Brittany Peterson, 24, and Sam Norman, 27 waited to have sex before they got married
Clearwater Beach, Florida - They didn't kiss until they were engaged.
And they didn't have sex until they were married.
These days, it's rare to find a couple who saved themselves for marriage.
But Brittany Peterson, 24, and Sam Norman, 27, did.
"It's not easy," Norman said. "It is hard. It is a battle."
Norman made his commitment to abstinence when he was young.
It turns out some of those lessons in church youth group actually stuck.
"They'd give a girl a heart and they'd do a skit and she'd tear off the pieces of the heart, [and] hand to a guy. [Then] tear off another piece [and] hand it to a guy," Norman recalled.
"And at the end, she'd have half a heart left."
Visuals like those are what led Norman to make a commitment to save himself until marriage.
And it's a move that bucks the trend. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, fewer than 10 percent of people ages 20 to 29 are virgins.
Through high school, Norman was teased. He recalls some "smart comments" from guys who wanted to razz him in the locker room.
But he remembered his promise.
He also remembered how hard his mom had cried when his brother lost his virginity. He watched as the tears streamed for days. Norman still remembers the disappointment in his mom's eyes and the pain in her heart.
In college, the tides seemed to turn. Peers generally began to accept Norman's virginity and some even praised him for it.
But one girlfriend didn't. After three months, she broke up with him because he wouldn't do anything sexual with her.
"[She said], 'Do you love me? We need to make love, and that way we'll know for sure.' And I'm like, 'Well, I don't know if I love you that much.'"
But in 2009, Norman found someone he did love that much.
Her name was Brittany Peterson. They met through a mutual friend on Facebook and eventually she agreed to a midnight date at IHOP. They talked for six hours.
From the beginning, both were committed to keeping it clean. They asked their friends to hold them accountable, and they never went on a one-on-one date.
They even decided they wouldn't kiss until marriage.
That lasted for a while, but after three months of engagement, they did eventually kiss.
But that was where it ended.
"I think putting that foundation from the very beginning helped us to keep it that way until our marriage day, which was so sacred and so beautiful," Brittany's said.
They admit they're not perfect. No one is.
But they do believe that everyone has value.
Value that goes beyond how you look or what you do.
And they want young people to know that they don't have to give themselves away to be special.
And in February, that tough commitment paid off.
Brittany and her husband stood at the altar at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater. Both wore white as she read this vow: "You are my first, my last and my only."
Norman was so proud that he wanted to wear white to the wedding as well.
Married eight months now, the Normans love married life... in all its aspects.
And they're also working on another project: their first baby!
Brittany is due in May.
Janie Porter, 10 News