Is It Wise?

Hi there. This has been on my mind for a while so I thought I should ask you about it. If I were to go on a vacation with my girlfriend, would it be ok to share the same room as in a twin room or even share a double bed? even though we wouldn’t ever consider sex of any sort? Thanks.

“Is it okay?” is what we always ask, but we’d probably be better asking Is it wise? I can’t answer that question for you because it’ll be different for everyone. Hopefully, I can help you answer it with some general principles.

So, it’s totally cheaper to share a room, and sometimes rooms with one double bed are cheaper still. I completely get why you’d want to share. You and your girlfriend need to consider your pasts, the specific struggles you have, your “record” together physically, and your goals for the future, then ask Is this wise? Your girlfriend should also take her ovulation cycle into consideration. God designed women to want sex most when we’re most fertile. Go figure.

Let me set up some examples. If one or both of you have had sex before, it might not be wise to put yourselves in this situation. It’d be like having an AA meeting in a bar. Dumb. If you find yourselves already having a hard time “stopping,” it’s not a good idea. It is a good idea to discuss boundaries together while being honest about how each can serve the other best: ie. How can I make it easier for you and not harder? That might mean being strict about changing and showering and leaving underwear out and about. It might mean choosing not to give backrubs, choosing not to cuddle in bed, choosing to only kiss in public… Like I said, I can’t make those choices for you, only the two of you, and perhaps someone who knows you(r past and present struggles and future hopes and dreams) better than I do, can make and help make those choices. What I do know, is that no matter how silly something seems, don’t be proud. The strong person knows him or herself and has the courage to do what’s necessary. It’s the weak ones who scoff at boundaries and think they can handle it.

One more thought. While your minds might not “ever consider sex of any sort,” your bodies certainly are. If abstaining from stuff that feels good but isn’t good (like extramarital sex) were up to the mind, or the will, it would be a lot easier to avoid. So, listen to the signals your bodies are giving, be honest with yourselves about what’s going on, and be prepared to do what’s necessary to protect yourselves even though it feels silly. For example, if you decide to share a room and realize that it isn’t as safe for the two of you and your goals for the future as you thought it would be, don’t be too proud or practical to make changes.

Hope that’s helpful.

Learning to ask Is it wise? is an idea that, for me, comes from Andy Stanley’s book called The Best Question Ever, which is really youthy and annoying in many ways, but which nonetheless provides a helpful premise.
Other thoughts that influenced this post come from Lauren Winner’s Real Sex, about which I’m not sure I could find anything negative to say.
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4 Responses to Is It Wise?

  1. Rhett & Valerie says:

    Hey you! Thanks for this great response. I might add…. if you don’t end up marrying this person, hearing about your sharing a room with them *might* really hurt your future spouse and cause them to struggle with anger, jealousy, and sadness (even if you don’t sleep together). I know it would make me struggle, and it’d take some work to move beyond feeling hurt by this. It’s worth a thought.

    • reneamac says:

      That surprises me — as in, the possibility of that reaction never crossed my mind… obviously, or I would have written about it. 🙂 I dunno. I have mixed feelings about this. One the one hand, we can’t make choices in fear of what might hurt someone we don’t know yet, partly because making choices from fear is less than best and partly because too much of that kind of decision making (whether fear based or otherwise) would seem to create a preconceived notion of the unknown future spouse. On the other hand, I do think we can, and should, realize that our choices affect others, even unknown others, and we should try to treat those unknown others like we would want to be treated; we should love them as we love ourselves. So perhaps the best way to walk in the tension… 🙂 …is to consider How would I feel if my future spouse… and then seek wise counsel (I’m such a thief) by asking solid, maybe married, folks whether how I would feel is healthy or unhealthy because we should avoid enabling our (and (unknown) others’) insecurities if that’s the root of our feelings.

      Thank you for sharing and for bringing this up. I’m just shooting from the hip here. What do you think?

      • Hey you! The feelings described above by the “future” spouse aren’t necessarily the way the person *should* feel (though- I dunno- your body belongs to them so maybe they should!)- I think I was trying to say that they *might* feel this way, and if that could give you pause, maybe that’s something to consider. I wasn’t thinking of it as a question considered out of fear, but more out of wisdom. ie, “how’s this going to affect my reputation; my life story; my body?”

        It’s hard you know- your body isn’t your own ever- it’s the Lords, and then it’s your spouse’s- if you ever get married. I know I wish I thought more about that before I met my husband. The longer I’m married, the more conservative I become regarding sexual activity before marriage.

        Love to you!

        • reneamac says:

          Yep. Good, good thoughts. “The longer I’m married, the more conservative I become regarding sexual activity [which I take to have a highly inclusive meaning here] before marriage.” I certainly respect that.

          Love to you!!

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