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…


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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  1. 41

    If you do sleep together he will resent you and the relationship will be poisoned. Don’t go there, although its not nice for your ego, its a sort of rejection. But this is about his religion, not you.

  2. 42

    Evan, i greatly appreciated your counsel to respect another person’s values instead of trying to seduce a person away from them. As a person of strong faith myself, i have experienced MANY times when a person who has tried to force or seduce me into doing something against my conscience, convictions, and/or religious convictions — even managers. That did nothing but create conflict and huge distrust.
    I am a person that will try to compromise whenever possible when conflicts come up, trying to find a way of meeting a need in such a way that doesn’t compromise my convictions, but often it seems like i hit a power play or an “I’m right/you’re wrong” way of thinking. It has been my experience that people who are more liberal in their life styles and demand respect for thier life styles, are not willing to give that same respect to people who are conservative in their life styles. (Oh, by the way, i have found out that legally and constitutionally, forcing a person to go against any firmly held conviction/beliefe, directly religious or not, is considered Religious Harrassment and is protected under the law.)
    And, just as an FYI, Even, since you are Jewish and in a “mixed marriage” and some of your readers might be, also …. there is religious option for Jewish/Gentile(Christian) couples for those who might be interested: attending a Messianic Judaism Synogugue. Technically, it is a branch of Christianity but its culture is decidedly Jewish. That is because about 50% of the members who are Jewish by birth but have accepted Jesus (Y’shua, in Hebrew) as their Messiah; the main distinguishing feature of Messianic Judaism is that its members do NOT assimilate and keep their Jewish life style and worship style. Their Gentile spouses are often Jewish in their hearts and enjoy the unity with thier Jewish spouse that Messianic Judaism gives them. This is esspecially true if the spouse is truly Jewish in their faith, having not accepted Y’shua as being G_d’s Messian. It was originally started by Jewish people who had accepted Y’shua as being G_d’s Messiah and couldn’t see how accepting Adoni’s Jewish Messiah to His Jewish People meant that they stopped being Jewish. At this point there are many Messianic Synogogues all over the world, even in Israel, so that one might be available for any person or couple who might be interested in trying out MJ. (MJ also has its own online web sites, particularly the MJAA, Messianic Jewish Alliance of America.)
    (You have probably concluded by now that i am a member of Messianic Judaism; and you would be correct — although i am a member who is Gentile by birth, my heart and soul is very Jewish …. like Ruth’s was with Naomi.)

    Shalom Shalom, Evan …. both you, your wife, and your family.

  3. 43

    im a catholic myself and if u want to have a sex with him, u will have to marry him.

    the rule of catholics; married first before having a sex.

  4. 44
    Michael Ejercito

    the rule of catholics; married first before having a sex.
    Or go to confession after having sex outside of marriage.

  5. 45

    I found this woman’s letter to be indicative of her inability to truly understand what the dating process is about. It’s certainly not about changing someone. It’s certainly not about tempting someone so much that they might give in to carnal desires, only to regret it later. (What kind of a loving woman does that?) It is about learning about someone so that you can make a decision as to whether or not you’ll be great mates, best friends, loving partners who can create a family, where the children grow up in a home where everyone is “singing on the same page.” This woman wants this man but she doesn’t want the person he is. I am Catholic. I come from a long line of Catholics. And no, I’m not brainwashed. There are people who make conscious decisions to be and live as a Catholic. When a Catholic’s child is baptized, a nonCatholic partner must agree that the child will grow up in the Catholic church. That’s easy for people who say they are Catholic but don’t practice. That’s very hard for nonCatholics who are married to a devout Catholic. It’s also so much better for the marriage partnership when both partners are Catholic, so they can enjoy the church community together, discuss church matters, grapple with religious issues from the same perspective, and find agreement on morals, values, sin, and virtue. I have a son who became involved with a woman who was bisexual, an atheist and who seemed to think that sex was the same as a handshake. She successfully tempted him, right into her bed. The following day, he said he would never see her again. Suddenly, he woke up and realized that this woman didn’t respect who he was at all. He could not imagine her as the mother to his children.

    Leave him alone.

  6. 46

    I agree with nwwoman, most women try to change men, and men, we wish women wouldn’t change.

  7. 47

    Hunter, I would submit to you that most people try to change other people to their way of thinking and seeing the world. I will even conceed to this in my younger and more foolish days. Now, I have certain values and beliefs on which I will not compromise; sometimes it’s a deal breaker and sometimes it isn’t. If it is, then we are free to go our separate ways. Let someone be who they are and if your lives can’t fit together because of it, then that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

  8. 48

    @ hunter and starthrower68…people don’t lie about who they are nearly as often as we lie to ourselves about who they are. One of the biggest misconceptions everyone has about the world is that, secretly, everyone is like them. Not so…

    Honey´s last blog post…Being Picky’s No Picnic

  9. 49

    Agreed, Honey.

  10. 50

    Really, we secretly believe everyone else is like us?

  11. 51

    I’m catholic, and I believe that the sexual part of the relationship is very important and should not be saved for marriage. If I can stand to be without it around my man, then that means only one thing- the physical attraction is not enough for me. It’s never going to work. Further, I know alot of catholics and they too have sex outside of marriage. He may have intimacy problems, be confused as to his orientation, or just not that into you. Or, worse yet, he has a very low sex drive- THE WORST!!!

    As a general rule, if religion is fanatical on either side of a relationship, you really have to consider what you are getting into when your backgrounds are so very different. This is probably not a good match for you.

  12. 52

    Maria, if all catholic women had your beliefs, they would all have male partners.

  13. 53

    Thank you Hunter. Yes ..Sex is love, and so is food. The way a good catholic girl does it…fix him a great meal and then lay him down. Everyone’s happy. And might I add feeling closer to God

  14. 54

    You ought to see the herds of single women that disagree with you!…

  15. 55

    Maria — I’d like to suggest that you consider practicing Catholicism if you are saying to yourself and the world that you are Catholic. If you decide that you want sex with every male you are in love with, then certainly that is your choice but you should start saying that you are a non-practicing Catholic, as that is the reality.

    We have ample people in this county, in particular, who seem to think that they can say they are Catholic but then do not practice Catholic beliefs. There’s nothing wrong with **not** being Catholic. Just don’t pretend.

  16. 56

    If only the Catholic Church practiced Catholicism.

    Read some history.

  17. 57

    Humorous statement, Michael….LOL!…

  18. 58

    As someone in your position it is extremely frustrating, you are lucky he actually was up front about it, it’s only harder the more you love him, mine never changed his mind, and I care about him too much to do it when he is unwilling. I’ve come around to agree with his religous beliefs, but do not have the strength to follow all of them, particularly this one. I’d like to think I will still be okay. And for those who suggested marriage, getting married before being with them for a couple of years is plain dumb. Learn to play with toys well and get yourself some good porn. However, never tell him about it. It will probably make him feel extremely uncomforable. And though you may wish for him to help you out, its probably something you’ll have to sacrifice.

  19. 59

    Thank you for all the posts it really helpt me out of what to do. I met a girl who is great in every way, but yeah she’s Catholic and im cool with that except im a guy… and i want more out of life, I only live one. I was gonna try and change her mind like, but after reading this, I realise I was just being selfish.
    I hope im making the right choice here.

  20. 60

    Let me jump in for I support HIS perspective.  Here's the deal, I'm an athiest, non-drinker, non-drug-user, non-smoker, and (get ready) believe sex is exclusively for procreation.  I'm healthy, educated, work hard, am strong but sensitive, athletic, attractive, kind,  generous, and funny.  Can't be all that bad because I've dated a LOT of women.  The problem is, once finding out who I am, most say something stupid like, "…oh, I'm sure I can corrupt you."  That always marks our LAST date.  Listen, I am who I am.  I even LIKE who I am.  Why should I be expected to change for another.  I've just dated the wrong "type."  Just as he is apparently not your type.  If being a devout Catholic is who your boyfriend is and wants to be, who are you to try to change him?  That goes beyond selfish.  I suggest you find someone else and perhaps he will do the same.

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