10 Beautiful Catholic Books on Dating, Engagement, and Marriage for Life-Giving relationships

Published by Slanted Bookshelf Team on

This is a list of the top Catholic books on dating, as well other stages of relationships : engagement and marriage. If you have a child in high school or college, they may already be dating or will start dating soon. When that time comes, you want them to be ahead of the cultural curve. A relationship can be a beautiful, fruitful, love-giving experience, or it can be an unhealthy period of constant vice and temptation.

You may be engaged or considering engagement. The books on this list provide wisdom on how to make one of the most important decisions of your life : choosing your spouse.

Catholic books on marriage
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Lastly, you may be a married man or woman that wants to have a happy and permanent marriage. This list contains best-seller books on the topics. Reading these books and heeding their advice could optimize your chances of having a lasting, permanent, and exclusive marriage.

I compiled this list to be a resource for young men and women, as older couples that are hoping to grow in relationship with one another. I hope this list leads you on the path to virtue, helps you find your spouse, and strengthens your relationship.

Our List of Top Books for Catholics on Relationships

Books for Dating

Books for Engagement

Books for Marriage

Read on for short descriptions of each book.

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

Catholic Books on Dating

How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul : 21 Secrets for Women

By Jason Evert

How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing your Soul is an essential resource for young women, especially those in high school or college. The focus of the book is to help women pick out the right men and not fall for common traps. Jason Evert makes a strong argument for chastity and making decisions now that you will not regret later when you meet your future husband. Although it can be a painful process, the book forces girls to acknowledge your faults and failures in past or current relationships. Give it to your daughter, niece, or friend – especially if she is new to dating or just started a relationship.

Men, Women, and The Mystery of Love

By Dr. Edward Sri

This is basically a spark notes of Pope St. John Paul II’s book, Love and Responsibility that is way shorter and easier to understand. It is a great book to guide those starting or considering a new relationship. Many of us have grown up with a distorted view of what love is. This book helps correct that vision of love through the wisdom of John Paul II. Sri urges us not to settle for the cheap imitations of love that abound. A short, terrific read, especially for young couples.

The Dating Blueprint

By Jason Evert

The Dating Blueprint is Evert’s male counterpart to “How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul”. In this practical guide for men, survey results from thousands of women were synthesized to reveal what women want in a relationship. For example, survey results highlighted the importance of the male being intentional. When asking a girl out, the man should call it what it is – a date (not a hang out). Men should also take initiative to define the relationship they are currently in. This is a great resource to prepare yourself before dating. I highly recommend it as a gift for a son or friend.

Books On Engagement For Catholics

Three to Get Married

By Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

I am a huge fan of Fulton J. Sheen. First published in 1951, the wisdom of this book still holds true today. Fulton Sheen had a great teaching ability, leading to a considerable amount of popularity on television. His well-timed humor and parables complement the dryer theological topics well. This is the ultimate supplement to a marriage prep class, engaged encounter retreat, or sponsor couple program. It will add so much more depth to your pre-marriage formation. This is a must for a wedding present or engagement present.

101 Questions Before You Get Engaged

By Norman Wright

101 Questions is not a Catholic book, nor even a Christian one. However, the author does bring up spirituality as a topic of discussion. This is a straight-up list of 101 questions to discuss with your significant other. It is meant to be discussed as a couple before engagement. The reason why is because you want to sort out serious relationship matters before making a commitment. If you discover any “show stoppers,” you will want to pause the progress on your relationship and take some time to discern. The author takes marriage as a serious, permanent commitment, and therefore treats engagement seriously as well. I worked through this book with my then-girlfriend (now wife). It led to tough but necessary conversations regarding spending time with in-laws, having children, budgeting finances, paying off loans, taking vacations, sharing hobbies, and much more. This book is practical and digs deep.

Photo by Florian Doppler from Pexels

A Catholic Handbook for Engaged and Newly Married Couples

By Frederick Marks

This book is older, so the language is a bit antiquated. Still, it provides good insight into engagement and early marriage. It stresses the importance of vocally discussing expectations during engagement with your significant other, while still being ready for surprises. Couples should be flexible and forgiving as they enter a new stage in their relationship. The author also includes a practical section about keeping your house in order (clean and tidy) and maintaining a cheerful disposition to maintain happiness in your early marriage.

Books On Marriage For Catholics

Holy Sex : A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Love

By Dr. Gregory Popcak

This book is not exactly what it seems. A conservative Catholic may be nervous about reading this book because of its attention-grabbing title and flashy cover, but shouldn’t be. Dr. Popcak’s writing is grounded, scientific, and in line with the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage. This is truly an amazing book – you don’t know what you don’t know until you read it. This will improve your confidence in your relationship by understanding what things are common to most marriages, and is not just peculiar to yours. Popcak provides frequent examples throughout the book from couples he has counseled.  

Photo by Joe Hepburn on Unsplash

His Needs, Her Needs : Building an Affair-Proof Marriage

By William F. Harley, Jr.

His Needs, Her Needs is centered on the five top-order emotional needs of men and women. Harley observed these emotional needs over years of counseling couples. He describes the most common cycles of failed marriages and how they go wrong. Some say the book is sexist due to its portrayal of stereotypical needs for men and women. Given that not all stereotypes are true, and each person is unique, the stereotypes presented in this book are true for a large percentage of men and women. Harley’s writing style is a little antiquated.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands

By Dr. Laura Schlessinger 

Dr. Schlesinger wrote this book as a handbook for women to understand their husbands. She is not a Catholic author, but she believes in the permanence of marriage. This book may be unpopular among modern secularists because it acknowledges that there are differences in men and women and glories in those differences. Dr. Laura is as old fashioned as they come as far as the roles and responsibilities of men and women. Her advice may ruffle some of your feathers. I highly recommend this book. It will help you bring an end to some of those recurring petty arguments. Overall, this is an excellent resource to more deeply know your husband and treat him accordingly for a happy marriage.

For Better Forever

Dr. Gregory and Lisa Popcak

The last book on the list is another by Dr. Popcak, and his wife, Lisa. In this book, they use psychology to break down what it means to live ‘happily ever after’. A lot of what is presented sounds like work on the surface. However, it is well worth it when you love someone and put your marriage first. This is a good book even for solid, stable marriages. It may be best suited for couples who have been married awhile.

Photo by Im3rd Media on Unsplash

I hope you enjoyed this list and found a reading recommendation or gift from it. Remember that choosing your spouse is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, and your marriage is the second most important relationship you will ever have. Being in a relationship is like any other skill – studying and practicing will make you better at it.


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