I just read another thread, and one of the people who posted said that two nonmarried people kissing in a way other than a peck on the cheek or something like that is a sin, and that it can even be a mortal sin. Is this true? I am a young Catholic person who is about to go to college, but I’ve spent the past four years at an all girls’ school. As a result, I did not have any experience dating and do not always know what is and is not appropriate, but I expect that I will probably begin dating in college. As I understand it, the purpose of dating is to decide if you wish to marry the person. How am I supposed to know if I am in love with someone and able to spend my life with them if I can’t kiss them or show some sort of affection? Is kissing prior to marriage really that horrible? Is it really a sin, or even a mortal sin?

I’m in a similar position as you (I was homeschooled, now in college), and I’ve studied a lot of the Church’s teachings. As far as I can tell, if kissing wouldn’t arouse you or the guy, it would probably be okay. Near occasions of sin vary for everyone, so you’d have to determine whether you could kiss without temptation.

Semi-off topic, I’m unsure about dating for the most part anyway. Most girls (or boys, for you) are so sexually loose these days, and I think it’ll be hard to find someone who actually cares about chastity, outside of specifically Catholic circles. A girl I know is cool like that, but sadly for me, she’s taken. Good luck in your search and in college!

There are many ways to get to know someone and to show affection without engaging in morally problematic “making out”.

Despite what TV and the movies tell you the way to tell if someone will be a good husband is not because you have fireworks when you make out, a solid marriage is built on shared faith and commitment.

Passionate kissing easily leads to other things…“fireworks” when you first meet someone is great, but will fade over time…Real love built on trust, compassion, mutual interests and above all ,God ,is what will make a marriage last…Be careful in college, certain behaviors that are deemed acceptable by society can lead to long term consequences…

Thanks for your answer. I didn’t mean “making out”, I just meant normal kissing. I wouldn’t dream of “making out” with someone before I was married to him.

I think our culture is so sexually saturated that little things can trigger big things, and that’s so unfortunate, because the little things can be so nice. I was taught once, as a protestant, that you don’t do anything you’d be ashamed of if someone walked in on you. Or that you would feel guilty if a younger sibling saw you and thereby thought it was okay. In concrete terms, this father of several said:

Nothing below the neck
Nothing lying down
Nothing comes off.

I could think of a couple ways to still manage to sin with these guidelines. It’s one thing to remind our selves to be always honoring the other person, and another to figure that out in the heat of the moment. It’s always okay by the Church to choose the safer option; it’s not considered moral wimpitude.