So lately a few college-age people have written to ask what I think about premarital sex. (Those who wrote are Christian, but I would answer the same if they weren’t.)
Ah, spring. As the great Shakespeare put it, “Tis the humpiest of seasons.”
Anyway, right. So:
I am not against premarital sex. I do think pre-love sex is almost necessarily problematic. We are not designed to be content when our bodies are engaged to a greater degree than our hearts.
But sex with a person with whom you are absolutely in love is not an offense against God or your higher nature.
Absolute love, however, means absolute commitment. And being absolutely committed to a person means being ready and willing to spend your life with them.
Line le’ bottom: If you love someone enough to sleep with them, then for your own emotional (not to mention physical) well-being, you should love them enough to marry them. And they should feel the same way about you. And each of you should have proven to the other that your relationship is of that very special order.
You should be proud of that relationship. You should be so proud of it that you formalize it, and publicly announce it.
And in this society, at this time, that means exchanging rings.
Generally speaking, I would recommend waiting to have full intercourse until you are engaged. (And note, please, the vital distinction between engaged and married. They’re most definitely not the same thing. And I assume this goes without saying, but before marriage always practice safe sex.)
That said, I hardly waited until I was engaged to have sex (How I Lost My Virginity to My High School Teacher); and I lived with my wife for about three years before we got married (The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives).
But—and, again, generally speaking—I’m comfortable going with Beyoncé on this: if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it.