Without question, it is not easy to submit one’s personal desires in order to do the will of God. But he will abundantly bless you for your willingness to place him at the center of your relationship. Take time each Sunday to go to Mass together, and begin looking into marriage preparation programs in your diocese.
If you are engaged, consider for a moment the gift of your partner. Look how generous God has been with you. When you come to the altar, do you not want to give God a gift in return? Do not come empty-handed. Make the sacrifice to keep your engagement pure so that you come to the altar with this gift for him.
Sleeping together and waking up in the same house on a daily basis with a person you love is a gift that should be reserved for marriage. Like every couple, you dream of a lasting love. If you are serious about making this relationship work, save your marriage before it starts and move in after the wedding.
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2350
 Mother Teresa, foreword to A Plea for Purity, by Johann Christoph Arnold (Farmington, PA: Plough Publishing House, 1996).
 William G. Axinn and Arland Thornton, “The Relation Between Cohabitation and Divorce: Selectivity or Causal Influence?” Demography 29 (1992): 357–374.
 Bunpass and Sweet, Cohabitation, Marriage, and Union Stability: Preliminary Findings from NSFH2 (NSFH Working Paper No. 65) Center for Demography and Ecology: University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1995; Bennett, et. al., “Commitment and the Modern Union: Assessing the Link Between Premarital Cohabitation and Subsequent Marital Stability,” American Sociological Review 53:1 (February, 1988): 127–138.
 Elizabeth Thompson and Ugo Colella, “Cohabitation and Marital Stability: Quality or Commitment?” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54 (1992): 263; John D. Cunningham and John K. Antill, “Cohabitation and Marriage: Retrospective and Predictive Consequences,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 11 (1994): 90.
 Koray Tanfer and Renata Forste, “Sexual Exclusivity Among Dating, Cohabiting, and Married Women,” Journal of Marriage and Family (February 1996): 33–47.
 Chuck Colson, “Trial Marriages on Trial: Why They Don’t Work,” Breakpoint, 20 March 1995.
 Lee Robins and Darrell Regier, Psychiatric Disorders in America: The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study (New York: Free Press, 1991), 64.
 Marianne K. Hering, “Believe Well, Live Well,” Focus on the Family, September 1994, 4.
 William Mattox, Jr., “Could This Be True Love? Test It with Courtship, Not Cohabitation,” USA Today, 10 February 2000, 15A (www.usatoday.com).