Setting physical boundaries in dating relationships
Although no time is specified for adding the icing, the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy should come first.
As a relationship deepens, the friendship elements should continue progressing at a steady rate, and the physical should slowly follow.
Desmond Morris compiled a list of stages of marital intimacy.
We’ve adapted it somewhat to illustrate the many physical ways to show someone you care.
If one hasn’t bonded intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually with another, yet acts physically out of a desire to be physical, lust has control.
To know whether a relationship is ready for physical affection, one must first examine the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual bonding of the relationship, or the “friendship” elements.Affection says to another, “I care for you so much that I’ve run out of words to say and want to show you” or “I want to give you a physical experience that touches and blesses you intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.” Affection is the outward expression of something that is occurring within the couple internally; this something is more than physical attraction.On the other hand, lust is excessive sexual desire not controlled by concern for another. Lust is an appetite that seeks to satisfy itself at the expense of another and is unconcerned with intellectual, emotional, or spiritual health.Acts of physical affection progress as the friendship and relationship grows, with the couple eventually arriving at a place where marriage makes sense physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.