Maybe you’re a good Catholic and you’ve probably heard the concept of clerical celibacy – to put it simply, priests aren’t supposed to be dating or married.
But what if you think a priest is attracted to you? This becomes more complicated, as not only priests are prohibited from dating, they’re not even allowed to court or “initiate” any relationship whatsoever with members of their congregation.
Here are 12 signs that a priest is attracted to you, and what to do about it.
1) He tries to touch you
Maybe you’ve known this priest for a long time now since you go to church often and even attend services conducted by your parish, but have you ever felt that he likes you?
Just a little bit? If a priest sees you often and he’s also gotten to know you, maybe his attraction to you has developed into something more than just friendship.
Notice how he tries to approach you and initiate some kind of contact. If he comes close or if he offers you his hand, maybe there’s something fishy going on.
It’s normal for a priest to offer a handshake or a hug but if he holds you a little bit longer than necessary, maybe his feelings are stronger than what they really should be.
Notice how he makes his point of contact with you on the shoulder area, which is usually reserved for friends and acquaintances. But for him, it’s an opportunity to be more intimate.
2) He welcomes you with open arms
If a priest greets you and his greeting is one of the warmest ones, there’s a good chance that there’s some interest in you.
Notice how he holds you and keeps you a little bit longer than usual. Maybe, just maybe, there’s something in the air that makes this priest warm up to you.
He’s not just being nice or friendly – he might really be interested in something more than just casual conversation or friendship, which is exactly the kind of behavior that makes priests break their vows of celibacy.
He may just be showing that he cares about you, but it could also be because he wants to try to get close to you and see if you have feelings for him. There may be times when he greets you with a hug, but it could also be because he’s trying to gain your attention or your affection.
3) He’ll give you meaningful looks
If a priest pays you extra attention, watches every move that you make, and even makes sure that he looks at you from time to time, it’s possible that he wants to have something going on between the two of you.
He likes to watch everything that you do, even if it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.
You will notice that he will stare at you repeatedly.
It doesn’t matter if he’s watching you during the homily or in a pew during mass, as he probably has gotten used to seeing your face – or at least that part of your face – during the mass.
He may even stare at you a little longer than usual, which can be very uncomfortable to some people.
If a priest stares at you too much, he finds you attractive.
4) He gets too close
Okay, so you’re both standing face to face, talking about this and that then suddenly, he invades your personal space. Perhaps he’s just being friendly, or maybe he’s seeing if you have any feelings for him.
Priests are expected to be approachable to their parishioners but if a priest gets too close to you and starts invading your personal space, there’s a very high chance that his feelings for you are stronger than what they should be.
Maybe you have been talking to him whenever you’re needing spiritual advices, and he just feels like he can open up to you.
This priest is making sure that you feel comfortable talking to him about your problems so that it would be easier for him to get closer to you.
5) He wants your contact information
If your priest approaches you one day and asks for your phone number or e-mail address, there must be something going on.
Of course, priests are free to own cell phones and use the internet, but if you happen to be talking with him and he brings up your e-mail address or your phone number, it’s possible that he has a secret agenda.
Maybe there’s something the two of you have to discuss that he wants to bring up in private, which is why he’s looking for your contact information.
Pope Francis did urge the priests and bishops not to make priests or bishops overly connected to their phones, especially during a holy mass, and to focus on God instead – which is the true center of any mass.
6) He gives you compliments
A priest may say how wonderful the borrowed life we have despite of struggles or difficulties, but it will be rare if he’ll specifically compliment you.
If he does, it’s a clear sign that he has strong feelings for you, but he probably doesn’t want to show them.
He may even notice that your new haircut or your new shade of lipstick is really catching his eye. He can give you compliments like these because he’s hoping that you’ll reciprocate.
A priest should not be making these kinds of compliments because his job is to preach the word of God. He should be focused on spiritual things instead of your physical appearance.
He may try to give you words of encouragement, advice, or even a Bible verse after you’ve asked. Maybe he’s just trying to make you feel good about yourself, but sometimes, it could be because he wants something in return for his effort.
7) He gives you special treatment
If a priest has special treatment for you, there’s something definitely not right about this picture.
He behaves differently or approaches you in a different way than he does with everyone else.
A priest would never act like this to members of his congregation, especially if they are old and respectable. But if he has a special treatment for you, there’s a big chance that something is going on here.
He may try to do it in a subtle way, but you’ll feel it.
8) He asks for your opinion often
Can you think of other ways that you could have a positive interaction with the priest? If a priest is asking for your opinion on things, he could just be doing it out of courtesy, or out of habit.
Or he may want your opinion on a personal level. Because of your position, he may feel that you can give him a good idea on something. He may even ask for your opinion on something that you don’t really know about, but he wants to hear from you anyway.
A possibility here, he may even ask for your opinion about a piece of clothing or something else that he has to buy.
Perhaps, there are no ulterior motives here and all he meant was to make you feel comfortable, but the questions may be weird or too intimate for the situation.
If he asks you something like this, he’s probably trying to get close to you and know how you feel about him. You see, he’s trying to find out if the feelings are mutual.
9) He makes his move when you’re alone
Is your priest interested in you? Maybe he’s trying to tell you something or share some kind of news but if he tries to talk to you when there are no other people around, this could mean he doesn’t want anyone else to know what’s going on between you two.
He may even tell you how much he cares about you, or how you’re special to him.
The priest is probably feeling conflicted and doesn’t know whether he should move forward. He may already want to get close to you but he doesn’t want more people involved in his personal affairs.
Notice his behaviors towards you when it’s just the two of you. That’s when he feels the most comfortable with you.
10) He likes your company
This is another thing that you need to look out for when a priest is attracted to you. As mentioned, priests are not allowed to date or marry and definitely not have girlfriends or boyfriends. But it’s possible that a priest feels like he’s not as good enough for you as he might be.
So, when a priest likes your company, it most likely that he would like to be around you more often. Or he may be trying to build a friendship with you, or maybe he (in his imagination) wants to date you.
If there’s a church activity such as a potluck or a fundraising event, he will probably want to go out of his way to be there. He might ask if you can join him on his errands or activities.
11) He has different interpretations after a Bible verse
This is especially true if it says about love – a word that the priest may have a lot of trouble wrapping his head around.
Before, a priest would tell you what a Bible verse meant by just reading it literally. But if he has different interpretations after reading the same passage, this could be a sign that he’s trying to put himself in your shoes and knows what you’re going through.
Of course, it does not necessarily mean that he’s in love with you, but there could be something enough that bothers him.
12) He is sharing his problems with you
Maybe his faith has been depleted and he needs an extra boost. He may be struggling in his faith and there are no other priests nearby who can give him solace.
But a priest should not easily share his problems with you – it’s a personal matter, and he knows better what to do with it. This is an unwritten rule, but now that he’s sharing his problems, it could mean that he feels comfortable around you.
A priest is able to keep a secret and should be able to keep all the information that he hears private. But when he opens up to you, there is a big chance that he has a special interest in you.
And get this, his problem might be something to do with having second thoughts about staying as a priest – maybe he’s thinking of changing his profession in order to open the door to be with you.
He may not say this to you directly, but he will probably make it obvious that it’s because of you – sending you signals in the hope that you will understand his situation or even, a chance with you.
What to do about it
Now that you’ve confirmed that a priest is attracted to you, the next thing that you need to do is to determine how will this affect your relationship with him and your next set of actions.
1) Don’t respond to his attraction
You’re not obligated to respond to the priest’s attraction because that could make things worse.
It’s perfectly normal for any man to be interested in you and for you to have feelings for him as well.
But a priest should never ask you out or try to make a move on you. This would be considered a form of solicitation and would get him in trouble with his superiors and the Catholic Church hierarchy.
2) Don’t let him play tricks on you
A priest should never try to be funny, flirt with you, or try to lure you into a deeper relationship with him, especially if that makes you uncomfortable.
In addition, he should never make promises of romantic gestures or promises of a certain time frame for future plans.
If a priest does any of these things, he is trying to play mind games with you and doesn’t have any intentions of making you feel better or getting involved with you.
In fact, he wants to keep you on a string so that he can feel good about himself. He may also be trying to find out what your feelings are for him and whether or not he has a chance with you.
3) Let him know you’re not interested
If you’re not interested in the priest, you should just let him know that. You don’t need to talk to him about this, since he’s not confirming his true feelings for you, but your actions should say a lot.
You may act a little cold or unfriendly towards him. This is a clear signal that whatever he thinks or feels, you do not share the same emotions.
This may be difficult to do because of your position and you might want to lay low so that the priest doesn’t get in trouble with his superiors.
It’s just like saying goodbye to a friend who is being too friendly and you don’t want to hurt his feelings, but using this method, you could prevent more harm from coming your way.
Don’t feel bad about showing a priest that he shouldn’t try to pursue or get involved with a romantic relationship because it’s his job to protect the people of God and their dignity.
4) Don’t hurt his feelings
You may really feel uncomfortable with the situation, but try not to hurt the priest’s feelings or make him feel bad about himself.
If he can’t control his feelings for you, he’s probably fighting a battle within him to sort everything out and of course, you do not want to make it difficult for him.
But at the same time, you have to be on guard and prepare yourself for any kind of behavior that might come your way. You have to protect yourself from the situation and not let your feelings get taken advantage of.
If the priest tries to apologize for his behavior and make amends, just say that you’re sorry but it’s not necessary.
5) Report him to someone you trust
For any situation that you feel threatens your safety, you can always talk to a trusted friend or family member to get advice and see what they think of the situation.
You may also report the priest to somebody at church, or even get advice from a priest or higher-up person in your area.
You should also let them know why you’re doing this and that this is not a personal attack against him, but rather a case of someone who may be acting inappropriately.
This is to ensure that he will know that his actions will not be tolerated and will lead to consequences. He should go back to the path of virtue and piety and find out what’s wrong with himself.
It’s not an easy situation to be in, but if you stay calm and try to avoid the situation or let him know that you’re not interested, you can prevent yourself from getting into a tragic situation.
Priests have vowed to protect the faith and people, and they should not be allowed to take advantage of a vulnerable situation and exploit it to satisfy their own desires.
But it’s never too late for him to realize and correct whatever is wrong with his life, and if he’s really a devout Catholic, he will try to do the right thing.
You should also keep in mind that this could potentially be a lesson for you on how to love selflessly.
It may be painful to accept that someone close to you has feelings for you, but it shows that you have an effect on people and what they think.