- Before you seek out sex outside of your relationship, consider how your boyfriend’s religious values could affect other aspects of your life together like how you raise children, where you live, and how much time you spend with his family.
- Cheating on your boyfriend isn’t going to make your situation any easier.
- Don’t assume all forms of physical intimacy are off the table just because penetrative sex is.
- Whatever you do, don’t keep secrets from your boyfriend.
- Read more Doing It Right here.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more.
I am in a committed relationship with a very religious man. I personally am not religious and never have been, but I respect his faith and his belief system. However, he will not have sex prior to marriage.
I am fine with that – I love him for who he is and I wouldn’t ever try to push his boundaries.I, on the other hand, love sex and I find that physical intimacy has been a major aspect of all of my previous relationships.
I have no idea what to do with this. There’s almost a part of me that wants to secretly hook up with a stranger, but I am not sure I could do that to my boyfriend. Help!
– San Diego
Dear San Diego,
Yikes! As someone who strongly believes premarital sex is the best way to test drive sexual compatibility before locking down a relationship with marriage, I can’t imagine being in that heartwrenching situation. At the same time, cheating on your boyfriend isn’t going to make your situation any easier.
Before you seek out sex outside of your relationship, consider how your boyfriend’s religious values could affect other aspects of your life together. Even if you waited until marriage to have sex, it’s inevitable that his beliefs will inform how you raise children, how much time you spend with his family participating in their religious traditions, and perhaps even where you live.
If your boyfriend will absolutely not bend on the premarital sex front, it’s likely these other areas are also non-negotiable. But if you can’t see yourself living life like that, it’s a sign you need to re-evaluate your entire relationship. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but you and your boyfriend may not be the best long-term matches for each other even though you’re in love.
There’s still hope, though: A 2010 survey of 2,450 Americans found that 42% of them were in interfaith marriages.
To be a successful couple among them, you both have to compromise. First, don’t assume all forms of physical intimacy are off the table just because sex is, Rachel Wright, a relationship therapist and co-founder of the Wright Wellness Centre, told me.
Wright suggested asking your boyfriend why his religion forbids sex before marriage, since different religions have different reasons. His response could help you better understand his values or enlighten you to some, uh, loopholes in the sex department. Perhaps non-penetrative forms of sexual intimacy, like oral sex, aren’t off the table and could satisfy you for the time being.
If oral sex is also a no-no, don’t keep your feelings hidden from your boyfriend.
“Tell him you can’t continue to wait, and come up with other options,” Wright said. “There needs to be an open line of communication. When there’s secrets and lying, it indicates you’re not a great fit.”
One of those options could be an open relationship. If that’s of interest to you, Wright suggested bringing it up with your boyfriend. “There’s nothing inherently wrong with sleeping with someone else,” she said, “but your partner has to be on board.”
As Insider’s resident sex and relationships reporter,
is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it – no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.
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