When it comes to relationships, it's hard to determine any one practice as 'standard'. From cultural, to religious, to personal practices, there are a million and one factors that differentiate one relationship from another. What seems strange and unusual to us might be perfectly normal to someone else thanks to the infinite variety in the human experience.
Not everyone looks at it that way, though. They see a behavior they're unfamiliar with or consider strange and are quick to jump to conclusions about those involved. That's why when a girl uploaded a video about a chaste practice in her own relationship, the video boomed in popularity, causing quite the stir in the comments.
The Peanut Gallery
At some point throughout your life you've likely encountered a couple that you just didn't get. Maybe the two involved were so wildly different from one another they should never be compatible, or maybe you just really, really dislike one half of the relationship. Maybe together, these two performed some of the weirdest traditions or made the strangest choices you've ever seen.
With the rise of the internet and the immediate access we now have to couples all over the world, this has only become more common, and no one would know judgement from the world outside your partner better than those whose relationships have been on blast across the world wide web.
A 23-year-old woman named Kyndel Grove recently went viral on TikTok after posting a series of videos, which together garnered over 8 million views, explaining that she and her boyfriend of two years had never kissed.
"So I'm almost 24 and my boyfriend and I — he’s my first boyfriend — we’ve been dating for almost two years and we’ve never kissed," she begins in the first video about the matter, one that provided her with an unexpected boom in popularity.
"And before y'all call me weird and all that nonsense, because I get that all the time, we’re Christian," she disclaims. "We are saving ourselves for marriage, and we have boundaries. For me, I never want to kiss anybody unless he's my husband because I feel like that’s a special thing."
While these practices aren't unheard of, it still remains mystifying and strange for a large portion of the world, especially among younger people who consider practices like this to be a little archaic.
In any relationship, always take stock of your feelings and ask yourself: does this person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them?
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Not Fearing Others' Judgement
"I just think it's really cool that we don't rely on anything physical to keep our relationship going. I think that's neat!" She proclaims.
She then goes on to say, "And I don't give a frick what any of you guys think," already anticipating pushback about her views and choices, saying that she gets hate "all the time about it" but doesn't care because "the only person I'm pleasing is God, OK?"
She closes with, "And our marriage will be blessed, let me just say that."
The Comments Were Mixed
There were plenty on either side of the discussion, either fully approving of Grove's relationship decisions or questioning how it could be a relationship at all if neither half were physical with one another.
Some of the more positive comments included one that praised her for the lack of physicality, "Heavy on not relying on anything physical to keep the relationship going."
There were also those who truly admired what she and her boyfriend had together, commenting, "I wish I was as smart as you when I was younger!! You go girl!"
There were also some who had similar stories, like one person who wrote, "My husband and I didn't kiss while we were dating. Our first kiss was at the [altar]! Dated for 2 years, engaged for 8 months and 2 years in marriage!"
There were also plenty of people of other faiths lending their support. One comment read, "As a Muslim I totally support [your] idea," with many others sharing similar sentiments and passing on well wishes.
Even non-religious folk chimed in and said they've adopted this practice. "I'm not Christian, but I’ve practiced this in my current relationship which is looking to be my forever.. more depth!"
A Little Confused
Then, of course, there were those who couldn't find the sense in a choice like this.
"This is why I'm spiritual but not religious because y'all are crazy," wrote one user, who did receive quite a bit of pushback for this comment. There were also plenty of people saying they were just friends, as what they had together couldn't be counted as a 'relationship', or accused her boyfriend of seeing other women.
Some, while not being outwardly hateful, did want to provide advice as the concept of not doing anything before marriage worried them. "I understand that some people have ideologies they think are right. But you never truly know someone after just dating! Live together, make sure you [function] together in that setting, explore how you function sexually, and learn to know the highs and the lows before you commit!"
One top comment asked, "Do you shake hands when you see each other?"
Grove initially replied, "No [we] usually do a cartwheel," but she also made a video in response.
In it, she and her boyfriend high-five, shake hands, then part ways, both laughing as they do. This video's comment section was also flooded with support for the boundaries they chose to set for themselves.
"I have so much respect and admiration for your level of self-discipline [...]," read one, "What an amazing example!"
Let's be honest with ourselves here; sparing a little bit of judgment other peoples' way can be fun sometimes. It's not inherently bad to think different of someone for arbitrary reasons, so long as it isn't actively malicious or hateful. Think light-hearted and silly instead. Not to mention that everyone has the freedom to disagree with another person's choices, like the ones Grove and her boyfriend have made for their relationship.
That does not at all warrant any negativity being sent Grove's way, though. You can think what you want, but it's often best to do so in silence.
That all being said, the amount of support she received appears to have greatly outweighed the hate, which is lovely to see. People admired her dedication and adherence to her values, congratulating her on not compromising or settling for less, even if they wouldn't choose the same type of relationship for themselves.
And that's really what it's all about, isn't it? You can judge others if you wish, but you can also learn from them and understand where they're coming from. That doesn't mean you have to change your own life to match theirs! It just means you've gained a new worldview, and expanding one's mind to embrace perspectives outside of your own is always positive.