It has always been important to me to wait to have sex until after marriage. I know a lot of people make that choice for religious reasons. I did not. I just can’t imagine being that physically and emotionally vulnerable with someone who hadn’t made any promises to be there for me.
It was a simple decision, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. My greatest fear was that someone would reject me because I wouldn’t have sex before marriage. Eventually, I did encounter that fear.
I met a guy from my hometown after he started working in the same small office as me. We immediately hit it off. He was funny, quirky, and most importantly, seemed very interested in me.
He knew my family was religious, so he asked me if I was one of “those” girls. I froze and my flirtatious smile melted off my face. But I thought he deserved my honesty, especially since I thought there could be a relationship in the future.
So I took a deep breath and told him that I wasn’t going to engage in any kind of sexual relationship until I was married.
“Nothing?” he asked. He mentioned that he’d heard of some girls having loopholes. I shook my head and said, “Nope.”
Despite the awkwardness, I thought we had gotten over that hurdle and things would be fine. We continued to talk all the time, for what seemed like hours, about everything.
I remember walking into the office a few weeks later in a cute new outfit I chose to wear, hoping he would notice it. But at the beginning of our shift together he not-so-casually mentioned a date he recently had with his girlfriend. In all of our conversations, he had never mentioned her before.
I was crushed. He soon noticed I wasn’t acting like the outgoing, talkative girl he had grown to know. He asked me about it.
I felt like I couldn’t avoid it anymore, so I admitted how hurt I was that he didn’t want me. He gave me several reasons why it wouldn’t work out that I think we both knew weren’t true. He finally admitted that he didn’t see how he could have a relationship if sex wasn’t involved.
My heart sank. He didn’t want me because I wasn’t going to sleep with him. This is my worst nightmare, I thought to myself.
I retreated to the backroom of the office in silence. I remember thinking as I sat at my desk: The only way this could be worse is if it started raining. It totally did. The clouds opened up, dropping the tears I refused to let fall from my eyes in front of my coworkers.
My hellish shift with him finally ended hours later. I had held everything in (barely), but once I was by myself my fears and deep disappointment about my personal life burst out.
Would my relationships with guys ever NOT be a disaster?
Am I un-dateable?
Would I ever be enough?
I found myself finally dealing directly with my deepest insecurities. The only person I thought would understand where I was coming from was my sister.
So I called her that evening and told her about what happened. She told me he wasn’t worth my time: Sex should never be a condition for a relationship and you should date guys who feel the same way. I realized my sister was absolutely right. I shouldn’t have to compromise who I am to keep a guy. No one should.
Facing my insecurities was painful, but it helped me learn to have confidence in my choices. I learned I shouldn’t settle for a guy who asks for all of me before he gives all of himself through a lifelong commitment in marriage.
I may have shrunken the dating pool, but I realized that my romantic life didn’t have to suffer for it. There may not be as many fish in the sea, but the ones I have dated have been good catches because I knew we were both in it for the right reasons.
Since then, I have dated guys who accepted me and the choices I’ve made when it comes sex. They valued me, not what I could offer them sexually. And I’ll never settle for anything less than that.