As someone with their first boyfriend, I’m still working out what exactly is out bounds in a good Christian based relationship. Yes, you heard correctly I’m a college student and finally had my first boyfriend. In this post I want to focus on boundaries in a dating relationship.
The culture of dating today is more like marriage without the commitment. Dating is usually where you do all the things a married couple does—move in together, have sex, sleep in the same bed. Today we are doing married things, but are not committed to being married basically. Marriage is supposed to be different from dating, but it has turned into “act like a married couple and see if it works out.” In my opinion, this system does not allow a good foundation to be laid for people to be married. There is a reason marriage is considered a different stage compared to dating. It is meant to be something deeper than dating and has different interactions. This is much how being friends is different from dating someone. You act differently with someone you are dating and someone you are friends with. It should be the same with marriage. There are different interactions that occur in marriage which make it a deeper level of relationship. There has to be boundaries in a dating relationship.
A boundary, according to the New American dictionary, is “a limit of a subject or sphere of activity.”
Boundaries allows a relationship to be focused more on the person. There isn’t this mind set of “what else can we do.” There is a stopping point of how far you and your significant other can go. This most definitely will allow for your significant other and you to learn each other’s hearts, because it becomes focused on the other person and their dignity. It allows for a strong foundation to be built as well as the trust of respecting each other.
As a convert Catholic it is hard to know what exactly the Vatican advises for our culture with dating relationships and where do we draw the line. The act of sex is obviously out of bounds, but where do we draw the line exactly on what you do in a relationship. The Catholic Church has cohabitation and premarital sex as grave matters and considers them to be big sins. They consider them to infringements on the sacredness of the marriage. However, that still leaves open a lot of things. With much thought on this I reached my opinion of the rest of the boundaries beyond those all depends on the person. It depends on the person’s self-control and how easily they can be give into lusting. The boundaries are there to keep you from not giving into acts that God designated for marriage and we each have our own limit. People struggle with different things. For example, some people can’t make out because it will lead to them having sex, but other people can and won’t have the issue of wanting sex. Therefore, the answer I have come to is it matters on what you struggle with and no set standard of boundaries can be applicable with everyone.
Another thing I am learning, the biggest mistake people make in entering a relationship is thinking they won’t have to fight to keep their purity. They consider it to be easy, but I will tell you if you think that then you probably already lost the battle.