How much is too much?


#1

I posted several months back about the lack of intimacy in my relationship with my boyfriend.

Since then, he has moved out and we are currently living in seperate countries. We have seen each other for 5 weeks total in the last 5 months. He stays with me when he is here, but even during these times while we do sleep in the same room, we do not even kiss. We do not change in front of one another or anything like that.

Until January, we had been living together for a year and a half. It has been over a year now since my boyfriend will even make out with me. I am 25 and he is 27. When I question this, he says that he does not want to have sex, and even kissing me will make him want to so he'd rather not at all.

This is killing me inside, I cry all the time alone, because if we don't even kiss (we may cuddle on the couch sometimes), how can I even consider him my boyfriend?

At this age, how much is too much before it is crossing the line of inappropriate, but how much is too little to accept?


#2

[quote="19rebecca84, post:1, topic:197311"]
I posted several months back about the lack of intimacy in my relationship with my boyfriend.

Since then, he has moved out and we are currently living in seperate countries. We have seen each other for 5 weeks total in the last 5 months. He stays with me when he is here, but even during these times while we do sleep in the same room, we do not even kiss. We do not change in front of one another or anything like that.

Until January, we had been living together for a year and a half. It has been over a year now since my boyfriend will even make out with me. I am 25 and he is 27. When I question this, he says that he does not want to have sex, and even kissing me will make him want to so he'd rather not at all.

This is killing me inside, I cry all the time alone, because if we don't even kiss (we may cuddle on the couch sometimes), how can I even consider him my boyfriend?

At this age, how much is too much before it is crossing the line of inappropriate, but how much is too little to accept?

[/quote]

If this is killing you inside, and if you cry and he knows this and is unwilling to change, then perhaps it's time for you to seek a new boyfriend. There is no "how much is too little" standard, what you're doing is obviously too little for you if you're crying all the time.

I am guessing he is emotionally distant as well?


#3

Being a Catholic website, the only good advice you will get here is Catholic in nature. The Church teaches that sex outside of marriage is wrong and hurtful. Women often hurt themselves by being willing to give up the one thing which would encourage a loving commitment by men.

Virginity before marriage and lifelong monogamy within marriage will have to return as the norm in society if people really want to be happy.

.


#4

Sorry, that didn’t really answer my question at all.

What I’m really trying to ask is in a Catholic setting, is there a firm line that says ‘this is allowed while dating’ that does not cross the line into sex?


#5

He isn't emotionally distant at all. He tells me he loves me all the time. He emails daily. When he's here he can't wait for me to come home from work. We talk, we laugh, we cook.

My concern is that if my boyfriend can completely resist even kissing me for upwards of 4 or 5 years, how is this ever going to translate into a normal sexual loving relationship once we're married, if we have been physically no more than literally just friends for so long?


#6

Why do you need kissing and making out to feel loved? When you are married, there will likely be long periods without sex. Isnt this a good preview of what certain times in marriage will be like? Also, it seems like you are not very understanding of his desire to stay chaste and to keep his boundaries. If he says its a temptation to kiss that is a legitimate reason to not kiss. His soul is at risk. He is trying to err on the side of caution. You need to decide if you want a boyfriend that likes you and is into you or a boyfriend that shows you affection.

This is a Catholic message board. Nobody is going to tell you that anything beyond innocent kissing is acceptable. Even making out is considered the near occasion of sin because of the thoughts that could come from it. While not prohibited outright, it is in a Catholic environment not the prudent thing to do and it should be avoided if necessary so you dont fall into greater sin. There is no set “minimum” acceptable amount of affection to receive. That depends on you to set. The church only says what is wrong and what you can and cannot do. If you can do it, it doesnt mean that you must do it. If you are too needy then this guy may not be what you want.

Also, it is absurd to think that having only cuddling before marriage means there is no chance for sex inside marriage. Plenty of marriages have proved successful without even cuddling before marriage. It only depends on if you want it. If you want it then you will work hard to make it happen. If not then you didnt really want or love this guy. If you only want affection from a guy then dump this man. He has said to you he isnt willing to do what you want. It is not fair to him to have you push his boundaries and demand affection from him when you are perfectly free to leave him and find someone else.


#7

There is no strict Catholic line, where the line is drawn would depend on who you talk to. Various sexual sins are written about in the Catechism of the Catholic Church under the sixth commandment vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

There is no list of what’s a mortal sin (can send you to hell, needs to be confessed), what’s a venial sin (doesn’t need to be confessed, won’t send you to hell), and what might not be sinful at all.

My personal interpretation of the Catechism is that things like mutual masturbation, like intercourse, like oral or anal sex would be grave matter and have the potential to be a mortal sin, while something like making out (heavy kissing and touching including areas like breasts) would be a venial sin, while regular kissing would not be a sin at all.

Is this something you’ve talked to him about at length?


#8

It is a topic he refuses to discuss. He does say he plans on marrying me, but we are 3-4 years away from this. When I try and bring up what I can expect post-marriage, he immediately gets upset and thinks I am complaining about our current situation...when really I am just trying to get a full picture of our future, in the same way I know our finances, how many kids we would like, where we would like to live. I think the state of our intimate relationship is just as valid a discussion.

Instead he simply states "its my religion, there's nothing to talk about - things will be normal afterwards". But I have no idea what he considers normal and he won't say! He just seems to think it is perfectly acceptable to peck your girlfriend on the cheek once a month or so and have that create a loving, intimate relationship.


#9

Why does he think you are complaining about the current situation when you bring it up? Can you find a different way to bring it up? Are you at all argumentative or upset when you mention it? My suggestion would be to find a time when you’re enjoying yourselves and things are smooth to talk about marriage in general and bring up this issue in particular.

You need to know what he considers normal. Your post implies he used to make out with you, how far did you used to take it? What was he like?

You need to have a conversation with him, start by telling him that you respect his beliefs and you’re not asking to change your current situation, but that you have a right to know about his views of the future and his thoughts about sex. Do this sooner rather than later.


#10

It is a topic he refuses to discuss. He does say he plans on marrying me, but we are 3-4 years away from this. When I try and bring up what I can expect post-marriage, he immediately gets upset and thinks I am complaining about our current situation…when really I am just trying to get a full picture of our future, in the same way I know our finances, how many kids we would like, where we would like to live. I think the state of our intimate relationship is just as valid a discussion.

There is no particularly Catholic reason to wait three years to marry. Perhaps the two of you could discuss moving the marriage up, if it is inevitable.

He just seems to think it is perfectly acceptable to peck your girlfriend on the cheek once a month or so and have that create a loving, intimate relationship.

Forgive my nitpicking, but the physical expressions of your relationship are not supposed to by “creating” the relationship. They are not the foundation, just one of many expressions. There should be no “creating” from it until after the wedding.:wink:

As an answer to your original question: I’ve heard of couples who never kissed each other until the priest said “You may kiss the bride.” Personally, I think refraining from physical intimacy while dating is a beautiful practice, but I’m also a single 27 year old guy, so maybe it’s just us. :smiley:


#11

I think that is your hint as to what’s going on, and also your reassurance. It is (in my experience) much easier for women to stop after just kissing or making out than it is for men. He doesn’t trust himself to stop, and my guess is that he doesn’t trust you to stop him, because as far as I can tell, you don’t agree on how important celibacy before marriage is. If you also think it’s vital, maybe you could reassure him that you would stop him before he went too far, but don’t say it unless you are REALLY sure you can do it.

But the other posters are correct about physical intimacy not being at all necessary to create or sustain a pre-marital relationship. It is a societal lie of relatively recent origin that you need to be physical with someone to fall in love with them, or for that love to grow. Desire for physical intimacy may be necessary, and as far as I can tell in your case it is present on both sides, but the fulfillment of that desire can certainly wait until after the wedding.

I agree with others that if possible you should consider moving the wedding up. You’re not too young (IMO) to consider getting married in a year, for example.

Best wishes,

–Jen


#12

Be thankful that you have a boyfriend who is more interested in saving your soul than giving you pleasure. :smiley: Instead of giving you moral advice, I’ll let Padre do it. That’s his job. Listen to this:

audiosancto.org/sermon/20100425-What-Is-Permissable-For-Engaged-Couples.html


#13

Oh, that’s a very good answer. Wish I’d said it.

Is there a reason you’re waiting to get married?


#14

You guys really think it’s a good idea to move the wedding up when the guy seems incapable of talking about sex? Sex is only not a big deal when it’s reasonably frequent and satisfying. When one of the parties is unsatisfied, it is a big deal.

For me his inability to talk about her feelings (remember she said she frequently cries and feels like it’s “killing her”), and to address her concerns in a proper manner without dismissing them is a big red flag.

He should be taking the time to explain his views and thoughts of their future sex life in as much depth as she needs, he should want to address her concerns.


#15

Hi Rebecca,

I've had a similar situation to yours a few years ago. My boyfriend (now husband) and I lived together for several months until I decided to end that arrangement because I realised I made a massive mistake and in doing so went against my faith. After that we had problems because he couldn't understand why I couldn't live with him, but he decided not to break up with me. Shortly after that I told him that I also couldn't have sex before we were married, for the same reasons.
What can I say, this was really difficult for him because our relationship strated in one way and developed in a totally different direction. I explained over and over again why I changed my behaviour and what changed for me personally in terms of my faith and made sure he didn't feel rejected or that I didn't love him. In terms of the physical aspect of our relationship, things were just fine after we got married.

I think your boyfriend owes you a bit more of an explanation and reassurance about it all. It is not realistic to just make radical changes without a serious conversation and expect the other person to accept it without question. Being able to communicate is so crucial for a marriage to work afterwards.


#16

From what you've posted, you lived together for over a year. I'm assuming you knew each other intimately.

I can't imagine what reasons there would be to postpone marriage for another four years. This is obviously extremely frustrating for both of you. Get married.


#17

Yeh, get a new boyfriend, that’s the solution to every relationship issue. Sorry, that’s just what I find on this forum. The first thing people suggest is breaking it off.


#18

Hey Rebecca,

Usually I think as long as you’re not revving up your sexual desires, then it’s ok. I think kissing is alright, and cuddling and stuff. You don’t have to be a puritan. I think it becomes a problem when you do things which lead to sex but then you stop or something.


#19

We aren’t getting married yet because of money and where we are from. We are from two entirely different countries (he from South America, & I from the Caribbean). We met working in the luxury hotel industry over two years ago, which obviously really took a hit because of the recession. He has been out of work for basically a year (aside from a 1 month stint), and I had to take a job for 8 months which paid our rent and our food nothing else. We went from having $20,000 saved between the two of us, to living cheque to cheque. He is still not working, while waiting for a US work permit to come through for him. I’m currently supporting us both, even though he is back home with his parents (first time in 9 years).

He doesnt want to get married until we have the money saved to pay for a wedding and buy a house (approximately 60,000 needed). Also, we need to decide whether to live in his country or mine, and what we would do for a living (our own business) - since you basically have to give up a Hotel Career if you decide you want to live in one place, rather than moving every 2 years.


#20

So the hotel career is out. You both did very well saving that amount of money.

Is there any benefit for him to be living with his parents? Are you supporting them too?

“He doesn’t want”…what do you want? Is a wedding really necessary? Wouldn’t that money be better spent toward the house or business? A small wedding can be very nice too. There’s no financial benefit of him living with his parents. You might still be the primary bread winner but at least you’d be together if you were married.


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