I told my boyfriend we should be pure and he got quiet and was upset. He said he’s willing, if that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to lose him. What do I do?

If a man loves you for who you are, then he won’t lose the person he loves by being pure with you. However, if a guy leaves you because you are unwilling to do sexual things with him, then you can know for certain that he never loved you to begin with. If his real interest is in sex rather than in you, your purity will bring his intentions to the surface. This is one of the functions of chastity: Not only does it free you to love; it also frees you to know if you are really being loved.

Take some time to think about what you really want in a guy. Odds are, you want a man who will challenge you to grow spiritually, not take from you sexually everything that you are willing to give him. There’s a widespread myth that guys are the ones who battle sexual temptations, while it’s the woman’s job to be the chastity cop. This isn’t fair. Girls have their own temptations as well, and persevering in purity is challenging enough when both people agree on the importance of chastity. Being pure becomes all the more difficult when the responsibility of keeping the relationship chaste falls on your shoulders alone.

Also, keep things in perspective: Your boyfriend is not doing you an immeasurable favor by not having sex with you. It is his duty as a gentleman, and you owe him nothing for doing what he ought to do. If he is pouting that you have imposed upon him an unjust sentence of abstinence, then he’s trying to emotionally manipulate you. You should not have to deal with a guy who will give you the silent treatment when you make a vow of purity, or question your decision to live by God’s standards instead of his.

It is better that he be mad than you lower your standards. Some women are so timid and afraid to hurt a guy’s feelings that they often end up causing themselves immeasurable harm. Listen to you heart and follow your conscience.

If he can quickly get over his disappointment and grow in his understanding of the value of the gift of sexuality, the relationship might be salvaged. But don’t get wrapped up in months and years of missionary dating. Instead, guard your heart and trust the guidance of your family and close friends.

If he persists in his pouting, then don’t be afraid that love will pass you by if you leave this relationship. It just may open up the door for the kind of love you’ve wanted all long. Here are some tips on how to know when it’s time to let go.

God’s will is your happiness, and if the Lord wants the two of you together, then waiting until you’re married to act like a husband and wife will not ruin this. As I mentioned above, if purity kills a relationship, then you can be sure that it was never built on love in the first place. Just as a strong wind will fuel an enormous fire and extinguish a weak flame, so too will purity intensify authentic love and extinguish it’s counterfeit.

Lastly, make sure to ask God the same question you asked me. Sometimes we’re so busy listening to music, scrolling around on the screen on our phones, watching TV, talking to friends, and messing around online that we never take time to sit still and pray. If we do not make time for that silence in our souls, we’ll have a very difficult time hearing God speak to us. For starters, set a regular prayer time and stick to it. We can’t expect to grow spiritually if we think that prayer times will just happen. My favorite place to pray is before the Blessed Sacrament at church. Wherever we choose to pray, we must be disciplined, and we will reap what we sow. When you begin to pray, invite the Holy Spirit to bless your prayer time. Spend some time reading the Bible, because the Lord often uses that to talk to our hearts. Also, ask our Lady to help you pray. If you persevere in doing this, you will see what you should do with this relationship.

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