Physical Intimacy Question

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2014
Physical Intimacy Question
11
Tue, 02-04-2014 - 8:45am

Hi,

I'm new to the Boards but not to ivillage, and hoping to get some insight from everyone here!

I'm in a relationship with a deeply faithful Christan man who has recently said he wants to stop having a physical relationship (we had sex then stopped, but now he wants to only kiss due to his faiththat sex should be reserved for a permanent union- gay or straight, we just happen to both be straight). I asked if he really just wanted to just take a break but he said not at all and that once we're married he'd like to have sex on a daily! At the same time, he's started asking me about marriage, future goals/dreams, and we've started having serious discussions about creating a life together as a married couple.

I'm just wondering is this a sign he's getting serious or is this a way of sublty ending things? I'm a Unitarian who goes to a Christian church, so I respect his faith but am just not used to dating such a religious man. I have dicsussed this with him first, but he says he just wants to marry me before having sex. What makes me doubt is my past: my ex-husband secretly wanted to be a woman (reason why we ended our sexless marriage), so I'm more sensitive to the idea of no physical intimacy. 

Thanks! ClimberGal16

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 02-16-2014 - 1:10am

What does he say about why it was okay to have sex for a few months, then fool around without penetration for a few months, before deciding that now it can be only kissing? Did he forget his church's teachings, or not care for a while, or ?? If he had said from the get-go that his faith didn't allow sex before marriage it would be one thing, but him "changing the rules" every few months (especially about an issue that is kind of a hot-button for you) would be troubling.

I see a few red flags here: the inconsistencies mentioned above, the differences between you two in religious fervor, his past guilt issues with sex, and the age gap which includes your differences in life experience, career development etc. I would question how well he knows what he believes and wants, which would be a concern when marriage enters the picture. Proceed with caution.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Thu, 02-13-2014 - 2:00am

  It's never easy.  But the warning signs are there.  Anyone who would do this is to be mistrusted as far as their sexuality and values go..  Methinks if you want a celibate life this is the person. 

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Sat, 02-08-2014 - 6:50pm

Perhaps he's worth taking a risk on and staying in the relationship for another year. I wouldn't marry him if he asked you tomorrow. You need to know a person at least two years to see how consistently they treat you and to make sure no skeletons come out of the closet. The fact that he's 23 means that the pre-frontal cortex of his brain isn't fully formed yet. This happens at 25. That means he's reasoning, rationalizing abilities and decision making might not be fully mature yet. As for me, I'd still be leary about the no sex thing. Just because he was gung ho at first doesn't mean he would retain a similar sex drive as yours if you got married and then could see his libido/pattern. I was once in a relationship with a guy who I was initially happy with in that department for about 3 or 4 months, but then it dwindled to him only wanting sex twice a month. You can never be happy with someone who has the opposite libido as yourself. I might talk to him about your concerns of not finding this out before you marry--if you're sexually compatible as to how often you do it. I'd also find out if he has sexual hang ups that will hang over his head the rest of his life. I have a hard time thinking they may magically disappear once there is a union before God. I'd question him more about his reasons for being celibate and try to get some deep discussions going to get some insight on the matter. Hopefully his family (usually the mother) hasn't guilted him about the sin of sex which will forever haunt him. And if you're afraid of scaring him off by these discussions, then the relationship isn't as strong as it should be anyway. I'd probably give him another year and see how things work. Let us know how it goes and good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2007
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 3:14pm

Xxxs, I appreciate the frankness! Honestly, pulling the plug isn't that easy for me. But, it does help to know what other men think about this!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2007
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 3:06pm

Thanks Trenner2- none of my friends have attempted waiting until marriage, so hearing from a religious male holds a lot of value. 

That red flag may be explained a little. He wanted to attend church together so we agreed that I would chose one (and this one is more liberal than what he's used to).

My boo & I talked again and to my suprise, he said that he'd like to be married in about a year. While that made me excited, I still get to decide whether or notto continue with this type of relationship and whether he's the man I'd like to marry. Honestly, I'd marry him tomorrow based on our relationship so far, it's just this new development suprised me. 

Hopefully I'll be able to help you all out soon!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2007
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 2:36pm

My thoughts exactly- mixed signals of what he really wants. Thanks for the reply!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2007
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 2:35pm

Thanks for your reply; it's intimidating & nerve-wracking but I really appreciate you all's honesty & kindness! To answer your questions:

We've been dating since March 2013, had sex in August 2013 then stopped intercourse in Oct 2013 (not a problem, though, still was extremely fun!). Jan 2014 is when he asked me to stop all physical intimacy (except kissing & hand-holding). 

The sex was nowhere near mediocre: very passionate, fun, & spontaneous! Until he asked me to stop in Jan 2014, it was the best physical relationship I've had. He still seems passionate even with just the kissing.

We have an age gap, he's 23 & I'm 30. He's had 2 sexual partners but said at the time he felt guilty about sex both times. Not sure how long his longest relationship was but maybe 2-3 years and they broke up about a year before we got together (we don't talk much about our ex's). 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 7:31am

ClimberGal16-

I think you are right to be suspicious here, unfortunately. It is highly unusual to start with physical intimacy and then stop, even if one is devout. Either one doesn't engage in the first place or one finds a way to rationalize it. I am an observant Jew myself. For a long time, I was celibate, but then I ran out of patience. I subsequently slept with two girlfriends and with my wife before marriage--with little guilt. Also, you indicate that his church is accepting of gay relationships. Usually, religious institutions that are supportive of gay relationships tend to be lax about condemning fornication. So, I do see a red flag with the man you are seeing.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 2:17am

 Drop him now.  This is too much a waste of time and emotions. 

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Tue, 02-04-2014 - 9:58pm

Can I ask you how long you've been dating him and how long you've been having sex with him before this decision? Was the sex mediocre like he was going through the motions or was he passionate about it? Also, how old is he and what's his past dating/relationship history? How long was his longest relationship, and how far back was it? Those are important facts to know before I have enough info to give some good advice.

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