Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Ep. 62—Overcoming Catholic Dating Hangups & Social Isolation

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Jan 20, 2020 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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We’ve all heard complaints about Catholic dating. Catholics have trouble with the concept of “casual dating” because they (rightly) see dating as oriented toward marriage but (wrongly) put all that weight on a single date. Some are perpetually “discerning” without ever really going anywhere. Women feel like if they don’t find a spouse during their four years at a Catholic college, they’ve missed their chance.

Some problems we share with the rest of the world: Men won’t ask women out because they’re timid or tranquilized by video games and porn. Women often feel they have to put on a persona, whether of a Jane Austen character or a “fierce” feminist (YAAAAS, SLAY QUEEN!).

Emily Zanotti, known as the “Catholic Yenta”, joins the show to discuss these and other pathologies of Catholic dating, and explains how she went from helping her friends find their spouses to making matches for Catholics across the country.

Also interviewed is Eric Niehaus, creator of a soon-to-be-launched events app called Koin, which will allow Catholics to find and plan activities and events with other Catholics in their area. In a world in which Catholics often feel socially isolated, Koin aims to help us foster real-life community.

Pt. 1: Emily Zanotti (Catholic Yenta)

[2:55] How Emily found herself in the role of Catholic matchmaker

[5:32] Why a matchmaker is in demand; problems with dating sites

[6:47] How the matchmaking process works and Emily’s role in follow-up

[9:31] What information is useful to Emily in matching people; prayer as the basis of the process

[12:23] Success rate so far, future expansion

[15:03] What Emily has learned talking to Jewish and Hindu matchmakers

[18:39] Common issues and complaints from the Catholic dating scene

[23:34] “Perpetual discernment” and unrealistic expectations in the Catholic dating pool

[28:35] Risk, security and the Disney princess syndrome

[30:29] Male timidity and sloth exacerbated by video games, porn, and feminism

[34:58] Why some women think they need to put on a persona when dating

Pt. 2: Eric Niehaus (Koin)

[42:20] The meaning of the name Koin and the need for a specifically Catholic events app

[44:45] Planned growth of the platform, city by city

[46:36] Challenges of getting a new social platform off the ground

[48:47] Cultivating community both in pre-existing organizations and parishes and in the wider geographical area

[50:51] How Koin aims to partner with and compliment parishes

[54:06] Extending participation beyond the young adult bracket; the benefits of spending time with people who aren’t your age

[57:52] Overcoming social stratification among Catholics


Catholic Yenta form

Emily Zanotti on Twitter


Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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