When the Fire Burns Out

For Christian brothers and sisters in extended, nonsexual dating relationships who are perplexed by a loss of interest in kissing, i.e. have lost the “in love” feeling, and are wondering what’s caused it. 

Dear Perplexed,

There  are several different things it could be. Stress, medication, depression, etc can inhibit sexual desires (here expressed via kissing.) If you’ve been having relationship difficulties, that can do it (the feelings usually come back if you work out the problem here.)  Seeing a doctor might be necessary to eliminate these.

This could also mean you’ve been hit with something nearly all marriages experience where, emotionally, the honeymoon is over before you’ve made it to the altar.  The initial, thrilling phase of love was never meant to last forever. Considering how we behave under it’s influence, generally it’s a good thing the “in love” feeling does wear off.  But the transition period that follows is when a marriage is really tested and the same goes when this occurs in premarital relationships as well. Married couples that make it through that minor/major crisis (the degree of relationship trauma varies)  find the next phase of marriage a comfortable and stable kind of love, even if they don’t come together as often and have to work at romance (this tends to coincide with a taking each other for granted).

If you track the length of your relationship in years, even unmarried and not sexually involved, and the above physical causes are eliminated, the odds are you’re experiencing this natural phenomena. In which case you’ll have to decide together, since it’s happening before marriage, whether you want to work at it, or just be friends.

It could also be God convicting you not to kiss before marriage. That’s something you’d have to pray about.

So what do I think you should do? Honestly? If you don’t feel tempted in the least to get intimate, have no sexual desire for each other on any level (rather than the flesh divided against the spirit, as it would likely be with conviction against the behavior) and especially if the idea grosses you out even in the context of matrimony, while it is natural for such physical feelings to level off in a relationship over time, you’d probably be better off giving the romantic relationship a proper burial rather than entering marriage with the honeymoon already over.

That said, love is more than an emotion. It’s also a commitment. I can’t tell you if this is the one, and neither necessarily can your emotions, and certainly not the flame of passion taking it’s natural course and burning down to a flickering ember that requires stoking to keep alive. The advice on who to marry ultimately has to come from the Throne.

Assuming you’ve not developed an actual physical aversion that’s not due to any physiological issue as above, it would be possible to overcome this and have a happy marriage if that were God’s will. But if you feel like you’d be dissatisfied without a stronger physical spark, marriage wouldn’t be advisable. I’d rather you not have to struggle with wandering eye syndrome that could result from longing for the honeymoon stage of love that may have skipped town on you before you could legally enjoy it.

But as I said, it could also be coming from outside or physiological stressors, in which case, relieving those problems should restore things.

You might want to pick up some books on courtship and go through them together as well. It’s best to focus premarital romance on exploring the possibility of marriage in the immediate future rather than dragging on and getting hit with this leveling off without the commitment of marriage. Because the fact is, love does this. That’s why divorce has become so prevalent in our society. Dating, as popularly practiced, gets couples accustomed to breaking up when this happens rather than working through it.

In Christ the Consuming Fire,

Andrea Graham

Light at the Edge of Darkness, An Anthology of Biblical Speculative Fiction
Featuring: FROZEN GENERATION a short story by Andrea Graham

Venture to futures where faith equates to terrorism. Where terrorists smuggle frozen embryos to save lives and resist invasive technologies designed to break their very souls

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