Why Wait to Kiss?
Q. I'm 16 and in my first dating relationship. Early on my girlfriend and I decided we'd hold off on kissing. It's been three months now. We both want to kiss so badly. And we don't really know what we're waiting for now. We aren't nervous. We aren't scared. I feel like we're so close that the only thing that would get us closer is to kiss. In fact, not kissing is like a wall between us we haven't climbed. Is there any reason we should wait any longer? When is it OK to take that step?
A. I think you and your girlfriend have shown tremendous wisdom and maturity here. Not necessarily because you haven't kissed but because you think through actions and made a decision about physical boundaries at the beginning of your relationship. Few couples do that and that's why they end up doing all kinds of sexual stuff they never intended to do.
You're also showing a lot of wisdom by asking someone else about when to change those boundaries. Every relationship can benefit from the wisdom of people who aren't caught up in the romance and emotions of dating.
People reading this might think you're making way too big a deal out of kissing. Some of your friends might be thinking the same thing. But your reasons for wanting to kiss are the exact reasons a lot of couples decide to have sex. They can't stand the tension of waiting. They can't handle not doing what they long to do together. They want to feel closer.
So you need to use a different set of criteria before making any changes. Talk about why you made the decision not to kiss in the first place. What was it you wanted to protect? What were you waiting for? What do you want your relationship to be about? What will kissing add to your relationship? What will it take away? The answers to those questions will help you figure out if and when you want to kiss.
If you decide to start kissing, I want you to carefully think through what your new boundary will be. Use that same maturity and wisdom you started with to decide what you will and won't do together. Here are a few suggestions: If you do make a decision to kiss, keep those kisses brief—a way to say hello and goodbye. No lingering for hours, no lying down together, no French kissing. Spend time praying about this on your own, asking God for strength to make a good decision. Then, get together and talk about what you want to do.
Finally, I encourage you to invite an older person you trust into this decision (besides me, I mean). Talk with your youth leader or one of your parents. You sound like you've got a good thing going here. So keep it going by making smart, prayerful decisions that help your relationship grow in positive ways.
Copyright © 2008 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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