Today I’m going to give my flat out opinion on whether you should wait until marriage . . .
Marie asks . . .
“So I’ve been reading a few of your articles and books, which I do like a lot. However, I am constantly told that making love is one of the best parts of the relationship, it brings the couple together, etc.
I’m not particularly religious or anything, but I want to stay a virgin until marriage. Are there any other ways I can keep a relationship together without hopping into bed?”
Um. Board games?
OK, that was snarky and not even particularly true.
Because you CAN do the “no s#& until marriage” thing successfully as long as . . .
1. You’re up front with a guy about that from the beginning (because if you spring that on a guy after a month or two of dating he’s going to feel like you just dropped an icicle down his pants.)
2.You’re with a guy who’s got his moral compass pointed in the same direction as you do and is as committed to waiting as you are. (And isn’t secretly a repressed gay guy who’s just relieved that you don’t try to put your hand down his pants.)
3.You’re planning on getting married “soonish” so neither one of you doesn’t have to wait years.
4. You don’t let “dear god I really need to get laid” be the driving reason that you’re making an emotional, cultural and financial commitment that will effect every damned aspect of your life and possibly leave you bitter, angry and hating men forever and ever and ever.
5. You’re not using the “waiting until marriage” thing as an excuse to cover up a fear of emotional and/or physical intimacy.
Personally, I’m against waiting that long to dive into bed together and I’ll tell you why.
In “Make Him Beg to Be Your Boyfriend“ and other stuff I’ve written I do talk about the shear amount of power that women give away in the dating world as soon as they get into bed with a guy.
And that’s true, to a point. One of the worst things you can do if you want a committed relationship is go to bed with a guy on the first or second date.
And if you make the mistake of falling into the “Friends With Benefits” trap with a guy it’s REALLY hard to climb your way back out again.
But that’s not what we’re talking about here.
The tension leading up to that first (and second, and 5th) time together can be delicious and should be savored.
But after you’ve actually gotten a guy to commit to you in some way, swear off other girls and actually be your boyfriend, then at least SOME kind of physicality isn’t just appropriate it’s kind of required and healthy . . .
Well . . .
1. “Finally getting to have sex” is a really awful reason to make a emotional, social and financial commitment that’s going to affect every aspect of your life for years to come.
Listen: Hormones (especially young men hormones) are POWERFUL.
And, as we’ve seen again and again, guys will do ANYTHING (even really idiotic things) to get into a girl’s pants.
When you decide to get married, it should be because you’ve figured out who you are, what you want and where you want to be in life and can honestly look at the man or woman across from you and see them as the partner you’ve dreamed of since you were a little girl.
I get emails ALL THE TIME, mostly from religiously conservative folks, talking about how they got married way too young and that the wedding night (and the chance to finally pop the seal) was a huge part of it.
2. You NEED to know if you’re physically compatible with someone BEFORE you get hitched.
Forever is a long time. When you’re married to someone it’s your JOB to be there for them both in bed and out of bed. Do you really want to marry a guy only to find out that you’re totally incompatible a few weeks or months into your marriage?
3. It makes the horizontal salsa too big of a deal.
Yes, what happens between the sheets is wonderful and fun and passionate and emotional and sacred.
But it’s not THAT big of a deal if you do it right.
Personally (and some folks disagree with me on this) I don’t think anybody should get married until their 30 or so, until they’ve had their heart broken at least once and until they’ve had a chance to sow their oats a bit.
Commitment works MUCH better when it’s something you choose than when it’s something you feel like you’re forced into.