Dating and commitment
If we act like we’re married before we’ve made that commitment, we’re defrauding (and sinning).I don’t know whether you’ve noticed this, but people involved in a dating relationship tend to get to know each other better over the course of that relationship.I discuss this principle more fully in “Principles for Drawing Boundaries” and “What Does a Biblical Relationship Look Like?” As a quick refresher, we can “defraud” our brother or sister in a dating context by showing or encouraging a level of intimacy — either emotionally or physically — that the Bible seems to reserve for marriage and marriage only.On most college campuses, that likely puts the two of you in the same relatively small social circle.Perhaps both of you are active in the same campus ministry, you go to the same church.
No reasonable person would argue that physical temptation does not increase — a lot — the longer two people date who are attracted to each other and who grow to love each other.
If our goal is to move positively toward God-glorifying lives (rather than simply to “walk the line” by attempting to satisfy our fleshly desires as much as possible without sinning), wisdom and godliness would seem to counsel keeping relationships shorter.
Certainly, as God’s people, we don’t want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it’s not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.
As to emotional intimacy, we live in the age of email, free long distance and unlimited any-time minutes, and cheap flights.
It’s still really easy to “act married” emotionally, even in a long-distance relationship.