Is Promiscuity Affecting Your Mental Health?

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What if the good ol’ boys mentality is leading us astray?  Could our hook up culture be the cause of future relational demise?

Researchers are discovering links between the centrality of relationships and our mental health–specifically as it pertains to marriage.

And multiple sexual partners before marriage have a direct correlation to unsatisfying marital relationships.

According to researchers at Marri (Marriage and Religion Institute), mental health and chastity go hand in hand.

We might want to think twice before sowing our wild oats–because it might be the very thing that destroys not enhances our marital future.

Please enjoy this article…

Mental Health and Chastity

In a recent professional seminar discussion on the relational dynamics of chastity and monogamy  with mental health professionals in Arlington VA a powerful concept came to the fore:  the centrality of relationships to the life of each person.  A person’s life is as good as the relationships he or she has formed.  

The most powerful human relationship is that of marriage. One therapist noted: “In lots of our work the marriage is the client. We often treat the marriage not the individuals.”  That this relationship is quite sensitive to the lifelong chastity of the couple was the focus of much of the discussion.

 As the charts on the demographics of sexual partnering were reviewed the conclusion drawn was that chastity is the virtue which gives sex its due. The sexual relationship, fundamental to the continuance of the human race, will go powerfully in one of two different directions: binding the couple forever in love and fidelity or instead leaving the permanent weakness of a bond that ended in rejection.  Chastity leads to the first; multiple partners lead to the second. The following chart shows the percent of stable marriages as relating to the number of sexual partners experienced.

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Buddymoon or Honeymoon?

My husband and I always have the same conversation at weddings.

“Sex or purity?” my husband whispers.

I carefully examine the bride.  If she scowls or looks grumpy, it’s a no brainer-“sex.”  If she cries walking down the aisle, I know immediately –“sex.” But if she floats down on cloud nine, gallops down with a goofy grin, or smiles like a Cheshire cat it’s just as obvious –“no sex” I exclaim.

It’s a gift I have, this radar for purity and wantonness (possibly because I’ve worn both pairs of shoes).

I can always tell at weddings if the couple has already consummated the relationship.  In marriages where sex is as common as brushing teeth, or better yet –flossing, the wedding is the denouement or the culmination of the relationship. 

These are the “bridezillas” who display a freakish sense of control over every tiny detail.  And it has to be perfect because the big day is about as good as it gets for her.

But for the bride who has a honeymoon to look forward to, a real honeymoon with a slow deliberate unveiling, a full vacation of exploring her beloved’s body, and a once in a lifetime retreat to connect physically with a man she has yearned and waited for, the wedding is just a step towards a new life together.

All things are fresh and new to the couple who has waited to have sex. But I remember all too well, waking up the day after I married my first husband. 

My exorbitantly overpriced bridal frock was crumpled on the chair, the carriage carted off and the ice sculptures melted along with my enthusiasm.  I thought I would feel differently once married, and I did, somewhat, but the disparity was more of an anticlimactic disappointment.  

And so to compensate for the lack of awesomeness a honeymoon used to symbolize, the new trend according to the New York Times, is to take a “buddymoon “and bring the family and friends along.

W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist and the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia notes…

“Today, when about 65 percent of couple’s cohabitate prior to marriage, the honeymoon is less likely to be a major turning point in their relationship,” said Professor Wilcox.  “For them, I think having friends come along is less of a big deal and in some ways makes it more of a special and exceptional occasion.”

By taking the “honey” out of honeymoon, couples enter marriage already bored enough with each other to need outside entertainment.  Thus they need “buddies” to get them through the hump of spending one week alone with the person they have just chosen to spend the rest of their lives with.

And this new trend makes me sad.

I think we –as a culture are losing a precious rite of passage by robbing OURSELVES of a once in a lifetime opportunity to revel in our spouse. 

Tim and I treasured our three-week honeymoon to the Mediterranean.  We loved, we laughed and we made new and amazing friends, who as fellow honeymooners shared our fledgling memories.

I believe in my heart that part of the reason my first relationship didn’t work out is because we didn’t hold our purity in high regard.  Because we had sex prior to marriage, it clearly made it easier for my ex-husband to have sex with someone else while we were married.  With God’s grace, I got a second chance to do it right and chose purity for my relationship with Tim…and it changed everything.

The second time around, I practically ran down the aisle (dragging my dad) to join my groom.  People commented they had never seen a smile as big and bright as my beam.  I didn’t notice the flower arch met an untimely crack, or the misplaced name cards or any of the other minor details that were far from perfect. 

All I saw was my honey.  And no offense to my buddies, but we did just fine without you.

–Samantha

Would you consider a buddymoon?

Old School Flirting

 

Dating Differently

Trying to date differently in a culture where sex reigns supreme is difficult to say the least, which is why we believe it’s time to consider bringing back a few of the more traditional modes of affection which seems to have disappeared with Happy Days as modern promiscuity rolled on in.

Christian dating can be immensely pleasurable if you make it less about what you are missing out on and instead focus on what you will gain. 

Here are a few goodies we think are worth revisiting!

Words of Affirmation

I’ll never forget the poetry my husband wrote me when we were dating.  The man was so smitten he burst out in smiles, song and sonnets.  But part of this verbal expression was due to the reality of holding back in the physical realm.  Because we weren’t physically intimate it forced Tim to express his love in more cerebral ways.

The Look

If the eyes are the window to our souls, then let’s pull out those peepers from behind the shades and use them to show “the one” you dig how much you like them. 

Ladies, how about batting those lovely lashes?  Gaze down demurely at your date and then look up him like a doe-eyed Bambi?  Give him the look that says, “Are you man enough to wait for this hotness?”

Guys, how about the direct look of intention, longing and desire that makes a woman weak in her knees?  Think Zoolander and then do exactly the opposite!

(When Tim and I were dating and he looked at me like this I panted…) 

Holding Hands

Why oh why has this one disappeared?  When Tim and I went on our first few dates, before the boyfriend/girlfriend stage, he would often pick up my hand and play with my fingers.  The touch of this man who I deeply desired felt like a million bolts of electricity surging through my body. 

Guys, take her hand and try caressing it.  Don’t turn into a mini hand-sex thing; just give her didgets some sweet finger cuddles.  It’s innocent and fun and with the right girl –almost as good as sex (ok, not so much but still worth trying in the interim).

Try taking a long walk, picking up her hand and communicating your affection with a love language that represents support, unity, respect and relationship.

The Nuzzle

Long before I got my first kiss, Tim would lean in and very close to my face, whisper in my ear or nuzzle my cheek.  Again, I went bananas (inside of course).  When you take away the big sex stuff, the little stuff takes on much deeper meaning. 

The First Kiss

Some Christians believe in not kissing while dating.  We don’t fall into that camp.  We believe once you are in a committed relationship moving towards marriage, kissing just might be the best way to spend an evening.  Watch some movie, kiss, more movie, kiss…

The only problem with kissing is how easily it morphs into making out and full body hugs and the next thing you know the two of you have to be pulled apart with a crow bar.  So, be cautious when kissing turns into renting a hotel room. 

Tim and I didn’t drink while we were dating because Tim knew his limits and understood he couldn’t control himself physically around me after a few glasses of wine.

We also had a self-imposed curfew and sometimes Tim just got up and ran home like Joseph.  I didn’t even know he was struggling until he called me from his car.

Remember the movie Pretty Woman?  Julia Roberts, who played a prostitute wouldn’t kiss her clients because it was too intimate of an act.  I get that.

It’s because kissing means something.  It communicates affection and tenderness or conversely greed or selfishness.  Kissing sends a million different messages.

Save your first kiss far beyond the obligatory walk to the front door at the end of the first date.  Wait a few weeks, or gasp, a month.  Make it mean something special. 

And then kiss your boyfriend and girlfriend every single day to discover if you have chemistry and connection. 

Do you have any old school methods to communicate affection without sex?

–Samantha

Photo Credit:  Source: kissssing.blogspot.com via Jesse on Pinterest

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