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“So, you’re my girlfriend now. What am I allowed to touch?”

I could name about a billion things wrong with that question and the framework behind it. But what concerns me is that this question is actually being asked of teenage girls and young ladies of today. In the hallways at school, in the workplace, and on dates; sometimes even the first date.

Just goes to show how far out of place our hearts really are and how consumed we are with our own selfish satisfaction. It does pose an interesting question though.

When you’re in a dating relationship what kind of touch is too much?

Physical Touch. How Much Is Too Much? #allthatmotivates

Protecting Your Heart and Physical Being

Note: This post is 1 of a 4 part series. 

Ladies, You Make The Call

This is one of those decisions needs (not just should, but needs) to be made BEFORE stepping into a dating/romantic relationship. This question isn’t about sex, but more so, focuses on other forms of physical affection.

It’s far too common today for men to assume that because they are dating a beautiful girl they have full access to her body. That is not the case at all. Ladies, your body is yours. No person has the right or authority to touch you in any way you don’t approve of. But for you to best protect yourself against an uncomfortable and even unsafe situation you’re going to have to sit down and honestly ask yourself, how much touch is too much?

Not knowing the answer to that question now increases your chances of having to make a split decision later; which means that instead of taking your time to think about what’s in your best interest you’re rushing to make decisions with the heat of the moment working against you. And chances are the decision you make will be influenced by all the wrong factors. You don’t want the pressure of passion making this choice for you. This decision needs to be made with a sound mind.

Read Part 1 of this series HERE!

From One Extreme to the Other

I’ve known women who have stood on the extreme of either side of this question. A friend of mine growing up waited until she was 18 to “date.” And even then, she was very conservative. She was told me about the guy that had been showing interest in her for quite some time. They were “in discussion,” meaning they hadn’t committed to each other but were talking about what a commitment might look like. She made it very clear that the relationship they were about to enter was not going to be physical in any way. There was no touching, no hand holding, no kissing; period. Honestly, I applaud her decision and her boldness to stick to it.

I have had other friends who have said anything goes and I’ve friends who stood somewhere in the middle. And although I am a huge advocate for no physical touch until marriage, I know not everybody shares that stance. Which is exactly why you need to know what kind of touch is too much for you and boldly share those boundaries.

You might also like: 4 Truths to Know About You Before Getting Into A Relationship

Why It Matters

Most people will tell you it’s about saving yourself for marriage and that physical touch is the gateway to sex. And while that is true and holds it’s weight I can think of a few other reasons why setting this boundary matters. Like soul ties. The risk of creating a “soul tie” is huge.  In marriage, this connection is great and even healthy. Outside of marriage, this connection can be dangerous. Kris Vallotton does and excellent job of explaining this in his article 7 Signs of An Unhealthy Soul Tie. If you’re unfamiliar with the dangers of a soul tie or don’t know how to identify a soul tie, this article will give you that understanding.

If you already have that understanding then it should be clear to you how important it is to set boundaries that protect your physical and emotional being.

And If you haven’t had this conversation with yourself or with a close friend or mentor, I encourage you to do so now. Protect your body, heart, and soul setting a standard and sticking to it. As always, my hope is that you draw your answers from the Word of God. Dive into your Bible, pray about it, and hear what God speaks to you on the topic. Then, follow where he leads.

Today I’d love to hear from the women who have “been there.” If you could give younger you any piece of advice when it comes to dating and physical touch/affection what would it be? 

20 thoughts on “Physical Touch – How Much Is Too Much?”

  1. Hi Lo, Thanks for addressing this. As Christians, I believe we need to help our children set very high standards before they are in these situations – like you said. My husband and I didn’t kiss until we were engaged, but we did hold hands. I figure that not having sex before marriage is a non-negotiable for any believer since scripture makes it very clear that this sin. My son and his wife did not kiss until their wedding day but I personally believe that after engagement, kissing on the lips is okay – but not a passionate, long kiss as that can lead to wanting more.

    1. That’s an awesome testimony to be able to share with your kids and women around you! Good for you! And yes, God sets a very clear standard for sex in the Bible. Another conversation to have with our kids and loved ones.

    1. I think that is a big part of the problem, that people see this topic as taboo and would rather say nothing than say something. We need to be bold in this area with both our sons and daughters.
      Thanks for taking the time to read!

  2. I’m a single mom and have had to figure out all of these personal physical boundaries as an adult because I never learned them as a child and had my boundaries violated starting at age 5. I wholeheartedly agree with having these discussions with our children long before they may “need” them.

    Teens and single adults – if you have to ask where the boundary is before it enters into sin, then you need take a huge step back, because you are playing with fire. Sin is born from the desires of our flesh (James 1:13-15). God does not give us these boundaries to rain on our parades. He gives them to us because sexual sin is the most dangerous sin of all.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more! God’s boundaries are never meant to keep us away from the “fun.” They are protection for us. He loves us too much to see us hurt unnecessarily. The advice you have given is wise! Thanks for sharing Carrie <3

  3. Hi Lo! This is good stuff! I’m going to share this with my daughter who leads a small group of middle school girls. This is so important to talk about and feel comfortable about. It is good to have boundaries going in rather than waiting until your stuck or in the moment.

  4. Thanks for writing this! My husband and I were big into I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris in high school/college and then transitioned to reading Boy Meets Girl by the same author. Our main ministry is purity, and so it was really important for us while courting to stick to strict physical touching standards, because we ourselves knew our limitations and temptations. When we “messed up” on something, we would go a step back on our standards and eliminate say, even holding hands. We also made sure to hang out in groups and enjoyed each other’s company by seeing how we interacted with others. That helped against temptation and also kept us within each other’s circle of friends.

    Hardly anyone I know goes through protecting their purity even among Christians. This is so important, because primarily our bodies are God’s.

    1. This is definitely a topic we need to address more. I have heard such great things about that book! I actually have family following closely to that concept and I applaud them so much for it. It’s so great that you two are being proactive about protecting your purity! I hope others are inspired by your example 🙂

    1. I have a neice too that I’m sure I’ll end up chatting with at some point. I’m almost positive her parents will beat me to it (and rightfully so!). I’d happily back them up though!

  5. I am glad to see someone addressing this. For myself I have always just had a strong sense of right and wrong and morals that I don’t know where they came from. I have been a bit like the friend you mentioned above. I decided as a young child that I would not allow a man to have his way. I was determined that my husband was the only one I needed to ever be physically intimate with. So therefore I drew strong boundaries. It isn’t something that we see much today and it needs to be addressed more than it is.

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