1) Keep innocent expressions special. Rather than making the innocent expressions a mere prelude to the "heavier stuff," make the most of them. Let holding hands mean something. Express tenderness by simply putting your arms around each other. Make sure a kiss communicates true feeling and isn't just the first step to further physical involvement.
2) Pace your passion. Every marathon runner knows that you don't use up your energy at the beginning of the race; you need most of it at the end. Pacing your passion means that you realize you're trying to remain pure all the way to your wedding day. It's OK to express your love in little ways, but don't start messing with the package that is sex. To get real practical, avoid French kissing and petting—anything that is sure to ignite the fires of passion.
3) Don't feed your fantasies. It's normal to think about sex sometimes. In fact, with the way advertising and Hollywood exploit sex, it would be impossible not to think about it. So choose your entertainment carefully. Soap operas, certain songs, books, television shows, movies and Web sites only turn up the pressure. Feeding your thought life with junk only makes it harder to remain pure in your actions.
4) Remember whose property you're touching. You do not own the person you're dating. That person belongs to God. Imagine there's a sign on everyone you date that reads: PROPERTY OF JESUS.
5) Make a promise to God, and daily renew your commitment. Decide where you're going to draw the line, and tell God that with his help, you are not going to cross that line until marriage. Don't commit to it unless you mean it, though. The Bible says it's a serious thing to make a vow to God. At the same time, realize that you can't stick to your promise without his help. That's why it's important to renew your commitment daily.
6) Acknowledge Jesus' presence on every date. Before a date, it's normal to spend a lot of time getting ready. After all, you want to look your best. But you also want to make sure you're spiritually prepared. So spend at least as much time in prayer as you do in front of a mirror. As it says in Proverbs 3:6: "Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths."
7) Agree on your standards. Before sex becomes an issue in the relationship, talk about your standards with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Don't dwell only on the negative—what you won't do. Hebrews 10:24 tells us to "encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds." Discuss ways your friendship can help each of you become a better person.
8) Don't always go it alone. Sure, you want to be alone with your date; that's only normal. Yet too much time alone can lead you to do things you'll regret later. Your relationship will be a lot healthier if you spend time with each other's families and friends.
9) Put real love first. Genuine love always respects the other person. It never says, "If you love me, you'll … " Real love says instead, "Since I care about you so much, I will respect you, treat you with kindness, and never ask you to do something you know or feel is wrong."
10) Declare a new beginning. If you think you've already given away too much, don't give up. You can start over today.