Broaching the subject of sex

I recently started dating a new man and it has been going very well. I’ve never felt this comfortable around any other man. He really seems to accept me for who I am, shortcomings and all. He has been the perfect gentleman and always shows me a great deal of respect and deference. We kissed at the end of the first date and since then the kissing has quickly escalated to passionate making out. It’s at the point now where if it gets any more intense, I would consider it to border on sinful, so I don’t want it to get any more intense until marriage.
My boyfriend got out of a serious 5 year relationship last year and since we haven’t talked about it, I don’t know whether they had sex. He is Catholic, but not as devout as I am. It wouldn’t shock me terribly if he isn’t a virgin, although of course I’d definitely prefer if he is. I know I need to talk to him about what my boundaries are so that I’m not leading him on in any way, and I know he’ll respect my boundaries.
So my question is, I’ve always avoided having that discussion, but I think this relationship could actually be quite serious, so I want to make it absolutely clear what my beliefs are about sex and sexual acts before marriage. I don’t want to bring it up out of the blue, so how would you suggest leading into the subject so that we can have an open and honest conversation about it?

The first date was too early for a first kiss and it’s not a good sign if you are pushing boundaries of chastity early in the relationship.

I would be honest with him and just say that it concerns you that the relationship is too physical and that you don’t want to have sex, or “make out”, before marriage. If he’s receptoIve to that conversation you two need to set clear boundaries. You also should try to start going to daily Mass together as much as possible. It’s a really good and healthy habit and bond to form early in a relationship.

Personally, I wouldn’t worry about a lead-in. It’s totally natural to want to talk about this! This is definitely something to discuss BEFORE the making-out begins. I would start with something along the lines of, “I really like you, and I enjoy being with you. I want to make sure we are on the same page about the physical side of our relationship. What are your thoughts on being intimate outside of marriage?”

Starting with a question is good, because then you don’t come off as heavy-handed. If this man is truly a good match for you, he will respect your moral standards and ideally share them.

God bless you.

First, you may have to be okay with “bringing it up out of the blue” as really when is the PERFECT time for such a conversation? That being said, here is my advice: practice a few times in advance what you want to say, and keep it short and sweet! This does not need to be a long and drawn out awkward conversation. He will understand what you are trying to say in a few short words believe me, so make it brief and move on.

If you are in a restaurant you could hold his hand and say something as simple as “I have something important I have been meaning to share with you for a while, I just want you to know that it is important for me to save myself sexually for marriage and I just wanted to share that with you!” Then give him a big hug and say “Okay now is a good time to order some cheesecake don’t you think?” Or something fun to lighten things up in case he is embarrassed that he (perhaps) has not saved himself for marriage and doesn’t know quite what to say

Also a good idea to bow your head quietly before you begin speaking and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your words. He will help you! Hope this helps, God bless you and best wishes in your relationship wherever it may lead.

I don’t think it’s weird that you kissed on your first date, that’s common enough. Nor is it unusual to make out a bit. But yeah, at some point, this is an issue you’re going to have to broach. You need to be on the same page lest one of you get the wrong idea. I would recommend being as straightforward as possible, you don’t want to leave wiggle room for doubt or confusion. You may be right that there is no “good” time for this discussion, and you can even lead in by pointing that out.

“This is a bit awkward, and I apologize for that, but I need to be sure I’m not misleading you.”

When you’ve finished explaining yourself and he’s finished responding, put it behind you and get right back to whatever fun thing you two were doing together. :thumbsup:

I agree with the second part, but I wanted to point out that what is common is not the same as what is good. It is also common to have sex with the person you are dating, which is obviously not ok.

Here is one link about french kissing:

All the more reason why you need to bring it up ASAP. It is not going to be easy and most likely be akward, but you WILL live through it. I would make sure no one is in ear shot and say ‘I am concerned that our relationship is moving too fast in the sense that there are certain intimate acts I will not do until marriage and I just wanted to make sure I was clear about my boundary.’ It is clear and upfront.

I do need to warn you, I have no idea how this man will react. However, I would not be surprised if he is quite shocked to find out you don’t want to have pre-marital sex. Some men think that if she kisses on the first date, she is not waiting. Also, depending on how long you knew him before the first date eg you only saw him twice in your life before that, he probably will be surprised to find out a girl who kisses on the first date won’t have pre-marital sex.

Dating is not just about setting boundaries, it is also about how we are being perceived by the other person. Sadly, some behaviours give the wrong impression without out knowing it. Communication is the key.

If he does end up being a good man and the one you marry, I am sure there will be a lot of other akward conversations. Best to find out now if you can talk about it together


Wow, American men must be judgmental! A kiss is far removed from sex IMO. It must be tough to live in the US at times…

As a woman, I have known some men who think on the first night you only kiss her to show you are not a player and then come the third date you go all the way. Sadly, there are a lot of men who think like that. I remember one man telling me ‘I am not the type of guy to meet a woman at a bar and sleep with her that night. I get her number and call her the next day to come over’:rolleyes:

I am not saying all men are like that. I am saying SOME men ARE like that and it is best to get this conversation out in the open ASAP so she knows what she is dealing with.

Oh no, I wasn’t saying you were wrong. I was sympathising with you women in the US. It seems social norms are very different to Europe. No man here would think a kiss on a date meant anything. It really must make it tough to date if one has to be so, so careful there.

Thanks everyone for your input!

I want to make a few things clear - we’re both adults, not teenagers and we’ve both been in serious relationships before (his 5 year relationship; I was engaged before), so we’re not incredibly new to this. Also, we’ve been friends for the past couple years and I’m pretty sure he knows my stance on sex before marriage, I just want to make sure that there is no potential for confusion about it. I know for a fact that he will respect my boundaries as I have heard him say in the past that he respects a woman who is saving herself for marriage. As for kissing on the first date, I don’t see anything wrong about that as long as it’s not an intense/passionate kiss, which ours definitely was not - just a simple goodnight kiss. I don’t believe he expects anything just because we kissed on the first date and have made out since then. Again, I just want it to be clear and your suggestions are very helpful!

Well you guys have been friends for years and it sounds like he is cool with women waiting for marriage. So it seems like you won’t have any issues with him.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Teenagers or not, there are certain things that are only appropriate in marriage. Maybe it would be helpful to bring this up in conversation with him. Some people are receptive to not having sex, but are not ok with not doing other things that should be reserved for marriage, so it is definitely something worth bringing up. If you think about it, even if ‘making out’ was ok out of love (although we should not seek arousal outside marriage), could he really say he is doing it out of love for you when you are still in such an early stage? Also, if you feel like he could be the one, all the more to start helping him learn more about chastity and embrace it… as even in marriage, if you find yourself needing to use NFP to abstain, then you will need to watch your boundaries (although your boundaries right now need to be a lot stricter than that of a married couple abstaining from the marital embrace.)
from what I gather, using the common sense mentioned and through spiritual guidance during dating, pecks are ok while dating.

I think you guys have a perfect fine relationship and I’m sure he is a wonderful fellow. Things can get heated/out of hand, sure, just be a little more prudent about where you are with him and try not to be alone for too long, especially at night after a romantic date (phermones are real high). If he knows your stance on sex from being a close friend then I think he believes you are worth the wait, which is awesome.

He might not be a virgin but people do have a past. Luckily he wasn’t a playboy or anything, having been in a relationship for five years, so you know he can commit. I still think it would be a good idea to talk to him about your stance on sex again, just as a refresher. Honestly, as a lot of people have said on this thread, any time is okay to ask.

Don’t be so nervous about asking him questions like this. If you guys have been close for a while and are dating, its okay to talk about this sort of stuff.

Thank you for clarifying that. I jumped to the wrong conclusion, my bad


I finally talked to my boyfriend about our boundaries. I ended up just saying it when we were sitting together. It just felt like the right time. As I expected, he is totally fine with what I’m not willing to do before marriage and he completely supports it. All the advice here has been really helpful!

I have dated and been friends with many American men, and my experience has been very different. I don’t know any men who would assume a woman would sleep with them because of a kiss.

Sure, some men expect sex, but most don’t. In my experience though, the presence or absence of a first date kiss has nothing to do with it.

I’m with you. A peck on a first date is pretty innocuous and does not send any improper message. The US is a big and diverse place, and CAF is not representative! :slight_smile:

I’m not prudish really but why take yourself to such a tempting limit you might fall off and might also be leading the guy to think they more may come his way. It’s best just to be honest and upfront. You’ll know right away if he’s the guy for you. I’ve never known one they will go with but then I’ve had bad luck with guys. I’m just honest from the start maybe not the first date but at least by the second or third. Most guys rather just know then guess. :shrug:

What tempting limit? What limit would you set?

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