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How Do You Avoid Sex Before Marriage

Question: How do you avoid sex before marriage? Can you start while you're engaged?

If you want to avoid sex before marriage, the first thing is to set a boundary on how physically intimate you'll be in dating relationships. Will you hold hands? Hug? Kiss? Remember, kissing tends to lead to other stuff really quick. It gets you wanting more!

It's important to NOT make decisions when emotions are high or when you're in the heat of the moment. This may mean that you make decisions about boundaries before you're even in a relationship. Then, once you start dating someone, discuss boundaries before the risk of making out can happen. It's important not to only speak what you cannot do with each other, but also what you can do - not to be confused with what you want to do! 

Sometimes it's helpful to set boundaries not only on what you'll do physically when you spend time with your boyfriend/girlfriend, but also on how you'll spend time together. For example, when I was dating my now-husband, Greg, we decided that we would:

  • NOT be alone together in a bedroom with the door closed
  • NOT be alone together in the house without other family members
  • SPEND TIME TOGETHER one-on-one on dates in public spots AND in groups with friends

Why did we do this? Well, it's a lot less tempting to start a heavy make-out session when we know my dad could walk by at any moment! Greg and I spent time with our friends (together and apart from each other) to keep a balanced social life - I didn't want to lose my friends by spending all my waking hours just with Greg. Plus, being in friend groups gave us a chance to learn more about each other. Do you think he would treat his buddies differently than he treats me when we're alone on dates? Totally! And that's normal. This way, I got to see all sides of him, which we wanted because we were figuring out if we wanted to get married someday! We went on dates to public spots like parks, restaurants, book stores, coffee shops and mini-golf so that we could truly enjoy each other's company, talk, and get to know each other where there was little risk of crossing our physical boundaries.

If we're occupied with a fun activity, we're not so drawn to dwell on sex as we would be if we were sitting on my couch with the lights dimmed while no one else is home. If we had spent an evening in a dark, secluded cave behind a sparkling waterfall with a romantic bonfire, do you see how that would set the stage for major temptation to cross our physical boundaries? So, it can be helpful to set boundaries on how you spend time together in order to help you stick to those boundaries on physical intimacy!

Stay awesome!

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