interviews, and by conducting dozens more, mostly through Zoom, Fr. Martin, with the help of many collaborators and contributors, has released this new resource, The Dating Booklet, a modern but simple dating manual for young adults, particularly those navigating the digital dating world.
“Hundred of thousands of young people are in that digital reality of the dating apps, trying to find love and trying not to lose their souls at the same time. The digital dating world often lacks real relationship, because virtual relationship don’t satisfy, and they can often be counterfeit,” says Fr. Martin. “The Dating Booklet challenges young people to be more self-aware as they go into the digital dating world, equipped with better self-knowledge so that they can give themselves to this other person God might be calling them towards.”
One of the first ways the booklet encourages self-awareness and self-knowledge is by presenting a Pre-Dating Quiz to help readers to discern whether they are ready to date, to figure out those first steps of dating, and to set pre-dating goals that foster self-growth and maturity (you can also take the The Pre-Dating Quiz online on wiredtolove.com).
The key approach to the booklet, and all of the Wired to Love resources, is that it uses wisdom gained from real-life experience from young men and women from all stages of dating and married life. The collaborators come from all over the United States, from college students to married adults, and share their raw and real experiences in the dating world, with advice for what to expect, and how to remain authentic. Besides presenting key themes like the stages of dating, and engagement, the booklet also confronts difficult issues like fears about dating, red flags, and the profoundly destructive effect of pornography on relationships today. The booklet is easily digestible to today’s youth, and can easily be read one chapter at a time for those seeking advice on a particular topic. It offers individuals and couples questions to help them examine where they are on the spectrum of mature love.
Fr. Martin encourages any young adults – or anyone who knows young adults – who are currently navigating the dating world to tap into the positive resources offered on the Wired to Love platform, including the books Reclaiming Love and The Dating Booklet. The platform also features a full season of podcasts where Fr. Martin talks with regular contributors Joe Zuniga, Sara Rocco, and Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, Lauren Hawkesworth, discussing topics like emotional maturity, genuine happiness, self-acceptance, self-giving love, attraction, and celibacy. A second season of the podcast will be launched later this year.
You can find all these resources and more on the Wired to Love platform. “We live in a world today where people actually believe that they are not worthy of love, that they don’t even deserve it, and therefore they opt for the ugliest form of love,” says Fr. Martin. “We’re here to say that you are worthy of it, you are wired for it, and we want to help you find the love of your hearts.”
Check out wiredtolove.com to keep up on the latest resources on the love, healing, relationships, and the dating life. You can find out more about The Dating Booklet by visiting the website or watching the trailer on YouTube. You can also support the Wired to Love ministry by becoming a Patreon member.