Kissing

What limits should we set before marriage?
cowlypso
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Kissing

Postby cowlypso » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:48 pm

Hi everyone...

I'm 31, and engaged to a 46-year-old widower that I know from church. Things are going very well for us, other than the kissing issue. I have, in my previous relationships, kissed 2 other people in my life. I regret both of those, as I feel that kissing should be reserved for my spouse. I had initially told my fiance, when we were dating, that I would not kiss him while we were dating because of this. I said that I hadn't decided whether I would be open to kissing after I was engaged, or if it would wait until marriage.

My reasons for not wanting to kiss too soon:
-I don't want to kiss anybody but my spouse.
-I am worried that it will lead to other things and awaken desire. My fiance has a bad track record in the pre-marital purity department, and I don't want a repeat performance.
-Kissing vs. not kissing is a very easily-defined boundary line. Much harder to draw the line saying how much and what kind of kissing is off-limits.

He has been respectful of my wishes, but he is frustrated. He would like to be able to kiss me briefly (not long, passionate, making-out kissing). I think I would be okay if it stayed at just brief kisses, but I worry that once we start, we won't be able to draw the line and things will escalate.

There is more than a year until the wedding. Both of us would like to get married sooner, but it's just not logistically feasible. Right now, I live with my parents, and he lives 70 miles away in the town I used to live in. I am still active in the church there, and spend my weekends there at a friend's house. He cannot move because of his job, and I am in school. I have one year left, but this last year is full-time clinical rotations. If we were to marry now, we would either only be able to live together on the weekends, or we would have to move somewhere in between and both have 45-60 minute (or more, with rush hour traffic) commutes (and the cost of gasoline would do us in!). The other complicating factor is that, 2 years ago, he promised his older daughter that he would ride his bicycle across the country with her the summer after she graduates college, which is next summer. That's a 2.5-3 month trip, and I really don't want to start my marriage that way! Plus, the extra time before we marry will probably be a good thing in the long run for his daughters. Their mother died at the end of October, and I know that it will be hard for them whenever we get married, but I think that them having a little extra time to process things might be good.

So the current plan is to marry sometime toward the end of August or early September 2013. That is a very long time to not kiss him. But it is also a very long time to kiss him but keep the kissing from escalating. Any words of wisdom???

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Re: Kissing

Postby blushingwife » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:04 pm

I personally don't see any reason whatsoever for not kissing your fiance and I think it does more damage than good (I read too many stories from people who regreted waiting to kiss until the "I-do)

Besides, he even told you that they won't be French kisses or anything. How do you feel about your future sex life together? Are you open minded and looking forward to it? Don't forget that he was married before, so he knows what he is missing ...

I will be honest: if I were dating someone who would not kiss me, saying that it was for purity reasons, I would be worried that the person was not as passionated as me,would worry about my future sex life, and would most likely call off the engagement ... See, my DH has a much lower drive than I do, so I know it is really difficult ... so I worry when I see signs of mismatched passion in posts by engaged posters. Maybe it is not your case at all, but I felt I needed to get it out there....

Pray about the kiss thing and talk together with honesty about your expectations about intimacy.
Last edited by blushingwife on Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Kissing

Postby PS56 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:16 pm

I agree with much of what BW says. As a man, I would be really bothered if my future wife would not kiss me, especially when the marriage is a long way off. Also, if i were you I would not be concerned about kissing somebody other than my spouse. It's just kissing; it's not sex. As to the concern that it might result in a temptation to go farther, I would just exercise all your self-control and make sure it doesn't lead to other things. I know you're trying to draw a precise line, but an even more safe line would be not to see each other for the year before the wedding. You're not going to do that, right? I say allow some kissing.

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Re: Kissing

Postby cowlypso » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:28 am

I do want to kiss him. For the first time in my life, I am with somebody that I want to kiss. There are moments when we are together when it just seems like the right time to kiss, and I'd like to. I'm just worried that it is a long time to keep it in check. Since February, we have gone from brief hugs to much more prolonged hugs. He says that he would be happy to stop at brief kisses, but what's to stop that from progressing as well? I am definitely looking forward to marriage and sex, but I also don't want to get them in the wrong order!

Sure, he's older, and should be much better at controlling himself now than he was in his younger days. But I still worry about it, since he wasn't able to stop short of sex before marriage in his last 2 relationships (when he was in his early 20s).

I know that he's been married before, and is definitely missing marriage and all that comes with it. He would marry me right now if there were any possible way to make it work. He is definitely struggling with that desire. Sunday night, when I went to leave, he admitted that he'd been sitting there with me wishing that I could spend the night.

I guess I'm also struggling a bit with the fact that he has been married before... How will I compare? What if I'm a really bad kisser compared to her? With him having almost 23 years of marriage under his belt, and me having no experience, I suppose I feel a bit intimidated.

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Re: Kissing

Postby InGodsGrace » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:01 pm

Well I'll disagree w/the posters who say kissing is needed. I applaud the fact you want to stay pure, if he can wait, wait. stand strong!

My husband and I waited, and he was in relationships before (he actually respected me more for not wanting to kiss before the wedding), and he was fine. And my husband has a high drive and mine is slightly less. Never an issue in our home.

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Kissing

Postby Dgenerous » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:21 pm

InGodsGrace wrote:Well I'll disagree w/the posters who say kissing is needed. I applaud the fact you want to stay pure, if he can wait, wait. stand strong!

My husband and I waited, and he was in relationships before (he actually respected me more for not wanting to kiss before the wedding), and he was fine. And my husband has a high drive and mine is slightly less. Never an issue in our home.


Yeah, this. I would be concerned if you didn't want to, but to choose not to is admirable. What I plan to teach my children is if it would be inappropriate for you to do something with a man or woman who is married to somebody else, it is not appropriate to do before marriage.

Obviously, not everyone is going to agree. At the end of the day you have to follow your conscience.
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Re: Kissing

Postby PS56 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:09 pm

Dgenerous wrote:
InGodsGrace wrote:Well I'll disagree w/the posters who say kissing is needed. I applaud the fact you want to stay pure, if he can wait, wait. stand strong!

My husband and I waited, and he was in relationships before (he actually respected me more for not wanting to kiss before the wedding), and he was fine. And my husband has a high drive and mine is slightly less. Never an issue in our home.


Yeah, this. I would be concerned if you didn't want to, but to choose not to is admirable. What I plan to teach my children is if it would be inappropriate for you to do something with a man or woman who is married to somebody else, it is not appropriate to do before marriage.


That seems to rule out pretty much any displays of physical affection (holding hands, etc.) towards one's future spouse. Obviously, every couple has to make their own choice, but as a man, if my fiancee would not let me kiss her or hold hands or put my arm around her, I would be freakin'. But everybody's different, I guess.

As to the "purity" issue, I don't really see a kiss as negating "purtiy."

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Re: Kissing

Postby blushingwife » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:37 pm

PS56 wrote:
Dgenerous wrote:
InGodsGrace wrote:Well I'll disagree w/the posters who say kissing is needed. I applaud the fact you want to stay pure, if he can wait, wait. stand strong!

My husband and I waited, and he was in relationships before (he actually respected me more for not wanting to kiss before the wedding), and he was fine. And my husband has a high drive and mine is slightly less. Never an issue in our home.


Yeah, this. I would be concerned if you didn't want to, but to choose not to is admirable. What I plan to teach my children is if it would be inappropriate for you to do something with a man or woman who is married to somebody else, it is not appropriate to do before marriage.


That seems to rule out pretty much any displays of physical affection (holding hands, etc.) towards one's future spouse. Obviously, every couple has to make their own choice, but as a man, if my fiancee would not let me kiss her or hold hands or put my arm around her, I would be freakin'. But everybody's different, I guess.

As to the "purity" issue, I don't really see a kiss as negating "purtiy."


Exactly!
I did a course about purity with my then 12yo daughter, where we discussed relationships, sex, and everything about growing up.
The book tried to sell the idea that no-kissing until marriage means you are keeping yourself purer, and that it will make you happier when you marry.
Well, I told my daughter that it was just their opinion, that I disagreed with them, and then we talked about boundaries, self respect and what real purity actually means.
We kiss ALL THE TIME in my family. Actually, you kiss friends, relatives, and acquaintances on the cheek when you say hello and goodbye in my culture for goodness sake. So for ME, I found that it made no sense to tell my daughter that the only person she was was not allowed to kiss, would be the one she loved more than anyone. Sure, lovers kiss on their lips and it is different, but still, a kiss is just a kiss. Better to limit the type of kiss (f ex, no tongue) than to remove kissing from the menu altogether, IMO

But hey, to each their own, provided BOTH halves of the couple are happy with such an arrangement.

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Re: Kissing

Postby PS56 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:56 pm

blushingwife wrote:I did a course about purity with my then 12yo daughter, where we discussed relationships, sex, and everything about growing up.
The book tried to sell the idea that no-kissing until marriage means you are keeping yourself purer, and that it will make you happier when you marry.
Well, I told my daughter that it was just their opinion, that I disagreed with them, and then we talked about boundaries, self respect and what real purity actually means.
We kiss ALL THE TIME in my family. Actually, you kiss friends, relatives, and acquaintances on the cheek when you say hello and goodbye in my culture for goodness sake. So for ME, I found that it made no sense to tell my daughter that the only person she was was not allowed to kiss, would be the one she loved more than anyone. Sure, lovers kiss on their lips and it is different, but still, a kiss is just a kiss. Better to limit the type of kiss (f ex, no tongue) than to remove kissing from the menu altogether, IMO

But hey, to each their own, provided BOTH halves of the couple are happy with such an arrangement.


You reminded me of the fact that my dear, sweet 95-year old mother-in-law always gives me a little kiss on the lips when I see her once a year. I feel bad now that I have defiled her. * :lol:

* Just a little joke folks. No offene intended.
Last edited by PS56 on Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kissing

Postby blushingwife » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:59 pm

PS56 wrote:You reminded me of the fact that my dear, sweet 95-year old mother-in-law always gives me a little kiss on the lips when I see her once a year. I feel bad now that I have defiled her. :lol:


:lol:

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Re: Kissing

Postby cowlypso » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:31 pm

I get that some people and cultures kiss a lot. That's not my culture or my family. I think the last time I kissed my parents, I was maybe 8 years old... So yeah, you can make the argument that kissing your fiance is no different from kissing anybody else in greeting. And if you kiss a lot of other people in greeting, it doesn't make sense to exclude your fiance. But if you kiss absolutely nobody else in greeting...? Why would he be the exception?

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Re: Kissing

Postby Aura » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:52 pm

I do think not kissing is an admirable goal. I would ask, though, are you sure you want your first kiss in front of everyone at your wedding. And even if you don't have a problem sharing something that personal with a crowd of people, is it possible your FH does? I'm not saying that's a reason to start kissing now, but you might want to consider other alternatives (having a time just the two you before your ceremony--before you're in your wedding dress, of course, or even before the wedding day--say after your rehearsal?). Just some thoughts.

Another thing to consider is having a talk w/ your FH. He appears to share some of the viewpoints that others here have that kissing is no big deal and is not an indicator of purity. I understand about not wanting to start something that's going to lead somewhere, but I would say that you could also set some pretty definite boundaries about kisses. No french kisses. No kisses that last longer than, say, 10 seconds. I don't want you to compromise your standards, but if you really don't have a problem with brief kisses, then this isn't doing that, and it is showing your FH that you're not just dismissing his feelings.

On the same note, though, I would have a serious talk with your dh about your needing him to protect you. If he's not willing or able to control himself then he is jeopardizing your future relationship. IMO, for a woman to have a fulfilling sex life with her husband, she has to be able to open herself up completely to him. If you can't do that, then there are going to be problems in your marriage bed. If he compromises your trust by taking you farther than you wanted to go, then you're going to have trouble being vulnerable to him in bed. And your relationship will suffer.

And I don't mean forcing you into doing something you don't want to do. You do want it! I'm talking about where you've already stated that you don't want to do something, and he continually pushes the limits until you're too caught up in emotions to stop him. Not to take away your responsibility...you have the responsibility to stop, too! But if he's continually pushing your standards instead of protecting you and upholding them, then there is a serious problem.

Another thought: is it possible your FH is jealous of your previous kisses? That you were willing to kiss someone else even though you weren't married, but you're unwilling to kiss him? If he doesn't see a problem with kissing in general, I could see this being an issue.

Given the promise to his daughter, I would agree that waiting until after his trip w/ her is the right thing to do. I know it's a long time, and it's going to be hard for both of you. I wish I could offer better encouragement, but God can give you both the grace to get there and to remain pure in the meantime. {{{hugs}}}
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~Galatians 6:9

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Re: Kissing

Postby PS56 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:02 pm

cowlypso wrote: But if you kiss absolutely nobody else in greeting...? Why would he be the exception?


I'm really not trying to be argumentative, but the reason would be to show romantic love/feelings for your betrothed. Similarly, when I was dating my wife, I did not hold hands with anyone other than her. She was unique, in that I loved her, and her only, in the romantic sense, and I was happy to show it to her (and others).

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Re: Kissing

Postby cowlypso » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:16 am

Well, we had a 3 hour long discussion about kissing tonight. I told him all of my feelings about it. Because right now I'm genuinely confused about how I feel.

For me, it seems to come down to 2 opposite possibilities:
1) The drawing of my boundary early on to exclude kissing was based on Godly conviction, and I am now being tempted to go beyond that boundary.
2) The drawing of my boundary early on to exclude kissing was selfish and motivated by my own fear and insecurity, and I am now feeling the Godly desire to draw closer to my fiance.

The outcomes of our discussion are:
-He now knows that I do have some apprehension about it. I'm a very inexperienced kisser, and I never really enjoyed my previous kisses, so I'm worried that I might just not like it, although I never had the desire to kiss before, either. I also sometimes struggle with thoughts about how I compare with his late wife or his girlfriend before her.
-He now knows that I really do want to kiss him (he had suspected as much, but wasn't entirely sure).
-He agrees that I am totally confused about whether or not it's the right thing to do, and until I feel 100% comfortable with it, he is willing to wait.

I do agree with Aura that I don't think I feel comfortable with our first kiss being in front of everybody at the wedding. If we do decide to wait until the wedding, I will definitely adjust that to "around the time of the wedding" and practice a bit a little beforehand.

The next move is, of course, prayer. And then a sort of "what if" discussion... If we decide to kiss, where will the new boundaries be drawn? I think he has a clear idea of that, but I'd feel more comfortable taking that step if we had some more discussion about that, since my main objection is that a little kissing will lead to more kissing which will lead to more temptation. But it was getting really late, so we'll talk about that another day. I did want to have the talk tonight, though, over internet chat, rather than when I get into town tomorrow for the weekend. Sitting alone together on the couch at his house just doesn't seem like a great place to be discussing physical intimacy while trying to maintain purity!

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Re: Kissing

Postby PS56 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:00 pm

cowlypso wrote: I'm a very inexperienced kisser, and I never really enjoyed my previous kisses, so I'm worried that I might just not like it, although I never had the desire to kiss before, either. I also sometimes struggle with thoughts about how I compare with his late wife or his girlfriend before her.


cowlypso, we've been having a discussion on another thread about where feelings come from and what to do about them when they might be "incorrect," etc. Your comment above made me wonder whether your concern about kissing your FH is not so much based on the possible loss of control, but on the feeling you express above. I don't know either way, but it's something to think about. To put it another way, are you justifying your approach to kissing on the grounds of Godly conviction or fear of losing control, so that you don't have to deal with the fear that you might not "measure up"? (A fear which I would submit is misplaced.)

I don't know that you're doing this, but I see myself doing things like this from time to time in certain areas, and I've become more introspective as I've aged about why I do the things I do, why I feel the way I feel, so I thought I would raise it as something to consider. I readily acknowledge that I may be completely full of ka-ka. :D

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Re: Kissing

Postby glabrous » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:54 pm

cowlypso wrote:
I do agree with Aura that I don't think I feel comfortable with our first kiss being in front of everybody at the wedding. If we do decide to wait until the wedding, I will definitely adjust that to "around the time of the wedding" and practice a bit a little beforehand.


This sounds like a good compromise between establishing boundaries to safeguard your purity and not wanting your first kiss to be in front of everyone. I suspect some people need more safeguards than others; as someone said: "Kissing starts what kissing can't finish." From a guy's perspective (esp. your fiance who, as you shared, has had trouble in the past) those boundaries may not be easy to live with for a year, but neither of you will regret them on the other side when your union is kept pure for your wedding night.

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Kissing

Postby Sas » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:11 pm

PS56 wrote:
cowlypso wrote: I'm a very inexperienced kisser, and I never really enjoyed my previous kisses, so I'm worried that I might just not like it, although I never had the desire to kiss before, either. I also sometimes struggle with thoughts about how I compare with his late wife or his girlfriend before her.


cowlypso, we've been having a discussion on another thread about where feelings come from and what to do about them when they might be "incorrect," etc. Your comment above made me wonder whether your concern about kissing your FH is not so much based on the possible loss of control, but on the feeling you express above. I don't know either way, but it's something to think about. To put it another way, are you justifying your approach to kissing on the grounds of Godly conviction or fear of losing control, so that you don't have to deal with the fear that you might not "measure up"? (A fear which I would submit is misplaced.)

I don't know that you're doing this, but I see myself doing things like this from time to time in certain areas, and I've become more introspective as I've aged about why I do the things I do, why I feel the way I feel, so I thought I would raise it as something to consider. I readily acknowledge that I may be completely full of ka-ka. :D


+1 This was my first thought when reading the thread. If you are an adult learning to control yourself is a valuable tool.
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Re: Kissing

Postby cowlypso » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:50 pm

PS56 wrote:cowlypso, we've been having a discussion on another thread about where feelings come from and what to do about them when they might be "incorrect," etc. Your comment above made me wonder whether your concern about kissing your FH is not so much based on the possible loss of control, but on the feeling you express above. I don't know either way, but it's something to think about. To put it another way, are you justifying your approach to kissing on the grounds of Godly conviction or fear of losing control, so that you don't have to deal with the fear that you might not "measure up"? (A fear which I would submit is misplaced.)


I absolutely agree that this is a possibility. That's why I'm so confused! The problem is figuring out whether I made the decision based on Godly conviction which is now being tempted, or if I made it because of my fears.

The good news is that my fiance is absolutely supportive in dealing with my fear issues. He was very quick to tell me not to think about his previous experiences, or my lack of experience. He also told me that he'd be willing to help me practice as much as I need! :lol: He's really a great guy.

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Re: Kissing

Postby sdlaney » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:11 pm

Dgenerous wrote:
InGodsGrace wrote:Well I'll disagree w/the posters who say kissing is needed. I applaud the fact you want to stay pure, if he can wait, wait. stand strong!

My husband and I waited, and he was in relationships before (he actually respected me more for not wanting to kiss before the wedding), and he was fine. And my husband has a high drive and mine is slightly less. Never an issue in our home.


Yeah, this. I would be concerned if you didn't want to, but to choose not to is admirable. What I plan to teach my children is if it would be inappropriate for you to do something with a man or woman who is married to somebody else, it is not appropriate to do before marriage.

Obviously, not everyone is going to agree. At the end of the day you have to follow your conscience.


Wow! That might be a bit much, but way better than the parent who encourages children to go all the way. As for the original question of waiting till marriage to kiss, I understand where you are coming from. I was the same way before I married. However, now with 20+ years of marriage under my belt and two young adult children, I have to say that my opinion on this has changed just a bit. Kissing in and of itself is not bad. Heavy kissing (french) would be best left for after marriage, but kissing can be an important tool to gauge how compatible the two of you are together. You don't want to end up with someone who you're not comfortable with intimately. That's a pretty big part of a healthy marriage and you will be married a LONG time.

You also mentioned that your soon to be husband was not moral in his pre-marriage days. It sounds like it was a long time ago. How does he feel about that now? Was he faithful to his previous wife? If everything is positive there, then it sounds like he grew-up and has better self control now. When he tells you he wishes you could stay the night, he's not showing weakness, he's letting you know how much he can't wait to be married. That's a good thing.

The important thing is to set limits and to live within them. Allowing him to help you set those limits with you will let him know you are a team. Don't deprive your relationship of the growth you could have now because you are afraid. Allow the two of you to start building a strong foundation now so when you get married, your trust and love for each other will be strong and secure.

Anyway, that is what I would tell my children if they asked this question. Well, I'd probably tell them to pray about it too, with and without their fiance. I wish you the best.

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Re: Kissing

Postby cowlypso » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:19 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I have absolutely no doubts about his morality or fidelity. I am his 3rd girlfriend ever. He had one girlfriend that they ended up having sex with and then split up. Then he had his late wife, who he also ended up having premarital sex with. But he was absolutely a fully devoted husband. We met at church, so I have known the whole family for about 7 years now. I watched him the whole time his late wife was sick with cancer. She actually got jealous of the amount of time we were spending together a few years back, because we were working closely in volunteer ministry. As soon as she said something to him, he found ways to back out of some of our shared ministry areas so that he was not spending time with me anymore. Nothing was happening, but he didn't even want there to be an appearance of any impropriety that would make her uncomfortable.

I think I'm leaning towards going ahead and kissing him. But I'm still not sure. Maybe I'll wait a little bit longer still.


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