When One of You Doesn’t Believe in Premarital Sex…But the Other Doesby Jonathan Alpert on November 19, 2012
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I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 4 months. She is quite religious and I am not. I feel her religious views are getting in the way of our relationship progressing: She is Catholic and as a result, she does not believe in premarital sex. I don’t think this is a good reason at all not to have sex and believe sex is crucial for two people to get to know each other and have a solid relationship. She told me her previous relationships ended because the guys got frustrated with her religious views. What should I do?
Go out, buy a diamond ring, propose, hope for a yes, get married, and then get the sex part out of the way. Or, perhaps a smarter and less costly approach is to have a meaningful discussion with her about your different viewpoints on sex and the role it plays in the relationship. She should try to understand why you feel it is important and you should try to understand why she believes in waiting until after marriage. She might wonder how something that could potentially feel so good could be so wrong (according to her religious convictions) and you might wonder how something that feels so good and natural isn’t happening – therein lies the conflict.
Fundamentals of a relationship are based on mutual understanding, respect, passion, and shared values/beliefs, with religious convictions falling somewhere between values and beliefs. If this issue has been discussed before, were you privately hoping she’d cave in to your sex appeal and actually have sex? Or, is this the first you’re hearing of her views? If indeed it is the first conversation, then consider it valuable information as you get to know your girlfriend at the very early stage of this young relationship.
Keep in mind that although her reasons for not wanting to have sex may not seem like good ones to you, for her they are. She seems pretty well set on them, and her dating history suggests she isn’t going to budge. You must decide if you’re going to hang in there for the long term and are oriented towards marriage, or if you get out now before you get too emotionally involved. I tend to think jumping ship now is in your best interest.
Jonathan Alpert is a Manhattan psychotherapist and author. He appears on national TV commenting on sex and relationship issues as well as lifestyle, mental health, and hot-button issues. Get more of Jonathan’s great advice in his new book, Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.