Fear not, faithful readers. Your comments and advice have been read and acknowledged. I admit I failed to see the red flags in Brittany's words and deeds earlier, but I can see how they could appear to the casual observer as "red flags". However, I'm pretty sure that nobody was listening to the hours of phone conversation that we had before she invited me over. Given... it was a quick progression from email to personal (slightly physical) contact... but there was still a progression and it was natural.
I've seen Brittany a few times since last weekend. Her house is where we usually get together. Mostly because she puts her kids to bed before I get there and she can't really leave them while they're sleeping. Since I typically get there pretty late at night, I end up staying there until morning which I know is (gasp) totally not ok, but I feel like we exercise fairly good self control. There's always lots of kissing on and off throughout the night, but it hasn't gone much past that.
When I was 16 years old, my mom told me once, "Calvin. Times have changed. Girls nowadays don't sit back and wait for guys to make moves. You need to be really careful that you don't let a girl do things that you're not comfortable doing." I distinctly remember thinking, "Where can I meet these kinds of girls?" Honestly. I really did think that. I'm not sure what my mom expected her 16 year old son to think. Maybe, "Wow. I hope I'm never in a situation where a girl tries to heavy pet me." Riiiiiight.
My mom also told me that it's really easy to lose control in certain situations. At 16 years old, I'd never held a girls hand before so it was difficult for me to comprehend ever being alone with a girl... in the dark... sitting next to each other. But I also remember thinking, "How can somebody 'lose control' while kissing a girl?" Is it really possible to black-out while kissing someone, and then snap back to reality and yell, "How did all my clothes fall off? Where are your clothes? What did we do? I CAN'T BELIEVE I COMPLETELY LOST CONTROL!"
You might be asking yourself what I'm trying to say. Well, here it is. I'm not perfect. I've had my share of sexual transgressions. I'm still a virgin and I'll remain a virgin until I get married, but I've slipped up several times in my short dating life. And every time I've screwed up, it's been a conscious choice. Never once have I "lost control". The girl I'm kissing might have, but I haven't. I've always chosen to do certain things. I feel guilty later... and I know before I choose to do it that it's wrong and I shouldn't do it... but then I do it anyway. It's an actual thought process during which I can stop at any point. But I don't. I do what I want to do, knowing I shouldn't do it.
But I do have a line. I promise, I do. My line is probably two steps further than YOUR line, but it's still a line. And I won't cross it.