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

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. 61
    Phil

    I would suggest perhaps comparing devout Catholic couples who wait until marriage to share in the marital act to modern-day people with no sexual morals. The devout Catholics are joyous because they recognize marriage for what it is, a loving union between a man and a woman.
    On the other hand, secularists end up with one fling after another. They are damaged emotionally. The first time people have sex, they form a bond with the other. It is meant to endure. But it is violently broken in search of the next fling. Did you know that Catholics who follow the Church’s teachings on sexuality have a divorce rate of 1%, compared to the general population with 50%. Even the Catholic population has a double-digit divorce rate.
    Your characterization of Catholics is wrong too. Catholicism does not teach that those who do not accept Jesus will automatically be damned.

  2. 62
    Fernando

    I would say that you (Julia) have an serious misconception on what it means to have a relationship. I wouldn’t matter if your boyfriend was Catholic, Muslim, Lutheran, etc. The point of a relationship is to be with a person that understands you as much as you understand them, to share your live and experiences with that person, to know that that will be there when you need them, and that they can always count on you to be there.
    A relationship must always be based on love and understanding. However, if your conception of a relationship is the necessity of having sex, I don’t see how he should have to endure that from you.
    In the end, should he the “the one”, you will eventually have sex once you are married, so what’s the rush? Anyways, sex is not just giving or receiving pleasure; sex is bonding your bodies and your feelings with that one person you love. Making love is to share you deepest intimacy with that one person that you know is destined to be with you. Of all the many special and beautiful connotations that sex can have, why would you have to denigrate it to the fact of just doing it for that sake of it?
    If you are bound to be with your boyfriend, then you should respect his views. Otherwise, given that you are so eager so have sex, look for a boyfriend that is as free-willing as you and leave the man alone, as he obviously has a conception of life and marriage that is way more pure, mature and sincere that yours.

  3. 63
    Goldie

    As someone who’s been on both sides, and after reading the comments on both this and the other similar post (http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/i-want-to-stop-having-sex-with-my-boyfriend-until-we-get-married/), I’d say it’s pretty clear to me that, if one person is very serious about their religion, and the other one non-religious/nominally religious, it’s not going to work. Time to move on.
     
    Think about it, Julia’s BF really, honestly believes he will burn in hell for doing most of the things Julia considers routine and normal. Odds are high he is also being told he will burn in hell for being with Julia. How on earth is this ever going to work? It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
     
    And marrying him, like it was suggested on this thread, is only going to make things worse. If you think now’s bad, wait till they get into a discussion on how their children should be raised. I just witnessed a marriage fall apart for these exact reasons – he’s a C&E Christian, she lives in church. They have young children. It’s not pretty :(
     
    I’m probably going to be told that I made a big mistake, but during my first attempt at online dating this summer, I didn’t even answer any of the messages from anyone whose profile said anything other than “non-religious”. Sure, I limited my potential pool of candidates by a huge percentage, but my reasoning was that I was saving myself and the other person a lot of pain and arguing in the future. I consider the person’s religious views, or lack thereof, to be one of the most important things to them, and I do not expect anyone to compromise on those.

  4. 64
    Karl R

    Goldie said: (#63)
    “I consider the person’s religious views, or lack thereof, to be one of the most important things to them, and I do not expect anyone to compromise on those.”

    You might be surprised at what you can find out there.

    I belong to a denomination that’s based upon shared values, but diverse religious beliefs (Unitarian Universalist, if you’re curious). I self-identify as christian. Of the three women from my church that I dated, one was a humanist, one was agnostic, and the third was wiccan.

    I’m an active member of my church and a member of the choir. My girlfriend is fairly non-religious. She’s welcome to join me at church, but usually chooses not to. Since I see no need to change her (and vice versa), there isn’t any need for us to argue about it.

    Despite the difference in our religious beliefs, our ethics and values are very similar. Shared values is one of the foundations of a good marriage.

    Religion can be a big deal, but that’s not always the case. So I’d tend to agree that you unnecessarily limited your dating pool.

  5. 65
    Goldie

    I’ve heard good things about UU. However, UU members are pretty few and far between, and I’ll probably eventually meet them through my meetup group anyway ;)
     
    I do read people’s profiles, because you never know where someone stands. However what I’d usually see there were things like “I’m looking for a godly woman” or “my relationship with God is important to me, if it isn’t to you then don’t write”. I’m actually glad these people are saving me (and themselves) time by being upfront like this.

  6. 66
    Chris

    As a life-long Catholic (nwwoman – disagree with my view, but you can call me a ‘non-practicing’ Catholic the second I can call you a non-stupid moron), I notice for many in our faith (likely the cause of the stereotype) absolution, forgiveness, purge of guilt, and confession *AFTER* the act seem to be the focus of conviction. This is an observation. Seeing something doesn’t make me un-Catholic, any more than drawing breath alone makes us people. Maria has her perspective, and it is her choice. As Catholics, we often bear the stigma of town gossip, and nwwoman wears that gimmick proudly. She doesn’t speak for others, though, no matter how much she wishes she did. My girfriend is Catholic like me, but although she is a virgin she is eager not to be, and neither of us are close to pressing for marriage, although I know she is the ONE for me when that day comes. We are committed to each other, and I don’t believe sex between committed people who love each other is sinful in and of itself. Otherwise, confession would serve no purpose, and there would be no need for penance. I find the ones who judge the loudest often hide the most skeletons. Also an observation. To the girl who asked EMK for help, I hope you learn patience, and if you remain with this guy, accept him, talk with (not to) him, and things will work out. We Catholics enjoy debate. In short, talk, and maybe he will surprise you.

  7. 67
    Denise

    If she can’t support his mission in life, then this relationship will never work.  (In this case, it’s the sexual part of his religion–to wait until marriage.  It applies to any mission a man have–unless he has a lack of boundary/maturity in regard to incorporating balance in his life.)  She will become resentful and have negative energy towards him, and he will be the object of all that.

    I went out on a date with a man who said he skis all winter long, he’s not around much.  That’s his mission/passion.  I decided right there and then, although he was a great guy and I was attracted to him, I was not going to be happy with him being gone all winter.  I knew I would be irritated and resentful and bitchy, and I didn’t want that negative drama in my life (assumed he wouldn’t want it either!).  So I made the decision that was best for ME, which would by default be the best for both of us.  Same exact thing here.

    I gather the woman who wrote the original message to Evan is young and believes she can change a man–it’s a big mistake.

  8. 68
    E

    Absolutely in agreement with Evan. In fact, I think he’s even being a bit delicate; my immediate response was: how dare she? So you don’t agree with his beliefs; set him free to find someone who does!
    When I met my first boyfriend, I was 19 and a virgin. I was a virgin because I hadn’t ever had any sort of physical contact before, and because I wanted to wait for love. I also didn’t see myself losing my virginity to the first boy I ever kissed. Said boyfriend spent all of his energies trying to seduce me – threats, bullying, all sorts of things. I was so young – if I’d known then what I know now, I’d have dumped him the first time he said I was ‘abnormal.’ Instead, I stayed with him for three years. We never had sex. I stuck to my guns and every time I think of that jerk I get angry. Because, listen – I understand that sex is a vital and healthy part of an adult relationship. I understand that most people will want and expect it. But those were my beliefs then – how dare he try to change them? He once even told me, “the first time shouldn’t be such a big deal.”
    Her case is not one of trying to help him be more thoughtful or treat her with consideration. This is a case of fundamental conflicting beliefs. It is no one’s place to try to change anyone’s core values. I repeat myself again: how dare she.

  9. 69
    S

    KUDOS to you I’m impressed. YOU ARE AMAZING.

  10. 70
    Christianliver123

    Do NOT make him do ANYTHING he doesn’t want to. I am a catholic myself and very offended how you don’t care for what his beliefs are and what he thinks and believes. If you actually care about him you won’t try and change him! Catholics believe that premarital sex is wrong! Don’t do anything he doesn’t want to and don’t pressure him EVER!

  11. 71
    Jonalyn

    He is definitely gay. Hes uncomfortable with oral in the past and if he (as a man) can control himself to this extent either he is gay or has a non existent sex drive

  12. 72
    Saint Stephen

    @Jonalyn
    I guess u’ve never heard about self discipline/control before.

  13. 73
    Joseph

    Julia
    I am a Catholic guy and deeply so, and I can tell you right now he is even regretting wholeheartedly the oral sex saga he had and will not fall into the same predicament again. We believe that love and sex are not the same thing, sex or better known as “knowing one’s wife” is reserved for that special person that a man pours his heart and his life into, that one special person he will lay down his life for, the special person that will be his Queen for the rest of his days.

    Pre-marital sex besides being wrong confuses courtship and one settles for the less than ideal life partner hence the skyrocketing divorce statistics, and as Catholics we don’t divorce hence the need to be sure before you jump in. Pre-marital sex is what we call fornication, adultery, sexual immorality, impurity and if he is like me then seduction will not work; if you get desperate and take off all your clothes, bend over, or open them wide or whatever, he will walk out and never look back and in future he will not stay in your company (just the two of you) where there are no other people and that will be the absolute end of the relationship (we avoid near occasions of sin).

    In case you are wondering, I am not gay, I am a father of two. Please respect his morals, choices and beliefs even if you think he is wrong to think so.

  14. 74
    Debra Aponte

    Leave this man alone, as you are causing him to commit an act that he sees as immoral. Find someone who has similar attitudes as you do.

  15. 75
    Glory

    Julia I am an atheist with an old fuddy duddy jewish family and I have a catholic boyfriend. I convinced mine with reason and logic as well as temptation. It does work and there is no harm in it. Just do your best to convince him its not a bad thing. He’s an adult he should understand that its part of life. If hes that against it then I suggest leaving him and find someone new. Good luck!

  16. 76
    Anna

    I am devoutly Catholic and have dreamed of finding someone who can respect, and even share my values.  I have never had a boyfriend.  Whether or not you’re religious, pre-marital sex is just plain inappropriate, and I have had it with people saying that saving yourself for marriage is anachronistic.  There’s no other respectful way.  Women, and men, are not objects for you to exploit.  There is nothing worse than after-thought marriages. We are stuck in a society that has gotten love all twisted and backward.  The term is objectively disordered.  That nice Catholic guy has no business dating this immoral woman.  What’s up with the atheist Jewish thing anyway?  If you’re not practicing the faith, you can’t use the label.  I wish there was a nice Catholic, or Christian, guy who loved me.  But I’m always odd-girl out.

  17. 77
    james

    Lance – you’re atheist and you believe in premarital sex…. dude, that makes no sense. there’s no premarital in atheism. 

  18. 78
    Karl R

    james said: (#77)
    “there’s no premarital in atheism.”
     
    james,
    You’re not making sense. Evan is an atheist. He’s married. I know lots of other atheists who are married. If/when they get married, the time before that marriage is “premarital”, by definition.
     
    Due to the lack of stigma against sex amongst atheists, they quite frequently have sex prior to marriage, so that would be premarital sex.
     
    Anna said: (#76)
    “Whether or not you’re religious, pre-marital sex is just plain inappropriate, and I have had it with people saying that saving yourself for marriage is anachronistic. There’s no other respectful way.”
     
    I respect my wife. I had premarital sex with her. Are you so arrogant as to believe that you understand my feelings towards my wife better than I do?
     
    I’m willing to believe that you don’t respect my wife (or me) because we had premarital sex, But not everyone in the world feels the same way you do. I am perfectly capable of respecting my wife (and myself) even if you don’t.
     
    Anna said: (#76)
    “What’s up with the atheist Jewish thing anyway? If you’re not practicing the faith, you can’t use the label.”
     
    “Can’t” use the label? Is there a law to stop Evan? Have you become the final arbiter of what is correct usage of the English language?
     
    “Jewish” is used to refer to the religion and the ethnicity. Regardless of Evan’s religion, his ethnicity is unchanged.
     
    Anna said: (#76)
    “Women, and men, are not objects for you to exploit.”
     
    I’m assuming that you’re using this definition of exploit: “to use selfishly for one’s own ends”
    Let me know if you’re using a different definition of the term.
     
    You believe my wife exploited me because we had sex before we got married? Since we both put effort in to make certain that our partner got the same pleasure out of sex as we did, how is her action selfish? Since we were both voluntary participants in the sex act, how was she using me?
     
    Anna said: (#76)
    “I wish there was a nice Catholic, or Christian, guy who loved me.”
     
    Perhaps you express yourself poorly, but you sound very arrogant and judgmental in your post. If that’s the way you normally express yourself, then the nice Catholic and Christian guys probably get the same impression of you.
     
    Generally speaking, nice Christian guys will be looking for nice Christian women. Most Christians will define “nice” by whether a person possesses Christian virtues … including a forgiving nature and humble attitude. If you’re coming across as arrogant and judgmental, then you’re broadcasting that you’re not a nice Christian woman (even if people are getting the wrong impression of you).
     
    Perhaps if you learned to express yourself differently, you’d have more success.

  19. 79
    jackie

    Julia,please leave the man alone,am a woman who has kept herself sexually pure ever since i recommited my life to Christ,we christians believe that sex outside marriage is a sin,and it surely is as the Bible says. If a man was bent on making me fall in that area,i would never want to even look at him alone. Just leave him alone,he will get someone who has values like him. Actually your relationship will never work out,what kind of woman are you anyway? most descent women are looking for a man who can wait till marriage and you are throwing him to the wind? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  20. 80
    Dina Strange

    Instead of seducing someone she should go and find a dude who will sleep with her before marriage. Leave the guy follow his beliefs. Or she should respect his wishes and wait…

    I don’t understand what’s the problem. If a guy wants to believe whatever he wants to believe if it doesn’t hurt anyone else, let him believe it. And if she wants to sleep before marriage let her go and fin a guy (there are TONS of them) who will sleep with her.

  21. 81
    ak

    this relationship is destined for failure.  you should both go your separate ways  now.  Also,  regarding the guy in this “relationship”, this guy is no serious catholic if he is considering an atheist for his partner, especially one who acts like a man.  do yourself a favor man, the writing is on the wall for you, this girl is not marriage material in any sense of the word

  22. 83
    Peter

    This is precisely why Paul (2 Corinthians 6:14) tells Christians not to marry unbelievers. Throughout the Bible God asks His people NOT to marry unbelievers. Because the unbeliever will try to “convert” you into their unbelief which is really the religion they follow(although they think they don’t have any religion); the religion of the unbeliever is the religion of me, myself and I and I’m so smart look at me so modern. This letter is an exceptional example of how she is thinking about me, me, me and how cool she is. She believes in a relative moral system, it is ok to do “this” as long as society says it’s ok, and a system of absolute moral rules that doesn’t change its core beliefs with time regardless if society says it is ok to do “this”. One believes in God and submits to Him, the other IS a god and submits to no one. For believers only; run, don’t just walk away from an unbelieving partner, they will try to lead you astray and if you have kids with them, your life will be so much more painful than it could have been.

      1. 83.1.1
        starthrower68

        The Christian denominations don’t necessarily line up letter for letter on doctrine.  Paul may have posted his denomination at one time and I may have missed it, but I will use your sprectrum analogy that there are more liberal interpretations of doctrine to the more conservative.  I apologize for getting into that area as I know this is not what the blog is intended for.  I will just add that if a believer marries a non-believers, then of course they should remain in that marriage, as long as it’s a healthy and loving one.  Paul is correct on what the Bible says: but it would be a mistake for anyone to say that because your wife married you, she does not take her faith seriously. 

  23. 84
    keke

    I agree with everyone here. I’m 32, and ive only had one boyfriend in my life that never tried getting down my pants, ever. I don’t like or respect how most men value sex; its disgusting! I’m also aware that there are women who value sex more than in intimacy, but I feel that it is usually men who desperately need sex. What happened to true love, passion and intimacy. One more thing, what if a person finds their twin flame, and never had premarital sex, got married, and for some reason one of you couldn’t have intercourse anymore. Maybe the man got paralyzed or something? Most ppl would end up getting a divorce after a while. But not me, I would stay with my spouse, and still have passion, intimacy and love for the fact that I love them for them more than just their body. I’m still waiting for my prince charming because I have no faith in the entire race of men! But maybe because Julia is young, maybe she wasn’t aware that what she was doing was wrong.  I’m almost 33 and I’m young st heart and still imsture a little, and sometimes I make mistakes too. Maybe Julia has extremely laid back parents who let her do what she wants like I did. And one more thing before I go is I bet Julia feels like shit by now cuz I would! 

  24. 85
    CatholicDixieChic

    Julia.Julia.Julia.

    You like him and are attracted to his Catholic sexy ways precisely because he is abstaining. He’s not cheap. He’s not easy. He’s not a player.  He holds marraige sacred. He holds the covenant sacred. He is a gem. Hold off, and stay busy, happy and retreat a little. Watch him pursue, enchant and then marry you.  He loves you the way you are and he will find a way to be with you for good, if you just let him.

    God bless you, young lady. 

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