Words of wisdom Rosemarie..thank you!
This is a situation I've encountered several times, in the three years I've been dating: a relationship develops to the point where we are seeing each other exclusively. The guy and I agree we both want a pure, holy Catholic friendship, time to discern if marriage is a possibility. Then the guy mentions he's still seeing a girlfriend with whom he's been intimate. He says they're "just friends," but he confides in her, or relies on her guidance, or she's not ready to let go. That's a huge red flag to me, that he's hanging on to an intimate relationship with another woman. At that point I ask him to decide whether he wants to let go of that past relationship, or stop seeing me. To me, there's nothing pure and holy in hanging on to a former partner with whom you've been intimate.
I'm not talking about ex-wives, where children are involved, just ex-girlfriends or wives, no children. The issue, to me, is purity. I know some people will say my standards are too high, but why should I be expected to be "one of many" if we're supposedly in an exclusive relationship? What do you think? Would like to get some guys' views on this as well. Can you let go of past intimate relationships?
Yep,Red Flag.Time to move on.Next!
I agree next!
So what is Bob talking about?
I thought Bob was saying he agreed with you that she should move on....
I'll assume the guys said that they wanted to keep their relationship with the old girlfriends and that is why you are on the site. You ask them, you gave them a choice. That is all you can do. What would you have done if he said he would terminate the relationship for you? I don't think you can date someone new while you are still seeing someone that you were intimate with. I think intimacy can be either physical or emotional, doesn't matter.
In life, things are always somewhere in a life cycle. Sometimes things are at birth, sometimes at death, most of the time in-between. In relationships the cycle starts when you meet, and if you marry, really never ends. There must be physical and emotional intimacy throughout the relationship. It must start, at the beginning, as something that is almost not detectable and flower into something that dominates your life as you marry and the years go by. You and I are the same age, honestly, I don't know what sort of physical relationship is called for at our age prior to marriage but I do know that some sort of relationship is required. A physical relationship can be holding hands, or sitting close, or holding one another. Does not have to be sinful; should not be sinful. Holding hands and being close is not sinful. What is more important is an intimate emotional and spiritual relationship. Those you can go as far as you want in prior to marriage. I encourage you to do so, it is good for you in many ways.
Perhaps the men you have dated seek the emotional and spiritual relationship from you. Only you can say if you think you were encouraging them to be emotionally and spiritually intimate with you. Perhaps the best way is to be emotionally and spiritually intimate with them. You take the lead. Take them to church, sit and read the Bible together. Buy a potload of candles and lite them up and sit and pray together. That would work for me. Do not be afraid to try something that fails. You might like the Latin Mass, he might not. If he goes with you to "his" Mass go with him and rejoice in your good fortune. Throughout any relationship there will always be adventures that fail to please one or both of you. Just be honest and allow him to tell you his honest feelings.
I know that the lack of an emotional and spiritual relationship can be very common. Then all you have left is the physical. As a Catholic you cannot compete with the physical prior to marriage, or you are not supposed to. I really believe men, that are marriageable, can get all the sex they want anywhere and they know it. I know it. But, I also believe that a Catholic man wants the whole package and will not settle for a small piece of what God intends for us. I seek the treasure talked about in the Bible. The good virtuous women that is worth far more than any treasure.
You must bring the love of God to a man, and he bring that love to you. When you first meet you need to bring that love and keep bringing it as long as you are together. If you do that, why would he want to look back? I wouldn't. You need to show him that you bring all the things he has not found elsewhere. I want peace, pleasant conversation, someone to just want to be with me and someone that is comfortable when I am around. You cannot do anything about where a man has been but you can do alot about where he goes in the future. It is not your place to worry about his past, you cannot change it. If he is still enslaved by his past he will not respond to you because a man cannot serve two masters, and he sure cannot serve two women.
Finally, we are called to serve, not be served. Does the guy want to serve you? Many guys want to, they just don't know how. Do you let him know how to serve you? Do you accept his service and treasure it? Do you serve him? Does he appreciate you?