Staying with my girlfriend when visiting


#1

My girlfriend and I (both very devout Catholics) currently live 1.5 hours apart. We see each other on weekends either where I live, where she lives, or in either of our hometowns. When we are going to each others places we usually just stay with each other. We do NOT sleep in the same bed and we are committed to remaining chaste.

Recently one of her friends (also a very devout Catholic) told her that we were doing something very wrong, causing us to doubt ourselves.

We are not seeing staying with each other as cohabitation, because we spend the majority of our time away from each other. We also acknowledge that it may be different if we lived close and saw each other frequently. This is just a practical way for us to get to spend the most of the little time we have with each other.

Also, we do not behave any differently when we are staying with parents than we do when we are at each others place. The only difference is that our parents aren’t there.

There are other options for us to stay other places when we see each other.

Are we wrong to stay with each other?


#2

I see nothing inherently wrong with it, so long as you remain chaste, sleep in separate beds, etc. That said, perhaps her devout Catholic friend (filling in some blanks here) might have implied that it can be a near occasion of sin, you both might be tempted, being only down the hall from one another. And that I agree with, BUT…If you remain commited to chastity, then it is not a sin, just to sleep down the hall from your gf under the same roof. I will say though, the more we place ourselves in temptation’s way, the higher probability that we will be tempted to sin. The more you play next to fire, the higher chance of getting a burn. So, just be cautious, and maybe mitigate the times you spend doing this. I don’t know what a ‘better’ solution would be…staying at a hotel? Driving back home? I don’t know, but I’d just minimize the sleep overs…just my two cents worth! :slight_smile:


#3

My boyfriend and I live 3 hours apart. We have been dating for a year and a half and see each other one weekend day each week. We have never stayed the night because of the message that it would send to others. It’s tough, and we would like to see each other more. However, I do believe it is the right thing to do.


#4

I think it’ll be fine as long as you two remain chaste. I don’t see an issue with it…


#5

When the Church talks about ‘avoiding near occasions of sin,’ then what does She mean? Just curious, RK. Not trying to debate you…but people typically don’t go from 0 to 60 on the sin speed-ometer. :o It gradually builds, from allowing ourselves to be CONTINUOUSLY placed in near occasions of sin. :confused:


#6

If others know you are staying together without knowing the details of your relationship, they will assume you ARE sleeping together and that reflects badly on not only you, but the Church also. Our Priest recently talked about that… Jesus said we should not cause anyone to stumble. I think the situation you described could very well cause someone to stumble. Why take that chance when, as you stated, you have other options?

Your girlfriend’s friend is 100% correct IMO. But I think you should ask your Priest.


#7

Your right, whatevergirl. Doing so all the time would probably be tempting, but I know of several people who have reamined chaste while in similar situations.

It would take alot of control to remain chaste, but I think it can be done.


#8

*Hi RK;

And…there are people who walk tightropes without nets, and manage to not fall. But, the more you walk the tightrope…you are bound to fall at some point. I think that once in a while…if they are commited to be chaste, it might not be an issue. I would mitigate the ‘risk’ so to speak. Sorry, I just got out of a meeting here, I work in insurance. :hypno:*


#9

Hee hee hee. Your in insurance? Then, um…let me tell you-I want a home insurance policy that covers my baseball cards, comic books, and classic video game systems! Can you help me?

I see your point, and I agree in part, disagree in part.

I love extreme sports, and my mom sayssomething thing about me, “There is only so many times you can climb up mountian X without ____ (insert “saftey” gear) and not get in trouble. Eventually, you’ll need “X” and won’t have it!” That’s true, but you can minimize the chances of needing “X” by doing certian things.

When it comes to remanining chaste yet sleeping in the same house, how about sleeping in full clothes, watching TV, etc, etc.

Also, I find that thinking of the Blessed sacrament is a wonderful behavior check for single people. If you take your faith seriously, you want to celebrate that sacrament every time you can. If your in mortal sin, you obviously cannot.

I don’t know, thinking about the Body of Christ keeps me from falling into mortal sin.

Well, that and I’m single and don’t date much…


#10

*LOL, RK. Yes, you can add those things to your HO policy…through something called ‘stated value,’ or a floating articles addition. Have them appraised by an expert, keep the appraisal, and then add them. If you don’t…and you don’t get them added a ‘special items,’ (such as jewelry or a fine art/gun collection) then, in the event of theft, or a total loss…you’ll end up with whatever the contents coverage would be…maximum, for a total loss. It shouldn’t cost you that much more monthly for the additional coverage. :slight_smile: *


#11

There are actually two different risks going on here: the near occasion of sin for the two of you, and scandal for others.

A near occasion of sin is a situation that would incite most moral people to commit the sin in question – or one that you know from past experience is likely to lead you to commit that sin. So, if you are both remaining chaste, and neither of you has a history of unchastity, this isn’t an issue.

Scandal is an attitude or behavior that leads another to do evil, in that the scandal-maker becomes a tempter. Direct scandal would be where you specifically lead the other (e.g., cause your girlfriend to let you stay over, even though she is tempted, etc.). Indirect scandal is where your behavior, by example, causes other people to sin. I assume that this is where your girlfriend’s friend is coming from: “You’re setting a bad example!”

The fix to that is to clarify that you aren’t sleeping together: “Wow. We were up really late, so I crashed on the couch at her place” conveys the facts without implying sex.


#12

Scandal might well be a problem as well as putting each other in the near occaision of sin. Does anyone know you spend the night and might they assume something ?


#13

That was my fear as well. For example, your girlfriend has a conversation with her Baptist neighbor and the subject of religion comes up. She tells the neighbor she is a devout Catholic. The next night the neighbor notices your car parked outside all night long. What’s the neighbor to think? Those Catholics… apparently someone can call themselves “devout” while having guys sleep over. See… it’s a bad refelction on the Church.


#14

Many people drivve an hour or more each way to work every day, an hour and a half drive to avoid the sin of sandal seems doable.


#15

I get what RK is saying. Yes, there is temptation but certain people would be less likely to fall into such sin. I think the older and more mature you are, the better you can curtail your hormones, the easier it is to avoid sin. One can be so tempted into sin that even being alone together in a park without a chaperone could be an invitation to sin.

There’s a mountain in Maine that says “Too difficult for dogs” and “do not hike inexperienced”

I’m an avid hiker and my old dog was a fence-climber. We both hiked the mountain without a single problem. Yet, for 90% of people this mountain would of been unclimbable…and even more for dogs. Most people do not know how to climb vertically, and most dogs have lost their natural instincts, just as most people have lost their natural ability to control their hormones. However, in colonial times it was not unheard of for men to stay with their love interest (not wife or bethrothed) in the same bed with only a board between them…mind you it was a big board but still the same bed. And their parents were in the house. Still, it was up to the two to make the choice to remain pure.


#16

Only speaking for myself as a single guy… If I was dating somebody long distance, I would be ok doing what the original post does every now and then. However, I wouldn’t want to do it on a regular basis. If I knew that she was staying at my place on a regular basis, it would be very hard for me not to ‘slip up’. Maybe some other people have a stronger sense of self control, but knowing myself I’d have issues if we did this on a regular basis.


#17

There’s nothing wrong with it if you’re not having sex.

I personally don’t buy the “scandal” argument. If you go down that path you might as well say that it is scandalous to watch a movie in the same apartment, because after all someone, somewhere, might think you’re having sex.

If you’re in a relationship nowadays, most people will assume you are having sex regardless of where you are sleeping. That however is not for you to worry about, what matters is that you aren’t having sex.


#18

An excellent point, but did you have to remind me of the commute to work?:frowning:


#19

I used to think that all that mattered was what “I” thought. Now I realize the importance of preserving another person’s reputation. What if, for instance, you and your girlfriend break-up? She will have the reputation in her neighborhood for having a boyfriend that routinely stayed the night (most neighbors are aware when there is a car parked overnight that does not belong to a resident). She may also have to explain to any future boyfriends why she allowed a past boyfriend to spend the night in her home on a regular basis.

Or perhaps, someday you may get married and have children. Believe me, they will grow up and want to do similar things for convenience purposes. You will be able to explain to them that when you (and their mother) were in a similar situation that you figured out a way to see each other but did not stay overnight together. It really helps to set a standard that someday you want your children and grandchildren to live up to. (Besides, would you want your daughter to allow a man to stay with her out of convenience?)

Now that I am a mother of four, I am constantly reminding my children that what they say and do is a reflection on our family and our religion (we live in a very Mormon state). I am always telling my teenagers to go the extra step to do the right thing even though no one else may be doing it and it may be challenging.

It may be hard to find a place to stay, but pray about it and God will provide. It may be inconvenient to stay elsewhere, but offer it up to the poor souls in purgatory.

Just a little motherly advice.


#20

From my point of view:

  • define what you mean by girlfriend/boyfriend relationship. Obviously I have not seen that word in the CCC.

The ‘one of her friends’ reaction is due to the kind of relationship/bound you have with your ‘girlfriend’. It might cause others to react. A bit like a scandal.

You seems to portrait some kind of ‘part-time living together’ relationship thus the friend reaction and should be interpreted like ‘you are already -living together-, that’s wrong, get married’ !

Besides 1.5 hours is not really a big deal.

I would suspect it is the frequency and length of that ‘part-time living together’ relationship that lead at least someone else to say ‘it’s wrong’.

The best way to date someone ? To be that friend always around and never really there so others people don’t see any scandal… just the surprise of seeing both of you engaged to get married ! :thumbsup:

God Bless,

George


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