Dear 100 Hour Board,
I've been dating a guy for a few months and we're pretty crazy about each other. If things keep going in the direction they're headed we'll get married some time in the next year. In the meantime, we're having quite the struggle keeping ourselves from going too far physically. Whenever we push the limits we talk about what we can do to be better but end up pushing those boundaries again. We're still a long way away from sex but the longer we date the further we push the limits. What boundaries do (or did) you have to keep from breaking the law of chastity while dating/being engaged? I know every couple is different but I would love to hear your specific thoughts about what areas or actions weren't okay and what was okay for you.
-Crazy in love
Here are some of the rules that Madam Insomniac and I implemented when we were dating. I disclaim, of course, all liability for how things turn out if you implement any of these. Rules like these are highly individual and dependent entirely on circumstance. I offer them merely as examples. Madam and I are *ahem* highly, shall we say, physical people, so we felt it prudent to take some preventative measures.
- No being in an apartment together alone.
- No making out more than, say, 30 seconds
- No kissing sitting down
- No lying down together
But honestly, if what you want is to stay chaste, just talk about it frankly with each other, make a commitment, and be accountable to each other. No rules will help you if you dance around the issue or treat it as inevitable. A huge part of successfully being married is the ability to talk things through even when they might otherwise be embarrassing or hard to articulate.
I believe that the steps you should take in this situation are very dependent on your relationship and on what you and your significant other decide together. Here is a list of things that helped me in my relationship that you could discuss with your boyfriend as potential options.
1) Stay vertical. You might slip up a few times, but, generally, I think staying vertical is a really good rule. This means only kissing when you are standing up or when you are sitting up next to each other. Not on top of each other.
2) Don't make out in the dark.
3) Don't lock the front door. If you know that a roommate could walk in without warning, it keeps you from going too far.
4) No making out in the back of a car.
5) Finally, follow the Honor Code. Not breaking curfew, not going into each others' rooms. Those are just the simple rules but they help a ton.
Anyway, these things worked for me. Talk to your boyfriend about what makes it hard for both you and him to keep things from escalating. This is a good opportunity to communicate about a sensitive topic. Good luck!
Dear Crazy ~
Keep blinds open and sit where people outside can see you. Or be in the living room while roommates are home, and doors are open. Hang out at a park.
You can have privacy while still being visible. It's amazing how much visible peer pressure can do to retain chastity.
~ Dragon Lady