I believe seminarians who are in their philosophical studies are allowed to have girlfriends. How about when they’re in theological studies? My boyfriend is a novice in a religious order. Is our relationship forbidden or just discouraged?

You should not be dating a seminarian.

If your boyfriend is a novice in a religious order, even though he is not bound by vows at this time, he is considered a part of that order—so that should he die, for instance, he would be entitled to be buried as a member. He has no business having an exclusive relationship with a member of the opposite sex while living as a religious. By the time he begins philosophy, he will be in temporary vows. Making vows with a girlfriend on the side is a serious matter.

To young women who think otherwise, let this sink in: Seminarians are off limits. If God has called them, you don’t want to compete with God. He loves you just as he loves them and definitely has plans for you as well. Keep your options open that God may put you where he wants you.