I recently came across some very important encouragement in the area of premarital intimate relationships by Ruthie Dean. I know for our societies, many of these are countercultural these days. But healthy boundaries, standards and principles do not change with the rising and falling tides of time. (Ironically, the first principle resides in the context of a very contemporary society-based construct.) Enjoy these tips, while allowing yourself to be challenged and inspired underneath the surface…
Don’t Text Back. Text messages and any form of social media communication should never be the way you get asked out. If a guy can’t pick up the phone and CALL you to ask you to dinner, then he’s just not that into you. The first few months of dating—guys are on the their best behavior and if text messages are the ‘best’ wooing efforts they can put forward, then they aren’t going to do ANY BETTER down the road. PLEASE don’t make excuses for him. You deserve better.
Don’t overshare. Your I’ve never told anyone this before stories should not come until engagement is discussed. You can gradually share more intimate, personal details after you’re in a committed relationship but not before then! Over-sharing is dangerous in dating relationships, especially with discussing anything sexual in nature. He does not need to know your sexual history unless he specifically asks after you are engaged. You are forgiven for your past and it does not define you. Sharing little by little creates mystery.
Keep your clothes on. I’ve written about sex before, but this is probably the #1 pitfall women fall into on their journey to get Mr. Right to the end of the aisle. Sure most couples sleep together before marriage but it doesn’t mean you have to. Remember this post is about catching a husband, not a boyfriend. Sex outside of marriage is dangerous for several reasons. One, it’s no secret that sex creates an emotional bond with your partner making it exponentially harder should you break up. I’ve had guys break up with me because I wouldn’t sleep with them, so I’m not saying it won’t happen. But I’ve also had an unprecedented number of men tell me the “you aren’t like all the other girls. You’re different.” While I wish it was my beauty & charm I think it came down to one simple trait: I wasn’t willing to jump into bed with them. Sure there won’t be as many guys lining up to date you, but marriage will be a different story. Keeping your clothes on will ensure he isn’t dating you just because he likes seeing you naked—and keep his intentions honorable. If you aren’t into this idea, try waiting 6 months.
No sleepovers. (even if you’re not having sex) Sleepovers easily turn into moving in together and playing house. You don’t want to ‘play house’ with someone who might drop you when the next twenty-something receptionist starts at his office. (How many times have we seen this?) There is mystery to a woman who won’t sleep over.
Don’t move in with him. Research shows that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce. Also, if he’s living with you & getting all the perks of marriage… why would he propose?
Get out and meet new people. Attend social events even if you don’t feel like it. Try out new avenues for meeting singles—online dating, churches, adventure groups, clubs, etc. If you’re an introvert, find a ‘single buddy’ who is an extrovert and ask them to come with you. Don’t be ashamed of online dating—it’s the new norm for our generation.
Ruthie ends the post by saying: Do whatever you need to do to feel beautiful (not seductive) and confident. There is beauty in each of us. Don’t obsess about looking like a model or squeezing into a size 4. Confidence, self-assurance and carrying yourself well will make you look radiant. “Be a creature unlike any other.”
I love hearing people taking courage to stand for these types of things. It is not easy, and it can be a spark plug in helping us to dignify ourselves and better protect and maintain the area of intimate relationship in our lives.
Reading this post of hers reminds me how men are actually more attracted to modesty deep inside. Most won’t admit it, but we are. Granted, many may not have the character and lifestyle worthy of a modest woman.
As a footnote for thought, let it be clear that modesty in a woman is not encouraged because immodesty ‘may cause a man to stumble’. People do not ‘stumble’ into sin. They waltz right into it headlong, willingly. Men included. They either have the internal wherewithal to manage fellowship with women well, or they do not. A woman’s modesty is for her own dignity and self-respect, a respect towards God, and it ends up being a character trait that the right type of man will find very attractive.