“Ask a Priest: Could My Boyfriend Stay Overnight on the Couch?”

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Q: My boyfriend and I are both Catholic and saving sex for marriage. We are currently dating long-distance as I am in grad school. We are both on a limited budget and don’t have friends in the area yet. Would it be immoral when he visits if he sleeps in a different room in my apartment on the couch? Thank you very much for your advice! – T.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It’s good that you and your friend want to save sex for marriage. That is in accord with God’s plan for the great gift of sex.

In order to guard the purity of your relationship you would want to be prudent. Having your friend stay overnight in your apartment poses some risks.

First, it brings the both of you closer to the near occasion of sin, for obvious reasons.

You might think that you have everything under control now, but prolonged proximity in the same apartment can start to change the chemistry between the two of you.

Moreover, the chance of bumping into each other during late-night trips to the bathroom, and getting accustomed to seeing each other in pajamas (or less) could start to chip away at the healthy barrier of discretion and reserve that should mark a chaste courtship.

Then there is the chance of scandal. People who notice that your boyfriend spends the night might assume that you are having sex. This could be particularly scandalous to someone who perceives you to be a devout Catholic.

Whether to allow your friend to stay overnight is ultimately a matter you need to decide.

Be aware, though, that more than a few couples who wanted to save sex for marriage have ended up having a big fall in chastity. And those falls usually began with little concessions.

Remember, too, that the devil is always lurking around, looking for chances to wreak havoc. You don’t want to open any windows of opportunity for him.

Perhaps some of this is worth taking to prayer. Count on my prayers.


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