How do you talk to your partner about abstaining from pre-marital sex?

How do you talk to your partner about abstaining from pre-marital sex so they understand why the church and God values this in a way your partner could come to see the importance of also?

Love of God and love of neighbor, and of your own soul are the basis. Natural sexual activity may result in pregnancy for which parents bound in matrimony care for the children and raise them with the Catholic faith. Without that there is a lack of charity towards the children and society, and towards God in not following the precepts such as no artificial birth control and no direct abortion.

Is there a reason this person doesn’t already know this and believe it themselves?

Could be a sign that this isn’t a person to seriously consider dating.


Love doesn’t ask to take on the risk of pregnancy. If you got pregnant today, what would that mean for your school, your job, your health, your ability to pay your bills and health care? Love says I’m not going to ask you to risk pregnancy. I’m not going to risk you looking at abortion to fix a problem.

The day you are pregnant, it’s going to be a celebration when we announce it to our families, because we’re married, and we’re ready for the next step. I want that day to be a happy, joyful day, one that has happy tears. Don’t mess that up.

It doesn’t have to be about making them see a side of the issue it’s about YOU seeing it that way and then respecting and loving you enough to accept it and support you in it. Anything beyond that isn’t love at all.


If your partner isn’t willing to abstain from premarital sex — if the conversation even has to take place — then you need to find a new partner.

One of your best bets is CatholicMatch. Focus upon the “7 of 7” people — they have seven key areas of Catholic orthodoxy, and abstinence from premarital sex is one of those seven areas. “7 of 7” means the person is totally “straight down the line” with the Church on key issues that could otherwise separate you, if one partner is “7 of 7” and the other one isn’t.


You just tell them how you feel and that you’re not going to compromise from it.

If they’re fine with it, relationship continues. If not - back to the dating pool with you both.

Don’t try to force a round peg into a square hole.


I’ve never heard of the convention of dividing Catholic orthodoxy into seven key areas. Is that some sort of practice specific to that website?

I have no intention of doing online dating, so I won’t sign up for that site, but I’m curious as to what those seven areas are, if you wouldn’t mind sharing.

I’d never recommend dating a person who does not share your morals. Huge red flag.


I should think saying, “I don’t have premarital sex. God says No, and I say No too. If you can’t respect that, we probably shouldn’t date each other” would cover it. No need to engage in fancy explanations. No means No.


It is indeed specific to that website. The areas are:

  • The Eucharist
  • Contraception
  • Sanctity of Life
  • Papal Infallibility
  • Premarital Sex
  • The Immaculate Conception
  • Holy Orders

Contraception, premarital sex and (arguably) sanctity of life are the only three moral issues — the other four are doctrinal. I would assume that the question about the Eucharist pertains to the Real Presence, while the question about holy orders pertains to women’s ordination. I don’t know why they single out these seven issues — perhaps they reason that if you are fully orthodox on these seven questions, it’s a fair bet you would accept the Church’s teaching on everything else too. In any case, you want to know where a potential partner stands on contraception and premarital sex before you enter any relationship that could lead to engagement and marriage.

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I absolutely agree.

This is one reason I have a hard time understanding why Catholics don’t put more effort into finding partners who share their faith. Now, TBS, please don’t take this as a personal reflection — I have read your fairly unique story, and I find it very inspiring. Trans-confessional marriages can and do work. But generally speaking, marriage is hard enough even under the best of circumstances. Even some secular counselors raise the possible pitfalls of not sharing a religious faith. If you become engaged, and do not have a “meeting of the minds” on premarital sex, there’s going to be a tension that will probably shipwreck the engagement — so why even begin?

And as far as contraception is concerned, you either practice it or you don’t — there is no way to compromise, one or the other capitulates. It is true that if one partner wants to contracept and the other one doesn’t, that partner could use the method and the other partner could be blameless (anyone contemplating this, please run this by a confessor) — but who in the world would enter a marriage with that kind of understanding? What kind of marriage does that promise to be? And contraception is just pretty much a “lifestyle accessory” for practically all people outside the Church — to propose that the nonbelieving partner would agree to either unbridled fertility or periodic abstinence (which can add up to quite a bit of abstinence sometimes!) is a pretty “big ask” for contemporary people. How many people outside the Church would actually agree to this? There is no way to say this without sounding crude, but the most likely scenario might be a non-Catholic woman contemplating marriage to a Catholic man who is fairly well-off and financially secure, and does not mind the possibility of having a large family, because she knows that the family will be well provided for. Catholics are not the only people who have large families.

I will grant, just for the sake of argument, that a Catholic and a non-Catholic partner with traditional morals could easily agree to premarital chastity, in fact, in some cultural settings — don’t anybody beat me senseless for saying this! — it might be easier to find a non-Catholic partner of this mindset, than a Catholic partner. Many, many Catholics take their cues from liberal secular culture when it comes to issues of sexual morality — in other words, they don’t worry too much about mortal sin of the flesh.

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Just to clarify: this is not the same as making an effort to find someone who is baptized Catholic. There are relationships between Catholics that do break up over this issue, too.

It might be easier to find a non-Catholic who will respect what one considers to be non-negotiable parts of the faith, but there are other difficulties.

Let’s say on your first date, you meet at a Catholic church, go to mass, then brunch after and discuss what life is like as a Catholic.

It’s a lot harder to break up after some time has passed and you avoided the whole discussion.

Spot on.

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JUST SAY starting off marriage with this sin between you isn’t worth it. It will be much more special to wait.


No doubt. See my comments at the end of the last post. A marriage between a practicing, faithful Catholic and a nonpracticing, “cultural and only cultural” Catholic is basically no different than a mixed marriage. I didn’t say “cafeteria” Catholic because at least “cafeterias” believe in some Catholic tenets and practices — they just pick the ones they like.

That is absolutely true, but there are Catholics who will tell you that it makes absolutely no difference whether your partner is Catholic or not — you are supposed to be more concerned with issues of compatibility, character, and finding a good, decent, honorable partner, and if they share the Faith, good, but if they don’t share the Faith, well, that’s nothing to be concerned about, it’s the person that matters. I’m sorry, but that kind of thinking veers onto the rumble strips of Freemasonry. Just my two denarii worth.

Well, I’m glad my priest had different ideas about my marriage to my Presbyterian husband than you did. We were very happy for well over 2 decades, and I wouldn’t trade him for some other man who happened to be a Catholic. I don’t care if you think it’s “Freemasonry”.


If you’ve just met someone who’s asked you out keep things on a friendship basis such as paying for your own meals etc. At some point you could ask them whether they know the Catholic position on relationships and let that be a lead into letting it be known what you believe.

If you are already involved in a sexual relationship with the person and want to change the status of that now, it’s best to just pull the plaster off quickly I think. Explain your conversion and desire to live in a Catholic relationship as you are being drawn to that. That’s going to probably be a hard road, but pray about it and let the Holy Spirit help you both.

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Odd, so, how would a person disagree with a partner wrt Holy Orders? One hates Dominicans and the other hates Franciscans?

@TheLittleLady My guess is that the Holy Orders part is like "do you believe priests are given power of the institution of the priesthood through the laying on of hands? and further “do you believe women cannot be ordained since the priest is in the place of Christ?”

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