A growing number of young adults are choosing to wait for marriage to have sex. Approximately 11% of 25 year olds are not having premarital sex (60% women/40% men). What happens, though, when two people start dating and one person wants to wait for marriage while the other doesn’t? Recently, a guy and a girl each told me that the person they were dating did not want to continue dating without sex.
Here are nine things a person is conveying to you if they tell you sex is required to continue the relationship.
Their needs are more important than yours.
Do their sexual needs somehow trump your goals or values? The person you will ultimately fall in love with will not be concerned with only getting their sexual needs met. A healthy sex life comes through commitment, trust, and even friendship. This might sound odd in a Tinder, hook-up culture age, but ego driven sex will not lead to a successful long term relationship.
People aren’t tools or toys for pleasure. Those objects can be bought online.
Also, why would you want to be with someone who is selfish? Unless you want to forever be secondhand to someone else’s ego and whims, find someone who’s willing to make compromises for a cause in a relationship.
You’re not worth their wait.
If they really value you, they will wholly respect your decision to wait. Think about it: when you really want something, you are willing to hold out and make sacrifices for it no matter the cost because you highly value it.
You should be worth their wait, and if they feel otherwise, they may be revealing they don’t care that highly for you.
They are setting you up for failure.
“Trying before buying…” Have you heard that one? Do you really want to date someone who gives you a performance evaluation? A loving relationship isn’t rooted in performance. It’s not about being judged for what you can do or bring to the table.
You may have heard sex is a great way to deal with relationship problems. Having sex before marriage might end up only being a bandaid to bigger issues. Authentic conversation uncovers wounds and heals relationships. Is this person willing to sit and talk through problems with you?
They don’t value what you value.
A few years ago, I wrote The Wife List. The first thing on the list is, “She shares your beliefs.” You don’t have to be fully aligned on everything. In fact, growing up, my parents had completely opposite political views. But they did share similar core beliefs. If you’re choosing to wait, that may be your core value. The person who’s promising you many years of happiness to get what they need now does not share this core value with you.
They don’t respect your boundaries.
Good boundaries protect you from people who could potentially hurt you or take you for granted. Choosing to wait to have sex is a good boundary.
…a healthy self-respect will produce boundaries which show you deserve to be treated well. They also will protect you from exploitative relationships and help you avoid getting too close to people who don’t have your best interests at heart.”
They aren’t thinking long term.
As DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good wrote, “The Wait is about getting control of your life, reducing the dating drama, and avoiding desperate relationship choices so that you can make better decisions about your future.”
This doesn’t discount chemistry, which is important, but instead ensures the chemistry doesn’t cloud over good judgement. What will this relationship look like 20 years from now?
I recently read the label on my Halo Top ice cream. It said, “Let’s not rush this. It’s worth the wait,” recommending “…give it a couple minutes on the counter” before indulging. Some things are just better with the wait.
They don’t have self control.
Before the Information Age, before on-demand media, before Amazon Prime, waiting for something and having temperance was considered a virtue.
Self control is a great characteristic to look for in the person you marry. While some people think getting married gets rid of temptation, it doesn’t. Sexual self control is about commitment, and commitment requires overlooking urges.
They may not want sex in the context of marriage.
Some people like non committed, no strings attached sex only. Put them in a long term relationship and marriage, and they completely lose their desire. When the game of getting sex is over, they may just check out.
They don’t love you.
“Renowned evolutionary psychology professor David Buss at The University of Texas at Austin and Martie G. Haselton at the University of California, Los Angeles found that the more previous sexual partners a man has, ‘the more likely he is to quickly perceive diminished attractiveness in a woman after first intercourse’, Dr Williams said. ‘First-date sex doesn’t lead to love for men. If the guy is a player, first-date sex more often leads to distain for a woman.’”
Some may believe this “disdain” is a just a symptom of modern day objectification of women, but this is a tale as old as time. Here’s a text I found in ancient scripture. Amnon loved his half-sister so much, he forced her to have sex:
“Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone!””
II Samuel 13:15 NKJV
Sex does not lead to love (especially for men). It might cloud your judgement, but it can’t in itself set you up for relationship success. If you are choosing to wait for marriage, find someone who will honor your decision.