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Can we get Intimately before marriage?
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What does the Catholic Church teach about intimacy & dating? What is allowed- i.e. where should the line be drawn?


The Church is very clear. Full, complete, genital sexual activity is reserved for those in the sacramental covenant of marriage.

Love is not a reality that is measured and moulded by rigid rules. The reality of love, God’s very self, is the transformation of human persons into beings who can live forever with God. That transformation begins when we are conceived and is marked by our Baptism. Any and everything we choose to do should be in tune with that transformation of our hearts and minds and souls.

The challenge for those who are not married is to find appropriate and just ways of expressing what their relationship means. The “100 ways of doing it without having sex” articles show the real charge comes from connecting, being intimate, “at one” with another person. We are made for love by love to love unto love. There are many ways besides getting naked that better help us connect.

Most people find conversation the most potent mode of really connecting with another. Too many jump into bed because they have nothing more to talk about. When dating, strive to really connect. Keep the conversation going and deepening. Reserving sex to express when that connection has deepened into the desire and commitment to form a lifetime union makes sense on many levels. Waiting until one is married really does express the sacredness and specialness of giving totally one to another, body and soul.

Our culture too often mocks such views of sex. The problem is that all those who are having sex whenever and as often as they can, often reveal that there is still a part of them that is empty and yearns for something more. The solution is not to try and fill that void with more addictive or mindless sex. The solution is to sit with the emptiness and yearning, because when the right person comes along and fulfils that yearning, so much more than sex is in the relationship. The two become one and find God and joy and justice and peace and happiness in their love.



Church Member Question:

What do you think?

Should people in the church be allowed to date, or not necessarily date, but just spend quality time together having a mutual conversation in a Holy and pleasing way unto the Lord?  If you are a mature Christian and you connect well with someone in the church and you have a special bond, should you be able to build a relationship that would soon lead to marriage?  I know in my old church, we always told the youth to not go out with anyone in the church because then they would use the church as their meeting spot where they would do their own thing.  Was that wrong? Should we allow it?  This subject is kind of confusing.  Whatchu tink? 🙁


Youth Leader Answer:

Dating isn’t a sin, so why would it be wrong? The problem is, like I said in another thread, when people think of what dating consists of, one of the first things that come to mind is sex. Dating has nothing to do with that. However, I feel that dating is a serious thing, one that is a precursor to marriage, and I feel that you shouldn’t date someone, if you’re not considering marrying them. Doing so, in my opinion, sets yourself up to get tempted into sin.


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