Is Promiscuity Affecting Your Mental Health?


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.


Counting the Cost

My friend Bob has an eye for beautiful women –beautiful and wounded women.

Not surprisingly, the woman he is currently dating is in the middle of a tough divorce.  Their relationship is intimate and this isn’t the first time he has found himself in this situation.

Once again, Bob finds himself racked with guilt, shame, and remorse.  Inevitably, it ends in a broken relationship with the woman feeling used and embittered.

Over and over, Bob ends up feeling distant from the God he loves and desires to serve, fully aware there is a better way to live.  I know he has seen the type of relationships he desires –one based on love and honesty where intimacy is appropriately saved until the day the wedding vows are exchanged.  And I know in the deepest part of his heart, godly intimacy and a loving marriage is what he desires.

So why does he continue to fall into the same rut every time?  Why does he put himself in this painful situation over and over?  Isn’t the reverberation of guilt and shame enough to cause him to move in a different direction?

It reminds me of the simple house fly.  Painfully, no matter how many times he smacks in to the window, he can’t get out.  And unless he finds another way, he will die on the windowsill.

I have some theories on this.

First, I don’t want to discount that patternistic disobedience can often be linked to addiction.  He may simply be a sex addict.  And he knows that he can get his sexual desires met by preying on hurting women looking for love in the aftermath of a broken relationship.  I won’t go into an in-depth analysis on addiction here, but there are some great resources for men and women dealing with sexual addiction and seeking sobriety at

Second, I also don’t want to overlook his broken past.  Having gone through a horrific divorce with his ex-wife, I know he has a hard time trusting women.  But clearly he can’t justify his behavior,  and he and I both know he needs to come to a place of forgiveness because the pain of resentment is destroying him.

So why doesn’t Bob get the help that he needs?  If he wants to honor God in his relationships and experience the trust and intimacy from a godly marriage, why doesn’t Bob pursue healing?  I think it’s possible it all stems from an innate, subconscious cost/benefit analysis that keeps many of us trapped in sin.

Let me lay it out for you.  My friend Bob knows he needs to kick his sexual addiction, and it will take some time.  Many Christian psychologists will tell you it takes a minimum of a year of hard work(often with multiple meetings each week).  And if he desires to gain the trust of a Godly woman, he needs to establish a track record of sexual purity.   He is going to need to put some time between his sexual promiscuity and his future dating life. Let’s say that all of this work takes about 1 ½ years.

Then, he is going to have to begin dating with the intent to find a suitable wife.  This is no easy search.  It is possible with his new mindset, the first person he dates might meet his criteria and he is off to the races.  But I have been around way too many relationships to know how unlikely this is.

Even with a plan to date with the intent to marry, it takes a lot of time to find someone suitable.  Let’s say that this search takes at least another year.  Then, if he is going to really get to know his new-found girlfriend, he will need time to build a relationship.  Because he has kids from his previous marriage, I imagine the woman he dates will probably also have kids.

I believe the best process to foster trust and prepare for all of life’s circumstances requires dating through the seasons.  And even if Bob asks her to marry him before the calendar year culminates, they are going to need to plan the wedding.  Even the most accelerated timetable requires a few months to execute.  So let’s say that from their first date to the wedding night will be between 12 and 18 months.

Now let’s do the math:

Breaking addiction, finding healing, establishing purity   1½ years
Search for a suitable partner                                           1 year
First date to marriage                                                      1 to 1½ year   
Total Time Elasped                                                         3½ to 4 years

It is my belief this simple time equation is what keeps people from pursuing God’s best for their life.

Discipline and life-change takes time, and it is hard work, and there are no shortcuts.

I am living proof that the benefit far outweighs the cost, but I can’t convince Bob of this.  He has struggled through his broken sexual relationships for eight years now.

I believe when he counts the cost of pursuing God’s will for his relational life, he believes it is just too high.

But is it?

If he would have started five years ago, his story could be so different.  He can’t imagine staying sexually pure for a month, let alone a couple of years.  So he throws in the towel and continues the pattern.  But what are his alternatives?

I wonder how long he will continue to fly into the window before he dies on the window sill.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Drive-through Dating

Even though we know certain things are bad for us, many of us are a glutton for punishment. 

I, for one, have a love/hate relationship with Diet Coke.  I know it’s rotten for me, probably causing cancer and corroding my teeth sip by sip, and yet once or twice a week in a moment of weakness I drink my sweet poison and thoroughly enjoy it.

Apparently, most people date in the same fashion. 

Best Dating Practices

Psychologists and sociologists agree that courtship’s based on infatuation and physical chemistry tend to fizzle out fast, because they fail to allow the relationship to evolve at a natural pace.

On the other hand, couples who build anticipation and focus on fostering a partnership rather than accelerating it are associated with more enduring satisfaction.

But even though we know rushing a relationship is bad for us, couples often jump in the sack and drink the sweet poison of a failed relationship before they allow it to begin and flourish.

Our desire for immediate gratification is killing our relationships.

So how quickly are we jumping into relationships?  Pretty quick if you look at the research…

Dating Reality

A recent study by polled 100,000 people to find the average length of their romantic milestones in dating relationships.

“Participants in the new study revealed the average number of dates per week with a new partner was two, meaning that couples tend to say ‘I love you’ seven weeks into a relationship. First kisses tend to take place two dates or one week into the dating process, and the first time a couple has sex is, on average, after four dates to two weeks.”

Introducing a girlfriend or boyfriend to friends and family took members an average of six weeks, and moving in with a partner averaged out at around 30 weeks into dating.

In a culture of drive-through sex, are we surprised at skyrocketing divorce rates when we can’t even wait until the third date to hook up?

A Different Approach?

But there is another way?

What if we postponed sex to BUILD a great relationship.

Most young people don’t think purity is possible.  I get it, because I used to be a skeptic too. 

Until, I gave it a shot and by God’s grace ended up in the relationship of my dreams.

Just because you’ve already had sex or lived a life of promiscuity, doesn’t mean the next relationship can’t be different. 


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Maybe it’s time to try something new? 

Photo credit: Love/couple Ginnie Joubert via Pinterest


Psychology Today.”The Colors of Love.” March/April 1993: 36.

Research Study by: Seeking

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.


Would you consider a buddymoon?

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