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Date Night Advice (DNA) Series: Dating 101
Part 9

Date for verbal intercourseIf I could go back in time and change one thing about my engagement period, I would eliminate all of the make out sessions. Every. Single. One.

Yes. My wife, Julie and I were virgins on our wedding night, but virginity does not equal sexual purity. And the term “making out” is really just a nice way of saying sexual foreplay.

I’m not being legalistic here. I’m just being honest. I understand that a kiss or touch can rank anywhere from friendly to familial to fiery, but if a make out session is anything but fiery, you’re doing it wrong. And I guess you could say we were doing it right.

Which was wrong, because while we should have been fleeing sexual temptation, we chose to make sexual arousal a recreational activity. And the reality is, that as we let our passions take the lead, our bodies were engaging in a dialogue of a sensual nature.

Ironically, in its essence, that’s what sexual intercourse is. A conversation. A sensual dialogue. So we were more-or-less holding onto our virginity while engaging in sexual intercourse.

Is that what you’ve been doing on your dates? Or is that what you fantasize about doing?

Opportunity Lost

I’m sincerely grateful we never actually “finished” any of those conversations, but the fallout from the “making out” was bad enough. I’ve shared a lot about those consequences in other Date Night Advice posts, but in this piece I want to share a realization I’ve only made in the last couple years.

Did you get that? I want to relate something I’ve only learned after two decades of marriage, so you have the opportunity to grasp and live by this truth right now.

You see. All of those make out sessions cost me far more than a clear conscience, they stunted the growth of my relationship with the woman who would eventually become my wife.

I know when you’re engaged in mouth-to-mouth marathons and physical examinations, it makes you feel so close, because in a way you are. Beyond the close proximity of your bodies you are also growing in sexual intimacy. And although that’s not the intimacy for which your soul most longs, it is still intimacy, and a potent one at that.

However, check out this recent epiphany. There’s an opportunity cost for every decision we make. In other words, making one choice necessitates that you forego all other choices in that moment. It also means you forego all the potential benefits you could have derived from making another choice.

If you didn’t fully grasp that concept on first read, PLEASE re-read that last little paragraph. Then consider this question:

While you’re exploring your date’s body, what are you not doing? What’s the opportunity cost?

It is simply (and quite sadly) this: you’re not growing in the knowledge of your beloved’s soul.

DateHack-032-finalThat’s who they truly are; not a hot body filled with hormones, but a sacred soul filled with hopes, fears, dreams, regrets, joys and sorrows. We’re talking about the part of a person that can grow more bold and beautiful with age, while time and gravity take their toll on the body.

Now if you’re sexually involved, making out or simply madly in love with someone, you may already feel like you are soul mates, but a soul isn’t something you feel it’s something you know.

No Time to Make Out

And that’s why the kind of intercourse you need to be engaged in while dating is the verbal kind. You want to…

  • Ask your date thoughtful questions
  • Listen attentively to their answers
  • Reflect back to them what you’re understanding
  • And then ask more questions.

You also want to…

  • Consider carefully your date’s questions
  • Answer honestly (even if it means saying, “I’m not ready to answer that right now.”)
  • Observe their reactions to your perspective
  • And then invite them to offer their thoughts about yours.

This is how you get to know a person’s soul, but…

It takes time to build the kind of relationship, where you can grow closer and closer in a healthy, comfortable way.

If you move too quickly you’ll wind up doing one of two things:

  • Your dating life will become some kind of interview process which won’t foster the vulnerability necessary for someone to bare their soul.
  • Your dating life will become some kind of co-dependent counseling relationship where there is far too much information shared far too soon.

This is why you simply don’t have time to make out on a date. Even if you want to ignore the frustration, shame, misunderstanding and distrust that sexual sin brings into your relationship, there’s a huge opportunity cost.

Make the Most of Your Dating Life

How many conversations did Julie and I never enjoy because we were too busy making out? How many secrets did we never discover? How many misunderstandings did we never clear up? How many prayers did we never pray? How many fun memories did we never make?

How about you?

Have you considered the opportunity cost of choosing sexual intercourse over verbal?

Then consider this: Julie and I started out as friends. Indeed, we enjoyed 2 1/2 years of friendship, completely untainted by sexual sin. And in that friendship our relationship flourished before we ever started dating.

In contrast, if your relationship starts with romance early on and moves quickly to making out how much are you going to miss out on? How many secrets will never be discovered? How many misunderstandings will never be cleared up? How many prayers will never be  prayed? How many fun memories will never be made?

And more sobering, what truths will you never learn about the soul of your partner now that could lead to a painful break up later on? Or worse. An even more painful divorce?

For every choice, there is an opportunity cost, so choose wisely! Date to enjoy verbal intercourse only and save the sexual kind for marriage.

Then you can discover those secrets, work through those misunderstandings, pray those prayers and make those fun memories together!

Liked what you read here? Check out our LoveEd video series: Purpose-Driven Dating on our FMUniversity YouTube channel!

For the next post in our Dating 101 series click here:

Date in the Delight of Your First Love (Dating 101)

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better?  And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!