“Pursuing sexual purity isn’t a problem in a long-distance relationship,” said no one ever.
Sure, it’s easy enough when you’re apart. But the times you are together, your emotions can run you like a motorboat into deep, deep water.
Complicating this problem is the fact that one of you doesn’t have a bed of their own when you visit each other. This is an honest dilemma when you want to save money, but too often, it leads to slippery decision-making.
Why Sleeping in the Same Room is Unwise
While sleeping in the same room isn’t a sin, you’re not exactly setting yourself up for success, either. And even if you don’t have sex, your heart can become dangerously comfortable with the intimate feeling of falling asleep and waking up with your boyfriend.
But perhaps the biggest reason to sleep in separate rooms is to avoid leading someone else into sin.
Maybe both of you have enough self-control to sleep together without sleeping together. But maybe your friend doesn’t, and when she sees the two of you sharing a room, she assumes it’s safe for her to do the same.
At that point, your freedom has become a stumbling block for someone else (1 Corinthians 8:9). Love for God and our friends thus leads us to make a different choice.
The Money Problem
We need to make wise decisions that encourage Christ-honoring sexual purity in our lives and others’. But we’re also commanded to be wise with our money. How do we reconcile wisdom in these areas?
Truly, I don’t think you don’t need to compromise in either area. You don’t have to sleep in the same room to save money, and I’ve assembled five ideas below to prove it.
I also think protesting the cost of staying somewhere else reveals a fallacy in our thinking. Obviously, you don’t think it’s a waste of money to buy gas or a plane ticket. Why should it be a waste of money to protect each others’ purity?
If you really can’t find or afford somewhere else to stay, perhaps you should wait a little longer to visit. Save up for another month and make the trip when you have the cash.
5 Free & Cheap Places To Stay
Here are five free and cheap places your boyfriend can stay other than your bedroom. Of course, the list also works in reverse, so you can find a place to stay when you visit him.
1. A friend’s house (Free)
Your Christian friends are your greatest allies because they too want you to win the battle against sexual impurity.
But the best part is, you don’t even need to be close friends with people for them to be your allies. If they’re believers, they’ll probably want to help you.
If you’re involved in a college ministry, you’ve got access to an amazing homestay network. You can also reach out to older people at your church to see if they’re willing to put up your boyfriend for a night.
During the year and a half that we were long-distance, I rotated between four different girls’ apartments on different visits. My now-husband connected with most of them through his college ministry.
Sometimes I got a bed, sometimes I got a couch, but every time my hosts were welcoming and kind. And I usually hadn’t met them before I walked in the door.
One bonus of staying at other girls’ houses in your boyfriend’s city is that if you end up moving and getting married like I did, you’ll already have some potential friends lined up.
Top tip for staying at a friend’s house: Try to find someone who has a spare key. It’s much easier to come and go as you please.
2. A community room (Free)
Your bedroom may be out of the question, but what about your living room? Or a study room on your floor (if you live in a residence hall)?
I mean, it would be pretty awkward if you had sex in a space where anyone could hear or walk through at any moment. Needless to say, the temptation won’t be as strong.
This solution works in any living situation where you’re living with roommates. However, you must make sure your roommates are okay with your boyfriend staying over, and that they’ll keep you accountable if he instead spends the night in your room.
It might help if you propose it once they’ve already gotten a chance to know him. That way, they know he’s a solid guy.
Top tip for staying in a community room: Respect your roommates’ (or floormates’) desires for privacy and quiet.
3. His car (Free)
I know, it’s not comfortable.
And it doesn’t work everywhere — for example, when it’s -15 degrees or you’re living in a sketchy neighborhood.
But it is free, if he’s staying in your driveway or parking lot. I’m not sure I would recommend this for women, for safety reasons.
Top tip for staying in your car: Check the forecast and know your neighborhood.
4. A campground (Cheap)
If your boyfriend is adventurous like my husband (this is a man who seriously considered renting a community garden plot and sleeping there for a summer), camping out is a great option.
City parks, county parks, state parks, national parks, and national forests are all great places to put up a tent.
Some campgrounds fill up weeks in advance, so make sure to reserve a spot as early as possible.
Top tip for staying in a campground: Make sure you know what time the campground gate closes.
5. An Airbnb (Cheap)
If none of the other options work for you, Airbnb is an easy, affordable option. It’s not free, but it is cheap.
You can also usually find a budget motel for a low price. Personally, I find Airbnb’s booking process to be more straightforward, but it’s completely up to you.
If you’re staying alone as a woman, you may feel safer in a hotel.
Top tip for Airbnb: Find a place with plenty of good reviews.