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If he didn’t meet my qualifications enough to that end, I would remain friends but never make any more physical contact than a hug here or there.” Before Kate and Luke married, they said, “We got into the habit of giving each other a brief hug coming and going sometime during the first year of dating.It was good to acknowledge the way we cared for each other with something warmer than a ‘Hi.’ “It felt a bit stiff to us both as we grew to care for each other more, but anytime you are holding back feelings for the right time, things can feel awkward.
Looking back, it was a good thing, even though I questioned it at one point because it became a distraction for me for a short time—either wanting him to hold my hand, or having a difficult time reigning in my thoughts when he did.
However, he explained to me that he felt like it was important that there be a physical means of communicating with each other and expressing the closeness that we felt. “One thing that both of us learned was that before marriage, if you are pursuing marriage with a person, anything has the potential to be physically exciting and distracting.
In the midst of the excitement, you have to take your thoughts captive and make decisions about enjoying emotional closeness and small amounts of physical contact based on whether the relationship is deep and solid enough to benefit from these added dimensions, or whether it will only serve to cover up a lack of real communication.
Making a decision on the fly with no forethought is a recipe for going too far. Is it in our best interest to engage in these practices prior to marriage? For those who have adopted the standards of behavior endorsed by today’s entertainment industry, these are stupid questions.
In fact, they are non-questions—meaning they just aren’t asked.