Potential Boyfriend + Masturbation

I met a potential boyfriend online, but since we live somewhat far away we have not yet met in person. For similar reasons, we have not made our relationship “official,” but we expect to once we meet (very soon).

We’ve already talked about most of the big relationship/marriage issues, like Catholicism, chastity, NFP, and relevant personal information. During one of these conversations, I asked whether he viewed pornography. He admitted that he did, but he said that he knew it was wrong, and he was willing to stop for me.

Here’s where my question comes in: First off, it concerns me that it took a conversation with me to convince him that he should stop viewing pornography and masturbating. Second, even when he said that he would stop, he made (what I view to be) excuses - “It’s so hard not to,” “The world glorifies sex,” and so on. He did acknowledge this when I pointed it out to him.

Note that I also have trouble with chastity :blush:, so I’m not trying to say that I don’t understand the difficulty he must be having. Am I being too picky about his motivations for stopping? Should I just be happy that he does want to stop, regardless of why? :shrug:

You should of never asked him such a question. For one it will always be in your thoughts that he has and second this is between him and God. If he was married and he confessed it and asked the priest if he should tell his wife. The priest would of said told tell your wife.

Also until you actually meet him the flesh and get to know his attitude and so on he is no boyfriend yet. I’m not telling you this to hurt you just helping you realize that how people come across through the net and on the phone can be different to face to face. Go out with him have fun give it a bit of time before jumping to the next step of boy friend and girl friend.

all you have right now is an on line “friendship”. the problem with online type relationship like this is that people all too often will say anything the other person may want to hear in order to keep them on. At least he was honest with you. However, viewing pornography and that usually means he most likely has become addicted to it isn’t really going to be as simple to give up as his on line promises to you that he will stop. There is no way on your part that you can know this to be true. This is a hugh red flag and the best thing for you to do is move on and find someone else. Maybe he sounded nice etc but you really need to find someone else and it is much better to move on now, even before you have met him, get more involved to the point of marriage and then have a big problem on your hand being married to someone addicted to this stuff.

You need to get to know him better, it sounds like.

What he says is correct, by the way – society pressures men to look at porn and be unchaste the same way advertisements pressure you to want to buy new things, or walking down the street and seeing restaurants advertising food making you want to go eat. However, it’s /worse/ than these, because it’s ubiquitous, even to the point where people you interact with are dressing immodestly (even without even thinking about it, even denying that it is immodest).

So it’s not “making excuses” so much as it is complaining about the terribly difficult situation men are facing.

robwar’s response is extreme, and an over-reaction, I think, given the lack of detail in your OP. “Get to know him better” is the correct response, not “dump him”.

If he truly does stop I think it’s great that you inspired him to do so. Everything he said was spot on. The world does glorify sex and it’s difficult to avoid porn/sexual imagery. It’s even more difficult to break that habitual habit and, for guys at least, once they do they’re apt to be met with disbelief, anger, scorn and ridicule when they say they don’t give in to it, as well as others trying to get them to give back in. Bottom line is that you should be thrilled he wants to stop. It will make him a better potential boyfriend and person regardless of whether you two strike up a relationship or not.

Hmmm. In your shoes, I’d rather hear an answer like “I do, it’s an ongoing struggle and I’m doing my best to break these terrible habits” rather than “I do, but I’ll stop for you.” The latter sounds like he doesn’t really have a problem with it personally. Which he should, since he’s Catholic.

I agree with this. His motivation to stop should involve more understanding of the problem than just doing something to gain your favor or make you more comfortable. Right now, you are not on the same page with seeing this sin for what it really is.

Personally this would not be acceptable to me, but I’m probably older than you. If a man in his 30s or 40s did not have more maturity or have gotten further in his spiritual journey I would know he was not a good match for me. And to some extent that’s not about age at all (I’m sure men of all ages struggle with chastity). Rather it’s about where one is in his spiritual journey. Because of what I would want in marriage and what I would need in a partner to be my spiritual leader, this wouldn’t work. In other words, choosing a boyfriend largely has to do with who you are as much as it has to do with who he is.

Exactly. He should be trying to stop for God, first and foremost. It’s not that struggling with this makes him a bad person, but as a Catholic he should be trying to stop already. I understand that he might not be successful, as he’s quite right when he says “It’s so hard to.” That’s not necessarily just an excuse, so long as he still admits it’s wrong, but rather it’s a fact: Some men who struggle with this do so for life to at least some extent, despite genuinely trying to do better. So I’m not troubled, as far as his character goes, by the fact that he has the struggle so much as I am troubled by the fact that he seems to be hinting that if not for you, he would think it was “no big deal” or “just a fact of life.”

Also, “I’ll stop for you,” sounds incredibly simplistic and as though he may not realize just how addictive a habit he has gotten himself into. It’s rarely ever as simple as “just stopping.”

Blessings in Christ,

I think this could be how the OP phrased it, rather than “the entire conversation verbatim” as these latter posters have regarded it.

In my own opinion, he still is not fully committed to being pure and chaste that is why his answer to your question is without conviction.

I suggest that you encourage him to have a closer relationship with the Lord. In this way, he will realise his next steps. The willingness should come from him, and the willingness will eventually come once he established a closer relationship with God.

It will come. Pray hard.


It’s up to you to decide if he’s worth the trouble, dear.
Husbands HAVE been known to have been saved from
gross pornography! Just say the Rosary every nite, and
something magical can happen! You don’t even need to
say ONE WORD about him stopping. Sounds too good
to be true? You’re reading about him, in his own words!

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