My Catholic Boyfriend Refuses to Have Sex With Me. Should I Try to Seduce Him?

I’m 25, and Jewish but totally secular and non-practicing. I’ve been dating a Catholic guy for about two months. I knew he was Catholic at the outset, but I didn’t know quite how Catholic. Well, he’s pretty damn Catholic. I’m fine with the whole Jesus thing, but this guy doesn’t believe in pre-marital sex! But I really like him and want to be in a relationship with him. But…I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t believe in pre-marital sex! So I have a dilemma. I keep thinking that I can convince him, rationally, that the Catholic ban on pre-marital sex is a stupid, pointless anachronism that is not relevant to today’s world. He’s intelligent and educated and responds to reason; I think I have a shot at changing his mind. I’ve told him very explicitly that I think his beliefs are wrong and I plan to try to change his mind. He seems fine with that.

I mean, in some sense I’m tempted to just try and seduce him. (We haven’t done more than make out, at this point.) But I wouldn’t feel right about that, and I wouldn’t want to sleep with him if he would feel guilty or regret it afterwards.

I guess my question is, do you think it’s possible to talk to him out of it? Is it disrespectful to someone’s religion to set about convincing them that they’re wrong? (I really don’t respect religion very much, but I try to be polite about it.) And, finally, even if I were to convince him and we did have sex, would he be constantly plagued by lingering guilt and fear due to the years of brainwashing he’s experienced? Is there hope for my project, or should I try to find someone whose beliefs are more compatible with mine? He’s really really great aside from the whole religion thing, and I think there’s serious potential here.

Just as background, he had a serious girlfriend for two and a half years. They never had intercourse, but did have oral sex, and he’s said he was “never really comfortable with it”. He’s dated a few other girls but never so much as kissed them. So I take the fact that he’s willing to kiss me as an indication that he must like me…

Julia

Implicit in believing your own bullshit is the idea that people who disagree with you are WRONG.

I’m running your letter, Julia, because it’s a nice tie-in to the emails from virgins who are wrestling with their anachronistic worldview. You and me, Julia – we’ll corrupt all of their minds one of these days!

I’m kidding, of course, because, as you know, it is not your job to change anybody’s mind. I give advice for a living and, frankly, I don’t see it as MY job to change anybody’s mind. The difference between us, Julia, is that people come and ask me for advice because something isn’t working in their life. They’re looking for clarity, perspective, a kick in the ass. The Catholic guy isn’t looking for ANY of that with you. He isn’t asking you for spiritual guidance – he’s asking you to enjoy spending time with him and consider a life partnership. Thus, imposing your evolved point of view against his “brainwashing” is somewhat of an exercise in arrogance.

Believe me, I know. I’ve been called arrogant more than once, mostly because I so strongly believe in my views and can ably articulate them. However, implicit in believing your own bullshit is the idea that people who disagree with you are WRONG. And even if you’re a secular atheist Jew like me, it is certainly not your place to tell anyone in the world that they need to come around to your way of thinking. In fact, it sounds like a colossal waste of time and energy…. 

I’m marrying a Catholic who is also pretty damn Catholic. But I don’t spend one iota of time explaining the error of her ways to her. Why? Because they’re not an error. They’re her beliefs, they comfort her, and they are a fundamental part of the woman I fell in love with. She knows exactly how I feel, so what’s the point of rehashing our differences? Love is about accepting someone for all that they are – and while sometimes it doesn’t come naturally, I know it’s something that’s essential to our long-term happiness.

I’ve had a lot of women try to change me. I’m marrying the one who doesn’t even try. Which is why I can say with some degree of confidence, Julia, that I don’t think you’ve fully contemplated what it’s like to date a person who is trying to change you. So try this hypothetical on for size:

You don’t want Catholic Man as he is – a sweet, God-fearing virgin with Christian values.

Catholic Man thinks you’re an amazing catch. Smart, logical, quick-witted, sexy (for, you know, the honeymoon) – you’re the entire package. Except for one thing. You’re Jewish. Your morals are questionable. And you’re going to hell – unless you accept Jesus Christ as your savior. And while he really thinks he could be in love with you, he’s not going to go down that path with a woman who would raise her children without a sense of God.

Sounds pretty awful, huh? To be with a guy who is proselytizing all the time? Who thinks your beliefs are silly? Who loves a lot of you, but won’t fully accept you as you are?

Yeah, that’s how you’re treating this guy.

I’m all for the breakdown of religious barriers. I think the new atheists are onto something. And my fiancée and I have our own unique way we plan on raising our family. It involves compromise – on both of our parts.

But it’s clear that you don’t really want to compromise on this one. You don’t want Catholic Man as he is – a sweet, God-fearing virgin with Christian values. You want him to be you – a smartypants secular Jew. And from one of us to another – that ain’t happening.

Let him find his chaste bride who will accept him as he is, instead of constantly judging him for what he isn’t.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    andrea

    Right on, Jew-brother.
    This is one of those letters that makes me think, “Is she for real?”

    If you don’t have the same beliefs and you can’t accept his, break up. It’s only going to cause problems later. Not to mention, that you’re not accepting him for who he is. Jews and gentiles break up over different beliefs all the time. Heck, people of the same religion break up over differing beliefs. Dating is hard enough.

    DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE HIM.

  2. 2
    Selena

    Amen Evan.

  3. 3
    Honey

    Ouch. But as an atheist myself who is finally with someone who feels the same way, I don’t think that I could ever go back to someone who didn’t share my values.

  4. 4
    Lance

    Well said. Religion is generally something I don’t touch when dating…in other words, I screen them out automatically. I’m athiest, I strongly believe in premarital sex, and I think religious values when it comes to sex, dating, and courtship are badly anachronistic. I also believe in whatever floats your boat. So if you’re Catholic and want to wait, great, whatever makes you happy.

    I have to mention though that I had an LTR, when I was much younger, with a devout Catholic and I “convinced” her to have premarital sex. There was no seduction, she simply changed her mind after our many debates. She ended up being totally fine with it and had sex with all of her subsequent partners. It’s certainly possible to affect someone’s values and have it come out positive, I just shy away from it.

  5. 5
    BeenThruTheWars

    You’ve been dating a short time. You’re the woman. You’re pressuring your man to have sex with you when he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to go beyond kissing. So not only are you ridiculing some of his most deeply cherished beliefs, and even considering trickery and seduction to MAKE him discard those beliefs and bend to your will, you are also determined to run the show in the bedroom.

    I don’t see this working for a whole lot of reasons. He sounds a lot more mature and together than you do. Keep doing what you’re doing, and you’re gonna blow things with him (and I’m not talking about oral sex). Evan gave you great advice. If you can’t accept this man for all of who he is — not “tolerate” him, but truly accept him — then toss this fishie back and look elsewhere. Even if he does stick with you, you’re going to wind up making him miserable in the long run.

  6. 6
    lrigecin

    You gave her some really good advice. As a woman (over 30) who has waited to be married, I can tell you he will probably come to resent you. I know I felt and feel that way towards guys who have been the same with me. I never try to convince someone that my way is the right way. My friends, family, etc. are free to make their own choices (and yes I was raised Catholic). However, this is an important issue for me and one that I won’t compromise. If the guy I’m dating feels differently and premaritical sex is an important part of a relationship for him, I expect him to be mature and say so upfront and let both of us go on to someone more compatible. (Not that I bring it up on the first date – but when it is appropriate for where the relationship is heading). However, not all guys will respect that – they try to hang on because they think they can change my mind or want to “bag the virgin.” With these guys, sometimes I did the mature thing and just said that we weren’t compatible and broke it off. Other times, I intentionally upset them so much just to get back at how badly I thought and felt they treated me. In other words, this is a mean game you’re playing and the results could really end up hurting you. I’m now dating a nice man (also over 30) who agrees with me about premarital sex. In other words, there are better fits for both of you if both of you feel very strongly about what’s next in the relationship before marriage. You don’t want him to end up hating you because you tried to seduce him or kept insulting him treating him like he is backward or worse because he compromised his integrity and blames you for his downfall.

  7. 7
    Paul

    Evan,
    that is the best response I have ever heard from you, in a along line of excellent responses I might add. Sounds to me like that nice, Christian virgin ought to be dumping her! She isn’t worth much more of his consideration and she certainly is showing her colors. He should never consider marrying her as unevenly yoked as they’d be. But my guess is he knows that, and despite his constantly be told he’s wrong in his views, or at least being thought of as wrong, it’s amazing he’s stayed around as long as he has. Hats off to him, whoever he is, and a slap on the old proverbial back for standing up for what he believes is right. And I totally agree with him btw…I’ve been married twice and don’t have quite the testosterone running through my veins as a 25 year old, and I have a hard time living pure, I can’t imagine what it would be like for a 25 year old virgin, to keep the virginity I mean. I. on the other hand, know what I’m missing…purhaps it’s easier to not know. But I have found that whatever is the prevailing political correctness, usually the opposite is truely correct. God clearly wants us to save ourselves for marriage for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is our own safety. I guess you’d have to be into that whole “Jesus thing”. To each his (or her) own, but I vote for the guy here…he sounds like a quality individual – more of the likes we need in this country.
    Best of luck with your marriage Evan!
    Paul

  8. 8
    satexaslady

    Very well said, Evan. Religion is important to people and Julia, your attitude is incredibly disrespectful towards someone you profess to care about. I’m a bit bothered with how callously you disregard his feelings and beliefs. You have a right to your feelings, but he does as well…He was willing to open up enough to you to admit that he was uncomfortable with oral sex. Unless you left something out, it seems he is willing to accept your position without condition. Either be willing to compromise or leave. It’s not fair to him. I’m not Jewish nor am I Catholic, but I have been on the receiving of the scenario Evan outlined to you. I was fine with his more conservative religious views. He was not fine with my more liberal views on religion and wanted to me to accept his views. I simply told him I was unwilling to do so. I was told I was going to hell. That’s his problem, not mine. You cannot force someone to believe as you do and you should not be so rude as to try to. It’s wrong.

  9. 9
    Robert

    Julia, this man may be the greatest thing since sliced bread but it sounds like you two are a bad match. As much as you enjoy each other’s company, your sexual attitudes are incompatible. That’s enough reason for you to get out of the relationship. There’s no right or wrong here. Just two people who are incompatible in one very important part of their relationship. Good luck.
    Robert

  10. 10
    Honestamente

    JULIA, JULIA
    She is soo lucky to find him, can she write his mail address (we want that guy for aur group), not everybody is dirty . I hope he open his eyes and move away from her. How about is we ask her to eat ” pork” in a FUN party night Julia , do you feel great with that idea?

  11. 11
    Cute Redhead

    I just want us all to remember this guy when someone starts going off on how “men” are and how “women” are regarding sex, marriage, birth control, etc. Clearly this guy is not into uncommitted sex and she is–breaks the stereotype. And there are men and women from other cultures, religions, and countries who bring different ways of doing the dating/mating thing to the table, too. There is no one way that works for everyone — it’s very individual. Let’s all please remember this before we go spouting generalizations about gender and sexual/relationship behavior.

  12. 12
    downtowngal

    “it is certainly not your place to tell anyone in the world that they need to come around to your way of thinking… ” Intersting you should say that Evan because in 2 recent letters, when it was a woman virgin writing in you advised each one to compromise her beliefs.

    Are you saying that guys can’t change but women should? Or am I misinterpreting the messages?

    I actually agree with you re: Julia. These two are young and it sounds as if they are incompatable in some ways that they may not be able to work out.

  13. 13
    Ron

    Cute Redhead – you hit the nail on the head. I’m waiting for JuJu to come along with her “he’s not a real man” insinuations.

    After all, any man who is sensitive and will not drop his drawers at the drop of a hat and do his part to spread VD is no man at all.

  14. 14
    hunter

    to Julia,

    Your man may not have been comfortable receiving oral, from his ex girlfriend, because she may have been terrible at it. I have been with divorced women that I have to keep reminding, all night, that a BJ is an expression, you don’t really do it. It is almost as if a woman can’t hear when she is in the sex act. Sometimes I say “ouch” or “that hurts” and they still don’t listen. Women wonder why I don’t stay for breakfast, the next morning!…..If your man has had, bad sexual experiences, he most likely, won’t have sex with you…..

  15. 15
    Steve

    @Cute Redhead, post #11

    The existence of a small number of anomalies does not make a generalization untrue. It only means that instead of saying that ALL apples are red you say that MANY, if not MOST apples are red.

    No, the apple talk is not code for some kind of sexual thing :)

  16. 16
    Steve

    @Lance, Honey & Evan. It is nice with everything going on in the country and the world to run across three atheists in one place.

  17. 17
    Cathouse Teri

    This isn’t a case of whether or not he refuses to wear black socks with his dress shoes. These are beliefs that make up a large part of his person. Julia is being very disrespectful and deceiving in first, not accepting him for who he is and who he isn’t and second, for not revealing who she is and who she isn’t.

    Two major problems in people making bad relationship choices. Not genuinely offering up our REAL side and thinking we can change someone. I consider overcoming both of these things to be huge milestones in the world of grown ups. Julia’s got some growing up to do.

  18. 18
    Honey

    @Steve, #16–right on! The BF is an atheist, too, and I can think of at least two other friends :-)

  19. 19
    mic

    Is it okay to seduce into sexual activity an unmarried, no-sex-before-marriage type? Is it okay to deliberately ‘forget’ to use birth control with someone who doesn’t want a child now? Perhaps being on the receiving end of that is a pitfall for a good-looking person. Perhaps people should learn to better read cues of character from appearance, as limited a help as that is.

  20. 20
    Damie

    Maybe he’s gay?… WHAT?!… someone had to say it.

    1. 20.1
      Martha

      Big Lol!

  21. 21
    JuJu

    And why would I insinuate that?

    Flattered by the attention, though.

  22. 22
    hunter

    Many, many, guys, do not know how to seduce a woman…..

  23. 23
    starthrower68

    I find it interesting that we choose someone who we know is polar opposite of us from the outset, then think we will change them to our way of thinking when we’re inconvienced by their convictions. This fellow has very firm boundaries in place and those are to be respected, not crossed. And, I will no doubt catch flack from the atheists, being pentocostal myself, but I think this guy is to be congratulated by standing on his faith. When you commit to that, the world doesn’t like it. Believe me, I know from experience!

  24. 24
    Cute Redhead

    Steve, #15: But if you’re looking for a yellow apple and someone is telling you that they don’t exist based on the predominance of red apples and, furthermore, that you have to change/give up/are weird because you want the yellow apple — well, you can imagine that that type of attitude would be annoying, especially when you, the yellow apple, have experience that supports your POV. When you are a minority yellow apple you tend to notice other yellow apples. When you are one of the predominant red apples, you tend not to notice the yellow apples because you get lots of support in believing that your way is “the way it is.”

    We all get to want what we want.

  25. 25
    Cute Redhead

    And I, for my part, only need one exception to the “rule” — I don’t need a million guys who support it.

  26. 26
    hunter

    To Julia,

    Yes, if you are that attracted to him!…

  27. 27
    Marc

    Julia – Wouldn’t your parents be much happier anyway if you weren’t having sex with a devout Jew?

    Heed the advice of EMK. “Implicit in believing your own bullshit is the idea that people who disagree with you are WRONG.” — They should put that on a T-shirt!

  28. 28
    Selena

    Marc-

    Yes, that sentence would be terrific on a T-shirt!

    I’m copying that phrase down. I just know I will have occasions to use it. Maybe even on myself, lol.

  29. 29
    Steve


    “One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh”
    - Robert Heinlein

  30. 30
    Steve


    Implicit in believing your own bullshit is the idea that people who disagree with you are WRONG.

    I have no problem with that. If I thought there was more than a passing possibility that a belief could be wrong, I would believe it in the first place.

    In regards to religion, most people do not feel the need to be carefully agnostic about the existence of Thor. The reason for that is Thor is part of a culture that is past. Yahweh & Jesus are part of several current cultures.

    IMHO, I don’t need to respect religious beliefs as serious contenders of truth in order to respect the feelings of people who hold those beliefs.

    We live in a diverse world and what comes around goes around so I think the latter is of prime importance.

    I judge a persons religion or their beliefs by how well they accept that fact and how well they play with others.

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