A Very Happy New Year!!
This explanation of chastity shows how our sexuality fits into our lives. Sex outside the protective embrace of marriage is not good for us. That's why the Church, in its wisdom, counsels against pre-marital and extra-marital sex. Sex inside marriage, when there is a grave reason to avoid pregnancy, might not be good for us either. That's why the Church supports periodic abstinence, or Natural Family Planning, if a married couple seriously cannot handle a child (or another child) in their relationship. Deciding whether to get married or whether to get pregnant both require discernment.Chastity neither pretends sexuality doesn't exist nor treats it as if it is the only significant part of a person. ... Chastity infuses sex with love, and love with sacrifice. Abstinence doesn't. Chastity never trivializes sex, and it refuses to use or objectify people, It says we can have what we want when what we want is good for us and it equips us to discern whether it is.
Love is not about what you get (or what you get to do between the sheets). Love is about what you give and how you give it. Single virgins don't get to have sex, but they also don't have babies wanting milk from them every two to four hours day and night. It's all a balance. The culture tells us that love means having sex, but sex doesn't mean having babies. Arleen explains that single people love in lots of ways that don't include sex, and married people (in most cases) share love through having sex and having babies. Both single and married people can achieve happiness through loving and being loved.I wanted to get married because married people get to love. And married people do get to love. But they don't have a monopoly on love. What I hadn't grasped yet was that love takes multiple forms, and all of them require sacrifice.
7. Ask him to declare his intentions. Don’t let him get away with the question, “Would you like to hang out?” Tell him it depends on whether he wants to date you or just be friends. If he’s not man enough to say he wants to date you, what makes you think he’ll be man enough to propose marriage a year or two down the line? If he stutters or waffles, tell him to call you back when he makes up his mind. (Even the New York Times agrees.)My recommendation stemmed from the disturbing trend of guys not even bothering to ask girls out on a formal date any more, leaving girls utterly confused about what kind of relationship the guys are after. When my husband and I started dating, he made it very clear that he would not be spending time with me unless he thought we had a shot at marriage. That straight-forward declaration helped us over a lot of rough spots at the beginning of our relationship.
Andrew: # 7 is going to end up disastrous unless the guy is already anxious to get in a relationship. No guy knows right away if he wants to get in a serious relationship because some flirting has happened.
Carley: I think asking what his intentions are would scare off a bunch of fruitful relationships between men and women. So hang out a couple of times without expecting any type of declaration. There’s nothing wrong with getting to know each other, but if there’s heavy flirting going on then you shouldn’t let it go on forever. Perhaps when you’ve wondered “when is he going to ask me out?” a time or two then maybe it’s time to question his intentions.
Kristin: I love #7 especially. I dated for a few years after college and wasted way too much time with guys only to find out they were not interested in me for the long haul. Or they weren’t interested in a long haul anytime soon with anyone. Had I made my intentions clear for them sooner rather than later, I would have saved us both time and emotional energy. When I met my future husband, ... I told him late one night during our nightly phone marathon that if he wanted to date me to see if we were compatible long term, then he needed to ask me not to date anyone else. I must have caught him off-guard because he said he didn’t feel right doing that. ... After another month, ... he then asked me to stop seeing any others so we could see where this could lead. Four months later he proposed and 10 months after that we were married. Now happily married for almost 19 years with 6 beautiful kids. Yes, letting a date know you are dating in search of the “one” versus to have a little fun is crucial – nowadays even more so. All points were awesome! Thx for a great read.
Thomas: #7 -> YES. Though we already knew each other for quite a while, when I started dating Alicia, she gave me an ultimatum. "I'm not going to drag this out," she said, "I don't want a long distance relationship, and I'm moving back to Florida in three months. If we don't know by then if we're on our way to marriage, it's off." Two weeks from that to engagement.
Robert: Point #7 needed correction and seemed almost anti-Christian.
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