My Boyfriend Dumped Me Because I Won’t Sleep with Him. Should I Give In?

I don’t know if I should have sex. Over a six-month period he’s broken up with me on 4 occasions due to my celibate status. I am recently divorced, but a practicing Catholic observing chastity and trying to date. Currently the guy I am in love with is demanding fellatio under the guise that it is not sex. I love him so much, but I’m uncomfortable. I also feel disrespected for him ask for this as our first sexual encounter. For starters, I am not good at it and I worry that he is taking advantage. I am scared to dissent you see. He is putting a lot of pressure on me and only talks around this subject if he texts back at all. I am doing all the pursuing apparently and its been via texts where I’m practically begging for us to retain at least some form of friendship if nothing else. I feel lost without him. I bought your recent book and am hoping to use these new skills to turn things around. It helped get him back because a month ago he disappeared, yep! He swore never to reply my texts or calls ever again and told me to move on with my life. I don’t know if his demands for sex are normal or if I need saving. Please help!

Julie

I’ve written about this a lot. However, your question – in my opinion – isn’t really a question as much as it is a request for validation.

You are a practicing Catholic who is observing chastity.

That is your prerogative and no one can really argue with one’s religious stance.

But what I don’t get – and have never really gotten – is why people who choose to be celibate are surprised when people who are NOT celibate want to have sex?

Of COURSE they want to have sex.

YOU probably want to have sex, too, but you believe that God forbids it.

This means you’re at an impasse and are at a fork in the road where you can choose only one path. Either stick with your vow of celibacy or have sex. There’s not a right or wrong.

It seems you’re investing a lot of time in dead-end relationships that will ultimately lead to this moment, instead of seeking out other chaste, religious men who are on the same page and respect your chastity. Sounds to me like a painful, predictable outcome and a serious waste of time and energy.

So, since you came here for advice, take this to heart:

You shouldn’t be begging to be friends with someone who ignores and disregards you.

  1. Dump your boyfriend. You shouldn’t have to pursue a man who is committed to you. You shouldn’t be committed to a man who doesn’t return your texts. You shouldn’t be begging to be friends with someone who ignores and disregards you.
  2. Get into some form of therapy. Or at least join Love U to learn how to act with confidence, set healthy boundaries, and put your energies into good men who act with kindness and consistency. The worst part of your story isn’t about sex; it’s about how poorly you’re allowing yourself to be treated in the name of “love.”
  3. Think logically. That sounds more patronizing than I want it to, but the math here is pretty simple:
    1. You’ve got a “boyfriend” who never reaches out to you and is telling you to move on with your life. All he wants is a blow-job.
    2. You’re a practicing Catholic who has taken a vow of celibacy.
    3. And your biggest question is how to get this guy back and whether you should break your vows for him?

Girl, please. Your boyfriend sucks. You shouldn’t.

Either stick with your vows and find a man who feels the same way about sex (3% of men) OR enjoy sex with a non-celibate man (97% of men) who is committed to you.

No matter what you do, it’s better than compromising yourself for such a poorly fitting partner.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    No Name To Give

    It’s almost an exercise in futility to date and live out one’s faith in the culture today. Taking up our cross for Jesus will cost us.

    1. 1.1
      Jenn

      I agree that it’s tough but it’s not futile. OP should ignore that 97% statistic that Evan threw in there too – it’s not helpful or necessary to her. I’m also a practicing Catholic who is waiting for marriage for sex. I know that most men expect sex without commitment these days (and no, a promise of “exclusivity” is not actually a commitment, it’s just putting off having sex or relationships with other people for a time). So what if there aren’t tons of guys lining up to date a temporarily celibate woman? All it takes is one – the RIGHT one, who will wait and who will love you for you, and who will respect and encourage waiting because he knows you’ll have the rest of your lives together to have sex.

      I can throw out statistics too – want to know a really cool thing about people who wait until marriage? Their divorce rate is only 5%. That’s right: statistically speaking, people who wait until marriage (whether they’re religious or not) hardly ever get divorced.

      I’m waiting for lots of reasons but most of all because I know it’s the right thing to do. Look around you, OP. Look at what uncommitted sex has done to this culture, the emotional and physical chaos it’s thrown us into as people. Sex is not meant to be used as a toy and if you’re having it outside of marriage, how can you honestly say you know that the guy is actually right for you and you’re not just in a “sex cloud” of sorts, riding the high of a hormone-induced “bond”? Sex makes you stupid outside of marriage.

      Keep the faith – the right one will come! Until then, lean on God, pray and keep meeting guys. Do the things you love to do. Use your singleness to make a gift of yourself to others. Then when you do meet the right one and you’re standing on that altar before him and before God and your families, you’ll know it was worth it. And your husband will know that you’ve truly lived your vow of forsaking all others for him. There’s no more special a gift than that on your wedding day. You’ll have chosen to give your whole self, body and soul, to him. Any man who rejects that possibility isn’t worth your time.

      Let this guy go so you can find the man who is a true gentleman, one who understands, respects and encourages your decision to wait. You won’t regret it!

      1. 1.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Respectfully, Jenn, you’ve been reading this blog for at least six years waiting for your celibate husband. While I agree that the OP should not continue her relationship with this man, I’m not sure you’re in the best position to give advice based on your experience or success.

        Finally, Throwing out that 5% statistic is, at best, misleading.

        The link explains it in much greater nuance but the long and short of it is that it’s quite self-selecting. People who save themselves for marriage are usually very religious and take their cues from the church. Such people are far less likely to get divorced because divorce is frowned upon.

        “Generally speaking, women who have multiple sex partners are less likely to be regular churchgoers. Since women with many partners don’t consistently have high divorce rates, there is little reason to suspect that religion is an important explanation for the relationship between sex partners and divorce outside of women who marry having had one or no partners…It won’t be surprising to most readers that people with more premarital sex partners have higher divorce rates, broadly speaking. That said, this research brief paints a fairly complicated picture of the association between sex and marital stability that ultimately raises more questions than it answers.”

        Point is that if you want to save yourself for God, that’s your business, but don’t do it under the guise of it being “better” for marriage. Celibacy is nothing more than a self-selecting process that restricts you to the 3% of the population that believes in no sex and no divorce.

        1. Jenn

          Evan,

          Not that it’s relevant to this discussion, but since you brought it up I’ll clarify a small point: I haven’t been dating for much of the past 6 years. Sadly, I went against your advice not to quit doing so and walked away from it a few years back. For several reasons, none of which has to do with my virginity or saving sex for marriage. I will try again soon but that’s beside the point.

          I choose not to follow the crowd when it comes to sex because I can see with my own eyes how the sexual revolution has ruined people, not because of my religion.

          My religion actually had nothing to do with my initial decision to wait, since at the time I was a lapsed Catholic and had never been particularly interested in church anyway.

          There are many people I know who aren’t particularly religious who’ve still chosen to wait for other reasons. I brought up that 5% statistic to illustrate my point that the OP need not be frightened into choosing to have sex just because, OMG, most guys will reject her! Throwing out that 97% statistic, while it may be (sadly) true, makes you sound a bit like a bad after-school special: “Come on, Cindy. Everyone is doing it!”. 😃

          Well, no kidding. Lol Of COURSE most men aren’t going to want a relationship with someone who’s waiting for marriage to have sex. They’ve been spoiled by this age of Tinder-induced “NSA” hookup culture.

          My question is, who CARES if 97% of men won’t wait? All she needs is the ONE guy who will,  the one who’s the right fit for her. Above all else, that’s what I was trying to get at. Thanks for the reply, it’s always a good time talking with you. 😊

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          I’m sure you’re a lovely person, Jenn, and I appreciate you reading and persevering in your quest to find your ONE. I do hope you get everything you’re looking for. If you discover that it’s a little trickier than you might have anticipated and have questions about how to be more “effective” click here and I’ll help you out.

        3. Jenn

          Thanks, Evan. I wish I could afford your Love U but alas, I am smart, I am strong, but regrettably, I am not successful. I appreciate the work you do and I can still enjoy the blog anyway. 🙂

        4. No Name To Give

          Christians have always been on the fringes and not part of the mainstream, at least until recently, now that the world has crept into the church, and for the most part, it’s no different than secular culture. That’s been allowed as a means to fill the pews and the offering plates.

          It has always cost Christians something to live out our faith. Only now, instead of being fed to lions, people who want to wait for marriage to have sex are rejected, mocked or misunderstood. It’s just the way it is. We’re not angry or bitter about it. We accept it as part of taking up our cross to follow Christ.

        5. Evan Marc Katz

          Not sure I agree with that assessment of Christianity on the fringes, but do go on with your persecution complex.

          Signed, a Jewish atheist in a 75% Christian country.

          (That’s 1.7% Jewish and 3.1% atheist, in case you wanted to see the world through a real minority lens. By the way, the only thing you can’t be in this country if you want to run for office? An atheist. Congress is 85% Christian and 0% openly atheist.)

        6. No Name To Give

          I didn’t bring up persecution, Evan, so I would appreciate you not accusing me of it. Do we have it as rough as Christians in day China or the Middle East? Not by a long shot. Nor did I make the assertion that we did. But let us not pretend that there are many in secular culture that have disdain and contempt for Christian beliefs. If you don’t believe me, look for them on Facebook.

          In one piece of Scripture, Jesus tells his followers we’ll be hated for his sake (Matthew and Mark). In 1 Peter 2:9, we’re called “a peculiar people”. You can’t tell me you don’t agree with that one!

          I get that you don’t believe in God or the Bible, let alone the authority of both. Ok, fine, I’m not mad at you for it or demanding you change. I’m merely explaining where, as a believer, Jenn is coming from. I’m sorry you think that is me having a persecution complex, but it really isn’t. I backed up why I believe it with Scripture. It would be silly for me to be a professing Christian, but not believe my faith’s holy book.

           

        7. No Name To Give

          I probably shouldn’t go here because this is a dating blog, but the culture is shifting, and not toward Christianity. It’s really the fault of the Church for being more concerned about popularity and relevance. That’s not s “persecution complex”; that’s just a normal observation. If you are open to such a thing, I highly recommend Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s video series, “How Then Should We Live?” It was done 41 years ago and scary accurate on where we are today and how we got here. But it’s not “preachy”. Any way, that’s my last word on that. I’m not trying to convert anyone, but as we here are encouraged to see things from another point of view, I am merely doing the same.

        8. Karl R

          No Name To Give said:

          “Christians have always been on the fringes and not part of the mainstream, at least until recently,”

          Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to make up their own facts.

          Christianity became the official religion of the Holy Roman Empire in 380 AD.  It left the fringe and hit the mainstream pretty early.

          And if you look at the back of a U.S. one dollar bill, it clearly says, “In God We Trust.”  That still sounds mainstream.  (And if you study European history, you’ll see an unbroken string of “mainstream” for Christianity throughout that period.)

          And here’s a June 2018 post from First Baptist Church, Dallas claiming that “America is a Christian Nation.” (The church has about 12,000 members.)  So, it’s still mainstream … at least in the U.S.

           

          If you’re going to be a Christian, maybe you should learn a little more about the history.

      2. 1.1.2
        Shaukat

        “Sex is not meant to be used as a toy and if you’re having it outside of marriage, how can you honestly say you know that the guy is actually right for you and you’re not just in a “sex cloud” of sorts, riding the high of a hormone-induced “bond”? Sex makes you stupid outside of marriage.”

        Only someone who has never had sex would put the act on a pedestal in this fashion–you can start thinking clearly seconds after it’s over, or sometimes even during.

         

        1. Emily the original

          Shaukat,

          Only someone who has never had sex would put the act on a pedestal in this fashion–you can start thinking clearly seconds after it’s over, or sometimes even during.

          Not if the sex is really good and you’re really into someone. The “sex cloud” is very real and can make you do stupid shit for a very long time. Heck, even a great kiss can leave you scattered and dreaming about the next time you meet up. It’s very distracting.

        2. shaukat

          @Emily,

          Yes, I’m aware of the powerful effects of strong chemistry on judgment in certain contexts. My point was simply that sex alone does not prevent most experienced people from making rational decisions. In fact, sometimes it can even demystify the infatuation.

        3. Emily, the original

          Shaukat,

          In fact, sometimes it can even demystify the infatuation.

          Or make it much, much stronger.

          For women, there’s also the bonding hormone, which can attach her to a guy she half-liked before sex (not in every instance, but it happens). It’s why some women prefer to hold off on sex for a while when dating or avoid casual sex.

        4. Shaukat

          @Emily,

          Lol, do you just like arguing with me?;) we’re discussing different things. My initial post was directed at some thirty-something religious virgin who thinks the act of sex is always going to blind people to their true interests, and that rational adults can’t make informed decisions in the context of sexual arousal.

          Also, the effects of the bonding hormone are exaggerated, and if sex was really that blinding then a woman your age should have married the first guy who was a spectacular lay.

        5. Emily, the original

          Shaukat,
          do you just like arguing with me?;)
          Yes. 🙂
           rational adults can’t make informed decisions in the context of sexual arousal.
          Well of course they can make informed decisions. People have free will,  but if a 30-something virgin finally does it … after all the waiting and the anticipation … even if she’s not being done well, yes, she is reasonable to worry about her reasoning skills. Have you never done stupid shit in the throws of a sexual relationship, only to ask yourself once it was over, “What was I thinking?”

        6. Nissa

          Respectfully, I’m with Emily on this one. The only people I know who didn’t have a muddled mind after sex were the ones that went into it knowing that they had a minimal interest to virtual indifference to the person they were having sex with. Those who had real feelings for the other person almost without exception became less rational about the situation.

        7. Emily, the original

          Nissa,

          The only people I know who didn’t have a muddled mind after sex were the ones that went into it knowing that they had a minimal interest to virtual indifference to the person they were having sex with. 

          Yes. Only they aren’t wired for great emotion. Either way, avoid them.  🙂

        8. Marika

          Shaukat

          I think it’s this bit which is surprising: ‘you can start thinking clearly seconds after it’s over, or sometimes even during’.

          Wouldn’t the sex have to be pretty boring to not be a least somewhat distracted by it during?

          Maybe it’s different for guys…if you don’t mind me asking, did you go through a man-slut phase? I heard a guy admit he was pretty ‘over sex’ because he was so freaky in his 20s. Can that happen? He wasn’t old enough to be in the ED type phase of life.

          I thought that was kinda sad. I mean, it would be good to not get so blinded by chemistry, but I really hope I never feel completely over it. Or able to compartmentalize it during the act.

        9. No Name To Give

          We have done a good job of cheapening the act. Unfortunately I let hormones and infatuation cause me to make really poor choices in the past. I thank God I got out of that as unscathed as I did.

        10. Jenn

          It’s SUPPOSED to be on a pedestal! It is the very premise that sex is no big deal, that it’s just “scratching an itch”, that has lead to so much brokenness in people today. The funny thing is that no matter how much research has been done on the chemical reaction of hormones and the physical bonding process that happens every time people have sex, there’s still this idea that we should just do it with abandon. It is the very act which is designed to deepen the bond between husband and wife and create brand new human beings into a family, which is the bedrock of human civilization. I’d say that’s pedestal-worthy, wouldn’t you?

        11. Evan Marc Katz

          Jenn, sex is not merely designed for procreation but pleasure as well. That is one of the things that makes humans unique. Your understanding of sex is inherently limited by your refusal to engage in it as well as your closed-loop beliefs about it. Nothing anyone here says or does will convince you that sex is fun and not a big deal, so why bother.

          FYI, I have a client who is a 34-year-old virgin (not for religious reasons). I helped her find her first boyfriend ever and I hope that they’re having sex this weekend (as we discussed). She’s really nervous, but mostly because she’s made such a big deal about it for her entire life that she doesn’t know any better. (Finally, if you think that’s just me talking, this client said she had ANOTHER 30ish virgin friend who finally had sex, and, in fact, wondered afterward why she made such a big deal about it.)

        12. Jenn

          Shaukat,

          You read a lot into that statement which, frankly, isn’t there. For the record, I didn’t say the word ALWAYS. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

          You’ve used sex wrongly and now your sexual response has been deadened. You have no experience with waiting until after you’ve taken the time to get to know a woman, figure out who she is inside, and fall in love with her soul as much as her looks well before you ever make it to the marriage bed. Why should I listen to anything you say?

          Honestly, I’m really curious. If you’re going to write me off as just some religious female older virgin who knows nothing, I’m wondering why you think the advice of a man who has repeatedly had broken sexual encounters and relationships would have any weight in this discussion for me?

        13. Shaukat

          I’m wondering why you think the advice of a man who has repeatedly had broken sexual encounters and relationships would have any weight in this discussion for me?

          I was not giving you relationship advice, simply pointing out that your first time won’t be as memorable as you think–in fact, it’ll likely be awkward, hurt a bit, and you may not even (probably won’t) climax. Also, just wondering why you take advice from Evan then? He’s been on over three hundred dates, slept with numerous women he had no intention of committing to, and has had casual sex. Finally, I don’t mean to be harsh, but as a religious female virgin, you were in your prime in your twenties–if you haven’t been snatched up yet, it’s only going to get much harder.

          @Emily

          My point was simply that sex alone is not going to affect long-term decision-making for most self-aware, rational people who are past their teens. Yes, chemistry can muddle your thinking, and good sex can enhance that effect, but only in the short-term. And I disagree with the premise that a thirty something virgin will necessarily be in the clouds after her first time with someone she’s attracted to–see above.

          @Marika,

          Nah, I’ve done causal sex and had ONS, and my number is above average, but not near the count of some seasoned players I know. But yes, I do believe sex can be good, bad, or meh. Or maybe I’ve just never had it with someone who rocks my world, who knows?:)

        14. Jenn

          Evan,

          Where do you get this idea that I think sex is ONLY for procreation? I have never once said that. I have said that it is designed for marriage, to deepen the bond between husband and wife AND for the express purpose of bringing children into the world. It is only this contraceptive mentality that has paved the way for the sexual chaos this world is in today. When you believe that sex, the ONLY natural act that is designed to create new life, should be firstly  for pleasure, that’s when the crap hits the fan. Maybe people should take it more seriously, then we wouldn’t have rampant fatherless children and all the other crap that comes along with just doing it for fun.

        15. Jenn

          Shaukat,

          I may think sex is a big deal but that doesn’t mean I think the act itself is always going to be this mind-blowing event. The whole point of saving myself for marriage is so that I can get to know the man without getting hormone-crazy over him, so that I can truly give my whole self to the man once he becomes my husband, AND so that I can know I’m not going against God’s design for marriage. I believe that’s the healthiest way to look at it. You guys seem to think I’m like, oh, it’s all going to be so perfect once I’m married! I’m a realist. I know it’s not going to be fireworks and flowery feelings all the time. I just don’t want to give myself physically to any man who’s not my husband.

        16. Evan Marc Katz

          “God’s design for marriage” may keep you single and celibate indefinitely.

        17. Emily, the original

          Shaukat,

          And I disagree with the premise that a thirty something virgin will necessarily be in the clouds after her first time with someone she’s attracted to–see above.

          She could get lucky. She could hook up with someone she’s really attracted to and sexually compatible with. It’s rare but it happens. And if it does, yes, she’ll be in the clouds. When a woman is  done properly, the sex, the hormones, the dopamine scramble her brain and she may do anything to keep it going, at least for a while. Particularly if she’s waited this long to do it.  Have you never experienced that? Geez, writers have been waxing poetic about it for centuries. But I agree with your other point. For most people, the first time isn’t great. In fact, it’s extremely underwhelming.

        18. Cathalei

          I don’t think Jenn is necessarily wrong in this. Yes, what she wants limits her pool tremendously, but it’s her values. She might want a relationship but it shouldn’t be at the cost of your self-respect. If she had sex taking all this advice, regretted it and ended up blaming her beau that would be far worse than being celibate. A relationship where you forsake your values is a harbinger of resentment and regrets. In any case it doesn’t matter whether it’s 70% or 3%, it takes only one to have on the same page. In many occasions too many options leave people confused and eliminating them based on our value based wants is practical. And the percentage might be higher in other countries, it definitely is in mine. Though it is not for me, I won’t dissuade Jenn from looking for what she is comfortable with because in the end it’s she who needs to be comfortable with her decision. If she decides this is non-negotiable for her, she should have other points to compromise on to boost her chances while not wasting her time with unfit suitors.

        19. Jenn

          Evan,

          Yes, you may be right that refusing to compromise on my deeply-held value that sex is for marriage might keep me single for my whole earthly life. I’m prepared to accept that as a slight possibility since,  heck, I’ve waited this long. Not having sex won’t kill a person.

          But you’ve said yourself in another blog that something to the tune of 94% of people under age 70 will eventually marry. And that 3% number of people waiting/have waited is slightly  misleading. 3% of the total US population is around 10 million people, give or take a few thousand. So yeah, I’m not saying 10 million people are waiting for marriage. But there are still quite a few people who are currently or would wait once they meet the right person. They just don’t all travel in your circles.

          So, to use your words, maybe the kind of guys I’m looking for would fill a classroom, not a stadium. But like another poster said here, too much choice isn’t good either. Thanks for the response as always, hope you have a good weekend!

        20. Evan Marc Katz

          I just want you to find love, Jenn. And when you find someone you love, hopefully you see fit to have sex with him before you insist on him proposing to you. I’m not encouraging sleeping around; I’m encouraging you to increase your options and be able to date within the mainstream instead of the fringe. If you’d rather – hypothetically – be alone for the rest of your life than to have sex before marriage, that’s your choice and I wish you the best with it. XO

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Correction: “Democratic Reps. Jared Huffman (CA), Jamie Raskin (MD), Jerry McNerney (CA), and Dan Kildee (MI) announced the formation of a new caucus, known as the Congressional Freethought Caucus, to safeguard the interests of nontheists in government, and to promote policies based, in their view, on reason and science.”

          That doesn’t mean these 4 people ran as atheists. It means they’re protecting the interests of secular folks who don’t have a lobby or church to advocate for them. Big difference. Atheism is still in the closet. Christianity is pretty much interwoven into American society. Merry Christmas. 🙂

  2. 2
    Caroline

    “your boyfriend sucks. You shouldn’t”

    Ha ha ha ha!

    Love this Evan. I appreciate the way you focus clearly on the real issue. Once that happens, the question of what to do seems obvious. You have a gift.

  3. 3
    Antonia

    “I feel lost without him” – hm yes. He sounds delightful.

  4. 4
    Donna

    “Girl, please. Your boyfriend sucks. You shouldn’t.” This statement, Evan, made my day. Pure unadulterated EMK !

  5. 5
    Maura

    The guy is not worth your time.  He is a user.  Agree with the comment about thinking logically.  Join a faith based dating agency and state upfront that you practice celibacy, it’s not fair to others to not make it clear.   You cannot have it all.

    1. 5.1
      No Name To Give

      Most people of faith don’t think it will be an issue until they are tested and forced to choose. As the saying goes, the status quo is the status quo until it isn’t anymore.

  6. 6
    Tron Swanson

    This guy has an extremely intelligent strategy. If you’re going to pursue, only do it for sex; don’t chase a woman so you can beg her to…let you spend money dating her.

    Also, there’s no such thing as (romantic) love without sex.

    1. 6.1
      No Name To Give

      He did that girl a favor by dumping her. She just doesn’t see it yet. The quicker you weed yourself out Tron, the better.

      1. 6.1.1
        Tron Swanson

        Oh, my opening move–telling the truth about the sort of life I’m pursuing–results in me being weeded out by 99% of women. I’ve never had any interest in dating, getting married, or having kids, so I’ve been fighting an uphill battle for the last twenty years. But…by getting a firm interested/not interested so early in the process, it’s made it easier for me to find women that are open to what I’m looking for. (In the past, serious relationships without traditional trappings; now, FWBs.) I’ve saved ridiculous amounts of time and money. I can’t understand guys like the OP’s (ex?)-boyfriend, who keep trying to get blood from a stone.

        1. No Name To Give

          Yes, I can’t understand why a girl would think she will get such a guy to commit. But most women have been that girl at one point. I thank God my sons have already found good ladies. I fear for my daughter. I’ve taught her about the 3rd wave feminist nonsense, but unfortunately she will be negatively impacted by the damage it has done.

        2. Jenn

          Wow, Tron, that’s a really sad way of living. And you’ve been doing it this way for 20 years? I’m sorry to hear that. That’s a lonely life.

        3. Tron Swanson

          Jenn,

          Trust me, I’m much happier now, because I’m simply not built for relationships. When I was trying to make relationships work, and wasting a lot of time and effort pursuing women, I was miserable. Minimal effort and FWBs have worked for me.

        4. Jenn

          Tron,

          Your FWBs won’t be there to care for you on your sick bed. You’ll die alone never knowing the deep and abiding love of a good and loyal woman, never fully reaching beyond your own selfish tendencies to sacrifice and create a life with someone with that attitude. I truly hope you decide to change your ways and realize that using people for your own ends isn’t actually enough to really fulfill a person’s soul.

        5. Sandra

          I’m pursuing–results in me being weeded out by 99% of women. I’ve never had any interest in dating, getting married, or having kids, so I’ve been fighting an uphill battle for the last twenty years. But…by getting a firm interested/not interested so early in the process, it’s made it easier for me to find women that are open to what I’m looking for.

          This is the course that has worked for Tron and his needs and is the same mindset that should be adopted by the OP- being up front at the onset to weed out those who do not share her values.  Who cares if it is 3% or 70% or whatever, these are her values and beliefs.  Everyone talks about there being too much choice anyway.  Now she can narrow it down to few who are on the same page as her.

  7. 7
    Noone45

    Living your principles isn’t easy. As one of my coworkers says, “The higher your standards, the lower your standing”. Despite what some proclaim, most people don’t respect principles if it means they aren’t going to get what they want. Either way, keep being you LW. Don’t give in to social pressure to conform.

  8. 8
    Adrian

    Hi Evan,

    I am going to respectfully push back on this one…

    All your advice to her is correct and she should value herself more BUT… her guy doesn’t suck, he is not the villain and she is not the victim.

    6 MONTHS with no sex!

    6 MONTHS without vaginal or oral sex just

    6 MONTHS of someone “possibly” taking the moral high ground and making him feel like his views on sex makes HIM a bad guy (who can argue against god the #1 authority on what is good).

    6 MONTHS of someone “possibly” saying if you really loved/cared for me you would respect “My” beliefs (because her desires about sex are MORE important than his desires about sex. Nothing about trying to meet him in the middle and show some understanding, instead it’s just selfishness disguised as morality)

    So… Most likely he bailed when he saw they weren’t going to be a good fit she begged him to come back, he caved because HE had feelings for her also but a few weeks after they get back together she returns to her default, so he breaks up with her again… Rinse and repeat. Now his feelings for her are most likely completely eroded away so he barely responds to her messages.

    She feels like she is doing the pursuing because he knows their relationship is not a good one. If you are going to condemn him for anything condemn him for that. Say he “SUCKS” because he is repeatedly returned back to a relationship that he was not happy in. Say he “SUCKS” because he allowed himself to actively date someone [who we assume] warned him upfront that she was going to remain celibate while dating.

    But DON’T say he sucks because he doesn’t text someone who he tried to break up with “4” times over the fact that he saw the relationship was not a healthy one and DON’T say he sucks because he doesn’t want to pursue or be in a relationship with a woman that makes him wait 6 months for even a blowjob without trying to consider and meet his desires as well.

    I repeat: don’t round any bases. Let me know how that goes for you.
    You very much want men to compromise and do things they don’t want: call on the phone, plan in advance, pick up the check, stop wanting to move forward sexually. So how are you going to compromise? How are you going to give? How are you going to demonstrate your interest in him. A: your sparkling personality may not be seen as “giving” enough over the course of 4-6 weeks.
    Rounding the bases is the most effective compromise where he can get some gratification (so can you) and you can buy time to see if he is worthy of boyfriend status. This world where men are content with a month of kissing has a small male population.

    1. 8.1
      Clare

      Adrian,

      I completely agree with you that this guy is not a bad guy for not wanting to date a woman who doesn’t want any kind of sexual intimacy, or for trying to cut contact with her when she is repeatedly trying to get back together. In fact, I’d have done the same thing in his shoes (although probably a lot sooner).

      However, I think you may have misunderstood Evan. I don’t think he is saying the guy sucks for those reasons. In fact, I think he’s made it pretty clear in his response that these two are just not compatible. I believe what Evan is saying by preceding the word “sucks” with the word “boyfriend” is that this guy sucks as a boyfriend for her.

      And he does. I mean, where on earth does she hope to get with a guy who wants to have sex and is actively running away from her because she does not? Both are valid choices, but they are pulling in completely opposite directions. That doesn’t make either of them “wrong” but it makes them suck as a couple. No question about it.

      To be clear, I’d have made the same decision as this guy did. I understand and respect people’s religious beliefs, but I cannot, for the life of me, picture myself in a sexless relationship, even one which included kissing and oral sex. I personally believe sex is so important in building intimacy and closeness. A friend of mine and her husband waited till marriage to have sex and they are happy, but they had the same beliefs and wanted the same thing. That is what this woman should be looking for if she is dead set on not compromising her stance on celibacy.

      1. 8.1.1
        Butterduck

        Clare, I agree with you.

        And if she doesn’t like oral sex and does it only to keep a guy around while technically staying “chaste,” that isn’t a healthy relationship. It’s mutual exploitation.

        I’m pretty sure that chastity in the Catholic faith applies to any form of sexual contact. That includes oral sex. So I’m wondering how much listening she did in her Religion classes. (I attended Catholic school for 12 years. I certainly didn’t observe any of the Church teachings on sexuality, but I remember what they were. )

        She needs to find someone who shares her values. He’s out there.

    2. 8.2
      Adrian

      Somehow the bottom got messed up.

      It was a quote from Evan’s on his podcast when he advised women to give men a blowjob if they were going to date a guy for months without having sex with him

      1. 8.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Hi Adrian,

        It was a quote from Evan’s on his podcast when he advised women to give men a blowjob if they were going to date a guy for months without having sex with him

        Buddy! Where have you been? Anyway, from your previous posts, I got the impression you weren’t a guy who was all over women physically and took sex pretty seriously (didn’t do casual). Am I wrong? There’s no right or wrong here.

    3. 8.3
      Nissa

      @Adrian,
      In this post, you don’t seem as measured and objective as you usually do. There are a few assumptions here that I don’t think are supported by a re-read of the original letter. You seem to be saying “six months is a long time”, but that’s your subjective idea. It may not be a big deal for the poster or to others. You are assuming that the poster is making the boyfriend feel like he is the “bad guy”, that her desires are more important than his, that she is telling him “if you really loved me you would do X, Y, Z. You infer that she made no effort to meet him in the middle, and assumed the boyfriend’s reasons for returning to her. In fact, the poster makes no mention of these things, so it’s speculation
      Additionally, I don’t think Evan condemned the boyfriend as an individual. I think Evan pointed out, rightly so, that breaking up with someone, then returning, on 4 occasions for any reason, shows a person who is not being consistent. Additionally, the poster specifies that the breakups were due to her celibate status, so the boyfriend was making an informed choice as opposed to responding to new information. The poster and her boyfriend have different beliefs about what constitutes sexual behavior – whether or not blow jobs are sex – that mean they are not a good match even if they like one another. Evan is just pointing that out. Last, the poster says she feels disrespected, is afraid to dissent, that the boyfriend is taking advantage, feels pressured, and their conversation has devolved to this single topic. None of that is consistent with the kind of relationships Evan advocates – fun, easy experiences where both feel safe, heard and understood.
      I was very surprised to see your last two paragraphs. Perhaps it wasn’t intended, but they came across as angry to me. Angry that men have to do things they don’t want to do, angry that men don’t get what they want, angry that women get what they want at the expense of others.
      I can’t agree with that. I believe that each of us offers what we are willing to offer, and the sexual marketplace responds. Most of us are having the experience of getting less than we’d like, without regard to gender. Most of us have learned to compromise and negotiate for what we want. If someone’s personality is not enough, then that’s the primary issue. Wouldn’t you say that a man’s personality should be enough, that he shouldn’t have to buy things to make a woman like him? Of course. So why then are you showing such hostility over the idea that a woman’s personality should be enough without her having to provide sexual favors to make a man like her? Money and sex are always nice, but if they are the only “gratification” one has in the interaction, that changes it from two nice people getting to know one another and enjoy one another, to selfish, one sided use of another human being. Intention changes everything.
       
       
       

    4. 8.4
      No Name To Give

      He might not be a bad guy, but this is why Christians are warned against becoming “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. Not because they’re bad people to be shunned, but such divergent values and world views don’t work well together unless the person of faith compromises.

      Of course many Christians are only cultural Christians, and don’t see an issue with sex outside of marriage.  But if sex before marriage is a requirement, don’t date someone who might be conflicted in their conscience if they engage. When I was still dating, I got that out of the way at the first opportune moment. I didn’t expect anyone to change for my sake, but I didn’t see a point in going forward in a dating situation. No one was hurt and no time was wasted.

      1. 8.4.1
        Jenn

        I love your response! I totally agree that being honest about your convictions is key. It takes courage, in this sex-obsessed culture, to stick to your values and not to give in to the pressure to use and be used by another person. Finding someone who also has special respect for the sexual act and understands its role within marriage is hard but not impossible. I am very confident that my time is coming and that when it happens for me, it will be forever. 😊 All it takes is finding that one right person, and any other bumps in the road can be dealt with as long as you both work on it together.

    5. 8.5
      GoWiththeFlow

      Adrian,

      I don’t know how in the world this pairing got to the six month mark. They are deal-killer level incompatible and I’m sure it came out early on. It would have been wise for both of them to walk away at that point.

      Someone mentioned that the LW should consider using a religion specific dating site. That and investing time in church sponsored social functions might be a good idea for her. Those percentages that Evan gave about only 3% of adult men being celibate means that Julie really needs to be filter on this parameter, or she’s going to be spending a lot of time meeting and dating men she is incomparable with.

  9. 9
    Yet Another Guy

    As someone who is a recovering Catholic (Google the term), I never understood cafeteria Catholics (Google this term too), and this woman is such an animal.  She has already broken the holy sacrament of marriage.  Even if she is not having sex with the man, she is romantically involved with him; therefore, the church sees her as an adulterer.  The LW needs to lighten up.  She is not a virgin; therefore, there is zero need to play the chastity card with a guy she refers to as her boyfriend.  There is a ginormous difference between sleeping around and being physically intimate within the confines of a monogamous relationship.  I wish her the best of luck because very few guys are going to swallow that pill with a woman who is not a virgin.

    1. 9.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      YAG,

      LOL! As a recovering Catholic myself, the first thing that came to my mind when she said she was divorced, but celibate, because God, was “Girl, you’ve already committed a mortal sin!  Being celibate now won’t save you.”  So glad to be in the recovery stage 😉

  10. 10
    Nissa

    Evan is bang on about this particular poster. Someone who clearly isn’t into us is reason #1 to move on, sidestepping the sex issue entirely.

    It’s too bad that here the “no sex” option is related to “religious reasons only”, because I think there are probably a lot of people for whom sex is not immediately on the table for non religious reasons – a personal history of getting overly involved inappropriately, wanting to put off new relationships until kids get older, STD status, history of sexual abuse, or simply not knowing oneself well enough to know if that’s what they really want.

    With that in mind, I’d like to add a 3rd option to Evan’s “go with the 3% of men who won’t have sex or stick with the 97% who do”. The compromise here is to have a timeline of knowing if this person is “your person”.  If you know this is a person with whom you want to share your life, and he’s committed to a relationship with you, consider having sex. I’m not saying you should share this timeline with the other person – in fact, I strongly recommend you don’t. The timeline is merely an acknowledgement of what you need for you, to know “for sure” if this is where your heart lies. Telling the other person your timeline will not only put pressure on them, but they might ‘wait out your timeline’ if they know about it, to lock things in with you while they make up their own mind. I’m not saying that there’s a malicious intent, but it does tend to be human nature to put ourselves first.

    And of course, if someone is not on the same page with us about what we need and want, then the likelihood that we will be happy with that person is decreased – no matter what the topic.

    1. 10.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Nissa

      I have to respectfully disagree in this case. I dated primarily Catholic women before I married, most of whom were observant.  My ex-wife is Catholic. I am talking about Catholic school through 12th grade and Catholic college Catholic.  I have never encountered a single Catholic woman who was not a virgin who observed chastity with a boyfriend.  To further complicate matters, unless this woman has been granted an annulment by the church (yet another way for a very wealthy and powerful organization to milk money out of parishioners),  she is still married to her ex-husband in the eyes of the church; therefore, she is considered to be an adulterer for even being romantically involved with any man other than her ex-husband.

      I bet that the LW used contraceptives when she was married.  Those are condemned by the church as well.  That is why I have never understood cafeteria Catholics and why I reject the faith today.  One is either Catholic or one is not.  One cannot pick and choose what one chooses to follow when one is alleging to be a devout Catholic.  What she is doing in reality is using religion to mask the fact that she using sex as a weapon of control.  If she does not want to have sex with a man, she should not attempt to tie one down into a relationship.  After all, she is not a virgin.  A relationship without sex is a friendship.  A marriage without sex is also a friendship (we do not want to go into detail about what the church states about a woman’s obligation to have sex with her husband).

      1. 10.1.1
        Nissa

        Of course, it’s ok to disagree. We can still be respectful of each other and believe different things. Our different perspectives are what make things interesting.

      2. 10.1.2
        Karl R

        Yet Another Guy said:

        “That is why I have never understood cafeteria Catholics and why I reject the faith today.  One is either Catholic or one is not.  One cannot pick and choose what one chooses to follow when one is alleging to be a devout Catholic.”

        Roman Catholicism is not one monolithic group where everybody is in complete agreement.  It’s a billion people.  It contains beliefs ranging from Opus Dei to Liberation Theology.

        In the past, the church has condoned the inquisition, the crusades, slavery, and the selling of indulgences.  And it did so until some people decided that they could choose which parts of Roman Catholic doctrine they would no longer support and follow.

         

        Yet Another Guy said:

        “I bet that the LW used contraceptives when she was married.  Those are condemned by the church as well.”

        Do you have any idea where the prohibition on contraceptives originated?  In the 4th century, Augustine decided that Genesis 38 demonstrated that contraception is wrong.  Since that time, the Roman Catholic church gradually adopted the stance that contraception was wrong.  And when I say gradually, I mean it took them over 1,000 years to take a particularly strong stance against it.

        Have you read Genesis 38?  In my opinion, Augustine grossly misinterpreted that scripture (either accidentally or deliberately).  Onan’s sin wasn’t contraception.  He was denying his widowed sister-in-law the heir who would support her in her old age.

        If you read the rest of the bible, you’ll notice that God explicitly states that people should care for widows and orphans.  Multiple times.  Almost like it’s important.

         

        I’ve had people (mainly conservative Christians) who claimed that I was not a Christian.  They have claimed that I’m going to burn in hell.

        There is one thing that I’m absolutely confident about.  God didn’t delegate that authority to those people.

        Who delegated the authority to you to decide who truly is or isn’t Roman Catholic?

      3. 10.1.3
        No Name To Give

        YAG,

        Normally I agree with you on most things, but I part company with you on the assumption that our OP is using sex as a weapon under the guise of piety. As a person of faith, I backslid on that too many times in my younger days because I was unable to not succumb to the temptation. Sex as a weapon didn’t enter into it. I would submit many more Christians fail that test than pass. People aren’t algorithms, transactions, or anything other than imperfect human beings.

        I only know of one who has the power to look into the human heart and read motives. And none of us are Him.

         

        1. Marika

          Agree No Name that this doesn’t seem to be a manipulative thing. I don’t hear a controlling & manipulative woman in this letter AT ALL. I hear an anxious & confused woman, both trying to stick to the inflexible rules of her faith as well as date and please her partner and her God. I can relate to being a divorced Catholic who was brought up in a very devout household, and it’s a tough gig.

          YAG: why always (when it comes to women) attribute to malice what could fair more easily and fairly be attributed to confusion & naivete.

        2. No Name To Give

          It’s important though, to realize what Christians really believe rather than assuming we are blindly following an inflexible rule. What we believe is that God can see all the potential consequences that lie ahead for us if we have sex outside of marriage. It’s not because He’s not mean and just wanting to boss us around. He will let us choose to engage. But He would rather we not go down a path that could cause us greater pain, as our OP is experiencing. Unfortunately too many Christians can’t say why we believe what we believe.

      4. 10.1.4
        SparklingEmerald

        As a “recovering Catholic” I have to agree with YAG.  Add to that that the priests who are buggering young boys, and the church chronically covering up for them, I really don’t even see the appeal of Catholicism.  There are plenty of Christian denominations who don’t prohibit birth control and divorce, but have other basic Christian principles, why not switch to one of those denoms, instead of being a half way Catholic ?

    2. 10.2
      S.

      It’s too bad that here the “no sex” option is related to “religious reasons only”, because I think there are probably a lot of people for whom sex is not immediately on the table for non religious reasons – a personal history of getting overly involved inappropriately, wanting to put off new relationships until kids get older, STD status, history of sexual abuse, or simply not knowing oneself well enough to know if that’s what they really want.

      Nissa, thanks for mentioning other reasons folks might be forgoing sex.  Although the OP’s letter is about religion, I find the ‘not having sex’ talk seems to always lead folks to saying to have sex because most people do or go find people who don’t in church or in religious communities.  Or get therapy for any other issues you might have. I do wish for discussion a bit more nuanced than that sometimes.

      I’m not speaking specifically about Evan’s advice, just the celibacy discussion in general on and off this blog.  So thanks to you for mentioning non-religious reasons some people aren’t having sex.

  11. 11
    Michelle

    Agree with Evan on this one, specifically you are narrowing your choices to roughly 3% or so of the male population.  If you are willing to make that sacrifice to hold on to your beliefs, that is your right.  But you must also accept what goes along with that; that the vast majority of the male population will not be a choice for you and not available to you.  Trying to make them take on the same vow of chastity when it is not their wish is deeply unfair, immature, and unrealistic; wanting sex is a normal part of any relationship.  Own your choice, fly with it, but understand the ramifications and find and meet that 3% who are with you.   Anything outside that is an exercise in pain and frustration, for both parties.

  12. 12
    No Name To Give

    SP, it’s a bit more complicated than that.  And I promise you, not all Catholics follow the birth control thing to a tee. When I was a practicing Catholic,  I had to use it for it’s “regulatory” properties.

  13. 13
    Suzanne

    Why don’t religious people use online sites for religious people? I went on a couple of dates with one guy who then turned around on the third date and said I’d have to become a born-again Christian if we were to continue to date. This never came up before. I dumped him, of course, but he started harassing me with emails with verses from the bible about a woman’s place. Then I blocked him.

    Dating is bad enough as it is, let alone trying to convert people before you commit to them.

    I’m glad to be out of the dating scene.

    1. 13.1
      No Name To Give

      If a Christian goes into dating with the attitude he/she will convert someone, they’re doing it wrong. We don’t have that power. All we can do is give a reason for “the hope that resides within”. We don’t have the power to save or convert.

    2. 13.2
      Nissa

      Suzanne,

      As Karl R stated very well, ‘religious people’ fall into a HUGE spectrum. I myself am “spiritual but not religious”, which is what online dating sites use for people like me who are open to a lot of things that fall outside traditional religions like Christianity, Catholicism, etc.

      Someone like me would not fit into an online dating site for Christians because I believe in a lot of things that are outside the traditional sphere – a life without children, that pro choice is a viable choice, gender equality, alternative religious practices – and I don’t believe in a lot of things that are inside the traditional sphere – women as subordinate to men, hateful acts or beliefs that are labeled as “principal”, or imposing one person’s choices on another.

      A lot of the people I know lose faith in traditional religion itself while still desiring the community, the support and exploration of one’s best self that also come with being part of a religion. So consider using your online site to filter for “spiritual” specifically and see what pops up.

      For non Indian, non Muslim people (only because those are large groups that have online dating sites specifically for them), one can try ‘spiritual’ sites such as Dharma Dating, Spiritual Singles, Conscious Singles, Meet Mindful, The Spiritual Awakening or  Spiritual Dating.

      1. 13.2.1
        No Name To Give

        Christianity is quite misunderstood.

  14. 14
    AdaGrace

    A few months ago, a man I’d been on a bunch of dates with and fooled around with a few times wanted to have sex.  I was very much on board with the sex and potential relationship part but don’t feel safe having intercourse with a guy without STI testing and exclusivity (the latter is important to me from both a physical and emotional safety standpoint).  Dude was on board with the testing part but not the exclusivity, which he felt was premature.  (In retrospect, I have a sneaking suspicion that his ex-wife of 30 years was the only partner he’d ever had and it bothered him, but I’m not going to argue with whether someone’s stated needs are valid or not).  We talked about this several times in  like reasonable, rational human beings, and went on about three more dates and fooled around in pretty much every way I consider “acceptable risk” for me; each time he would check whether I was *sure* I needed exclusivity to have sex.  It didn’t take long to realize that although I was having fun with him for the most part, the pressure was making me a touch irritable, “premature” probably wasn’t going to be a matter of just a few weeks, and I could be using both Friday AND Saturday nights (instead of just one of the two) to look for a man with a timeline and goals more similar to my own.  I don’t think badly of the guy, in fact I mostly enjoyed problem-solving with him — and at one point he said “I love that you’re clear, don’t play games, and seem to be truly ok with yourself and what you want.”  No drama, no finger pointing — each party left the table still respecting the other.  The pressure was uncomfortable but not excessive, more at the level where it’s a sign that he’s got some testosterone left :-).  If he’d raised his voice, told me my needs were stupid or unreasonable, outright demanded I sleep with him, tried to manipulate me, or accused me of trying to manipulate him — I would have walked sooner since I’m looking for a partner who’s inclined to problem solve WITH me, someone who fights fairly and constructively.  My experience  this guy leads me to believe he’ll make a great partner for *someone* once he gets the wild oats out of his system… just probably not me since hopefully I’ll be partnered already by that time 🙂

    .

    IMO the LW would have done better by making sure her boundaries were firm ahead of time, and it’s understandable that the ex was frustrated by her indecision — but IMO there are two basic kinds of responses he could have given at this stage of the game that would make me think he’s be a suitable partner for ANYONE:

    .

    “I’m starting to get the sense that we need different things here, please figure out what you truly want and don’t approach me again unless/until you’re sure”

    OR (or, subsequently)

    “Sorry, this is too much for me — I wish you well, but it’s clear to me we can’t come to an agreement that makes both of us happy.” and then refuse to engage further.

    .

    I took Evan’s response as meaning it’s the ex’s halfway, half-assed manner of responding at this point (rather than either staying disengaged while she figures it out or else cutting off contact once and for all) that sucks here — not the fact that he’s unwilling to wait.  Yes, as other people pointed out, he also sucks as a good partner *for her*, but that in itself isn’t a character flaw.

    .

    IMO it’s pretty irrelevant whether or not she’s trying to manipulate him (which I really doubt), as is the question of whether or not she’s a perfect Catholic/hypocrite, or whether the FSM himself came down, wiggled his noodly appendages at her, and told her precisely what (not?) to do… if SHE clarifies what’s truly ok with her and values herself enough to stand by that (i.e. Evan’s #2 above), she can think logically and weed out inappropriate guys pretty quickly *before* getting emotionally attached… and feel happy and settled about whatever it is she does or doesn’t do with the appropriate ones.

  15. 15
    S.

    Evan gives good advice here.   If you choose to stick with the 3%, ask other faith leaders about your choices. I’m sure the dilemma is very common there.  Also spend time finding other women who make similar choices too.   It’s a smaller pool but there are still fish in it.  Sometimes it’s helpful to be around people in real life who struggle with similar questions.

  16. 16
    Cathalei

    I agree with Evan when he says that the boyfriend sucks despite the arguments to the contrary. And it’s definitely not because he wants to have sex while she does not, they can want different things while both of them want a different things. Like numerous comments said it’s a matter of incompatibility but where I disagree with is that the only problem is this. What he does sucks in general, regardless of what he or she may want. “He is putting a lot of pressure on me and only talks around this subject if he texts back at all.” is a red flag waving to her face. Even if the OP doesn’t realize that now, he is doing her a favor by leaving her. I have very high drive when I am attracted and may even be insatiable but it isn’t the matter of desire but how you convey what you want. If you go on that way, he would most likely put pressure on you about other things while ignoring and threatening to leave you unless you comply. You will continue to feel guilty and lost in this relationship.

    Additionally, you should look for those with similar beliefs. Though they might take an issue with the fact that you’re divorced thus committing adultery. Or since you’re divorced it no longer matters etc. I don’t know what they would think or the circumstances of divorce but you can clarify it with yourself and them. I wonder how Evan’s Catholic wife dealt with this. Based on what I saw, she didn’t seem to have gone through such a conflict, though it is better to ask the original source; i.e. either herself or her husband.

    1. 16.1
      Cathalei

      “they can want different things while both of them want a different things.”
      I realized the typo now, what I meant to say was “they can want different things while both of them are perfectly decent individuals”.

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