Modern and Youth Issues

We are not supposed to get “intimate” with the opposite gender. Where do you draw the line?

ਪਰ ਬੇਟੀ ਕੋ ਬੇਟੀ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ਪਰ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਕੋ ਮਾਤ ਬਖਾਨੈ ॥
ਅਪਨੀ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਸੋ ਰਤ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਰਹਿਤਵਾਨ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੋਈ ॥
“Consider another’s daughter as your daughter. Consider another woman as your mother. Love only your own wife. Such a person is the Guru’s disciplined Sikh.”
(Note: The Guru’s instructions also apply to females and who would consider another person’s son as their own son and another man as their father etc)

Guru Gobind Singh Jii says:
ਨਿਜ ਨਾਰੀ ਕੇ ਸਾਥ ਨੇਹੁ ਤੁਮ ਨਿੱਤ ਬਢੈਯਹੁ ॥
ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਕੀ ਸੇਜ ਭੂਲਿ ਸੁਪਨੇ ਹੂੰ ਨ ਜੈਯਹੁ ॥
“Love your own wife more and more, but never touch another woman’s bed either by mistake or even in dream. Know that the love of another’s wife is like a sharp dagger”.
(Dasam Granth, Part-11, p-842)

When seeking a partner, you look for “gunns” (virtues/ qualities) not “kaam” (lust). One shouldn’t get intimately involved with anyone outside marriage whether it be a physical intimacy or emotional intimacy.

At the end of the day Waheguru is always thinking out for you, so have faith in Him. You don’t need to look out for girls and boys with the intention of getting married to and keep thinking this when meeting someone at university or college etc, rather leave it to Waheguru.

When you are ready to get married tell elder Gursikhs who will arrange suitable rishte (match-ups).

What is emotional intimacy and why is it that bad if you wish to marry the person eventually?
According to my understanding emotional intimacy means when you “open your heart” to someone. You become a “couple” and create a relationship, which turns into attachment (moh). Although you may not be physically doing anything wrong, but you forge a relationship where you become emotionally dependent on the individual.

For example a girl and boy have a relationship on an emotional basis rather than physical – when the girl gets married she may still think of her ex-boyfriend and vice versa.

Some young people make a girlfriend or boyfriend with the intent of eventually getting married. They may be dating since college or university and look forward to getting married in the next couple of years. During this time they may not do anything physical and simply enjoy an intimate relationship based on sharing emotions, interests and hanging out with one another. Therefore, from their perspective they would consider themselves to be an “innocent” relationship and that there’s “no harm in it” as both their parents know of the situation.

But no one knows the future. What can happens and does happen is that in the period of one year or two years etc everyone changes and matures. Some change and mature more than others – positively or negatively. So, what can happen to that relationship built on the foundation of marriage in the future? When the personalities develop, individuals meet new people and one experiences new experiences then it is inevitable that the person’s character will develop and both girl and boy will face new experiences. During this time the couple may have an argument, misunderstanding or drift apart. Eventually both parties separate and go their separate ways.

The relationship set up on the thought of eventual marriage breaks up but the last consequences of the relationship remain with both parties. Even though they were not “physically intimate” but their “emotional intimacy” would definitely leave a mark on one another’s mind.

Rather than pursuing an individual, one should look at the virtues (gunn) of a person and think, “I want a partner who has these gunn”.

Is platonic friendship with opposite gender okay?

When you form a friendship – be it a friendship with the same sex or a platonic one to a member of the opposite sex (or if you’re married think about the relationship that you have with your spouse). They usually have the same foundation which is you sharing something in common with that person which helps the relationship flourish. It could be having the same lame sense of humour, interests, hobbies or similar passions for things. It is that ‘something in common’ which lets you form a close relationship.

So if the starting of all three relationships is the same what stops a platonic friendship turning into romance? After all it’s based on the same ingredients – you’ll grow to admire, depend and trust each other – something you would also hope to share with your prospective partner. It’s so easy for it to turn into romance that it’s best not to dwell on it in the first place. Prevention is better than heartache after all.