Ok, so I’m sixteen and have been in a relationship with a girl of one month older for two years now. I reckon this is the real thing, that we’re meant to be together and that God has blessed our relationship- although she isn’t a Roman Catholic, she is a strong Christian (C of E) and feels the same way. Our views on sex and marriage, children, family, etc. are all pretty similar. Just to clarify, we don’t intend to have sex before marriage, want to have two, maybe three children (As far as we know, neither of us are infertile or have inherited any STIs, thank the Lord) and intend to live a good, Christian life and marriage.
The problem is, we are essentially the only Christians in our social group, and all of our peers are at “it” like there’s no tomorrow. Although it’s not so much peer pressure, we both get teased, which often leads to bullying, about our faith and chastity, and it causes a huge strain on our relationship at times. We’re both determined not to let it come between us, but I’d love it if I could get some advice from people who’ve been through what we currently are going through, most specifically good ways of staying close, good communication and just generally things that will let her know that she means the world to me.
If your friends are bullying your about your sexual choices and religious beliefs, I would find cooler people to hang out with. Actually, if your friends are that young and “going at it” I would find cooler people to hang out with anyway. (Where are their parents, for crying out loud!)
We totally stayed away from sex and I know that he got a bit of raz from his friends about this…
At which point he was quick to simply state he didn’t want to date trash… wasn’t interested in any of their leftovers… etc… Not the most polite conversation.
And I’ll tell you my POV. I knew that I loved him. I knew in my heart he was the one… But I’m also one smart cookie and realized that that MIGHT NOT HAPPEN… and I was not down with sleeping with any guy that was not my husband… the end… not interested in acting like trash… and I was blunt about it… I was also classed as a “snob”… I just made it clear that just not ANYONE was good enough… A guy has to be good enough… you know??? And I can say as 40 y/o woman, I’ve only been with one man…
Now, I agree with the above poster. Get new friends… ‘cause, hon, you’re hanin’ with trash… and as my mom always said: Hang out in an outhouse long enough, pretty soon you don’t notice the stink…
The dating period is a huge test of self-control. If you have no issues about sleeping with your girlfriend, or even with having a one-night stand, then the chances that you’ll be faithful during marriage are significantly lower. “She’s not my wife? Well, who cares, I slept with my wife before we were married when she wasn’t my wife, either.” Morality is a slippery slope. Marriage also doesn’t mean what it used to mean. It used to be one man, one woman, for life. And now it’s turning into any two people for however long they feel like it, until they get bored or get in a fight or find someone else.
Just look at Bristol Palin’s story. She got drunk at 15, made a mistake of having premarital sex once, and then felt like, well her moral compass is gone anyway, might as well continue sleeping with this guy, maybe he’ll stay with me if I do (he ended up cheating on her anyway). This happens more often than we think. Although a lot of young men are genetically programmed to always be after sex, young women tend to want love, assurance that this man is “the one” before they do it, at least the first time. After that, it’s all downhill. Learn from the mistakes of others, and don’t give in.
Not to mention promiscuity can lead to diseases, unplanned pregnancies (temptation to abort), etc. And of course, emotional damage, not being able to trust people, etc.
From personal experience make sure you are both are very sure in your beliefs of how many kids you want to have and the $$$ issue as well. I hope you both have also talked about what plans you have for college/job in the future. I know I personally could not have been talking about marriage with someone when I was 16 as I had no idea what God was calling me to do after high school. I didn’t figure that out until I was 18. Also know that college may change both of you especially if you don’t go to the same one. I have just finished college and can definitely speak to how it will change you. Lastly, make sure that you know exactly where you stand in terms of kids/contraceptive practices ect… going forward and how that relates to what the Catholic Church teaches. There are many Catholics in this forum that going into marriage were ok with using contraception and then had a change of heart later on in their marriages that has caused them much suffering especially if their spouse did not agree with them. I’m keying in on this topic because you put a number to how many kids you wanted to have I’m sure you can tell where my views are on this topic, but I truly have your best intentions at heart and just want to make sure you don’t end up in the same situations as others have because this topic is a big one.
Yep, I’m with the others who say you need to start finding some new friends! There is a HUGE purity movement that young people your age belong to - you just need to find a group and plug into it and you’ll fit right in. Lots of chaste Catholic kids, go to a youth conference and they will be there. There is a tab on this forum labeled “Chastity” and you can explore that. The main thing is KNOWING, 100%, that you are doing the right thing, and then if anyone gives you lip about your choice (which is the right one) you will not waver or falter. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in the moments when you don’t know what to say. Pray for your friends, too. One or more of them could end up either having an abortion or having a girlfriend kill his baby. Or get an STD. Is anyone talking to these friends about God? Maybe it’s time for you two to step up and do some evangelizing!
As for your relationship…Do not tempt yourselves by being alone together. Stay in public places, with other people, no going into each other’s rooms or houses when no one is home. Talk, talk, talk! Discuss your future, your plans, how you get along with your family, dreams, hopes, etc. You said you want 2 or 3 kids? What if God wants more for you? Is she also planning not to contracept if/when you do get married? What about raising the kids Catholic? Will her family be OK with that?
I never encourage people to date outside our Faith, I just don’t think it’s a wise idea. Too many problems, and they are not easy problems like “I like bologna and she thinks it’s gross.” They are more like, “I thought she would raise the kids as Catholics but now she is saying she won’t.” Or, “We are having arguments about birth control, she says she doesn’t want any more kids.” So I’m not going to be real positive about this relationship, but I wish both of you the best.
I hope all works out for you. I would echo the opinion that you may need to find a new group of friends and you need to start talking about the future.
Will your ideas of living a Christian relationship differ based on your denominations? (If one or both of you becomes extremely involved in your church, it can be difficult to deal with this). What about money and family? I do congratulate you on your efforts to wait until marriage, and you efforts to live a christian life.
Tafan, we cannot know for sure if God has blessed this relationship. What makes you think this relationship hasn’t been blessed? I have met many young people who understand God’s will very well.
People will always try to rain on your parade. I would let neither your friends cheapen your relationship, or people that don’t know you at all. I imagine that your Catholic parents are aware of your relationship, and that’s who should have ANY authority over your social life. It sounds, so far they have done a good job.
The most important advise I could offer. Regardless of how amazing you think this relationship is. It’s not time to make forever commitments. Remain steadfast. Because it COULD fall apart. And if you want to only be with one woman, you don’t want your 16 y/o self having made that mistake.
Every parent I knew that had a non dating policy until 18 had non virgins for kids… I can’t think of one virgin in that category. Can even think of a few abortions…Oh, the excellent liars their children became… and incredibly gullible parents to boot…I will NEVER forget when my sneaky little sister went out with her girlfriend when she wasn’t supposed to. Mom figured it out in about 2 minutes… That girls dad…FLOORED that his innocent little girl (SOOOOOO NOT) would do such a thing… Guess who the virgin was?
Not saying that all the daters are chaste…they are not… But let’s face it. Now adays the teens aren’t actually dating… They just have sex… and move on.
Mixed marriages are hard… I can attest to that… But hey, I’m no where near average! And so yes, my marriage is seemingly quite successful. I personally draw the line at a non believer. Can’t work with that… You also sound as though you are already a strict practicing Catholic. One of the reasons mixed marriages don’t work well is because the Catholic didn’t get serious until sometime AFTER their marriage. I’m sure it’s quite difficult when you redifine sex, birthcontrol, Sunday activity etc… These are things to lay out up front… No matter how much I loved my husband, had he not agreed to raising children Catholic… That would have been deal breaker… and you be CLEAR… This is not something you get to change your mind about… In my experience, my husband being an honest man, has held up his end of the deal. Even goes to church with us when he’s not working. He does not interferre AT ALL. He does not contradict AT ALL. He keeps his family in check as well. I keep him very involved, and I slowly teach.
I’m not sure if it’s harder for a Catholic man, non catholic wife to enforce the Catholic faith… Women plan weddings…so where’s his input? They tend to do the majority of the child rearing… And so for me as the Catholic… all has gone as planned. I recently watched a Catholic man marry his non Catholic bride in a non-Catholic building (not church)… I wonder what will happen if he decides to get serious… I suspect a mess… a HUGE mess!
Lots to think about, and you still have years to go… So again, I think it boils down to getting a better class of friends, and don’t be stupid… Until you’re ready to put a ring on that finger… (well… still don’t get stupid;)
Rain on parade? Catholic parents’ authority on his social lif? He is 16 and shouldn’t even be dating. They let him get in a serious relationship as a 14 year old. 16 and he thinks he knows how few kids he wants. He thinks god is blessing this relationship. It reeks of a kid who is immature and dent realize it. Don’t be afraid of calling a spade a spade. There is absolutely no reason, based on info given, that this kid should continue in this relationship.
Do people on this forum really think it is acceptable for 14 to 16 yearolds to be dating? And in a serious relationship?
Whether or not he should be dating is not for you to say. He’s not your child. Lots of people date at 16. And many of us turned out just fine… I suppose I am projecting my own life experience… and perhaps you are projecting your own…
There is NO info that suggests he shouldn’t be dating. He may have a grand idea in his head. But he’s currently of the opinion that he should remain a virgin… And he’s on a Catholic Forum… which is not an immature thing to be doing. Most kids would not bother.
Believe it or not, some people know what they want in life at 16. Common? Nope… This kid? Not sure…
I’m not sure what a SERIOUS relationship is for a 16 y/o. That he can commit to going out on Friday nights with one girl instead of a different at every opportunity… For me at it was just that. I’m not sure what else you think should be going on on a date…
If by dating you mean, going to a movie, dinner, or a school dance, then that’s fine. Frankly, no. I don’t understand why kids that age feel they need to find their “soul mate”. My youngest brother just graduated high scchool and he had a little girlfriend for the last two years of it. The girlfriend’s mother told her that if he didn’t agree to become engaged to her after another year, it was probably because he was cheating on her! This, of course, was very upsetting and humiliating to her and extremely confusing to him because he had no idea that this is what they were expecting of him. He thought they were just dating. Why is it teenagers can’t just go out on dates anymore? Why do they have to get into these serious relationships when they’re still children? I would be very careful before allowing my children to get into relationships like that. Risk of immoral behavoir aside, it’s not good for them to be pretending to assume these adult roles when they are still learning who they are as a person.
Faithfully, I see little difference between advising the op to find new friends or advising him to break off relationship. One is ok one is not?
As to saying “lots of us did it and turned out fine”. That is one of the worse habits people can have when deciding what kids should and should not do. Pretty unconvincing. Kids in high school should not date. Period. No one should date if they are not ready for marriage, what is the point?
I think that is the whole point. If your brother was dating this girl, she would NOT be his girlfriend. But because the mother has seen daughter have a boyfriend for 2 years, she is just trying to make sure her daughter does not give the best years of her life away. If her daughter is not going to marry, she wants her daugther to be able to find someone who will marry her
I am not criticising you I am just trying to help you see the mom’s point of view
With all due respect, if you both agree that you don’t want premarital sex and you won’t let your friends attitudes come between you, I don’t see how you have a problem. It sounds like you both agree.
Just keep your word to her her. Call when you say you will. When she has a bad bad be understanding.
However, I have no idea whether or not God intends for you to marry her. But be careful when you start to think ‘good ways of staying close’. Some people do find their future spouse at 14. And I don’t want to be as bold as others who are telling you to break up. However, you need to face the reality. Most people are still trying to figure out who they are until they are in their early 20s. You both need to determine what you want in life for yourselfs. It is VERY common to change at your age. Neither one of you should give up that opportunity for the other. If you grow apart, as painful as it will be, you need to let it happen. Follow God’s will not yours
Lastly your friends are not the best influence. First of all, they probably tease you to get the attention off of themselve because they don’t want to be the butt of the joke. Second, they are probably jealous because they aren’t really getting any either and they admire your self esteem about be able to admit it. And lastly, maybe they are getting some which means they know the emotional price they are paying and they are jealous that you are going through that
I understood the mother’s point of view. My point of view is, why is this lady trying to marry off her fifteen year old daughter? It is normal for a boy my brother’s age to go on dates with girls. It is not normal for him to get into a serious relationship at that age.
Well, I think it is pretty much up this kid’s parents to determine whether or not he is too young to be dating. Not up to a bunch of Internet strangers!
Just WHY is a 5 year relationship a “very bad idea”? My late DH and I dated for 6 years before marriage. One BIL and his wife dated for 5 years before marriage. The other BIL and wife dated for 6 years before marriage. The one BIL who dated for 18 months was divorced within 2 years.
Why should kids in high school not date at all? That is silly, IMO. High school is a time of learning what kind of person you like, what traits you value in someone, and how personalities all mesh. That is the point. I am not saying everyone in high school should have a long term serious relationship, but there is nothing wrong with going on dates, whether they are in groups with other friends, a study date, or to movie and an ice cream shop!
It really is up the the OP’s parents to make the judgment call; not us! OP, can you talk to your parents about some of your concerns? If not both, maybe one?
Some 16 year olds are very mature for their age. I have 3 boys, and my middle one is very mature and wise and driven. He has known what he wants to do with his life since he was about 14-15. He is now 18 and more determined than ever to follow that dream. I am sure there are other kids just like him.
His girlfriend is NOT pressuring him to have sex. His friends are. I suggest he hang out with kids that don’t pressure him to go against his seemingly established moral code. Hers as well.
I disagree with you regarding high school dating. Dating does not have to lead to marriage. It’s educational. I’m a little freaked out by whatever you think happens on dates… because you make it sound like a LOT more than going out and having fun, at the movies or over dinner, and getting to know another person…
I’ve dealt with something similar before. I was mocked through out my years in high school for being too “good”. There were times when I got sick and tired of being mocked for it, but I’d just have to remind myself of all of the saints who lived a chaste life, whether they remained perpetually chaste, or chaste before marriage.
I disagree with some here who say a 16 year old should not be dating. It’s true that often times a 16 year old might just be in “puppy love”, but there certainly are times when it can be the real thing. I mean, look at the Virgin Mary. She was a young woman when she married Joseph and gave birth to Jesus and raised Him, and that situation turned out just fine. Let Joseph and Mary be your role models.
Don’t get me wrong though, the majority of relationships that start at that age in today’s society do not work out. But, like someone said, it can be an educational experience. That being said, don’t rush into anything. You have your whole life ahead of you, and anything can happen.
My advice to you is just to pray to God for strength. Perhaps pray the rosary together. I know you said that she’s not Catholic, but you both might benefit from praying it.
Good luck, and try not to let people get to you. Go to chastity.com for more inspiraton.