I lost my mom when I was young, and that has caused me to live a very solitary life and, from time to time, to cling desperately to relationships. For example, in order to not lose the affection of my boyfriend, I have tolerated all kinds of conversations that make me uncomfortable. I believe that it is not appropriate to talk about sexual themes, but when I tell my boyfriend that I don’t like for him to talk to me that way, he makes me feel like I am old fashioned, and I don’t know what to do about it.

Dear Friend,

We congratulate you for having self-respect. You have had the confidence to say how you feel, and to ask for what you want. So even though you recognize that you have sometimes been desperate about holding on to unhealthy relationships, you have stood up for yourself in spite of your fears of rejection and loneliness.

Your boyfriend tells you that you are old fashioned, as if having healthy boundaries is a thing of the past. In movies and on television we certainly see that there are almost no boundaries left in the entertainment world. Chat rooms on the Internet and popular magazines are full of people who have no healthy boundaries. This lack of boundaries is called “freedom,” and people who don’t agree with it are labeled as religious fanatics or old fashioned.

Just as a fence is placed around a property to protect it, boundaries are for our own protection. Girls who have boundaries are protected from sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and serial sexual partners. They prevent all these negative consequences by saving themselves for marriage and for a man who will treasure them.

Women, who are usually much more emotional than men, should set their boundaries in advance and not leave it up to their emotions to make the decisions for them. Emotions cannot be trusted, whereas boundaries made in advance keep a girl safe.

Your boyfriend’s conversations about sexual topics will eventually lead to sexual activity if you do not guard your boundaries. Sex is on his mind and, either consciously or subconsciously, he is attempting to cause your boundaries to disappear. If he does not respect you enough to care about your wishes, then he is not worth any more investment of your time.

We encourage you to ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your Best Friend. Then find a church where the people’s lives are guided by Biblical principles and where the love of God is evident when you walk in the door. There is a family of God somewhere near you where you will be welcomed and nurtured. It might not be the first church you go to, so keep searching until you find a home.

We wish you well,