Chasity in Dating


#1

Hi.

I was a cradle cafeteria Catholic who found true, dogmatic Catholic beliefs through Karl Keating while preparing for Confirmation at 16. My relationship with God and the Virgin Mary has been strengthened tenfold, and I thank Him everyday for bringing me back to Him, despite my lax upbringing.

I’m now a 19 year old undergraduate student. I started dating my best guy friend seriously a little over six months ago, and we are in love. We discuss marriage and our future seriously, and he respects my beliefs profoundly. While he has had sex with a previous girlfriend, he understands, admires, and prefers to help protect my virginity. For this, I am so grateful.

After much thought, prayer and reflection, I concluded that intimate acts short of oral sex (which was explicitly forbidden in Confirmation class) were okay. My judgment really came down to if getting close to a sin (aka sex) was permissible if we were strong enough to avoid crossing that threshold.

Well, about a week ago our strength was challenged. Overcome with lust, I suppose, we had actual, sustained genital contact. While my virginity was never threatened, the act defied previous precautions like always keeping underwear on. I was so frightened and upset I had something of an anxiety attack afterwards. My boyfriend held me close and we agreed to abstain from any intimacy for a while. He’s a self-described Christian but doesn’t practice any beliefs or affiliate with a denomination. I doubted if he even prayed. That night though, he struggled to say something for several minutes. Then, in a quiet voice, he asked if we could pray together. The emotion in the room after everything loosed tears from my eyes.

He says we don’t have to be intimate in that way, but I gave myself to him as an expression of trust and through a desire to be closer. A hope to mimic the marriage we can’t achieve until graduation I suppose.

I’ve been praying so much after this. I haunt this forum and the Catholic answers site semi-regularly, and I know you to be holy people with real life experiences. It’s so hard to read advice from the pureloveclub that suggests no kissing while laying down, knowing it comes from someone who sinned so much in the past. I need to know to what level others have succeeded in our Catholic quest for chastity. I need to know what the boundaries are in frank terms. I need to know what will make God happy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this long post, and I look forward to your responses. I apologize if my descriptions were too graphic in nature, but I can’t shy around what actually occurred. I hope you will not shy around what is and is not permissible, either.

God Bless,
Katie


#2

You made mistakes. First and foremost, go to Confession and speak to your Priest. Get things right between you and God.

As far as in frank terms what is “permitted” when one is not married - well, what would you do with your dad sitting in the room? That is what you and your boyfriend can do before marriage. A short kiss, holding hands, hugs - no touching in of each other in the areas covered by a bathing suit. French kissing is a form of foreplay, it is MEANT to get you revved up for sex. If you are not going to have sex, do not go there.

The Pure Love Club has very good advice.

For discerning marriage, do some searches here and see the advice about marriage to a non-Catholic.

Above all, stay close to Jesus in the Sacraments.


#3

Hi Katie,

I was in a similar relationship to you. I was the single guy that had never had a girlfriend, and I dated a girl who was not a virgin. We set boundaries, but the thing is this: Both people have to be 100% comitted to keeping them, otherwise it will not work. I was, in a sense, “wore down” over the course of the relationship. Not that she didn’t try, but I would say only gave 70% effort. I have a very high sense of morality, but by getting turned on and “in the rush of the moment” moral boundaries drop.

Where should the boundaries be? They need to be far enough away that there is no risk of falling into temptation. The Lord’s prayer says “Lead us not into temptation”. If we believe it, we should practice that virtue. I’ve just been reading a very inspiring book, it’s titled “Arms of Love”. You should read it. It really offers some really really good advice about courtship.

So what will I do in the next relationship i’m in? What Kage_ar is suggesting. Taking that kind of intimacy out of a relationship will open the relationship up to a lot more spiritual and personal growth.


#4

Eh, he knows you’re an easy kill and he’s willing to sweet talk you into apathy until you walk off the cliff to satisfy his desires.

Ask him if he wants to join you at one of this guy’s seminars:

www.christopherwest.com

In terms of the lucrative idea that as long as we are strong we can get as close as possible to something sinful…I suppose this makes shooting in a circle around someone okay…because I am a good shot and won’t accidentally kill him or her…


#5

What is permissible? Hard question, would you do it in front your earthly father? Knowing that Our Father in heaven sees everything that is done, whether in open or secret, would you still do? Think about it in those terms, kinda clears up the problems.

By the way, I am a sophomore in college, so I am in the same situation as you.


#6

Hi Katie,

I’m 30, a convert, engaged and not virgin and neither is my future husband who is a cradle Catholic. We’ve been striving very hard maintain our chastity together and do you know what we, people in our 30’s have found? That any activity the requires the removal of clothing will not help us remain chaste. That any activity that involves touching intimate areas will does not help us remain chaste. That extended make-out sessions do not support our chastity.

I understand your feelings that the Pure Love Club offers advice that is not applicable in real world situations because some of it seems extreme and possibly “prude” but take it from someone who knows, the further you blur the line between chastity and lust, the easier it is for you to cross that line again and again, and eventually you’ll do something you regret.

Plus another thing to consider is that as Catholics we are not only called to avoid sin, but to also avoid the near occasion to sin. Do you really think anything that involves you lying on a bed in your underwear with your boyfriend is avoiding the near occasion to sin?

So, keep your clothes on, give each other a smooch now and then, cuddle on the sofa during a movie and keep your hands to yourself.:wink:

It’s what I do, and it will be such a joy to stand before God when I marry my love knowing we were strong enough, and respected each other enough, to wait.


#7

if you are not married you may not engage in sexual activity including foreplay. it does not belong to you, it is not proper to you, you are stealing, as well as making it almost a dead cert you will sucumb to further tempation. you are also seriously damaging your ability to achieve true emotional and spiritual intimacy when you do marry this person or someone else because you are short-changing the courtship and engagement period where this intimacy grows.

once physical intimacy replaces emotional and spiritual intimacy as the basis for the relationship, every date is a search for a place to be alone together for purposes of physical contact, you are doing great damage to your relationship, which you may acknowledge only after years of marriage.

if you would not do it in your mother’s living room don’t do it on a date


#8

If this guy honestly respected your desire to remain a virgin then he would not put you in any situation that would cause you temptation. Please be very careful.

After much thought, prayer and reflection, I concluded that intimate acts short of oral sex (which was explicitly forbidden in Confirmation class) were okay. My judgment really came down to if getting close to a sin (aka sex) was permissible if we were strong enough to avoid crossing that threshold.

There seems to be,among some of my female Christian friends, the impression that if you prayerful reflect on an problem that you can trust your emotions to lead you to the correct decision. This doesn’t work.

I’ve been there, desire is a very strong temptation especially when it is combined with love. You will end up justifing to yourself doing something that will cause you pain later on. Which it sounds like happened.

Well, about a week ago our strength was challenged. Overcome with lust, I suppose, we had actual, sustained genital contact. While my virginity was never threatened, the act defied previous precautions like always keeping underwear on. I was so frightened and upset I had something of an anxiety attack afterwards. My boyfriend held me close and we agreed to abstain from any intimacy for a while. He’s a self-described Christian but doesn’t practice any beliefs or affiliate with a denomination. I doubted if he even prayed. That night though, he struggled to say something for several minutes. Then, in a quiet voice, he asked if we could pray together. The emotion in the room after everything loosed tears from my eyes.

He might be a wonderful, wonderful man. But I am going to give you a warning. This is coming from a woman who did not remain a virgin but ended up, around your age, loosing her virginity. There are some guys-and girls- who are very good at using the emotion of the moment to get what they want. He might not be doing this but it sounds as though he is being a bit manipulative. You have to be aware that for some people being the person who ends another’s virginity makes them feel good. Like I said, he might be sincere, but I’ve seen such behavior from very good sexual con artists. :frowning: I hope that this isn’t the case with him.

've been praying so much after this. I haunt this forum and the Catholic answers site semi-regularly, and I know you to be holy people with real life experiences. It’s so hard to read advice from the pureloveclub that suggests no kissing while laying down, knowing it comes from someone who sinned so much in the past. I need to know to what level others have succeeded in our Catholic quest for chastity. I need to know what the boundaries are in frank terms. I need to know what will make God happy.

I know that you want to hear from people who have managed to stay chaste. I was not a Christian and came from an abusive home. I lost my virginity to a guy that was engaged to me. We broke up and it ended up being much easier to jump in bed with the next guy, and the next…The sad thing is that I met my husband just two years later! Two years would not have been hard for me to have not had sex.:frowning:

From my own experience, it is becomes easier and easier to cross your boundaries when it comes to sex and then it becomes more difficult to turn back.

I think that the rule should be don’t do anything that gets you sexually stimulated. For me that was any type of passionate kissing. If I had to do it all over again, I woud save passionate kissing for marriage.


#9

I can tell you from experience that boundaries tend to extend. It’s much easier to contain it than to withdraw later - it’s just a concentrated effort in the beginning. But it’s more like abstaining from something than running away from possible temptations.

Compare with a fast day and a visit in a butcher’s shop or candy shop or some such place where you can get the kind of food you wouldn’t like to eat on a fast day. If you just don’t go there and perhaps even take another street, then you make an effort, it’s some kind of sacrifice on your part, but you don’t have the most immediate struggle with temptation. But if you go there, lurk, enter the shop, smell the meat or sweet cakes or whatever… then it’s harder and harder to get your mind off it.

With sex and related activities, I suppose it feels awkward to set some boundaries like no removing clothes, no turning on etc (one could feel awkward making such a request before any opportunity or as the first opportunity arises - especially in the latter case the other person could be hurt), but it’s better than struggling, feeling bad, anxious, experiencing guilty pleasure and keeping thinking when to withdraw so as to avoid sin. That’s no state in which to enjoy someone’s presence and company. Therefore it’s better to skip the problematic behaviour altogether and instead focus on safe activities which bring people together and which do not push boundaries. All in all, in brief, it’s easier not to start at all than to interrupt later.


#10

My husband and I experienced these same temptations during our engagement. We were first attracted to each other because of our shared Faith (we are both converts to the Church) and as time progressed, we learned we were attracted to other qualities in each other, and shared so many similar interests. He then began couritng me and we could not wait to be engaged (we waited to be engaged after I graduated university). During our engagement, the desire to be united in body grew stronger and stronger. We knew we were one heart and one mind, now we could not wait to fully give ourselves to each other, but we did wait. We struggled with remaining chaste and fell several times into kissing to intensenly and allowing our hands too much freedom. Then, the best advice I received from a priest really hit home with me. He said, how close to the edge must you drive before you fall off the cliff? That is exactly what we would be doing if we continued to partake in such passionate embracing and kissing…we are weak humans and sometimes we begin listening to our flesh rather than to our reason and conscience because listening to the former many times “feels better.” But we were promising to become each other’s help mates–to help each other to Heaven, so we knew we had to stop despite some bad advice from a few priests who shrugged our actions off and said, “Ah, you are getting married in a couple months, do not worry about it.” Beware of your itchy ears that may search for advice from someone who will permit you to lead yourself into Sin!

I hope your boyfriend is granted the Grace to enter the Church because then the two of you can become stronger in battling these temptations together.


#11

You have some very good advice here!


#12

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