The V-Card

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.

Hello Stephanie,

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?

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4 Responses to The V-Card

  1. Adam Jones says:

    We’ve all done things we regret. It doesn’t make sense to put aside the great future you could have with someone because you can’t stop thinking about their past.

  2. Christina says:

    My hesitation with the situation is looking past the current. Stephanie seems like a strong, determined woman. There is little doubt in my mind that she will fall into temptation to sleep with this young man (it could happen though…). But her resolve seems sure and strong. However, the worry in my heart is the young man. It seems he’s attracted to strong women (which fits why he’s interested in her). The beginning and continued happening of those sexual events seems to originate in the woman, and then his lack of self-control. So, what’s to say about their future? Her strength enables purity in the relationship. Marriage happens…Life goes on…Things get hard or rough, and then what? If it’s her strength that has kept things going, but she’s occupied with a baby or a disease or something, where does that leave him? How does he flee the temptation of an affair? How does he not fall right back into those same sins that weren’t really dealt with (the root anyway) when the temptation arises again?

    My advice is distance and time. Yes, it is great to have your family and friends evaluate. But he can easily pass those tests if she’s the one leading. But can he pass the tests when he’s all alone? When he’s waiting for her- will he remain pure and faithful if she’s not around? Will he get accountability and seek the Lord to transform and change his heart? I’d say step back and let him know if he really loves you and wants to pursue you, and then he will prove that by waiting and remaining faithful during that waiting.

    Just my two cents…take it or leave it!

    • reneamac says:

      I think it’s difficult for us as women to understand what it’s like for men to be seduced by women. Now you know I’m not one to give men a free pass. We’ll have none of that “boys will be boys” crap around here. And yet, I submit that we do not, as a Christian community, prepare our young men for such situations. We tell them: “Don’t do it. And don’t do porn either.” We do not talk about the possibility that a woman might be interested in getting it from him. In fact, we don’t talk seriously about female sex drive at all. How difficult was it for Joseph to run from his master’s mistress? How much more difficult when the offer is coming from a woman one likes, is friends with and/or is dating?

      We do not consider the sex drive of women, so we do not envision such situations, and we do not therefore provide a helpful script for men that counters the social script.

      (Interestingly, this young woman wrote her letter in partial response to this original answer to email at

      We don’t want to give men a free pass, and we don’t want to be ungracious either. The Middle Way of Christ is very hard and narrow indeed and none of us is perfect in pursuing it. Thanks for leaving your two cents.

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