Ok to travel/vacation together before marriage?


#1

I know it's a pretty loaded question, but is there anything wrong or immoral with a dating couple to travel together?

My girlfriend and I are both in our mid twenties and committed to having a chaste relationship. In the six months that we've been dating, we have respected the boundaries that we established early on. We want to be able to look back and not have any regrets, knowing that we always did the right thing.

We have gone on one bigger trip for a few days to attend a wedding. This upcoming trip I had in mind would be a little different because it would be completely for leisure and it would be "just us" for the duration of it. Work is sending me away for a seminar during the week and I would love to spend some extra time in that area so it would be easy to push back the return flight until after the weekend. Is there anything wrong with her joining me for that weekend?

We are conscious of avoiding that "near occasion" of sin so things like separate accommodations would be arranged. Sometimes I feel as though all this always-striving-to-do-what-is-right makes us overly scrupulous.

I'm really hoping to make this work, and she is hesitant. Can a mini vacation like this be had now or does it all have to wait until after marriage?

I'm eager to hear your thoughts, especially in regards to what the Church teaches! Thanks.


#2

I certainly hope its not because I was in the same situation this summer, but, as our ages were 19 and 18 (mine and hers, respectively), it was in the connotation of a family vacation with a tagalong. This post has me curious now. . .


#3

If you are truly chaste, and each morning, together in prayer, ask your Guardian Angels to chaperone your behavior for that day and you keep seperate living arrangements. It might be a good time to establish a "prayer relationship" in anticipation of the marriage relationship.


#4

[quote="wags, post:1, topic:215960"]
I know it's a pretty loaded question, but is there anything wrong or immoral with a dating couple to travel together?

My girlfriend and I are both in our mid twenties and committed to having a chaste relationship. In the six months that we've been dating, we have respected the boundaries that we established early on. We want to be able to look back and not have any regrets, knowing that we always did the right thing.

We have gone on one bigger trip for a few days to attend a wedding. This upcoming trip I had in mind would be a little different because it would be completely for leisure and it would be "just us" for the duration of it. Work is sending me away for a seminar during the week and I would love to spend some extra time in that area so it would be easy to push back the return flight until after the weekend. Is there anything wrong with her joining me for that weekend?

We are conscious of avoiding that "near occasion" of sin so things like separate accommodations would be arranged. Sometimes I feel as though all this always-striving-to-do-what-is-right makes us overly scrupulous.

I'm really hoping to make this work, and she is hesitant. Can a mini vacation like this be had now or does it all have to wait until after marriage?

I'm eager to hear your thoughts, especially in regards to what the Church teaches! Thanks.

[/quote]

If you can afford the separate accomidations, it may work. My husband studied abroad in Oxford and was planning to do so for two semesters. He kept encouraging me in his second semester to take a trip to visit him and that we'd make arrangements. I was very concerned about sleeping accomodations and the cost. He was really upset because there was a reunion the University I had graduated from and I wanted to go to that instead. This was sort of an issue where I just felt I shouldn't be acting like our lives revolve around each other. I always felt in dating that we needed to keep a sort of emotional distance so that we could discern marriage and not blur the line between a courtship and a marriage. Finally he just got so upset that he admitted to me that he had been making tenative plans to propose to me in Rome and my stubbornness and overanalyzing was ruining it.

In the end, I did miss out of a very romantic proposal.

I think couples can rush into commitment and can prolong their dating relationships unecessarily at time to really just go after emotional intimacy while still being sort of up in the air about the marriage thing. I think its important to really figure out where you are and to communicate it to each other. When I was dating my husband, I felt that the proposal was in his camp. I always worked to prepare myself for an eventual break up on his end and to not jump ahead of myself about the possibility of marrying him. I still did end up with a bit of a surprise proposal. We never had a phase where we had decided we would get married and I was just waiting for a romantic proposal for the sake of tradition and romance. We talked about marriage because we were discerning it, but he kept me a bit in the dark over where he was in the discerning process.

I have plenty of friends though who knew they were planning to marry before the proposal actually came and it did help for arranging a more romantic proposal, as opposed to me fighting him against it the entire way.

If both of you are on the same page about where this relationship is leading and that engagement and marriage could be in the near future than traveling together while being prudent in other ways, may be ok. Just make sure she's not anxious about emotional immodesty and other issues like that. Chastity isn't just about what you're physically not doing.


#5

But what of the impression you give to others that might view you as an unmarried, unchaste couple? I'm referring to the example that you would portray to others.

Paul


#6

[quote="Paul2274, post:5, topic:215960"]
But what of the impression you give to others that might view you as an unmarried, unchaste couple? I'm referring to the example that you would portray to others.

Paul

[/quote]

Unforunately, we live in a culture where if you're dating at all, the assumption is made that you are sexually active and may be living together. If any couple truly wants to be a witness to other couples about not living together, you have to be really upfront about it.

Of course if you say hold a position as a youth minister and are leaving an deep impression on impressionable teens, that's an entirely other issue. But overall you have to look at what is practical and whether you're going to be in a situation where you would mislead others or if you're going to be in a situation where no one is going to notice either way because most people would assume things about your relationship unless you took extra efforts to act really strangely and to somehow draw attention to the fact that you aren't living together and aren't sexually active.


#7

[quote="wags, post:1, topic:215960"]
IWe are conscious of avoiding that "near occasion" of sin so things like separate accommodations would be arranged. Sometimes I feel as though all this always-striving-to-do-what-is-right makes us overly scrupulous.

I'm really hoping to make this work, and she is hesitant. Can a mini vacation like this be had now or does it all have to wait until after marriage?

[/quote]

This is ironic, I recently asked the same question (as a hypothetical) in Moral Theology and was told that it's not necessarily a sin, and really depended on the couple and the particular situation. Re scandal, seems that if this is a city where you don't know anyone then random people passing you by really aren't going to care (or even notice) since they won't know your situation.

However, I am concerned that your girlfriend is hesitant about this plan. As twoangels pointed out, even without issues of sexual temptation, being all alone with you for two days in an unfamiliar city might be a step that she's not ready to take yet where emotional intimacy is concerned. It's different than being a date for a wedding since that's a social situation with many people around you and where the focus really is on the couple getting married. Also, if you plan to pay for her travel arrangements, she might think that's too much of a burden to place on you, and if you expect her to pay, she might think that's too much of a burden on her.

So...I'd advise talking to your girlfriend about why she doesn't think this is a good idea, and to respect her concerns. I think that's the important issue here.


#8

If you two are simply traveling together and not having intercourse, then it should be ok. You both sound strong enough and have come far enough in your relationship to identify and avoid occasions to sin like you had mentioned.

I traveled on weekends while studying in Europe with males and females, many times having the entire group in one hostel room to save money. No one fooled around, and that was that.


#9

This is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth but nobody around you is going to pay attention to what you two are doing. It's no different than you two living in separate homes and going out on the town. Your family and friends would know you don't live together, but everybody else at the restraunt, movie theater... would have no idea whether you were going back to separate apartments or separate hotel rooms. So I would say go for it. I think it's responsible to get two hotel rooms because that alleviates the temptation for both of you -- and then you're leaving no false impression because the hotel staff will know that you're not sharing a room.


#10

Yes, it's okay. Don't be scrupulous. You know what the limits are.


#11

I’m sorry, I think “overnight trips” for the unmarried are a terrible idea, and I can’t believe some of you are condoning it.

Above and beyond the issue of the “near occasion of sin,” there’s another reason I oppose what OP proposes: It tends to blur the line between single life and married life. A leisure trip with your partner is one of the items that people do when they are married, like, e.g., sleeping in the same bed. Phrased differently, it makes you “look married” when you’re not, or even may be a kind of “playing married.” Just because you’re chaste doesn’t mean the line does not get blurred a bit.

IMHO the first"overnight trip" you take, with a member of the opposite gender, just the 2 of you, should be your honeymoon.

-VdT


#12

My husband of 21 years and I had a long distance relationship before we married. We were both in our 40's and a mutual friend let him know that I was divorced. We phoned, wrote numerous letters and cards and yes visited and traveled some together. We did not sleep together. It was actually very romantic. He moved back to my city right before the wedding ( I had two teenager and it was much easier for him to relocate) and the rest is history.

If you are mature and respectful of each other you can travel and or vacation with no problems. I have nothing but happy memories.


#13

[quote="VonDerTann, post:11, topic:215960"]
I'm sorry, I think "overnight trips" for the unmarried are a terrible idea, and I can't believe some of you are condoning it.

Above and beyond the issue of the "near occasion of sin," there's another reason I oppose what OP proposes: It tends to blur the line between single life and married life. A leisure trip with your partner is one of the items that people do when they are married, like, e.g., sleeping in the same bed. Phrased differently, it makes you "look married" when you're not, or even may be a kind of "playing married." Just because you're chaste doesn't mean the line does not get blurred a bit.

IMHO the first"overnight trip" you take, with a member of the opposite gender, just the 2 of you, should be your honeymoon.

-VdT

[/quote]

Agreed.


#14

I disagree. These two young people clearly have set high standards for themselves and have indicated they will maintain separate accommodations.

Our older daughter flew overseas to visit her fiance while he was studying abroad. Knowing that they both were totally committed to chastity, we simply had no problem with it at all. I worried far more about her traveling so far by herself than about how they would act when they were together, because I knew.

We have to be careful not to make up extra rules for others just because they reflect our own preconceived notions. If the couple is right with God and maintaining a chaste relationship - and it sounds as if they certainly are - then that’s pretty much all that matters.


#15

If it looks like a duck, it might be a picture of a duck.
If it quacks like a duck, it might be a nature documenary.
If it walks like a duck, it might just be a little too fat.
If it is a duck, it will walk like a duck, quack like a duck, and look like a duck.


#16

[quote="wags, post:1, topic:215960"]
I know it's a pretty loaded question, but is there anything wrong or immoral with a dating couple to travel together?

My girlfriend and I are both in our mid twenties and committed to having a chaste relationship. In the six months that we've been dating, we have respected the boundaries that we established early on. We want to be able to look back and not have any regrets, knowing that we always did the right thing.

We have gone on one bigger trip for a few days to attend a wedding. This upcoming trip I had in mind would be a little different because it would be completely for leisure and it would be "just us" for the duration of it. Work is sending me away for a seminar during the week and I would love to spend some extra time in that area so it would be easy to push back the return flight until after the weekend. Is there anything wrong with her joining me for that weekend?

We are conscious of avoiding that "near occasion" of sin so things like separate accommodations would be arranged. Sometimes I feel as though all this always-striving-to-do-what-is-right makes us overly scrupulous.

I'm really hoping to make this work, and she is hesitant. Can a mini vacation like this be had now or does it all have to wait until after marriage?

I'm eager to hear your thoughts, especially in regards to what the Church teaches! Thanks.

[/quote]

IMO there is nothing wrong with you and your girlfriend going on a trip together at all. Enjoy yourselves. :)


#17

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