I was introduced to Theology of the Body in high school and love it. I understand sensual chastity,which is easy…at least to understand. But I have been recently become aware of emotional chastity (from Men, Women, & the Mystery of Love) and am having trouble understanding what emotional chastity even is. I know it’s like not putting your names together and dreaming about him all day. But, what does it look like in practice? It seems to make crushes wrong. While it’s obviously not wrong, there is a line of ordering your life around getting attention from a crush. Can anyone shed light on this?
When you use someone as a mental plaything you’re blurring the emotional chastity line.
I mean if you let yourself get obsessed with the potential future maybe of someone to the point where you’ve started making a fake album of your future wedding you’re deep in that zone. So it’s more like staying real with them. And not cyber-stalking them too much.
No wonder! I am having trouble too. As I review chastity in the Catechism (CCC 2337-2350), it is not clear what “emotional chastity” could mean.
I’m guessing, now, that whoever coined the expression “emotional chastity” may have meant that one should not be inordinately attached to another person. Now the question is what is inordinate? God made us to have friendships and bonds, and some of us are called to marriage. There is nothing wrong with strong bonds, close friendships, and marriage. Perhaps it is inordinate (or immoderate?) if it goes against love, or if it is marked by self-absorption. To paraphrase St. Augustine, if you love God, you will know how to love others.
One thing can be say a married man ought to be careful how he interacts with other women -say especially whom he is attracted to.
Emotional chastity is not getting too attached too quickly to something/someone.
Looking at our early relationships can clear this up. Take for example a young child and their favourite blanket. The child must always have the blanket with them at all times. If the blanket is missing, the child becomes irritable and has trouble living their normal routine. This happens with teddy bears, a particular parent, a pet, a friend, etc. very often when we are children.
Now project that attitude towards a relationship onto a mature person. It becomes completely unacceptable. Emotional chastity is having the ability to live one’s own life without having to drag another person around with them. Is it wrong to have crushes? No. It is wrong to focus one’s entire life around a crush.
Emotional chastity is all about knowing how to balance the fun affectionate side of a relationship with the serious side.
Here is one take on it for ya…focusoncampus.org/content/what-is-emotional-chastity-0fd9225b-e7e1-44ac-a7a7-bf2d57367472
Likely the sense you have encountered.
This makes more sense. When I was researching, I read that you shouldn’t watch romance movies, listen to Taylor Swift, etc. if you want to grow in emotional chastity. This is why I’m confused.