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Should a Christian Girl Date or Court a Guy Who Struggles With Porn?

By: Kristen Clark

Megan met Josh through a young adults group at her church and had been going out with him for several weeks. One evening while having coffee with Josh, he confessed to her that he currently struggles with pornography and is trying really hard to stop.

Megan wasn’t sure how to process this shocking information and went home with a conflicted heart. She hated the thought of Josh viewing pornography, but didn’t know if it was a big enough deal to end the relationship.

What would you do if you were Megan? How harmful is pornography to a developing relationship?

Is it wise for a single girl to date or court a guy who has a habit of viewing porn?

A recent survey found that 75% of young Christian men (18-30 years old) view porn at least “several times a month,” and 61% say at least “several times a week.”

Sadly, what those statistics tell young single women is that 3 out of the 4 Christian guys they meet struggle with porn on a regular basis.

Porn is destroying thousands of marriages because it’s the type of sin that always promises satisfaction with “just one more look.” It creates an ever-growing wedge between the physical and emotional intimacy of the husband and wife.

As Luke Gilkerson of Covenant Eyes points out: 

“Pornography doesn’t teach men to serve, honor, and cherish their wives in a way that fosters romance. Pornography trains men to be consumers, to treat sex as a commodity, to think about sex as something on-tap and made-to-order. As Dr. Mary Anne Layden writes, ‘It is toxic miseducation about sex and relationships.’”

Porn destroys relationships because it replaces real-life intimacy with a selfish, lust-saturated version of intimacy. It replaces real life relationships with a one-way, pleasure-on-demand, non-committal act that treats women (or men) as lust satisfying objects.

Why getting married doesn’t “make it go away.”

Some single girls think their boyfriend’s porn struggle will simply go away once they have access to sexual intimacy in marriage. However, this has proven to be false by countless marriage testimonies.

If a guy or girl views marriage as a porn-replacement they will be very disappointed. Why? Because marriage satisfies a sex drive, not a porn drive.

Porn is lust driven and getting married doesn’t automatically make the lust-filled heart go away.

It might appear to help the problem at first, but before long, it will come back.

Porn is an addictive sin that will not be satisfied long-term with any alternatives, including marriage. Unless this sin is repented of and dealt with from the root up, it will always come back.

While your boyfriend may be honest about his struggle, things could be a lot worse than they appear.

Although Josh appeared to be open and honest about his porn struggle to Megan, objects in the mirror are often larger than they appear. So often a porn addiction is just the tip of the iceberg. There may be many deep rooted issues and a twisted view of love and sex.

If your boyfriend admits to having a problem with porn, I would encourage you to find out more. If possible, ask your dad or a godly older man go out with him to find out more about the extent of his struggle.

When did he first view porn? How often has he viewed porn since then? Did he grow up in a home with porn? What kind of porn does he currently view? How harmful does he think porn is to a marriage? What is he doing, if anything, to find freedom from porn?

Understanding the depth and extent of his porn struggle is very important in helping you (along with wise counsel) know how to handle the situation.

So should a girl date or court a guy who struggles with porn?

My advice to women like Megan would be tailored for her specific situation, but would ultimately have the same conclusion: I do not think it is wise to enter into or remain in a dating or courtship relationship with a guy who is currently struggling with porn.

It’s one thing if it is far in his past, but it’s a completely different ball game if he is currently struggling with it.

Before you call me harsh, I encourage you to read some of the blog posts on Covenant Eyes and you will quickly see the devastating effects porn has on relationships. I think it is wise to end the relationship until he is able to find victory and freedom from his porn habits.

Think about it this way.

Why would you want to move down a road towards marriage with a guy who is already struggling to be faithful to you? Why would you want to enter into a union to become “one” with a guy who is committing virtual adultery on a regular basis?

I know what I’m saying isn’t easy and will require a lot of prayer, wisdom, and grace…but in the end it does not seem wise or healthy for you to stay in a relationship with a guy who currently struggles with porn.

I encourage you to get wise counsel from your pastor or a godly older woman on how to handle your specific situation best.

Have good conversations early on.

Is porn a major problem today? Yes. Does porn have to destroy every family, every relationship and every marriage? No!

Having a good heart-to-heart talk early on in the relationship about this issue will help you and your significant other get on the same page. Discussing both of your expectations, beliefs about porn, plan for purity, etc. will help you know where the other person stands.

It will also show the value and importance you both place on cultivating a porn-free relationship.

Don’t wait until you’re five years into marriage to have these invaluable conversations – have them now.

Whether you’re in a relationship yet or not, you can help your future husband fight the battle against porn right now by praying for victory, wisdom, and purity in his life today.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this deep topic. Feel free to ask any questions or share any comments that you have below.

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  • Marie

    I had been wondering alot lately if it was a good idea to enter into a relationship with someone who has had past problems with sexual sin, even when they aren’t doing it anymore. It was mainly out of the concern that they may return to that sin later on in life. This post has helped me gain a better understanding of that issue, as well as remembering that God can work miracles. This is kinda unrelated but I just thought I’d say it anyway. Thanks for the post, Kristen 🙂

  • Jesusfreak17

    One thing I would wonder though is to how the guy would feel. He’s gotten all this courage up first to ask her out and then to confess his struggles. If she says then that she can’t continue the relationship, he may feel like this one sin is defining him. He’d feel worthless because someone had dumped him because of this struggle. While this may be an effective way to wake a guy up who is not really fighting it, if he IS fighting it with all he has but hasn’t gotten there yet, that may be way more damaging. So in breaking up the girl would either need to take a step back but not totally dump the relationship and/or have a very thorough conversation about why it’s such a big problem to have in a relationship. My point is, take things on the situation, pray, hear him out. We all sin, and I doubt anyone has a perfect view of relationships. Of course this is more serious then some, but be careful with his heart too.

  • Taylor

    I’m wondering when is the right time to have these conversations? One of my guy friend’s and I might be going out for coffee in the next couple months sometime, just on a basis of getting to know each other better. We’ve been texting for close to three months now & have talked about a lot such as our views on dating, marriage, goals & plans for the future, etc. Do you think it would be appropriate to bring this topic up in conversation over coffee, even if we are just friends getting to know each other?

  • Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts from a wife’s perspective. That was a blessing to me.


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