So a very tricky part which not only affect Christians dating but also those who are not Christians.
So What is allowed for couples in a relationship before marriage?
Often, dating couples who have chosen to abstain from physical intimacy still struggle with emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy occurs when couples share their inner thoughts with one another and rely on one another for emotional support. To an extent, dating couples will become increasingly emotionally intimate.
This is a natural progression even of friendship. As people begin to know and trust one another, they become more deeply emotionally linked. However, it is wise for couples to continue to guard their hearts. Dating implies no long-term commitment. When couples find their only emotional support in one another, they set themselves up for heartbreak. There should be private portions of a heart that a person shares only with his or her spouse.
It is difficult to provide solid physical boundaries that apply to every dating relationship. Depending on one’s culture and one’s typical physical contact with others, physical boundaries may vary. For instance, some people hug everyone they know. This is not a sign of intimacy or love so much as it is a greeting. For others, hugging is an intimate gesture.
It is also important to look at the degree to which the physical touch is carried out. There is a difference between a hug of greeting and a long embrace. Each person should be aware of the meaning he or she attaches to certain gestures when considering appropriate boundaries. It is also wise to be aware of whether certain physical touches lead a person to desire more intimate touch.
Anything in a premarital relationship that hints of sexual immorality – like dry sex, foreplay, nudity, sleeping in the same bed, pornography, and the like – is unacceptable.
It is inappropriate to have sex, in any form, prior to marriage. It is also inappropriate to be naked in one another’s presence. Sex is a gift from God that is meant for a married couple to enjoy (Proverbs 5:19; Song of Solomon;1 Corinthians 7:1-4;Hebrews 13:4).Ephesians 5:3says, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”
Some well-intentioned Christian couples begin devotionals or prayer times with one another. These are both great practices, but they also need boundaries. Our relationship with God is perhaps the most intimate thing we have.
When we invite others into this, we are inviting them into intimacy. One way married couples strengthen their relationship is by praying together. Certainly, dating couples should pray together. But the manner in which they pray should preserve their personal boundaries. Married couples can pray as one unit before God. Dating couples are still two individuals.
Dating couples do not have the commitment that married couples do. They have not yet been made one (Mark 10:8) and are no more attached to one another than friends. Dating couples should honor one another by respecting boundaries. Though dating couples are deepening their relationships and learning whether they are compatible for marriage, they should not act as though they are married. Certain gifts are reserved for marriage only.
It has often been said that you should date as if you are dating someone else’s future husband or wife. What level of intimacy would you want your future spouse to have had with a previous boyfriend or girlfriend? Many people regret being too intimate before marriage, but you will never regret not being intimate enough.
Good to know.