I have a girlfriend whom I love so much. We do spend a lot of time together. Most of the time I tend to want to feel her close to me (i.e either holding her hand or letting her rest her head on my shoulder, or just hugging). Sometimes, while we are together, thoughts of lust run through my mind, but I resist it. We have never had sex. I don't want to sin against God by lusting after her in my mind, but I also don't want to start avoiding her. Sir, please, advise me on how I can be with her without thoughts of lust running through my mind.
It is best to focus on thinking of her as a person and a friend instead of someone you could potentially have sex with. It is hard dealing with temptation, but lust is when you start justifying in your mind that it would be all right to put your hands where they do not belong or to have sex with her. Temptations are not wrong, but they are to be resisted. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9). Lust, the justifying of sin in your mind, is not to be done.
Thank you, sir, for the advice. May God bless you.