How important is virginity to people in a new relationship?

I am a 24 year old man, and in my past life, there are two women with whom I have had sexual relations. I have not been sexually active with anyone for almost two years and do plan to until and unless I marry. I am concerned that a lot of Catholic women would avoid a relationship with me because of this, and this is particularly concerning to me now that I find myself attracted to a good Catholic woman in my young adult group at Church. I don’t know if she’s interested or not. She may be. Obviously each individual would feel differently about these circumstances. I just want to get a feel for what people generally think…

Well, I for one don’t care that much about it though I have zero intention of marrying at any point so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

This is very true, and something that you may not be able to determine until you are actually dating someone and it eventually comes up. But you should not shy away from dating simply because of this fact, unless you know that the person has strong views that they don’t want to date a non-virgin.

The general attitudes to these issues I think will depend a lot on where you are from; ie what are the prevailing community standards, how conservative or liberal is it, etc.

Keep in mind also that how your date/girlfriend may respond could be dependant somewhat on your attitude. Some people know that having sex before marriage was wrong, but don’t regret that they did it. If you show that you regret it, learned from your mistake, and have a resolve not to commit that sin again, most people would be more inclined to accept it as a past mistake rather than an ongoing concern they can’t get past. Of course, some people won’t accept it, and that is their prerogative.

It sounds to me as if you know that it is morally wrong to have sex outside marriage. I don’t know if you had sex with the two ladies prior to this conviction or if you always had the conviction, but was seduced by lust at those times. What matters is what you believe now.

If a man felt remorse for his prior sexual immorality, I would have a lot of respect for that despite his lack of virginity. If he were playing at remorse simply to snag a virgin, I hope that I’d be able to discern that and steer clear.

You have to examine your own conscience for what’s really going on inside you.

It sounds like you are a good Catholic who was not always a good Catholic. I suspect all good Catholics were not always good Catholics. We are or were all sinful in one way or another.

But what would you think of this woman you are now fond of if you found out she also has had boyfriends with whom she has been intimate? Would that disqualify her as a prospect for marriage? If it would then you are also permanently damaged as well. If God forgives us our sins, what are we supposed to do to one another?

It will entirely depend on the individual and not a topic that should be brought up on the first date. Have you considered how you would handle the situation if the girl has the same (or more) past experience?

If the number of sexual partners is a lot than they may avoid you but two partners shouldn’t have much bearing.

I am a woman and I will admit it would bother me a bit but in a sense of venereal diseases I don’t care about the past the past is the past for a reason.

But I will tell you from my own experience I wish I had waited until marriage, my husband claims to have been a virgin and I believe it, but he is insecure that I wasn’t I had only had 1 partner before him but it has left him very insecure and culturally his culture discourages womens sexuality well men want to date whores but marry virgins if that helps to explain so our relationship has been a bit strained over it actually causes sexual issues.

I believe in honesty though as well so be upfront with them when or if they question you about it if not take it as she doesn’t care if she doesn’t ask or doesn’t care to know

But also explain to her that you are not that person anymore and that you are a new person in christ t

Also break any ungodly soul ties with these women if you haven’t already.

In these corrupt days of expected “oat sowing” (what is the equivalent term for the behavior by females?) and relationship games, I doubt that virginity has a high price-tag in courtship anymore.

It is commendable that you have the desire to straighten out your behavior in this respect.

Really, if asking someone out is step 1, and marriage is step 8000 … This should not be an issue until step 2333 or so. So don’t be psyched out over it!

Blessed Lent and ICXC NIKA.

I know of one good Catholic woman who married a man who was not a virgin. She confided in me that when she found out, she was upset and had to take some time to talk to her mother about it, but once she was over the news, everything turned out fine.

Long story short, I imagine that it might be a slight stumbling block to a Catholic woman who is a virgin but it won’t prevent you from finding someone and getting married.

Best of luck!

Important to some, not important to others. This is a personal matter, not one in which we can generalize.

Again, how would any of the Catholic girls you might be interested in them know about your past activities which you now have repented of and move on into a chaste life? There is no way to determine how or what another thinks because the girl you might be interested would be in the same boat. I think you need to form a friendship first and if the relationship grows more serious then discussing one’s past would be appropriate. To be safe, I would have myself checked out for any VD to make sure that one is clean and with 2 years of living a moral life, that shouldn’t be too hard.

It is one of the most important decisions you can make and it can have a ripple affect on the rest of your married life.

If the other person in your coupling does not want to remain sexually inactive as you state you do…I would think that should be a possible deal breaker.

For two reasons really. If you are attempting to exist in a virtuous manner and the other doesn’t want to back you up, that is a problem… and trying to remain as pure as possible at the beginning of the relationship will contribute to your growing to love each other…not lusting after each other.

Thanks for the comments. I’ve actually been seriously considering a vocation to the priesthood, and to further complicate matters, I deal with scruples. I actually saw the young women to whom I am attracted unexpectedly at Church the other day and we had a nice conversation (not about my past or anything). I could still be misreading her, though. Needless to say, I’m confused about my vocation.

To me, it’s more important that you intend to follow the Church’s teachings on sexuality, buth until marriage and once married.

As others said, it depends on the person as to how important that attribute is. Practically speaking, there is physical virginity versus spiritual virginity. In a real sense, a person who has completed the sacrament of penance for any sexual sin has been restored to original purity. I have church references for this in a blog post not long ago called On Reconciliation: Can virginity be restored? While a historical event cannot be “undone,” the spiritual damage can be fully healed.

That being said - someone with a sketchy past who has since repented and is ordered toward holiness should be far more attractive than someone who is not a virgin (outside of marriage) and still justifies such behavior.

So true!:slight_smile:

From statistical evidence, it appears that the majority of women would not consider dating a virgin man. So I really wouldn’t worry about your supposed fault here, in fact, the odds are she would prefer it over dating some virgin. I’ve really wondered why this is though… I mean everybody was a virgin at some point. I would guess it has something to do with pre-approval by other women that is in some way a pre-requisite for the majority of women.

I doubt that the young woman in whom I am interested is in the majority. That’s part of what’s appealing to me.

Or simply preference for someone who is experienced in the whole sexual-pleasure thing. Yes, both men and women can be that crass.

Or maybe, given that most men now seem to do the oat-sowing thing in young adulthood, the perception is that someone who has retained his “virginity” is ABNORMAL in some way.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit