I’m 20 and about a month ago, I decided to start getting to know a friend of mine with the idea of potentially dating or being more serious. He is 22 and is a very, very honest man, which is one of the reasons I am so attracted to him. Almost 5 months ago, long before we had thought of dating he was dating someone else and we had a discussion about purity before marriage. I told him that I was a virgin and he said that he was not, but he really wished that he was. About a month and a half before we started spending a lot of time together was when he broke it off with this girl, it was about a three month relationship. In this past month, as I mentioned, he has been very honest and one of the big topics I had in my mind was sort of along the lines of “how impure has this guy been?” and especially, has he slept with this most recent girlfriend?
When I brought it up, he was very, very earnestly wanting to talk about it. This was only 2 weeks since we said we wanted to get to know each other better and already he said it was weighing really heavily on him and he wanted to be completely honest to give me the option of basically not starting anything and not getting emotionally involved. I am very thankful to him for this. He said that he has been with 4 girls before. He stayed pure all through high school but it was the cliché prom night when his good friend really put the moves on him and he didn’t have the strength to resist and had the echoes of his friends teasing him all through high school for staying a virgin. The next year, he slept with his first long time girlfriend, the year after he had a vacation fling and then this year, he did sleep with this most recent girlfriend. He said that it was hard to even describe the amount of temptation and guilt a woman can put on you in a relationship when she wants to sleep with you. I think with this latest girl, she was very desperate to “clinch the deal” and she thought that the way to make him stay with her was to make him sleep with her.
Anyways, I think I have described the situation enough and onto my concerns… when he told me these things I said that they deeply hurt me and that being with him would be very tough for me at some points, but that I didn’t think it was an insurmountable obstacle. He said that as he told me these things, he saw himself “losing me” as he looked into my eyes and feared that I would just walk away. I think he has so so so much to offer and I don’t think that virginity-loss is a dealbreaker, so to speak, and I know that although I have managed to stay a virgin, I am two years younger and also I have not kept as pure as I wanted to, and I have also felt the tremendous pressure of sex. I know that if I didn’t completely have my mind made up, I would have also fallen. I want to know if my concerns are valid or if I need to forget this.
Thanks for writing. I read through your question/comment several times, and I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure what your concerns are because when you began to introduce them, you really only listed counterpoints to your concerns. This tells me two things: one, your concerns are probably more like disappointment; and two, you seem to already know how you want to move forward.
You’re disappointed. Naturally. When something or someone fails to meet our expectations, our expectations are disappointed and we feel it. Those who have waited themselves hope for a spouse who has waited, and should. So it is disappointing when we fall in love with someone who didn’t. Nonetheless, the real question is about chastity not virginity. The real question is whether this person is a person of chastity. Has he made a change? Is he committed to chastity from this point forward and how is he expressing that commitment? What lifestyle changes has he made? What accountability has he pursued? What is happening in his habits that shows how serious he is?
Once a person, man or woman, has had sex, it is usually incredibly difficult to never again fall into temptation. It’s how our bodies are created; it’s why sex in monogamous marriage is good. It seems your boyfriend was pressured into sex in each of his past experiences. Are things different in your relationship because you are not seducing him? Or do you feel like he is pressuring you? If he isn’t pressuring you, you can probably trust him.
The fact that you listed several good counterpoints to your concerns is a sign that you are trying to think about this situation logically. That’s good. Along those lines, here’s more food for thought. As women, we often struggle with control. We want control over our lives—not usually in a malicious way; we’re usually well-meaning, but it’s just often our way of struggling with faith and trust in the One Who Knows all unknowns. This need for security through control, by default, includes the people in our lives. One of the way we can feel in control is via information. Again, this is subtly different from being controlling. I’m not talking about that; that’s another issue. This is about security, feeling secure. Insecurity is why many, many women want to know, “How impure has this guy been?”
I encourage you to prayerfully search your heart; ask the Holy Spirit to search it; and consider if this is the case for you. If it is, I encourage you to let it go. You claim this young man has a lot to offer; that he is honest and good. Is he committed to Christ? Does he treat you well? Does he respect you? What do your close friends and family think? I encourage you to ask these questions and let go of the impurity question. You need to know if he can be faithful to you. That’s legitimate. But you’ll never know the answer to that question by holding doubts about his past over his head. Determine if he is trustworthy—get your trusted friends/family involved—and if he is trustworthy, trust him.
I hope to have been of some help. Please write again if I can clarify anything, or simply to keep me posted about your relationship.
You’re in my prayers.
Some of you have blogs committed almost entirely to romantic relationships. Do you get these kinds of questions a lot? What kind of advice do you give?
Anyone else? What are your thoughts?