Seriously, I don’t want to write this post. I’ve been avoiding it for weeks. Just writing the wordchastity makes me feel lame. I wish we had a cooler word to convey the same concept, but any synonyms that I can think of sounds equally awkward. And every time I go to put my thoughts down on how to be chaste while dating I feel like an elderly prude who’s advising you to wear a chastity belt and preserve your special virtue. But my desire for you to be free from the baggage that comes with deviating from God’s plan for human sexuality outweighs my lack of desire to write about some very practical ways to stay the course. So let’s embrace the awkward together and move on because if you follow these eight chastity preservers for couples, I can almost guarantee that you and your sweetheart will remain pure… even without chastity belts.
1. Join the Angelic Warfare Confraternity.
This is probably the most important thing you can do to fight temptations. In a nutshell, joining the Confraternity means that you are committing to intentional prayer for a pure life. The Confraternity specifically calls on the intercession of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose family attempted to get him to change his vocational plans by locking him in a tower with a prostitute. He chased her off with a burning brand from the fireplace and was gifted with a life free from sexual temptation ever after. Take that Satan.
And if you do join the Confraternity you’ll be just like St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, Bl. Columba Rieti, and Bl. Stephana Quinzan who were all members.
2. Keep your feet on the floor.
Yep, just try getting intimate with four feet on the floor. (Don’t overthink this one.) Sounds extreme, but if you’re serious about this chastity thing, the “keep your feet on the floor” rule works.
3. Turn the lights on.
Getting caught up in the moment is way easier to do in the dark. Darkness hides things, but if you keep everything in the light, you’ll be able to see more clearly both in your head and in your heart.
4. Get out.
It’s easy to let your hangout default become something that involves snuggling while glaring at a screen. Too much of that and you’ll get super comfortable and then super bored. Bored and comfortable can lead to trouble. Get out and get active. Volunteer for a worthy cause, be adventures in the great outdoors, pick up a new hobby, play a sport, learn a new skill, whatever it is, your time discovering new things together will help you discover new things about each other. And while you’re at it, invite another couple, or your entire posse, to join you.
5. Put yourself in interruptible situations.
While this isn’t always possible, do your best to allow yourself to be interrupted. Something as simple as cracking the door to your dorm room ensures that you won’t let things go…
6. Be accountable.
If you’ve struggled with sexual purity in the past, find yourself an accountability partner who willask you how things are going. It will motivate you to know that you can give a good report when prompted.
7. Spare the details.
Having the “how far have you gone” conversation is mainly about idle curiosity and can stir up unnecessary images and desires. You don’t owe your boyfriend/girlfriend a detailed account of your sexual history. There may come a time when general information that will affect your relationship needs to be shared, but again, spare the details.
8. Give yourself a curfew.
The later it gets the longer you have to let things go too far. Set a definitive time to say goodnight and go your separate ways. Grandma is right: “Nothing good ever happens after 2 AM.” Or is it midnight? I guess it depends on who your grandma is. Either way, figure out what is reasonable for you and stick to it.
Striving for chastity isn’t easy, but with the above practical ways to do it, you’ll be well on your way to dating without unnecessary sexual baggage in tow. Blessings on your pursuit, I’ll be praying for you!
Be saints, it’s worth it!
(This blog post was originally published at FOCUS.)
Lisa Cotter and her husband Kevin have been a FOCUS family for the past 5 years. Currently she serves as the Family Liaison, a position in which she strives to connect FOCUS’ over 100 wives across the country. She is a proud graduate of Benedictine College where she received degrees in Religious Studies and Youth Ministry and later served as a Resident Director while Kevin served as an on-campus missionary. She is a national speaker as well as a video presenter for YDisciple Leader. In reality, she spends most of her days playing with her young children and trying to avoid laundry. Lisa is not currently on Twitter and her Facebook account has been disabled. You can connect with her by telegraph or Pony Express.