The high price of not putting out.

Dear Anthony,

I’ve had it with men!  Once again, I have been rejected by a guy because I would not have sex with him, and made it clear (after his many attempts) that I’m not that kind of girl and it’s not going to happen until I’m married.  It never fails.  Things are going great and then the guy breaks up with me using any excuse, but I know it’s because I’m not “putting out”.  And these are nice, Catholic guys.  I am so crushed right now.  I can’t help thinking I’m doomed to a life of loneliness because I won’t have sex until I’m married.  But I DON’T want to be alone!  Maybe I should just give in since even the great guys are expecting it.  I’m so depressed.  Why do Catholic guys expect sex from a Catholic girl?  I just don’t understand.

It always deeply saddens me when a woman writes to me about this exact scenario.  Unfortunately, I hear this very same thing all time, and have for years.  So let me first say that I am sincerely sorry for what you are going through, and all women like you go through this kind of rejection (and God knows there are many).

I believe that there are many good, Catholic men out there who are authentically good men and would make good husbands and fathers, but because they have allowed themselves to adopt certain modern ideas and practices about approaching women, they are ultimately too toxic to be capable of marital love.

There is much about today’s society and its obsession with sex that bombards men involuntarily and affects men negatively without them realizing it. Have men really become so intoxicated with this culturally pro-sex lifestyle that they cannot see the value and beauty of a woman who is clearly a good catch for them?  Are they really too sex-driven to be willing to endure a time of chastity in courtship with the woman he will spend the rest of his life loving in every way (including physically) within marriage?

Perhaps the answer is yes, they are too sexually intoxicated.  And like a drunk who denies they have a problem with alcohol, a sexually intoxicated Catholic man will never admit that they have been influenced by this substance which affects his judgment when it comes to love and marriage.  We cannot discount the power of intoxication on anyone, including genuinely good people; nor can we discount the power of the culture to intoxicate a person ever so subtly and without resistance.

I would like to believe that however powerful the culture is to intoxicate for the worst, the exposure to purity and beauty in a good woman is that much more powerful to wake a man up from his blindness and see just how wrong he is about how he treats a woman and approaches sex.  No, scratch that.  I DO believe that this kind of good woman is more powerful than the power the culture holds over a man.

So why are so many good women being rejected by men who should be thanking God for sending such a woman into his life?  That I cannot answer.  I could offer my opinion and some theories, but I don’t have a clear answer.  Maybe the men aren’t as close to Christ and the Sacraments (sources of the only power to combat such evil) as they should be.  Perhaps they are too far invested in the lifestyle of having sex or living together prior to marriage.  Perhaps they really don’t want to be married.  Who knows?

Too many good women are paying the high price of remaining faithful to their belief that sex is for after marriage.  And too many of these women are in pain because they are made to feel like they are somehow idiots for taking that belief so seriously.  And too many of these women are beating themselves up trying to figure out what else could be wrong with them that caused the man to break up with her, not willing to believe he was so shallow to do it just because she wouldn’t put out.

I can’t sugar coat this one, ladies.  You do pay a high price, in that you don’t have someone to share your life with when you want that so very much.  But you can’t ever forget (please, don’t ever forget) that you also paid a high price to Christ for standing your ground, and that price is deep union with the greatest love of your love, Jesus Himself, and the eternal happiness you will possess as a result.

I suggest you hold your head high and continue being the beautiful woman you are for yourself and for the sake of Christ.  Don’t allow these men to take away who you are.  Keep becoming more and more beautiful, and live as if it’s them who are missing out.  You always have your union with your ultimate love, Jesus Christ.  That is no pious sentiment.  That is real and true.  And it’s better than anything.  Pray for these men.  They need it.

But also stay open and hopeful. There are lots of single men out there who share your commitment to chastity, or who will respect and admire you.

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12 thoughts on “The high price of not putting out.

  1. Thanks for posting this Anthony. To the author of this letter and your audience, can I say that there are authentic Catholic men out there who want to (and do) live their lives in virtue, saving themselves until marriage. There is nothing more beautiful to me than meeting a woman who places her worth in Christ ‘s love and has saved herself until she is able to stand at the alter, commit herself to her husband and confidently proclaim ‘I saved this for you, everything that I am’. Angels sing praises to God so high when this happens. Don’t give up!

    Also know that our society twists the view of sex and marriage so profoundly that as a guy it is SO hard to resist. The constant bombardment of sexualised imagery, peer pressure, pornography, low moral social standards, on top of the normal human sexual drive, it is an endless uphill battle. It is only through the grace of Christ that a man can successfully overcome this, so don’t be to harsh on them. Anthony is right though, when a woman sets the bar for her beauty, one of two things will happen. Men will commit themselves to Christ with you and reach for it, or they will simply say it is too hard. If your experience has been the latter, then rejoice, for he is not deserving of you and your beauty.

    Personally, I have actually have had the same experience as you, but from the opposite perspective. Women who don’t want to respect my decision to remain pure, to be a better man than what they generally experienced. Yea it hurts, but my worth is measured in Christ’s love and I know for every rejection, the wife God has set aside for me is one step closer. Keep strong.

    • At the risk of unleashing a maelstrom of people saying (perhaps a bit condescendingly) things like “I’ll pray for you,” I’ll add in my two cents’ worth as an alternative point of view and encouragement.

      I was in your shoes several times, and yes, rejection over not sleeping with someone (or for other reasons) does hurt quite a bit. After this had happened a few times, I didn’t want it to happen again. I was in my mid 30s, wanted to marry someone, but I didn’t think that would ever happen if I kept saying no and having guys dump me. Between that, and the fact that I simply wanted to experience making love with someone when we loved each other, in my next long-term relationship we were fully sexually active.

      Now finally years later I am very happily married to a different, wonderful man. Do I regret the past or think about this other man? No. And do I think it was a terrible sin? No. It’s not what I would have preferred; I would have preferred to marry in my mid 30’s and have been a virgin. But marrying in my mid 40’s has worked out ok; and now I am very happy.

      I wish you all the best, whatever you make out of life, and I hope you will find someone very soon who will help heal all the hurt you have experienced.

      • It’s not encouraging to admit and have no remorse for sinful behavior (and yes, sexual relations outside of marriage are a sin – we shouldn’t neglect to call it what it is).

  2. This guy doesn’t respect himself or the lady involved. Another way to look at it, what self respecting man would want to go where another man has been, or treats her woman like a prostitute? If he doesn’t respect himself, he certainly isn’t going to respect a lady of virtue.

  3. I have always been a Catholic lady of high morals and standards. I can relate to the rejection one gets when standing up for what is right like waiting until marriage is. I also got to the point when I started losing hope. I spent several years dealing with Catholic men who were not willing to wait. However, the one thing that kept me going and sticking to my standards was the thought of …”if a man couldn’t wait until marriage (not matter how Catholic he proclaimed to be) under what grounds did I think he was going to be able to stay faithful to me after marriage if he couldn’t even stay chaste before marriage?” That thought alone gave me enough strength to keep going in life regardless of my loneliness, frustration that came with dating non-practicing Catholic men and the ticking of biological clock. It took me several years walking this very dry and lonely journey but God in his mercy answered my prayers and brought to my life a practicing Catholic gentleman who valued me for my morals and family and religious values. Waiting until marriage was never even a point of discussion between him and I, we both knew that it was the right thing to do according to what God was expecting of us. He proposed to me six months after we started dating. We were engaged for nine months. We got married in the Catholic Church. We even got a papal blessing and held hands with the Pope Francis. And now by the grace of God, we are expecting our first child. As you can see our faith and our waiting paid off. God not only brought us together in the middle of so much darkness but also abundantly rewarded us for embracing our crosses and being an example to others. Thanks to God for AMS trips. My husband and I first met on an AMS cruise. Our romantic relationship didn’t star until we met again on another AMS cruise on the following year and everything took off from there. Sometimes finding Mr. or Mrs. Right is a matter of looking in the right places. I recommend be strong, do not let your frustration overwhelm you and start with your local parish, meet people during Mass, get involved with church activities, volunteer at events, attend Bible study, etc… If you have already tried all of that, then consider attending an AMS event. What are the benefits? You get to travel and see new places, get to know people with similar values and priorities from afar and make new friends, have fun as a mini-vacation and deepen your Catholic faith through all kind of activities available to the group. Lastly but not least, do not ever lower your standards, we are called to be salt on this earth and example to others. Take up your cross and follow Him. Trust God and his plans for you. His time and plan is always perfect regardless of how impatient sometimes we humans can get. God bless.

  4. I see chastity as my commitment not only to God, but also to my future spouse. There are some things meant only for our spouse, and this is one of them. I’ve had the same experience, men who didn’t want to wait, and that was God’s way of telling me they were not the man for me to marry.

  5. A heartfelt “God Bless You” to all the women who have found the strength to wait until marriage. I would like to say that I am also waiting for marriage, but in my young adulthood, I was not practicing my faith and I succumbed to the world’s lack of morality. Since then, after rediscovering my faith, I have been faithful to the Catholic teaching of waiting for marriage. As it stands now, as a gentleman, I would never pressure a woman to perform “the marital act” out of wedlock… as that would be putting her in the state of mortal sin. If I loved her, how could I do such a thing?

    In this immoral world, may God grant us all the strength to remain pure until our wedding night.

  6. Very encouraging article & comments. Being 32 & remaining a virgin in this culture has not been easy, but glad to know there are others waiting until marriage. We can hope, pray, & trust the Lord in His will & timing for a spouse. It will be worth it one day!

  7. I was an idealistic young girl at the onset of the sexual revolution in the 1960’s and the same thing happened to me. I am now past age 60, have only been on a few dates in my life, & thanks to God’s grace, still a virgin. But I have known the pain of lifetime rejection, and the only bright spot on the horizon is that chastity seems to be making a comeback among very young people. Perhaps they will find dating easier than I and my misguided generation did. To the girl who penned the original letter, I might suggest that in addition to joining AMS, perhaps publishing a “personal ad” in a traditional Catholic newspaper like the Wanderer?

  8. “Things are going great and then the guy breaks up with me using any excuse, but I know it’s because I’m not ‘putting out’.”

    How do you “know” that? Sorry ladies, I know many single Catholic gentleman who accept all teachings of the Church, and it’s facile to say you “know” a man stops seeing you because of no sex before marriage. While that might be true, try looking at the way or ways you relate to others – maybe something else is going on than no sex before marriage.

    Speaking as an older single Catholic man who has sisters and good female friends and has been interacting with single allegedly “Catholic” women on AMS and CM, women are as capable of rude and uncharitable and superficial behavior as the men I regularly hear you ladies complaining about.

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