Q: I’ve noticed that every time I meet a new guy, and we start to become friends, I instantly start looking at our relationship as a potential “more than friends” kind of relationship. Sometimes I take it as far as imagining what life would be like if I did marry that person. I’m not sure how to get out of this. I want to be friends with guys.
If we had already been living together, in the back of my mind I’d wonder if Jim was asking me to marry him because he’d gotten used to having me around. I’d wonder if I had said “yes” because I was afraid of being alone and having to open jars by myself. But when I walk down the aisle, there will be no doubt in my mind that we’re freely choosing marriage not because we had settled in as roommates who had learned to put up with each other, but as two people that have freely chosen to love each other.
I have read a few articles and Q&A’s in lifeteen.com (such as “If you love me… lead me to Christ”), which a number of them mentioned the struggles with falling into temptation and getting more physical in dating relationships. My question is this, regarding to physical intimacy, how much is too much? How far is too far?
Yes, as you grow up, many of your friends will reject truth. You can’t control that. They will make bad decisions, especially with their bodies, and blame the “moment” or drunkenness or “freedom.” All are lies to make themselves feel better. They will sacrifice their bodies and dignity on altars of conformity and public opinion. Don’t be like them. Pray for them. Love them – but don’t emulate them. They are seeking a love that you already have and know – a love from the Father. Exemplify that love by the way that you love and respect yourself.
Choosing to center your relationship on Christ is going to bring you the most peace and lasting happiness. I’m glad that you want more for yourself than to settle for falling into a pattern of sin.
Sometimes we, as Catholics, think going to Confession and promising it (our sin) won’t happen again will magically give us the power to stop sinning. While Confession is a great start, it is just that – a starting place. God gives us grace to continue moving forward, He offers us help to avoid sin, and we have to do our part to follow His path to holiness.
In some places, the pressure to date is ridiculous. Boys and girls used to be total opposites, gross even, and now they suddenly look a little more interesting… And when they start to pair off, I know that it can be tough to be left behind on that. It would be totally awesome if someone that you liked also thought that you were cute, funny, smart, and interesting — but let me ask you a question: Would you rather have the tennis courts or the front porch? Please, don’t waste your first kiss.
This doesn’t mean that you should just settle for boring friends. When Jesus promised to give us “life to the full” (John 10:10), He must’ve meant something more exciting than a youth group bowling trip. Have you prayed for good friendships? Ask God to provide friends that are pursuing holiness that you also enjoy hanging out with.
Q: Lately all of my friends have been having sex. I made a vow to wait until marriage, but how do I keep my vow when I’m around them and peer pressure is at its highest?
A: I’m so glad you’ve made a vow to wait until marriage to have sex. It’s a great decision to follow God’s will for your life! When we believe that God wants what’s best for us, we can trust in His commandments (Exodus 20:14).
However, the truth is this: the most commonly used birth control pill is nothing more than a mask.
This doesn’t mean that every Catholic family should compete with the Duggars and their 19 kids. At certain points, the couple may have serious reasons to postpone pregnancy and that’s okay and a responsible thing to do sometimes. But even in these situations, contraception is never the answer.
We swore that we would love each other faithfully for the rest of our lives and we begged God to seal and strengthen our commitment. We were so excited to get married, but we knew that the sacrament wasn't just about us.
In my life, I struggled with the same fear. I couldn’t seem to stay in a relationship because I would freak out and back away from the girl in fear that I would eventually get hurt. When I finally met my wife, it wasn’t that my fears had disappeared, but my desire to pursue a relationship with Courtney was greater than my fears of being hurt.
I have great news for you: a good guy already loves you! Your value and your dignity, on your best day or after your worst decision, can be found in looking at a crucifix. Jesus didn’t lay down His life just hoping that humanity would be nicer and more deserving of Him. He loved us, and still loves us, in the middle of our shady pasts and our messy presents.
Q: My boyfriend and I are moving away to college next semester, except he’s going to be over 3 hours away now. I was wondering do you have any advice or tips on how to keep a strong God centered relationship going, even through there will be a distance between us? Is it even healthy to have a relationship like this? I would really appreciate some help to this subject.
We who frequent the internet all know what happened this past week: James Franco connected with a 17 year old fan on Instagram and then texted her in an attempt to arrange a “meet up” at a hotel. Can we collectively say “creep-a-trillion”!?!?
I would meet up with you James Franco. BUT not because I’m interested in flirting or (heaven forbid) locking lips with you. Oh no. I would only want to meet you in order to give you a Jason Evert style lesson on real love over a nice glass of ice water.
…for years I’d given away kisses with very little meaning. Kissing was just the next step when things were going well with a guy. In a way I felt like I had to kiss the guys I really liked because they had earned it and it would prove our relationship was worth something. I realized what I thought was my desire to kiss Brian, was actually a desire to feel close and connected to him.
Q: I was wondering if you have any advice for guys trying to remain pure. I know a lot of my friends and I have struggled in relationships because we found it so hard to remain pure with all of the pressure around us.
A: Thanks for the email, and I want to affirm you for pursuing purity. Here are a few tips that come to mind:
In this new Life Teen video, Jackie Francois addresses the question of whether or not it’s okay to wear a bikini this summer. And it’s not just a yes or no answer… it’s all about how you, as a woman, want other people to view you and your worth as a whole person… not just attractive body parts.
So was it wrong that I had once had a crush on my friend’s future husband? No, I don’t think so. Having a crush on someone is totally normal. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to someone else, and it’s good to be drawn to those good characteristics that we notice in them. We’re designed to interact and form relationships with other people. As we spend time with others, it’s totally normal to find ourselves “crushing” on someone because we think he’s really funny or cute or sweet or witty or holy or, worst of all, all of the above!!
I don’t know if it was my conscience, the Holy Spirit, or a combination of the two, but in that moment I was reminded of this one issue in my life. I had struggled with pornography for the past year or two. I knew that it was sinful, and several times I had promised myself that I wouldn’t go back to it, but I couldn’t quit.