Let me tell you, when I was going through my healing and recovery from my addiction to porn and masturbation it was quite hard. But as time went by, the challenge became easier and life became more enjoyable in my newfound path towards purity. Once I got back into the dating scene… it became a different story. I am not sharing this because I want to scare you off from dating. What I mean is that with new circumstances, new challenges come along.
I was so used to relationships surrounded by romance and sexuality, and I knew that entering a new relationship was going to bring back those struggles with lust. Nevertheless, these are 3 tips that we are trying to incorporate to improve in our weakness with impurity and date each other with chaste love:
1. Schedule your date
I don’t mean choose what day of the month to go on a date. I mean actually think very well about what to do during the date. From my past experience, I would fall into sexual sin because of my lack of planning. When you don’t have anything planned to do when you go out with your boyfriend, you leave room for sin to crawl into the picture, even when you didn’t intend to. Think well about what to do together with your boyfriend, the activities you both would enjoy. Plan the time you will meet and the time you will head back home. With all that planning you can ensure there will be no gaps in between where you two could get tempted to fall into lust.
One great benefit I found by scheduling my dates with my boyfriend is that we spend time doing things such as watching movies, listening to music, playing board games, going swimming or to the gym… that actually lead us to get to know each other better and fall into deeper love for each other. When you are learning more about one another and falling in love with who you are as individuals there is no time to think about lust! You just want to know and learn more and more about each other.
2. Choose your location wisely
Okay, sometimes we don’t like planning. Sometimes we like spontaneity. But it is very important to safeguard yourself from the possibility of falling into sexual temptation. That is why if you don’t want to make any plans, the least you can do is choose where you will spend time.
The location of your dates is very important, as it can set the mood for temptation to creep in on you. If you are in a location that is isolated (e.g. by yourselves in the car or in a bedroom) it is going to make fighting against lust really challenging. Make dates in public spaces, such as going to a park or the shopping centre. Here is a really good idea for you: go to church for mass together!
3. Spend time with family
When this idea first came to mind, I was so not keen for it. After all, isn’t the purpose of a date to spend time alone with your boyfriend? But I actually want to clarify something that in this day and age we forget about the true nature of dating: dating is a time and process a man and a woman go through to get to know each other better and discern their future together. What I found by spending time with my boyfriend and his family was that I got to know more about him through his interaction with his parents and siblings. In this way you are able to see what kind of person he is with his family, after all we are the most ourselves when we are with family. Likewise when he spent time with my family I found that he got along with my sisters and my parents. Especially if you and your boyfriend like spending time with each other’s families it makes the experience of love much easier to tackle the vice of lust.
Having these 3 tips under your belt doesn’t guarantee that everything will be rosy. Purity is hard to live, I can attest to it. But living purity refocuses your dates to look at your boyfriend not as a body but as a person, a soul that you are hoping to live with for the rest of your life. Once you get the hang of practicing this virtue, God blesses you with so much abundance for joy, love and peace in your life.