By Jan Bilewicz,
Some men take a woman’s “no” to mean “maybe” or “try again.” There can be no doubt about the boundaries of the relationship. The man must know that they are non-negotiable. His reaction will be a very good indicator of his character. If he still persists, then I am dealing with a selfish man. Better to give him the brush off right away, for this problem is only the tip of the iceberg.
Hi! I will begin with an excerpt from a letter I received a while back. Twenty-three-year-old Olga wrote to me, saying: “A girlfriend for how long? One night? Two weeks? Two months? What stands behind all this is, of course, the bed. No, that is not for me. That is what happens between a prostitute and her client; only there the client pays. Desire for sex is not enough for me. Some men take a woman’s “no” to mean “maybe” or “try again.” There can be no doubt about the boundaries of the relationship. The man must know that they are non-negotiable. His reaction will be a very good indicator of his character. If he still persists, then I am dealing with a selfish man. Better give him the brush off right away, for this problem is only the tip of the iceberg.”
What is today’s letter about? It is about the following situation. A boy meets a girl. They meet once, they meet twice, but then a problem arises: will there be sex or not? In most cases the girl wants to stay chaste, and the boy less so. (I say usually, because we know that these days there are pushy girls as well.) And what then? You have to discuss it, present the case clearly and unambiguously.
Instead, all too often after enough coaxing and persuasion, the girl, afraid of losing her boyfriend, gives in. In other words, in return for the boy’s show of interest, a few sweet nothings, and being able to show him off to her friends, the girl pays with her body. Strange transaction! In other instances, the girl is so in love with her boyfriend that all he has to do is wink (like a sultan in his harem), and she is ready to pander to his every wish. She repudiates her principles, her resolutions, her faith, her God. In other words, under the influence of strong emotions, she experiences a temporary but total lapse of sanity. There are also girls who have been so remade by our modern culture that they do not see any problem at all. For such as these there can be no fun until they — pardon the expression — pull off their knickers.
The modern idea of dating
Concerning dating, which I discussed at length in an earlier letter, it is better not to start too soon, but to give oneself time to mature, to concentrate on one’s studies, to develop one’s interests, passions, and so on. When one is too young, it is easy to do stupid things that one has to pay for dearly later in life. It is better to start dating when one is mature enough to think about marriage.
The fashion of dating encourages something quite different, namely, “going out” as soon as one outgrows the sandbox. Kids go straight from making sand pies to making love. Fashions can be good (though rarely so!) or bad, stupid, and harmful (which is most often the case). So why do so many people follow them so blindly? I suppose the main reason is the herd instinct. Fashions make you feel like one of the crowd. It is comforting to do what others do, that is, to follow the herd. This way you do not have to think for yourself, which requires effort. But the problem lies in the fact that while those who flock together like mindless sheep may eventually — speaking metaphorically — find themselves “grazing on green pastures” (which everyone counts on), they may just as easily end up in the slaughterhouse. The idea of “better together” can be deceptive! That is why I urge people to use their heads and not be the playthings of their impressions or instincts, for fashions (like their creators) can be bad or stupid.
Ten reasons for remaining chaste
Before getting to the heart of this letter, I would like make good my promise to include the rest of the results of an informal poll I recently conducted among a group of young men and women. Actually, I made this promise in my last “Letter to Young Men” [cf. Love One Another Magazine, No. 9 — ed.], but I am sure you will not mind letting your boyfriends read this letter as well. I cite here the young women’s responses to the question, “Why are you saving sex for marriage?” Here are just ten of the many reasons given:
• Saving sex until marriage is the best way of filtering out irresponsible guys. If he loves me, he will wait. If he is not prepared to wait, then he does not love me and cares only for sex.
• I am saving sex for my husband. I do not want to be just another name in some guy’s long list of sexual conquests.
• Why NOT wait for marriage? These days everything has to be right now, right away, as if tomorrow were the end of the world. Why the rush? Later there will be plenty of time for sex — the best time and with the best person.
• I often think about my future husband — what he will be like and how we will live. I want to wait for him. I suppose in a way I love him already. When temptations arise, some girls even write letters to their future husband, even though they have not met him yet. One day they will show him the letter. Isn’t that great!
• I have decided to wait because a woman’s most beautiful gift to her husband is her virginal heart and body.
• Abstinence from sex until marriage is meant to teach us to love. By being chaste, we learn to be demanding of ourselves, to make sacrifices, to be independent, to fight for the good, to master our selfish desires, to stand by our principles, and so on. A person cannot love until he learns these things.
• I remain chaste, because I do not want to be a seventeen-year-old single mother with a child or be infected with some guy’s disgusting disease.
• Men respect virgins. They take advantage of loose women and then drop them.
• Premarital sin is a serious sin. Only naïve people think it does them no harm. Sex? Great! But only after you are married, as God commands.
• Apart from everything else, fornicators and adulterers will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
A few practical pointers
So now we come to the main part of this letter. I will give you a few practical pointers on how to say “no,” because I know problems often arise in this connection.
Wait for the right moment to express what you think and feel; for example, when your boyfriend makes an attempt at physical intimacy with you. Speak your mind boldly and clearly, but be calm and warm with him. Do not be on the defensive, as if you were unsure of yourself. You have the right to be proud of your values. Right is on your side. Have no doubt that waiting until you are married is the right thing to do. God is not mistaken in affirming purity and condemning impurity. This affirmation and condemnation is an expression of His love, for they protect you, your boyfriend, and your friendship or love for each other.
Say what you have to say, and if his reaction is negative, drop the whole matter. When it comes to sex, men can be very persistent. After being refused once, they will come up with new arguments, press you with new propositions, and raise new protests. Do not engage them in a lengthy discussion. Your (and God’s) values are not open to negotiation. Your boyfriend must now make a decision. Give him time for this. This is an important moment — a test of his love or at least his good will. If he sincerely accepts your values, it means he loves you. You know that he is not going out with you in expectation of illicit pleasures. It is you that interest him, not sex.
You must allow yourself to consider that you may not the girl for just this man. Be prepared that he may walk away. Such a prospect can be hard, especially if the girl is in love, but this is the only way you will find a man who respects you. Better to suffer that moment of separation now, than to suffer long torments later — perhaps for a lifetime! Be prepared to lose even a great number of boys. The sooner they leave, the better.
Here are a few examples of how a girl might deal with her boyfriend. The girl has just told him that she intends to remain chaste for marriage:
• He: “But I love you!”
She: “If you love me, then respect my values. It would be a great way of showing your love for me. If our love is real, it will last, and after we’re married we’ll have plenty of time to express it physically.”
He: “Then let’s get married today!”
She: “No, we don’t know each other well enough yet. It is too soon to know; and yet you would engage in the most intimate act that can exist between a man and a woman? Does that make sense?
• He: “Sex is a natural part of male and female relationships.”
She: “Every relationship? Every woman with every man? That’s the way the cavemen did it. You said you believed in God! Sex is for one kind of relationship — marriage. We’re not in a hurry to find out if we want to get married, so let’s not rush into any kind of intimacy. I intend to give myself to my husband and then live with him for the rest of my life. I don’t intend to be someone’s one night stand. Is that clear?”
He: “ But I want to be with you for the rest of my life.”
She: “Maybe you only think so now. Are you ready to be married before God and in front of witnesses? I’m not, and neither are you. We don’t know yet if we’re ready to make such a decision. Time will show if we’re to be together.”
• He: Come on, this is the 21st Century! Everyone’s doing it!
She: “Everyone? You mean every mediocrity! Do we have to do it just because everyone else is? What are we — mindless lemmings?”
• He: “If you loved me, you’d agree to it.”
She: “Agree to what? Ruining our relationship? A guilty conscience? Emotional turmoil? Betraying Christ? Or maybe having a child? Are you ready to be the father of a child? And all this just because you feel like having sex. If you love me, you won’t ask me to do anything I don’t want. I am counting on our love — on both of us, and that is why I want us to be chaste. But maybe I am not the girl for you?”
• He: “I really like you. You have such a strong effect on me. I can’t help myself.”
(Some girls are especially susceptible to this approach. A very effective way of buttering them up: “Wow, I must really be attractive! Aren’t I sexy? Whoa! Hold on there. That’s my feminine vanity at work. I won’t betray my values — or myself.”)
She: “There you go sounding like a sex maniac. You can help yourself. We can control our bodies and not allow them to control us. All we need is a bit of self-discipline. You can do it! After all, you’re not some weak-minded simpleton.”
• He: “How can I marry a woman, if I don’t know what she’s like in such matters?”
She: “You’ve got to be kidding! You mean to subject me to an examination? Any prostitute could pull off a better mark. So what am I to think? Maybe you should look for a wife at the nearest escort service. No, my dear, you’re mistaken. If there is love, there will be good sex. The greater the love, the better the sex. Nothing more is needed. By abstaining from sex now, we are working on a great sexual life together in marriage.”
• He: “If you don’t want to do it, I’ll find somebody else.”
She: “Well! Well! So the cat’s out of the bag. Now I know what it’s all about. Pleasant journey!”
• He: “Your views are old-fashioned.”
She: “Oh, isn’t he up with the times! You’ll have me falling off my chair next. What you’re really suggesting is a return to the days of the primitive hordes. My views are tried and tested. That’s why I feel safe and comfortable with them. But your keeping up with the times means children begetting children, venereal diseases, broken families, and using women like toys.”
Roughly speaking, men’s reactions fall into two categories: more or less selfish (see above examples) and loving. Here are a few examples of loving responses to a woman stating her intention to remain chaste for marriage:
• He: “If that’s what you want, I have no problem with it. You and our relationship are more important to me than sex.”
• He: “Of course. I can’t say I quite understand your principles, but since you state them so categorically, you must have your reasons. I’ll try to understand and do everything possible to make you feel comfortable with me.” (See? He is telling her he loves her. He can afford to make a sacrifice. Sacrifice is the measure of love. The greater the love, the greater the readiness to sacrifice.)
• He: “You don’t have to convince me. I understand what you are saying. I also want to live this way. The only thing I’m afraid of is that it won’t be easy. I like you very much and I find myself drawn to you physically. I will need your help. We’ll have to establish some kind of program if we’re going to go out together. For example, we can agree not to spend time alone together in the house. We can forego alcohol and discos. Tough. But it’s not a high price to pay for our love.”
• He: “Thank God! I’ve always been looking for a girl like you. I’ve even prayed for such a girl. It’s women with principles that interest me. I wouldn’t want my wife and the mother of my children to be second-rate.”
Great good can come from dating a guy, but also great evil. It all depends on your principles and your resolve live by them. Which path will you chose? I trust it will be the right one — the path of God and not of evil and sin. The first is harder, but it is the only way you will find true love and enjoy life to its fullest. That is what Jesus tells us. The other path, which can be summed up by the popular slogan “If it feels good, do it,” is highly touted today (highly!) as pleasurable, “modern,” and cool in every respect. The Enemy’s megaphones have been turned up to full volume. His minions are working day and night, and they are elegant, cultured, and professional. Be wise; and choose Christ! God bless!
Your elder brother,
The above article was published with permission from Miłujcie się! in November 2010