Editor’s note: Emily is the author of The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years. Just so we’re clear right up front, I’m not saying everyone should make a hard-and-fast rule to never stay up late talking to their honey or not kiss a guy until they’ve got a ring on their finger.This Q&A is continued from last week’s discussion with Emily.) Chapter four, “Sex, Chastity & The Biological Clock,” is a big one – it covers so many key issues for single women. People know their own personal strengths and sources of temptation way better than I do.The goal should be safeguarding the gift, protecting it as much as possible until we can use the gift the way God designed it to be used. That’s because avoiding temptation is a lot easier than running from it.If you’re running from it, you’ve already seen it, and its power to stop you dead in your tracks is immense. If you don’t buy or bake any, you’re not going to blow your diet. If you don’t put yourself in situations that can easily lead to sins against chastity, you’re going to have an awful hard time sinning against chastity. The book just came out a few weeks ago, so thus far no one has rolled their eyes to my face.You give clear-cut advice on physical parameters in a chaste relationship, and you write that “If you’re serious about embracing chastity, you have to become a bit of an old fuddy duddy.” You spell out situations to avoid: Drinking too much at parties, on dates, or during events out; talking too long and too late in the car; talking too long and too late anywhere; sleepovers; laying down together; kissing laying down; kissing sitting down; maybe even kissing standing up; not to mention kissing with any portion of your clothing removed. I’m just giving a list of situations that can become – or are – minefields for a couple trying to date chastely.Now, a couple of those situations listed are “avoid at all cost” – drinking too much, clothes off.So as last night rolled around I had dozens of excellent questions and possible topics to discuss.In a nearly-packed room in the basement of the Newman Center (and with Daily Iowan reporters there taking notes and snapping my picture) we had 90 minutes of questions, answers and discussion.
These numbers are a bit overwhelming, so it is helpful to go over sites that might be most useful to Catholics.Pete Vere shares advice regarding unhealthy teenage dating behavior, as well as what type of courtship leads to healthy marriages. Paul, MN, January 24, 2002 There is a growing debate within Catholic circles surrounding the merits of courtship as opposed to dating.As the youngest canon lawyer in North America, I am less than a decade removed from my teenage years, and I also served as a canonical adviser to various adolescent-orientated Catholic apostolates.Most are “it’s really wise to avoid.” And one or two are for those who know they’re no good at putting the breaks on once things get going even a little bit and find it safer to avoid letting things get going in the first place.So with that list, you’re trying to get people to think about chastity differently? Too often we approach questions about chastity from a negative standpoint. That’s serious business – entertaining business, mind you, but not mere entertainment. At least for women, the more serious smooching we do, the more of our hearts we give. The rest of the reason is that such a question reveals we’re not thinking about sexual intimacy properly.Therefore, I keep in touch with what is current among today's youth.