When I was young I made a decision to begin waiting for sex until marriage. I don’t remember a specific time or age when I made this decision. For me, there was never another option. I always planned on waiting because in my mind, it was the right thing to do. Deciding to wait is a pretty easy choice to make when you are in your early teens, but it’s not so easy when you are thirty and still unmarried.
In my teens I was introverted, awkward, and purposefully avoided being cool. I’ve always had an aversion to following the crowd or taking the same path as everyone else. It’s a difficult trait to have as an adult, but as a teenager it’s a huge problem. Still, I managed to start dating in my mid teens and most of my relationships were long-term, or as long-term as relationships get in high school and college. I was never one to date around, and I’m not sure if this made waiting harder or easier, but dating girls of character helped me more than I can say.
Sometime towards the end of college a friend of mine referred me to his agent and said I should look into modeling for some extra money. I didn’t love being in front of the camera and didn’t think of myself as particularly good-looking but I gave it a shot. Several years later I became one of those people. “Those people” being the people that stuff clothes in the back of their car and set off across the country to live in Los Angeles, CA. If there is any place on this planet that makes it hard to wait to have sex and least understands people who choose to wait, it’s Los Angeles.
I wasn’t always in a relationship. There were long stretches when I was alone (in the relationship sense of the word) in Memphis, TN and Los Angeles. Waiting while I was alone was harder because when you are not in a relationship and you are waiting for the right one, the months and sometimes years tick by and you start to lose hope. I’m being honest when I say I had times when I wondered why I was waiting. There were times I thought about how stupid it was to wait when there seemed no end in sight. There were many moments in my late twenties when I lost hope that there was someone waiting for me. It seemed everyone else was having all the fun and my long shot bet wasn’t going to pay off.
The camera thing kinda worked out for me and I’ve been lucky enough to do some fitness modeling. When I have a shoot coming up I train really hard and watch my diet closely which is hard because I like to eat. One thing that makes it bearable is that there is an end in sight. After a great shoot I give myself a reward treat (usually donuts). For me, one of the hardest parts of waiting to have sex was there was no end in sight. When I was younger I thought I would be married by twenty-three. By the time I turned thirty I hadn’t had a relationship in two years. I really had no idea how long I would have to wait, or if I was waiting for something that would never happen.
Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Five years ago I moved to Los Angeles with no job, no home, and no prospects. Five months ago I got married to the most wonderful girl I could imagine. It’s funny to me that after thirty-two years of waiting and imagining what my life would be, nothing turned out the way I imagined. My imagination wasn’t good enough. I have an amazing wife and marriage. I wouldn’t be so naive to tell you that waiting is the only reason for those things, nor would I lie to myself and promise it’ll be a cakewalk from now on. But I know that waiting was part of it, and I can tell you that when it’s right, it’s right. It’s worth waiting for what’s right.
Here’s an honest look at the price of patience:
1. Waiting isn’t easy
It isn’t easy for a lot of reasons and most of them I don’t have to tell you about. In fact, not only is it as hard as you think it is, it’s harder. I can’t begin to tell you the opportunities for sex that came my way while I was waiting. Crazy opportunities I’ve never heard of people having and opportunities I would never have imagined I would have to turn down. So just know, if you decide to do what is right the world itself will conspire against you. Waiting absolutely won’t be easy but it will build strength, hope, and patience; all traits that make you a better human. Taking the hard path is always difficult, but remember, comfort zones don’t build character.
2. People won’t understand
I waited because I’m a Christian and firmly believe it’s what God wants. However, in the age we live in, people don’t understand a choice like that, and the sad truth is neither do most Christians. In my experience sexual atheism is incredibly common in the Christian community. The fact that I was waiting wasn’t something I shared with a lot of people. Some of my closest friends didn’t know for a long time and that’s because I felt it was a personal choice I wasn’t going to push on anyone else. Even though I didn’t go out of my way to share it, I wasn’t hiding it either, and sometimes word got out. When it did, I was surprised how often people either wouldn’t understand and/or would make fun of me. Even the girl who became my wife admitted when she first saw me, she thought, “There’s a guy who sleeps with every girl around.” When she found out I was waiting, she wondered, “That guy must not even like sex.” The point is, if you are doing it to impress people, don’t bother. You won’t.
3. You have to make the decision beforehand
Deciding to wait is a big decision that takes a lot of willpower, discipline, and help to pull off. Once you decide to do it, the option of sex has to be taken off the table at the very beginning of the relationship. If you wait until you are in the moment, your chances of success are negligible. It must be a firm, predetermined position. On a side note, it helps if both people in the relationship are committed to waiting. It is too hard already without adding a partner who isn’t committed as well. If you are in an unmarried relationship with someone who pressures you for sex, get out.
4. There are benefits to doing things the right way
The world will tell you that waiting is old fashioned and only for a few religious people, but what they won’t tell you are the benefits of waiting to have sex until you get married. I can count the number of people on one hand (and still have some fingers free to grab a donut) that I know who are waiting to have sex, so I have far more interaction with people who are sexually active. I can tell you that waiting removes so many insecurities and problems that arise in a relationship through sex. When I got married I gave my wife the gift of not having any insecurities about my past sexual life. I gave her a blank page to fill in herself, and I know that means the world to her. Despite what people tell you, sex isn’t cheap and it isn’t emotionless. It involves giving part of yourself away and bonding with another human, and you can choose to do that as often as you want, but let’s stop pretending it’s meaningless.
5. It won’t turn out like you imagine, but it will be worth it
If you asked me when I was fifteen to write out how I imagined my wife, marriage, and life would turn out, I could have taken a million sheets of paper and I still wouldn’t have come close to describing it. Like I said before, it’s way better than I could have ever imagined. I can’t promise that’ll be true for everyone, but it’s true in my case. If you decide to do the right thing, I can promise it will be an adventure.