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Designing Women S4 E25 Extra Sugar - We Found Love in a Holy Place

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

This week, building on Mary Jo’s romantic religious rendezvous, we’re going part-mythbusters (is it illegal for people of the cloth to date?!?) and part-advice column (what do you do if you find yourself dating a person of the cloth?!?) And maybe part-business development (but also, maybe not - Nikki isn’t an app developer and maybe that’s a good thing after you hear this nonsense.)

Come on y’all, let’s get into it!



Speaker A: Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.

Speaker A: Hello.

Speaker A: Hey, Salina.

Speaker A: I was weirdly so proud of Mary Jo for putting herself back out on the dating market.

Speaker A: So we haven't heard much about her dating life and romance situation since episode ten when Suzanne I had to go back and search this because it's been a while.

Speaker A: That was the episode where Suzanne tried to teach her all her tricks.

Speaker A: So I think it's high time we try again.

Speaker A: But with a minister, is that even legal?

Speaker A: Let's find out.

Speaker A: In a segment I'd like to call we found love in a holy place.

Speaker A: What do you think?

Speaker A: I like it.

Speaker A: This segment is part mythbusters.

Speaker A: Is it illegal for people of the cloth to date?

Speaker A: And part advice column.

Speaker A: What do you do if you find yourself in a relationship with a leader in the church?

Speaker A: And I have a little treat for you at the end.

Speaker A: Oh, hint.

Speaker A: Here's your hint.

Speaker A: A minister in my purse.

Speaker A: I'm not an app developer, and that's probably a good thing.

Speaker A: Okay, we'll talk more.

Speaker A: Oh, my.

Speaker A: All right, so full transparency lodged somewhere in the back of my brain is a belief that pastors and ministers shouldn't date.

Speaker A: Not necessarily that they can't, I guess, but that it would be weird for them to yeah, they're already married.

Speaker A: Yeah, but what if they're not married anymore, right?

Speaker A: Did they just live alone?

Speaker A: I don't know.

Speaker A: It's so weird because at the church I went to, to the point you're making, the ministers had a lot of kids.

Speaker A: They were happily married.

Speaker A: Some of them were widows.

Speaker A: And I don't know.

Speaker A: I don't know why, but really, in the back of my head, I'm like, they shouldn't do it.

Speaker A: Right.

Speaker A: But in reality, for the most part in organized Christianity, which is what I'm going to focus on, because that aligns with the episode.

Speaker A: Yeah, they can date and marry.

Speaker A: It's the celibacy part, meaning no sex before marriage.

Speaker A: That seems to be fairly non negotiable.

Speaker A: It's worth noting the rules are a bit more nuanced within the Catholic Church.

Speaker A: So I'm really no expert on Catholicism, but I really did try to do some complete research here so that I was reporting the most accurate information I could find.

Speaker A: So I found that in the Latin or Roman Catholic Church, priests take a full vow of celibacy, meaning celibacy not just from sex, but from marriage as well.

Speaker A: But in the Eastern Catholic Church, they can be married, though, again, they should be celibate, like sexually until marriage.

Speaker A: The Eastern Catholic Church, for anyone who doesn't know, I did not know this is an offshoot of the Latin or the Roman Catholic Church.

Speaker A: It's the version of Catholicism that was established in places like the Middle East, Eastern Europe and North Africa.

Speaker A: And there are Eastern Catholic churches here in the US.

Speaker A: They're in alignment with the Pope.

Speaker A: Like, they follow him, but they're fairly distinct from the Roman Catholic church in terms of their traditions and all of their rules.

Speaker A: Interesting.

Speaker A: Okay, for what it's worth, as recently as March of this year, pope Francis addressed the requirement of celibacy in an interview with an Argentinian news outlet.

Speaker A: His comments referenced the Eastern Catholic Church as an example of like, this part of the Catholic Church has already moved away from this, and so I would say widely.

Speaker A: The media interpreted his comments as indicating he's willing to reconsider the celibacy requirement for the Latin and Roman Catholic Church.

Speaker A: But Catholic Outlets.

Speaker A: No, no, that's not what he meant.

Speaker A: You guys are reading this all wrong.

Speaker A: So, like all good religious discussions, I guess it really comes down to who you believe.

Speaker A: I'm going to link those references along with the rest of my references for this segment in Show Notes in case anybody wants to dive in more than my cursory Google search thesis.

Speaker A: Okay?

Speaker A: Okay.

Speaker A: Anyway, most Christian religious leaders can date and marry, all while leading a church.

Speaker A: Yay for multitasking.

Speaker A: If you follow the scripture, God also encourages it.

Speaker A: So I found an article that cited Proverbs 1822.

Speaker A: He who finds a wife and they put in parentheses, or a husband finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

Speaker A: So I found this article this is what I wanted to talk about a little bit when we were talking about general reactions to Eugene and sort of a little bit how we felt sorry for him.

Speaker A: I found this article where the author interviewed three ministers or faith leaders at progressive churches around the country about dating as a person of their cloth, and their perspectives were really fascinating.

Speaker A: So three key themes emerged to me.

Speaker A: They all immediately have to caution the person they're dating that they are allowed to date and they're not doing anything sketchy or untoward by being on a dating app or seeking out a partner.

Speaker A: Because people assume, like, me, you must be doing something, like, really shady by being on this dating app or whatever.

Speaker A: And they're like, no, I can do this.

Speaker A: The second theme I saw was that most people see them as otherworldly or somehow above other humans, which is what Mary Jo struggled with in this episode.

Speaker A: So they oftentimes find themselves really lonely because no one is comfortable being around them, because everybody else is just a mere mortal, a mere human, and they're so above everything.

Speaker A: And then again, these were leaders who self identify as progressive.

Speaker A: So I think this might be sort of fair to assume, but I thought it was interesting all the same.

Speaker A: All three of them value dating someone with either different religious beliefs as theirs or someone who expresses their spirituality differently.

Speaker A: They see this as a sign of intelligence and thoughtfulness.

Speaker A: They don't value blind faith, which I thought was admirable interesting.

Speaker A: So again, that second one about finding themselves lonely at times because of other people's perceptions or hang ups about dating them.

Speaker A: That really broke my heart a little bit.

Speaker A: By default, people of faith are supposed to lead with love and they're supposed to tend their flock with compassion or whatever.

Speaker A: So it makes me really sad to think of them as lonely.

Speaker A: Yeah, you take care of all these people and then you go home lonely.

Speaker A: Well, in this episode, too, it was really sad since his wife died.

Speaker A: Right.

Speaker A: So with all of that in mind, I'm going to transition to some do's and don'ts of dating a minister.

Speaker A: You could consider this niche content because there probably aren't that many people finding themselves in this situation.

Speaker A: But actually, I think maybe there are.

Speaker A: Who knows?

Speaker A: So the first tip I found was be discreet.

Speaker A: So actually, on one web page, they said, Keep it a secret.

Speaker A: I don't like that.

Speaker A: I think that confers some element of shame or darkness.

Speaker A: Discretion is different.

Speaker A: And I know words, but those words mean very different things or imply very different things.

Speaker A: So let's use discretion.

Speaker A: Discretion implies there's a way to live through the experience authentically but also not shouting it from the rooftops.

Speaker A: Sure.

Speaker A: So a lot of what I found was sort of recommending that you choose carefully who you share information with and most especially who you talk to about the specifics of the relationship.

Speaker A: If you've ever been in a relationship, you know you need a sounding board.

Speaker A: Everyone who's in a relationship deserves a sounding board who is not their partner because you are not always going to be happy with your partner.

Speaker A: But what you don't want to do is talk to the church gossip or feed the church rumor mill.

Speaker A: So of course, that undermines your partner, the minister, in their church capacity.

Speaker A: It's like any job.

Speaker A: You wouldn't roll up to Casey's workplace and be like, casey left his underwear on the floor.

Speaker A: I wouldn't do that.

Speaker A: Don't date Salina.

Speaker A: The other thing that's true that came up sort of adjacent to this one is ministers dating a member of their clergy.

Speaker A: Like, is that cool?

Speaker A: Like a member of the church, should they date them?

Speaker A: I'd say the advice was mixed.

Speaker A: Some seem to think it's unethical in some sense for a leader of the church to date someone in the congregation.

Speaker A: Others thought it was okay as long as the situation was dealt with openly but also, again, discreetly.

Speaker A: Like, they're not hiding it, but they're also not necessarily flaunting it.

Speaker A: You know what I mean?

Speaker A: Again, it sounded like dating in the workplace to me.

Speaker A: So it just kind of depends on where you are.

Speaker A: Yeah.

Speaker A: Another tip I found that I thought was a good one is to be clear about your responsibilities to the church as their partner, especially before you get into a serious relationship or marriage.

Speaker A: So those three ministers in that interview above, they all said they appreciate open mindedness in their partners and they don't necessarily expect them to be involved in the church, especially not to the extent that they themselves are.

Speaker A: I think it's worth actually asking that question, though.

Speaker A: Don't assume it because one of the ministers actually said that she has had partners before who just thought she wanted them in church every Sunday, and they were like, I am not committing to that.

Speaker A: And she's like, But I never said you had to do that.

Speaker A: That's my job.

Speaker A: You don't have to do that.

Speaker A: You do what you want to do.

Speaker A: So I think it's fair to ask the question then.

Speaker A: The last tip I wanted to touch on was jealousy.

Speaker A: Across several articles I saw on this topic, jealousy kept coming up.

Speaker A: I think it's because leaders in the church have to be available to anyone in their congregation at any time.

Speaker A: So it can be really easy for feelings of jealousy or resentment to form and for your brain to sort of and your imagination to work overtime about what may be happening.

Speaker A: I could see that, especially since Preacher is kind of like the rock star of the everybody's just clamoring flinging their panties up on the no.

Speaker A: Okay, go on.

Speaker A: What kind of church did you go to?

Speaker A: Nondenominational.

Speaker A: I think the overwhelming I'm just kidding.

Speaker A: The overwhelming tip here is just talk to your partner if you're feeling jealous.

Speaker A: It's kind of the same rules.

Speaker A: Absolutely.

Speaker A: Yeah.

Speaker A: It's kind of the same relationship stuff.

Speaker A: Right.

Speaker A: But I mean, you do like I think a lot of this kind of boils down this idea that something gets really worked up in your head.

Speaker A: I'm also sitting here doing the math on, like, who all is either Southern and or a designing I said it was niche content.

Speaker A: I said it was niche there was some interesting stuff, helping somebody that's going to come and be like, thank you, and now we're married.

Speaker A: But in all seriousness, that's why I say I think all these rules apply to relationships just in general.

Speaker A: Absolutely.

Speaker A: If you're feeling jealousy, just talk about it.

Speaker A: If you're dating someone in the workplace, just do it discreetly.

Speaker A: Right.

Speaker A: It's all the same.

Speaker A: That's right.

Speaker A: Ministers, are people going to link to the rest of the tips in the show notes?

Speaker A: I want to be clear that I've edited the content of the list, not the rest of the content on the websites they came from.

Speaker A: So don't come for me if there's anything weird there.

Speaker A: Don't you come for me.

Speaker A: And while I was putting this segment together, I wondered if priests, ministers, preachers, et cetera, who are looking for love, use dating apps.

Speaker A: The three people they interviewed very clearly did use dating apps.

Speaker A: But what I wanted to know was if there was like a minister specific dating app.

Speaker A: You don't have to be

Speaker A: See, you get the idea.

Speaker A: You're getting the right idea.

Speaker A: So, like, eharmony if you rebranded that to be minister specific yeah.

Speaker A: Harmony is actually kind of a religious, spiritual word already.

Speaker A: But it needed some juj.

Speaker A: I was thinking about, like, e unity.

Speaker A: Oh, yes.

Speaker A: And then bumble.

Speaker A: What if we called it like, humble?

Speaker A: You know, because of humility and humbleness.

Speaker A: Yeah.

Speaker A: Jesusness.

Speaker A: We're sticking to the Judeo Christian.

Speaker A: And I had to look up humble because I was like, is that a religious word?

Speaker A: I don't know.

Speaker A: Their motto could be Proverbs eleven two.

Speaker A: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Speaker A: Oh, now that is hot.

Speaker A: And then grinder.

Speaker A: Okay.

Speaker A: Could that one be kinder?

Speaker A: That's pretty good match.

Speaker A: Could be catch.

Speaker A: As in you catch.

Speaker A: You a person of like like Jesus caught the fish.

Speaker A: Oh, it wasn't Jesus.

Speaker A: It was one of the disciples.

Speaker A: But he, like, helped him or something.

Speaker A: Probably need to go brush up on that fishing in the Bible.

Speaker A: Good point.

Speaker A: Yeah.

Speaker A: And then fisher of men or women?

Speaker A: Fisher.

Speaker A: Fisher of love.

Speaker A: Fisher.

Speaker A: Oh, my goodness, look at us.

Speaker A: We got something going here.

Speaker A: That's what I was thinking.

Speaker A: And then the last one is okay, cupid.

Speaker A: Okay.

Speaker A: Archangel Chamuel.

Speaker A: To me, this one's also in the niche category.

Speaker A: It's sort of an if you know, you know, sort of thing.

Speaker A: Yeah.

Speaker A: Gonna need some explanation, but I feel like you only want people who get it to be on this app anyway.

Speaker A: Like, if you don't get it right.

Speaker A: So Archangel Chamuel is the angel of love, mercy and forgiveness.

Speaker A: So their motto could be the Archangel Chamuel.

Speaker A: Prayer of love, I come to you today seeking your help and finding love.

Speaker A: I know that you are the angel of love, and I believe that you can help me find the love I am seeking.

Speaker A: Well, that's so romantic.

Speaker A: This entire segment is that category of segments that are really funny in my head as I'm putting them together, and then as I'm sitting here saying them out loud, I'm realizing, I don't think everybody's going to love this one the way I did.

Speaker A: But I committed.

Speaker A: We're here.

Speaker A: The good news is we're at the end of the segment.

Speaker A: Well, there's an ender.

Speaker A: As always, remember, you can follow along with us and engage on Instagram and Facebook at sweetv.

Speaker A: TikTok at sweettvpod.

Speaker A: Our email address is

Speaker A: And on YouTube, just search sweet.

Speaker A: TNTV.

Speaker A: Our website is WW

Speaker A: And there's different ways you can support the show from our website.

Speaker A: You can also rate and review wherever you listen to podcasts or share with your friends.

Speaker A: And come back next week for a brand new sweet tea and TV take on Designing women.

Speaker A: This has been this week's Extra sugar.


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