PART 6: Growing in Intimacy » In matters of dating or courtship, I generally recommend that people either get married or break up within a year or so of beginning a dating relationship.
I also believe that this recommendation applies with equal force to single men and women in college.
In the meantime, the “we’re already committed” rationalization tends to make couples feel free to act in all sorts of ways they didn’t before, and every argument I’ve made in this series applies ), but that doesn’t mean that anyone who uses that language is automatically correct. Scott now lives in the Louisville, Ky., area with his wife, Rachel, and son, William, where he works as an attorney and serves as an elder of Third Avenue Baptist Church.
As a quick theological aside on guidance, God does not primarily lead His people by mystic feelings in the pits of our stomachs about what He wants us to do.
If our goal is to move positively toward God-glorifying lives (rather than simply to “walk the line” by attempting to satisfy our fleshly desires as much as possible without sinning), wisdom and godliness would seem to counsel keeping relationships shorter.
Certainly, as God’s people, we don’t want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it’s not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.
As to physical intimacy, many long-distance couples have told me that because they are not physically close to one another as often, they actually experience Um, no. Be deliberate about avoiding “marital” levels of intimacy.
If you’ve forgotten the cardinal rule of engagement, re-read “Tips for Engagement.” Engagement is a great thing, but it’s not marriage. Choice two is to stay in school and put the relationship on hold. Wait until a responsible time to start the relationship back up.As to emotional intimacy, we live in the age of email, free long distance and unlimited any-time minutes, and cheap flights.It’s still really easy to “act married” emotionally, even in a long-distance relationship.When two people are dating — especially when it’s going well and two people are really into one another — the desire to spend more and more time together, to know each other better and better, to confide in each other more and more often and exclusively, is overwhelming.As your general comfort level around each other rises, that momentum grows even more. We’ll assume, per another clear principle from Scripture, that both members of our college couple are Christians.Where a relationship is shorter, accountability stronger, and the level of temptation, and the likelihood of sin, goes down.