Several years ago I wrote an article about my decision to wait for marriage before I had sex. My decision to wait for marriage was something I didn’t share with very many people before I wrote the article. My decision to wait was a very personal choice that was based on my own convictions.
To my surprise the post was very popular. For the most part I received really positive feedback. However, I did hear some negative feedback and the number one criticism I received was that I was a newlywed and hadn’t been married long enough to know anything.
Several people said I should write on the subject in a few years and see if I had a different take. (Interestingly all the negative feedback came from people who had chosen not to wait for marriage. Every single person who reached out to me who had waited or who was waiting had only positive thoughts on the subject.)
Despite the sting negative feedback leaves, I felt there was some merit to their viewpoint. I myself wondered how I would feel about the subject with a few more years of marriage under my belt.
So, here I am, I have been married for a few years and have three children. My life has changed dramatically. I’ve taken a moment to ask myself how I feel about my decision to wait for marriage in retrospect.
The honest answer is this: I feel the same.
If I had to do it over again, I would do the same thing. I still feel like it was worth it. I still feel the benefits outweigh the cost. If given the choice to make again, I would make the same one.
I won’t say the wait for marriage was easy. It wasn’t. I subtitled the original post “an honest look at the price of patience.” If I’m being honest, a price is paid when you wait. You lose some things. I had to watch my twenties fly by without the enjoyment of sex. The decade where a male is supposed to be in his prime saw me sitting on the sidelines. That is the price of patience.
But when I weigh the things waiting for sex took from me against the things it gave me it’s no contest.
Here is a very brief list of the best things my decision to wait for sex gave me:
The wait for marriage gave me discipline
Waiting for sex until I was thirty-two was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I had to resist many temptations over time. But something happened as the years and temptations came and went. The temptations didn’t get any weaker but my strength grew greater. My discipline increased. In the same way that a guy who goes to the gym every day to resist weights finds himself able to resist greater and greater forces, I found myself able to resist greater and greater temptations. Somehow waiting made me stronger. And I found that the discipline I learned while waiting for sex was useful in other areas of my life. I found the discipline to resist temptation and to persevere and to delay gratification and to be consistent came in handy when I wanted to do other things like become a fitness model and start my own blog and write a novel.
The wait for marriage gave my wife security
Despite what several of my critics said, choosing to save my sex life for my wife was a gift to her. It gave her an incredible amount of security. What’s more it gave her a lack of insecurity. She could count on the fact that there was no competition for her in my mind or heart. She could know that I said no to everyone else so I could say yes to her.
The wait for marriage gave our relationship strength
I firmly believe that the fact that I waited to have sex until we got married gave my wife and I a stronger relationship. That is not to say that we wouldn’t have had a strong relationship otherwise. We would have. But my choice to wait gave our relationship an extra bond. My wife can rest in the fact that our intimacy is not in competition with anyone. It is the single item on a list of one. Our relationship can get a lot of strength and security in that.
Waiting gave me the ability to stand-alone
People often criticized me when they found out I was waiting for sex until I got married. There were three common accusations people leveled against me. The first was that I didn’t have any opportunities to have sex; the second was that I didn’t have any desire to have sex; and the third was that I didn’t really know how great sex was.
If I may be honest, these accusations are stupid to the point of absurd. Without being overly vulgar I will simply say that I had to turn down sexual opportunities most guys would die for. My only explanation being that when you choose to walk a different path the entire world will conspire against you. As for the second accusation, anyone who has seen me can tell you that I am a high testosterone animal. I wanted to have sex. The truth is, under any circumstances, assuming a twenty-something year old virgin doesn’t want to have sex is incredibly idiotic. Lastly, you don’t have to have sex to know how good it is. Our entire culture tells you how good it is every single day. Every commercial, song, show, book and movie tells you how great sex is. It’s not hard to figure out that sex is fun.
Waiting gave me an answer
I didn’t used to have an answer for the critics. But now I do. Now I have retrospect. And in retrospect the qualities waiting for sex gave me have become even clearer. Now I have an answer for the naysayers. Now I have a story. And with a few years of marriage under my belt now I can tell it a little bit better.