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Friday, February 12, 2016

Are They Kissing Too Much?

Dear Bro Jo,

I met a returned missionary and we've been dating exclusively for a month now. I have loved every second being with him, and he's impressed me in a lot of ways.

He's a worthy Priesthood holder, strives to do his best in school and work, is sincere, kind, treats me wonderfully, etc.

Of course, you probably wondering why I'm writing you if this is all so perfect.

The thing is, I've felt slightly guilty about the physical nature of our relationship.

We kiss frequently.

We french kiss often and once he kissed me on the neck.

I know in the For Strength of Youth it says not to kiss passionately or to do any that's where the guilt comes in.

We never kiss longer than a couple of minutes and when I communicate to him I'm done kissing (lightly pecking him on the cheek) he stops.

And we've never touched each other inappropriately...but what I'm doing is still going against the Strength of Youth, isn't it?

And then I also justify what I'm doing by saying that I know tons of now married LDS couples who kissed passionately while they were dating and ended up just fine.

But I think I'm making excuses here.

Am I headed for dangerous waters if I continue to kiss like we have?

I feel like I am, but I don't want to admit it. I don't want to have the awkward conversation where we draw up lines on kissing, but Bro Jo. I have the feeling we should probably have it.

Do you have any advice on how to go about it?

Also, what do you think are some good rules to prevent passionate kissing that could lead to chastity problems?

I've heard stuff like "No kissing while sitting down" and such.

Do you have any ideas that might help me?

I love my boyfriend, more than I've ever loved anyone and our relationship is far more than the physical aspect. I would never want to get into trouble with him.

For my sake and his. I doubt that we will, but I want to be safe.

Can you help me out here?


- Kissing Too Much?

Dear K,

The For the Strength of Youth also says no single dating ...

But you know what?

You're not a youth!

I think where you're at is fine ... even advisable.

You don't want to end up on any situation that may jeopardize your Temple Worthiness, so I think the best thing to do is to stay vertical.

Once horizontal happens avoiding sex and heavy petting becomes much more difficult.

Passion and physical desire is good in a relationship at your age and un-married status.

If you find that things are escalating to the point where self-control is a problem and you hope to marry in the Temple, then you'll need to reduce your alone time and even consider getting married sooner rather than later.

If marriage isn't a strong possibility at that point, it may be that your relationship is all physical and it's time to move on.

For now I think you're fine.

(You may want to check out Bro Jo's Guide to Kissing.)

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for responding, and so quickly!

This has been making me feel kind of guilty, but what you said does make sense.

I'm 19 and he's 21. We are both adults, and when we kiss I feel like we both have a good handle on things.

I guess what has made me feel guilty is my family's culture is...somewhat strict I guess?

For example, my brother and sister in law had minimal physical contact while dating (didn't kiss often and rarely cuddled).

And my parents have warned me against kissing too long.

I do make out with my boyfriend, though as I mentioned they are pretty short and we never cross any lines.

It was good what you said about horizontal kissing though.

Personally, I think I may want to establish a rule of no making out on couches, because I think that could definitely lead to horizontal kissing.

I would like to talk to my boyfriend about it and see what he thinks. And I'll also check out the guide too.

Although we've only been dating for a month, we have hinted at marriage.

I try to imagine marrying somebody other than him, and worry I'll never find anybody who matches me so well, has such high standards, and treats me so well.

And we've told each other that even if we were old and grey and wrinkled, we'd still love each other.

So yes, physical aspect is part of our relationship, but it's not at the core of it.

Thanks again for answering so quickly.

I feel a lot better about where we are at!

- K

Dear K,

I personally think a month is too soon to get engaged (not that you are saying that) . . . unless the two people knew each other pretty well before they started dating.

My general recommendation is "long courtships, short engagements".

Of course "long and short" are relative terms, especially in LDS culture. 

No couches is a good rule.

As are No Blankets, No Cars, and absolutely No Bedrooms (horizontal or vertical).

The link to Bro Jo's Guide to Kissing is HERE.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Yep, I think I'll go with no car, no couch, no blanket rule.

It just seems smart and would prevent a lot of stupid decisions.

And while we have hinted at marriage, we aren't getting engaged for a long time if we do.

I would like to date for at least six months to a year before I get engaged.

If we were to get married, it probably won't be for a while until we know each other even more and are more stable in our education and work.

Thanks for all the helpful advice!

- K

Dear K,


- Bro Jo

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