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December 11th, 2008

Good Catholic Boy

18 and looking for more than just sex

 
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I want to have sex.

There I said it; it is out in the open, loud and clear, true and honest.

My girlfriend wants to have sex.

We have been in a relationship for a month now, quite happy together. We click, she and I. She has been giving me hints for a while now, and lately she’s been coming close to flat out saying it.

So if I want to have sex and my girlfriend wants to have sex… then what’s the problem?

The problem is that I’m a Good Catholic Boy.

On the outside, my religion is what holds me back. It is what makes her so angry. She can’t understand why I’m behaving this way, why I don’t just give in to our passion. I can’t understand why this is such a problem for her.

Being a Catholic isn’t the only reason why I want to wait to have sex, right? Surely not. It can’t be just church law. Sometimes it seems so clear to me: lust for lust’s sake is meaningless. Despite all the stereotypes that say all guys ever really want is to get a girl to sleep with them, I don’t want a shallow relationship based on physicality. I don’t want some one-night stand. I want something real.

Yet it is so difficult to resist. She’s there, beautiful, and wild, simply ready and waiting for me. No, correction, not waiting, she is demanding it; I mean, this is the kind of girl most boy’s dream about! If my friends knew that I was resisting this, I would become a social outcast in a second. “You did what?!” they would cry. “You were the one who wanted to wait until marriage?!”

I’m confused, fighting hard against too many things; I can’t take it. Why wait? I ask myself over and over. Why?

Because of true love. Because of happy families and no regrets. Because of searching for perfection. Because I know what is right and wrong. Because of my faith; yes, that too, because I am Catholic and believe in all that my religion has to offer. Because I am boy. Because I am not ready.

I say no to her.

No sex?

No girlfriend. She leaves, the unspoken deed that we never did the reason for her parting.

Good. … Catholic. … Boy.

I strive to be good.

If my friends knew that I was resisting this, I would become a social outcast in a second. “You did what?!” they would cry. “You were the one who wanted to wait until marriage?!”

I am Catholic. There is no denying my faith, my religion. It is a part of me. I wear my cross around my neck; I try to thank God for all that He has given me; I go to church and sing and pray there (though I don’t sing very well); and I believe in some higher plan. And so I set some higher standard for my life, a code of morals.

I’m 18. I’m an adult, legally. But I don’t feel like an adult. Not yet. I don’t feel like a man. For me, manhood is bound up in one’s ability to declare your values and stand by them. I have to earn that honor. I’m close to it, maybe on the very edge of true adulthood, but I am not there yet. I am a boy.

Good. … Catholic. … Boy.

That is what I am.

It isn’t the easiest thing to be when you are a freshman in college. There are so many changes, so many crazy things to do, so many impulsive and reckless choices to make. Many of my peers seem to be living these four years as if the second they get out of college they have to grow up and start acting responsibly; as if this is their last real time of fun. Maybe they are right. I don’t hate them or condemn them; in fact, sometimes I envy them. But I also wonder if some of them feel the way I do? Surely some must. I can’t be the only one who sees no difference between acting irresponsibly in serious matters at age 18 or 38 … or 68, can I?

My life is great. Make no mistakes about it, I love who I am and what I want to become. Yet sometimes the path from here to there can look rocky. It was what I told my first college girlfriend. In the bluntest terms, it is how I try to explain a snapshot of my existence to people—of why I act like I do. I don’t want to lie or cheat or steal. I don’t want to be cruel to my friends and crueler to my enemies. I don’t want to have premarital sex.

Or do I?

I do. And I don’t. I mean, who isn’t tempted? Who doesn’t have such thoughts? I don’t want to be separated from those around me. I don’t want to be an outcast in this or any regard. But I have convinced myself to strive for something higher, something more real, to find love, to find a serious relationship, to find marriage; at least eventually.

The journey might be long and difficult, but I know I can persevere. I know that with the help of my family, my friends, and my faith, I can proudly stand by my morals and beliefs. I can become a Good Catholic Man.

 
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The Author : Alexander Rummelhart
Alexander Rummelhart is a freshman at the University of Iowa.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Enejo Emmanuel

    it is very good to be proud that you are indeed a catholic, hold unto you faith and you shall overcome all the temptation; been faithful with your God that means you are bulding your foundation of eternal life with christ

  • Katy

    Like many other girls have said, it is so refreshing to read this article. I pray that my future husband will wait for me as I am waiting for him. When we finally meet and get married, it will be the best gift that we will be able to give to each other!

  • staystrong

    girls/ women go through years of the same challenges-there are loneley times with this descision-no doubt. I waited until I was in my thirties to marry a wonderful man with the same value system-it is possible! and very much worth the wait. transfer all that great sexual energy (and it is good-not bad-meant for a great purpose) into helping others in the meantime. and pray pray pray to St. Joseph to meet your spouse-think of how strong he needed to be in his situation. Lastly, remember, any girl who leaves you for this personal descision is a selfish person, and has her own issues at this point in her life. If she’s willing to learn about the Theology of the Body with you-she would learn how to respect this gift you are giving her. Stay strong, young prince. Your princess awaits you and you will find her. In the meanwhile, keep busy!!! Transfer that energy into other things!!!! The world is waiting for you and all the good you can do and create!

  • Heatherur

    I just wanted to tell you that I admire how honest you are about this situation. Like many other girls have said I hope to find someone that has enough respect to stick to his faith. I’m a strong Catholic, but it’s nice to hear that just because you plan to wait till marriage doesn’t mean that you have something wrong with you. We have the same tempting feelings as anyone else, but we know that there is something more out there. (true love) I can’t wait to find the person I’m supose to be with, but right now I enjoy taking things slow. Like you I have many friends that don’t share the same views on sex. My friends respect my decision and even helped me pick out my purtiy ring. I don’t push people into having my views, but I am proud that I have made my decison. I think that if your not a practicing Catholic is hard to understand why you would want to wait. I’m not just doing it because it’s what my religion says; I want to know that my love means something more to someone and that there going to be there when I wake up in the morning. I want to be able to tell that person things that I could tell no one else in the world. I wish you the best of luck and everyone else out there like me who is a teen fighting the battle of remaining pure till marriage. I KNOW IT WILL BE WORTH IT IN THE END! (and I hope to be able to tell my children that I was able to overcome societial pressures and my own desires as well!!)

  • fotohj

    i am ready for woman will like me to have a good relationship with her

  • Ann

    Thank God for boys like Alexander!!! This is for all the Good Catholic Girls that are waiting to find men like Alexander. Thank you for giving us hope.

  • Erwin Joey E. Cabilan

    Hello Alexander!

    First of all, I would like to congratulate you for being courageous. Most people now a days are no courageous of doing the things that can allow one’s humanity to flourish. I am a professional catechist from a third world country (the Philippines) and what most of the young people in your country are experiencing are also true to our own people here. Maybe, there are some difference in some aspects. Your struggle, as testified in your article, can be a goodnews to the young people who are struggling to follow Jesus in Spirit and in Truth and not in the the letter of the law. I also acknowledge what you are struggling. One time, I even asked the Lord why He has never removed this “scar”. But later, I came to realize that this scar is an opening to God. This struggle always reminds me that I need a Savior who can work marvels in my life in spite of my human conditions. Let go and let God be God. Carry on. :-)

  • Matthew

    Alexander,
    I admire your transparency and honesty regarding your situation. It is a difficult one especially when there are real feelings and social consequences at stake. You made the right decision–for Christ, not just for you. The culture tells you that sex is the ultimate, the pinnacle, but what they leave out is that without a committed, married, relationship to sustain sexual intimacy then the act itself is empty, against the will of God, and will probably lead to the relationship’s demise–sex changes things.

    I was where you were at one time–I am now 38. Fortunately, when I was your age I found a girl who did not believe in pre-marital sex either and between the two of us we were able to resist temptation. My friends knew where we both stood on the issue and apart from some occasional ribbing my friends truly respected me AND HER for our decision. The same will be true for you when you find a young woman who shares your values. Trust me, it is worth the wait.

    Lastly Alex, your decision is very mature and shows an incredible amount of faith. Without your response to God’s grace you would not have been able to resist temptation. You are well on your way to manhood even if you don’t feel like it. Continue to trust the Holy Spirit and not what the culture, or your friends, tell you. On the day of your wedding you will be a spotless and perfect gift to your wife, and she will love and appreciate you for your strength. May God bless you always.
    Matthew

  • John G.

    Alex-
    I spent over 31 years teaching Religion in an all-male Catholic high school.
    I commend you on your decision–don’t back down!
    Here’s what you WON’T have to face in your future, as many of my former students did–these are all true incidents:
    1) a Freshman who was an un-wed father at 14 (or, in your case, 18).
    2) a Senior who came to me (in tears) in mid June. His pregnant girlfriend had an abortion without telling him….the Friday before Mother’s Day and two weeks before his graduation.
    3) a knock on your door 20 years from now–and your previously unknown son/daughter standing in front of you….perhaps demanding unpaid child support.
    4) marrying a girl and wondering if her “past” is a chaste as yours….or not. And vice-versa.
    God bless you, Alex….if I had a daughter, I’d pray for her to meet a man like you….and I hope my college-age god-daughter does!

  • D

    Very well written piece. I, like others on this comment list, give you a lot of credit for “sticking to it” Like the other women – I pray continually to find someone who loves me enough to realize that the wait will be well worth it! I often have believed that I am the only one out there waiting (especially now that I am in my 30s!) – it is encouraging that there are others (especially men) who are also choosing to stay firm in their beliefs. Thanks for the reminder :-))

  • liz

    just when i had begin to think all the boys at my college are horndogs, i read your article.

    stay strong and resist temptation! PRAY TO ST. MICHAEL! he will help you! :)

    and definitely agreed with andrea. us good catholic girls are praying for you good catholic boys because we want to marry one some day. God bless you!

  • Mark Hammond

    We all aren’t horndogs like you, Vince…Just because you pop a boner when you see a good looking girl whether at work or church or whatever doesnt mean that other people can’t control their desires

  • Billy J

    sex is awesome

  • Vince

    This is the single most important decision you need to make in your life. Our society tells us sex at all times is the right thing to do and yet as a person who has had to deal with sexual addiction since a teen, it is what can and will cost you many of the freedoms you may wish to exercise when you go about your life.
    My addiction has limited what jobs I can hold, how I can work within the community and has bared me from ever doing anything for the Church in a public fashion. I cannot even read at Mass or sing in the choir! What society forgets to tell you is sex is addictive and when introduced to a person too young it is the hardest habit to break!
    So keep a way from sex till after you are in a committed relationship.
    I will say a prayer for your strength. God Bless.

  • Andrea

    I’m backing up V 100%. Good Catholic girls pray for Good Catholic boys like you! Trust in the Lord, place all of your faith in Him, and remember that God knows your true heart’s desire and will bless you with that which will lead you to holiness.

  • Shea

    Alexander, you did the right thing. If she was worth it … if she was the one … she never would have left over that. Console yourself with the fact that if she couldn’t accept you for what you are in this area, she wouldn’t accept you for what you are in other areas. I waited until marriage, and never, ever regretted it! My husband, now that he’s in the “right” relationship, regrets having had sex before marriage. Stick to your guns. It’s not easy, but you’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll know you didn’t compromise your integrity. Sounds like your definition of manhood describes you … you’ve declared your values and stuck by them.

  • Ken

    I am a retired military veteran and was in the Air Force at 18. I traveled teh world and had my share of offers from women. It was not easy to say no but I am glad I did and waited for the woman to whom I have been married 30 years. I say with pride to all who want to know that my wife is the only woman with whom I have had sexual relations. I took a lot of ribbing but deep down all the so-called ladies men respected me for doing something they did not do-not as if they could not but elected not to do. If your partner really cares she will respect your wishes and wait for you. I was faithful to my wife everyday of my life even though I did not meet her until I was 26 years old. I am so glad I waited as I could tell my daughters that i waited.

  • sensei ronald panlilio

    you might want to read “kiss dating goodbye”….And if you want to avoid pressure to have sex, then seek out fellowship with people of the same faith and belief that you have. You can find it. Ask and you shall find, knock and the door will be open unto you. Later in life I found a group called single for christ, and wow I have met so many great young adults who want to live a life devoted to christ: including purity, and saving sex for marriage. Premarital sex will be fun for the immediate time, but after reflection it will be painful, because it is empty and normally you dont eve love the other person. For if you loved them, you would not force them to do something they did not want to do. So your exgirlfriend was forcing you to have sex, and therefore her love was mostly just lust. I agree, read the books based on jpII theology of the body by christopher west. Another good book is called “every man’s battle.”

    Stick to your guns, if you want to stay a virgin that god bless you. The world will tempt you and try to take that away from you. But guard it, guard your heart and share it with your future wife. That will be an amazing gift that you give to her. And for people who have had sex, pray about it, make a new covenant with our lord, promise your purity to jesus. And be healed and save yourself from that moment on for your future partner. Our god is a redeeming god, and he will restore you to be attractive and pure for your spouse. Psalm 25:7
    “Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me only in light of your love”

  • V

    I just want you to know that I pray every day to find a guy like you. Never give up on yourself and know that the girl you were meant to be with with will find you. It will be worth it in the end.

  • Joe

    Keep it up I kept telling myself the same thing as I went through college. I am a good Catholic Boy. The problem was that is all I said, I did not do anything about it and I flirted dangerously with it but just not doing it. The problem with that is that I was always around sin and the near occasion of sin and I did nothing about it. I just kept saying I am a Good Catholic boy and then one day that was not enough and I broke I made it to 21, two more years and I was married to the love of my life (not the same person). I made it 21 years, well the first 14 were pretty easy but still the beauty of waiting till marriage was gone and there was no way to get it back. We have to learn why it is so important to only have sex in a committed married relationship. I found out after years of the wrong way, I recommend anything by Christopher West or anyone else about John Paul II Theology of the Body. This shows the true beauty of sex and what it was meant to be by God, not the Lust that is common in today’s world. Once again kudos for your choice and know that I will pray on a daily basis for you and your journey

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