Okay, so here’s my situation in a nutshell:
(Situation: Help, I’m in a nutshell! How did I get in this nutshell?)
I’m 22. I’ve been with this girl, 20, for about a year and 2 months now. Both of us come from protestant Christian backgrounds, but neither of us have considered ourselves religious for many years.
We both attend the same university, and about 5 months ago we moved into an apartment with a 6-month lease together. In so doing we felt we would be saving money and making a greater committment to each other, both of which we have done. We also have been having premarital sex throughout the course of our relationship.
About a month ago, I began researching Catholicism, and I am coming to a point where I feel confident about attending an actual mass and enrolling in RCIA. About a week ago, I began discussing all this openly with my girlfriend, and while she is obviously skeptical of Catholicism and of my intentions, she is at least open to the discussion. I have made her aware of the implications this would have on our relationship as far as sex goes, and even as far as the possibility of marriage goes. In one of her more gracious moments, she actually commented “What if I became Catholic with you?”.
Since my conscience has begun to weigh heavily on the matter, I have suggested to her that we stop having sex until I have more completely evaluated the matter. We talked about some of the virtues of waiting until we’re married to continue having sex, but It’s too soon to tell at this point how she really feels about it.
As far as the cohabitation goes, we’re approaching the end of our current 6-month lease and we have had plans to move into a new, cheaper 2-bedroom apartment elsewhere. At this point, even though I know the general consensus among Catholics is that premarital cohabitation is not a good decision, I feel like it’s a little late to say, “Sweetie, maybe we should try living separately.” Her current economic situation is such that, if she were not living with a roommate, she could not afford to continue to go to school, and there are no other alternate living arrangements for her at school at this point in time. Not only have I not given her enough forewarning about seeking other living arrangements, but we have both made our intentions clear to each other months in advance about continuing to live together for the next 6 months, so I feel like backing out at this point would not be the right thing to do.
I am seeking advice on our situation. Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks for reading.