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Now What?
(What to do if you've had sex and are feeling guilty).

So, you messed up… things went a little too far and now you're wondering what to do. At a guess you're feeling pretty guilty, maybe wondering how to talk to the person you did it with, and worrying about what people will say. For the girls out there, you may even be scared that you'll get pregnant!

OK, so what are you going to do? You can't continue like this forever, so it's time to start sorting things out. Some of the first things you need to worry about (apart from pregnancy and STDs) are your relationships: we'll start with the one with the person you had sex with.

After you've "done it" with someone, both of you will feel a bit weird. You probably won't want to talk about it, or anything else. Maybe you'll have taken some time apart, to cool off. When you next see that person, make sure that you sort things out with them, face to face. If necessary arrange to meet them, but don't just leave things. You will both need to know how the other feels about you. Do you think you love each other, was it just a one off…? Say sorry to the other person: hey, you may have just been the one that made them lose their virginity, which, even though society is trying to decrease its value, is still worth a lot. Forgive the other person for their part in things, (not easy). For a lot of you, the person we're talking about will be a boyfriend/girlfriend who you love, that you made a mistake with. So… part of sorting this out is determining how you're not going to let it happen again. What are you going to define is too far? Promise each other that you won't let it happen again.

You have to build up trust in each other again, something which is very difficult after you've made this kind of mistake… generally because one of you will have started doing something pretty harmless, and then the other did something else, and it just gradually went further and further… who do you blame? Who started it? Now you just have to put that behind you, and instead talk about how you're going to stop it happening again.

Sometimes the other person won't want to have anything more to do with you, because they feel guilty when they see you and think about what happened. If that's your situation then try and talk to them… call them and see if you can meet up sometime. If they won't then you need to sort yourself out.

Believe it or not, there's a God out there, and he cares about you. It saddens him to see that you've had sex out of marriage, but he still loves you. Maybe you've been praying and don't seem to be getting anywhere. Well, the first thing you need to do is say sorry to him. That is something that will help you with how you feel. Read some of the Bible… there's a great bit in Psalms (chapter 103): "He does not treat us as our sins deserve… for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him." ("Sins" and "transgressions" just mean the things you've done wrong. For God, sex out of marriage is one). Don't worry, God hasn't forgotten about you, and he will help you through this. Talk to him about it all, about your relationship with this person, ask him what he wants you to do about it, and he will answer you. One of the most important things about this is that when you ask God to forgive you for what you've done, don't do it while thinking at the back of your mind "we can do it another time soon… I want to!". God isn't going to give you any answers if you aren't truly sorry… so make a commitment to not do it again, and ask God to help you keep to that: he will! He will get rid of your guilt and the pain, and help you to know what to do.

Finally, maybe one of the hardest things is dealing with the people around you. Should you tell your parents? What are they going to say? Scared? I don't blame you. It really depends on how you get on with your parents, and what you would normally tell them. If you tell them everything and you have a very good relationship, then try to tell them about it, because in the end they are the best people to support you and help you through things. At first they may be angry with you, but they'll calm down and understand. Other people don't feel that they can tell their parents about it: that's fair enough. Just make sure that you sort things out with your relationship with the other person and God. Telling your parents is up to how comfortable you feel about doing it. Having said that, if you think you've got some kind of STD, or have got pregnant, then you need your parents' help, so just tell them (it'll be better in the long run instead of trying to hide things). See a doctor if you are worried about either of these things, to check before you worry everyone too much.

Maybe you thought that the other person loved you… and now you've found out that it was just because they wanted sex. That hurts. So break off your relationship with them. Don't keep going not expecting it not to happen again, because if all they or both of you want is sex, then it'll happen, however much you may not want it to at the moment. It is not a good idea for a Christian to go out with a non-Christian, simply because you will both have different views on a lot of things, including sex out of marriage. It's your decision, but things will be very difficult, like you may end up having sex. Stop that relationship (Matthew 5:30 "If your right hand causes you to sin, then cut it off and throw it away from you"), and instead trust in God to give you the person who is right for you, and to help this other person become a Christian…it's important!

So, you messed up… but now you can clear up the mess. Good luck, and remember: talk to God about it.