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. 81

    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

  2. 83

    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

        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.  

  3. 84

    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!  

  4. 85


    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.  

  5. 86

    Wow, I wish I would have made a guy like yours. I am Catholic before birth. Yes before I am actually the niece of a Cardinal, and my whole family for 100 generation is strictly Catholic.

    I even went to bording school till finished college, and yes I am from Italy. When I met my husband, he told me he was raised catholic, and went to all the catholic school, but he had   become away from practicing, because of the change that have happened, and here and there. he was 7 years younger, and been a serious mature, drop dead beautiful woman, I though I could have him brought back to normality, but he was hard to change. When was the time to get married, he refused to go to the religious classes, so we had to get a marriage to the Justice of peace first, and than we booked the wedding with the catholic church, but we had to go to a different parish. The priest was so happy to do that, and the church wedding happened 6 weeks after the JP one, and boy those 6 weeks were hell on heart for me. He wanted to have sex claiming we were married, and I had to keep reminding him we were not blessed in the sacrament yet, and I will not deserve wearing a white dress if I was not virgin.

    So my story here is, I wish my husband would have been like your boyfriend, would have made me so very happy. He did not charge, but I managed to keep him off for 6 weeks till we were blessed in the church. So just leave him, and find yourself a nice Jewish man, just don’t corrupt a nice catholic guy with your immoral way. I wish there will be more guys like yours.

  6. 87
    Nick Tischer

    Honestly, you may not like the reality of it, but your idea/wanting of having sex with your boyfriend and trying to seduce him to go against his own values is wrong. If you haven’t spent enough time having different relationships fail, don’t play “Russian roulette” and try what you’re asking about. The heartbreak you’ll experience over having sex too early on isn’t worth the sex. All that temptation of having sex before marriage causes a relationship to skip the steps of getting to know that person. Once time has passed, you think to yourself ‘what now’? You try to connect with this person on important issues, but find out this person really doesn’t have a ton in common on deeper levels. You then wake up to this person everyday, and find yourself disappointed and being frustrated with this person. You end fighting with them too. Don’t tread in the waters which so many that actually want a long lasting relationship has gone to those places, and they fully regret it because they experience the hurt and heartbreak.

  7. 88

    I admit I have been on both sides of the coin on this. I am a Christian, and had made a decision to wait until marriage to have sex. I also had made the decision to not date at all until I was ready to date with the purpose of finding my future spouse and ready to marry. I didn’t feel that way until I was 24. My ex was also a Christian, and though we both agreed to wait until marriage to have sex, he always pushed the boundaries on that. One time I was desperate and wanted to have sex, but he refused, knowing that I would deeply regret it if we did. I appreciated him doing that, but where we struggled was our complete lack of experience and knowledge, misinformation from pornography on his part, and an unwillingness to learn better technique. I also struggled to communicate what I needed, since I didn’t even know WHAT  I needed to begin with. I take responsibility for that, and have learned about myself since then.

    Fast-forward 7 years, and the marriage became abusive and we divorced. I dated a man for a while who was in an open relationship because I wanted to be open-minded and not come off as a “right-wing bigot”, and he was seriously convinced that I was “brainwashed” by the church because I believed in monogamy – that he and those in the polyamorous lifestyle are the enlightened ones – even though we wanted to have sex and were having it. He was also an atheist, and was trying to convince me I was bisexual and seduce me with the idea of a threesome with his fiancé. Though he was entitled to his own opinions and beliefs, I refused to have mine so vagrantly disrespected, and we broke up. We also knew that our religious differences regarding the raising of children would have caused much heartache if we had stayed together.

    Although my marriage had difficulties and ended, I do not regret my choice to wait until marriage to have sex. Do I feel the same way today? No. I am open to having sex with a man if we are in a committed relationship together, and want to get married much further down the road in a relationship than I did the first time around. I am a different woman than I was all those years ago, but I was following my convictions then – just as I am now – even though they are different. However, I am now seeing a Catholic man, and am not sure where he stands yet on having sex before marriage. How things will turn out, and whether we keep dating and growing closer, remains to be seen. In the end, it truly comes down to respect, love, and compatibility towards each other just the way each other is.

  8. 89

    Perhaps if you would convert to his religion and make it yours you would understand better and you’d both be in harmony.

  9. 90
    Yvette Rodriguez

    Thank you for this information. My boyfriend broke up with me yesterday because I wouldn’t have sex with him. I am 22 years older than him . He knew my spritiual beliefs from the beginning. I   told him that I wish him joy, love and happiness. I   pray that he finds the right person that would supply all of his needs.

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