Non-married intimacy


Though my 4 daughters -ages 25,23,17,12- are single and have never even ‘kissed’ (when dating, and -courting, the older 2-), I am having trouble advising a young couple, -both around 30-, who are engaged, as to what the Church teaches about intimacy between them. They seem to think that passionate kissing and -who knows what else- is ok. They think they are ok because they have not had intercourse. I need to have clear directives from the Church that they can read for themselves. Given that, I think they will follow such directives. Thank you.


JOB 31:1 "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.

PRO 2:16 It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife
with her seductive words,

5:16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in
the public squares?

17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.

18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your

19 A loving doe, a graceful deer–may her breasts satisfy you always, may
you ever be captivated by her love.

20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of
another man’s wife?

6:24 keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the
wayward wife.

25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you
with her eyes,

15:5 A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction
shows prudence.

31:3 do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin

MAT 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has
already committed adultery with her in his heart.

ACT 15:20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from
food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled
animals and from blood.

1CO 6:13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”–but God will
destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the
Lord, and the Lord for the body.

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I
then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!

16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one
with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”

17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside
his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is
in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

7:1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to

2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own
wife, and each woman her own husband.

7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from
God; one has this gift, another has that.

8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay
unmarried, as I am.

9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is
better to marry than to burn with passion.

25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a
judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to
remain as you are.

36 If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is
engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to
marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get

37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no
compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind
not to marry the virgin–this man also does the right thing.

EPH 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality,
or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for
God’s holy people.

COL 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:
sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is

1TH 4:3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should
avoid sexual immorality;

7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

REV 14:4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for
they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were
purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.


WOW - I have to admit, I’m a little intimidated by the vast amount of information the ilovebybabies gave you.

I was just going to say that they should be told that they should not do anything in private that they would not be comfortable doing, or watching other do, in a public area. Granted, what people will do in public has sunk to new lows over the past several years, but it is still a good rule to follow.

God Bless you.



I am 30 and just got married less than a year ago. So I can definitely attest to the strong urges that they might be going through waiting for marriage. And just having the rules laid out in front of you doesn’t go too far with many of the youth these days. I can honestly say I didn’t with other girls that I “thought” I was going to marry. One of the worst mistakes in my life.

One thing that had a good part in changing my thinking around was Theology of the Body… Christopher West specifically. Instead of speaking on what we “ought not to do”. He approached it with love and spoke of how love could and should look like. When I was able to look at it as truelly loving my wife to wait, it gave me strength to follow God’s path for my body, and not my own.

I would definitely say that you should look into Christopher West.

Here are some of his speakign events:

Otherwise, here are some of his talks to buy:

I would say the Sexual Honesty CD was great during marriage prep CD. I think it would speak well to even those marginally following their faith. Otherwise, God’s plan for a joy filled marriage was good. Might recommend you watching it first/with them so that it will help you express your feelings to them better.



Thank you for your replies, certainly helpful.
To: iluvmybabies, I think EPH 5:3 might be best. Of course, I wouldn’t suggest they not get married as per St Paul.

To: True Believer, I really like the idea of “do nothing in private, that you would not be comfortable doing in puplic”.

To: cymonk, Yes, Christopher West, which I totally forgot about.

Thank you all. I’m afraid that many of today’s young (Catholic) couples think that their relationship is one of “love”, not of lust, and therefore physical intimacy is acceptable, especially when told so by their parish priest . I remember asking a priest during my engagement almost 30 yrs ago: “How far can I go in our engagement”? Red-faced (embarassed), he never gave me a clear answer. At the time, I mistakenly accepted his answer to mean: “Whatever seems appropriate to you”. Ahh, welcome to the age of ‘relativism’. I will continue to emphasize the ‘dignity of respect’ to them, and hope/pray that they get it. Thanks.


I recommend showing them this article from EWTN: . It is very clear about what is and is not acceptable, and why that is.


I hate to say it but they are 30 years old. They should know better. And they are old enough to make the right choice. That doesn’t mean they will but I think they are way too old to be talking about this now. That talk should have happened years ago.


It is better late than never. Maybe a discussion about chastity would be the best way to start. Some people just view the “no sex before marriage” thing differently. They would like to find a way to express their feelings for one another without having intervourse. I’m not saying that it’s right. I just wish more people would remember what it’s like to have those feelings towards someone, and that it is very, very hard to control them sometimes.

At least they’re trying…they have avoided intercourse.


Am I the only one whom finds it strange that 30 year old adults are even having this problem?

I am 30 something also, and in the day in age I grew up in this was a talk that their parents should have talked about at…well closer to 15ish. I grew up in a Catholic (Polish for the most part) and my family discussed this issue ate a ripe age of 16. Although I paid no attention to what was said… I feel that at the age of 30, you should be able to give them a CCC and let the Holy Spirit guide them.


i feel differently. no matter what the age its good to get a firm reminder of what is appropriate, and bring others into that for accountability. if this couple is asking questions its because they dont know the answers so reguardless of their age thats exactly what the OP is trying to do by finding the answers. and people for generations have been so badly catacized that its no wonder they dont know whats ok.

of course kissing is ok…but that leads to petting… which leads to heavy petting… and on and on till intercourse is about the only thing you havent done. sex is all of it not just intercourse itself. i would tell them to find a major hobby to do together. avoid late night dates… and get married soon if they think thats what they want!


I am right there with you. Folks who are 30 something should know what’s up by now. (You bascially posted what I posted earlier)


I didn’t get a fuller meaning of our bodies until 28ish… and that was in part because someone strongly encouraged me to go to a Christopher West speech… Some people never get it in their entire lifetime. I would take a guess to say some of the people posting on this thread don’t get it. So 30 is not too old. Besides, any age is a good age to be reaffirmed.

Just counting on them to read the catechism is definitely not doing enough. Even at 29, I struggled with it. I needed all the encouragement I could get.

God’s love be with all of you,


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