Wednesday, February 20, 2013

To Kiss or to Duck...?

My house currently hosts 'The Bachelor' parties every Monday night.

Before you get all judgy on me, though, I want to assure you that these nights were established before I ever moved on. You can resume judging me now because you can also be assured that I was already hooked on the show prior to my transition up here. It was actually a perfect fit.

Regardless, it's been a hilarious show to watch among mixed genders. We have strict guidelines while we watch, of course. No talking during the show (unfortunately we aren't always the best at following this one). During commercial breaks we immediately mute the television and debrief everything we just saw, including predictions over who the bachelor is going to kick off that night.

It's a serious matter. Lots of depth, thought and energy goes into our psychoanalysis of each contestant. This particular season has been one of interesting speculations and hypotheses. Mostly I'm just disappointed that I didn't try to get on this season, as I'm quite sure Sean was the man I was meant to be with (just kidding, Mom).

I'll probably have more to say about this show, especially as it nears the end and has a million great examples of what not to do in relationships...but this particular post I want to focus in on kissing. Yep. Kissing (well, and other physical things). Every week we watch Sean kiss five hundred girls and most of us cringe every time it happens. It just always seems bad...which naturally produces at least one or two comments about kissing every night we watch The Bachelor.

Here's what I want to say to you about it:
Kissing can be a bigger deal than you might think it is, in the moment. While, sure, it can seem fairly harmless... I think there's a lot that goes on physiologically once we start making out. In fact, I'm not really sure our bodies are all that prepared to go into kissing mode and then stop at that. It's pretty natural for kissing to quickly progress into a whole other realm of possibilities.

No, this isn't a blog about how you shouldn't kiss. I'm not against kissing. But, I do think you need to be super careful with it...and that sometimes there are probably occasions and situations in which you should definitely not be kissing.

For example...
I've been a 'ducker' in my past.
You know... the girl who probably teases a guy to the point where he thinks that if he goes for it, he'll probably land a kiss...and then when he actually tries, I duck? I don't mean to...I honestly don't. But, sometimes it happens. There's a pretty vivid moment in my history where, during high school, I was all cuddling with a guy in a movie theatre and when we headed back to the car afterward he, of course, thought he was going to get a kiss. I had given him no reason to believe otherwise. But, I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't feel ready. I didn't even really want to. I wasn't sure I liked him. So, he tried. I ducked.

This is one way to really emasculate a guy, in case you're wondering. But, for some stupid reason, I felt bad about the situation and so I recanted my non-kissing stance with him and encouraged him to try again. I should have never changed my mind. Worst Kiss Ever. Seriously. I can't even begin to tell you how bad it was, and I definitely don't want to try to describe it. Just trust me.

I kissed him because I felt guilty for not kissing him. And I regretted it.
I wonder how often we are prone to do things like this. Not even just in regard to kissing...but other physical things with either our boyfriends or other guys that we somehow find ourselves in back seats with. Feeling guilty for not giving them what we think they want, and so we find ourselves compromising, giving in, and making decisions that we inevitably regret. I wonder how often we make these decisions because, on some level, it also just feels good to have someone want us physically. Maybe it makes us feel beautiful, or desirable, or sexy... or whatever it is.

And this is where I have to urge you to be careful. To not do things out of guilt. To not do things because it makes you feel good about yourself. To not compromise. There have to be things that you are set on, rigid in, ground in. Before you go on a date, set some boundaries for yourself. I promise that if he's a cool guy, you'll get another chance to kiss him... and if he's not, you'll be glad you didn't.

This is one of those times where living in the moment is usually a bad idea.

This matters.
Purity matters.
And the things that can easily lead to tearing that away from you are better to be avoided.
You are called to holiness...being set apart.

Please, by all means, watch The Bachelor and laugh about it (but not if it messes up your heart and your head and makes you think things about love that simply aren't true)... but don't go try to live it out yourself. Don't go around kissing randos and flirting with boundaries and rationalizing that 'just because you aren't having sex' that it's all okay. It's not. Plus, there's all that stuff in between kissing and sex that you might be trying to justify, while knowing that it's not okay at all for you to be doing.

If you're in the midst of it, stop (I know, I know... easier said than done. At least talk to someone about where you're at...openly and honestly).
If you know you're entering into a situation where temptation is likely, pull out. Ask someone to hold you accountable (someone who you trust...someone who has the same values as you).
If you feel too far gone, talk to someone about it. My inbox is always open, but I imagine you have someone else close to you that can be a good, wise ear for you. You're not too far gone. Of that, I am sure.

I realize this is a big topic and that there's a lot left to talk about. But, for right now I want you to know that you should never feel guilted into doing things, that you should be cautious when making sexual decisions quickly and spontaneously, and that there's always hope even if you feel like you're stuck in the midst of some bad stuff. There's redemption. There's second chances. There's freedom.

And when you duck? Trust your gut. Don't change your mind. Be thankful that your body was reacting before your head got a chance to over-think things too much.

Stand firm in these things.
You won't regret it.

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