Posts by Arleen Spenceley

How delighted the devil would be to see us do this.

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In a recent blog post, Tommy McGrady wrote that “marriage isn’t just hard. It’s sneaky hard.” But a friend of mine read it, and then she responded. “When you learn to communicate, love your spouse more than yourself, learn to compromise and accept that not everything in life is going to be the way you want, marriage is not hard at all,” she wrote.So Read more…

When Dating Is Hard

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As a Catholic, I believe that dating is for discerning marriage — for discovering the truth about each other. For deciding whether to choose to love each other until death. Sometimes, dating is fun. You can go to aquariums together and stuff. There are otters at aquariums. Need I say more? Dating is good. If you pay attention, you learn about God and each Read more…

What a First Kiss Tells You

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I recently read an article what a first kiss tells you, and it didn’t sit right. The author called a first kiss a litmus test. She wrote that it’s how you confirm that a guy is into you—that it’s how you determine whether he’s confident. And maybe, for her, that’s what a first kiss is. And maybe it is for Read more…

What Tim Tebow’s breakup can teach us

Tim Tebow got dumped. Again. This time, the girl is a former Miss USA who allegedly called it quits after a couple of months because she “can’t handle” Tebow’s sexual abstinence. So last week, a New York Daily News gossip blog mocked the famous football player for his inability to “find the endzone,” and wrote that it isn’t the first time that his decision Read more…

Where are all the good men?

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As somebody who has written a lot about dating, I have gotten a lot of feedback from single young adults—ladies and gentlemen who haven’t tied the knot and want to, who routinely ask an honest question. “Where are all the good men?” or, “Where are all the good women?” The question is probably rooted in each person’s not so satisfactory Read more…

When attraction is irrelevant (and other dating truths)

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Recently, I received a call from my good friend Americo, who I’ve known since I was 11. First he was my brother’s youth minister. Then mine. And by the way he is brilliant. That day, I had emailed Americo a dating question: How do we know that our standards are solid and not a sign that were hesitant to make the act of faith that marriage requires? It’s the “how far Read more…

How to save marriage

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Recently, during a radio interview, the Son Rise Morning Show’s host Matt Swaim asked me if the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage would cause a marriage crisis. And I said no. Because it won’t. But last Friday, a lot of Christians responded like it would—“as if everything was perfect last Thursday,” one of my readers wrote on his Read more…

Why I’m Not Afraid of an Awkward Wedding Night

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I am 29 years old, and I have never had sex. Not even close. My decision to practice chastity implies that I never will, unless or until I am married. Which means if I do get married, I won’t have any sexual “experience.” So a young adult who reads my blog once asked me the following question: “Why would you want to Read more…

Why you don’t need to be a virgin to practice chastity

www.jessicaoverholt.com

In a comment beneath a chastity post I once wrote, a reader left a disconcerting note: “I’m not a virgin, so I guess I can’t practice chastity.” The comment hurt my heart. The person who wrote it had dismissed chastity as irrelevant as a result of sexual experience—a sign of a misconception of chastity that says it isn’t designed for Read more…

5 Ways to Get Better at Practicing Chastity

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Chastity is for lovers. That isn’t solely the title of my book, but a truth I believe with my whole heart. It’s a virtue for all of us—single, married, priest, nun—that creates conditions in which we can do what we were designed to do: love God and each other. Chastity doesn’t separate sexuality from the rest of the stuff that makes Read more…

Why I STILL don’t date men who are “willing” to save sex

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In his quiet apartment, I stirred a pot of mac ‘n’ cheese while I watched him watch TV. He sighed. So did I, and for the same reason that he did: As of a few minutes earlier, I wasn’t his girlfriend anymore. His was a sigh of resignation. Mine was a sigh of relief. When we first met, I was 23. Read more…

What NOT to say if you’re single

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I sat at the foot of the bed with crossed arms and my mind made up while I ugly-cried: “I will never meet another guy who likes me.” I was 20 and mildly dramatic and my path—one I briefly walked with a blue-eyed, black-haired bass player—had been pulled out from under me. By text message. On New Year’s Day. Single, and I didn’t Read more…

Why I don’t date men who are ‘willing’ to save sex for marriage.

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“There’s something I need to tell you,” I said to a man on his couch in a Tampa apartment. He—then in his late 20′s and interested in me—nodded, and waited for me to say it. I, then in my early 20′s, breathed in before I did: “I’m saving sex for marriage.” I breathed out while he silently processed what I had said. Then Read more…

Three Reasons to Wait Before You Flirt or Date

www.geodun.com

You’ve probably heard of the Stanford marshmallow experiment. In the ’60s and ’70s, Walter Mischel—then a psychologist at Stanford University—put one preschooler at a time at a desk on which he had placed a bell and a couple marshmallows or other treats equally tough for a kid to resist. “The researcher told each child that he had to leave, but that when he returned, she could Read more…

The most important thing to do while you’re single

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A stack of save-the-dates and wedding invitations covers a corner of my desk at home. Within the next eight months, five more of my friends and their significant others will have wed, while I—now nearly 29—will have not. That I might witness all their vows without a date doesn’t bother me at all as I write this. That doesn’t mean that how single I am has Read more…

BUSTED: Three myths people use to promote premarital sex.

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In 2009 and 2012, I wrote essays for the Tampa Bay Times about why I’m saving sex for marriage—essays that sparked impassioned reactions. Some feedback came from readers who agreed that saving sex is a good idea. Other feedback came from readers who shared why they think premarital sex is better. But their reasons—which still show up in my inbox—have Read more…

The Lost Art of Discernment

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I smiled at the face on my computer’s screen—a MySpace profile pic of a Christian boy with bright eyes and a bass guitar. He was 21 and part of a band made up of a handful of my friends. I was 19 and had seen enough to come to a quick conclusion: I should date him. We texted and talked, Read more…

Is it time to change our views of adultery and marriage?

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My phone rang mid-day on a Monday—an unexpected call from a friend in a crisis sparked by a spouse’s newly revealed infidelity. I thought of my friend last week as I read a column on HuffPost Wedding, a request by life coach Lisa Haisha to reconsider monogamy, which is a promise implied by marriage but breached by many-a-spouse. The divorce Read more…

Not All Men Are Bullets

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A phone call is jarring when in it, your friend divulges the discovery she made of her husband’s infidelity. Of her boyfriend’s big lie. Of her crush’s double life. Or of his wife. Whatever the breach of trust, the result – at first, at least – is devastating. One person’s choice pulls the path out from under somebody else, somebody who didn’t Read more…

Ignore What the World Says About Virginity

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I curled into a corner of the couch, pointed the remote toward the TV, and channel surfed to TV Land, where the woman in the sitcom on screen made a “shocking” discovery: Her son had never had sex. “Twenty-six years old and still a virgin,” she said. “The Elephant Man lost it before that.” The actor’s line was a crass Read more…