“I do feel like sometimes the thing that you should be proudest of—the fact that you’re still a virgin—is a big insecurity for you. At the end of the day it is a choice and it’s a choice that you should be proud of.”
I read this text from my best friend twice and felt the weight of its truth. What she said was right—in the moments I find myself chatting with a cute guy at a bar on a Friday night, I’m not often insecure about how I look or whether conversation is flowing. But, I am insecure about what I know is inevitably coming next: a rejection.
If I’m not rejecting his invitation back to his apartment, he’s rejecting my interest upon realizing I don’t plan to sleep with him. Either way, these encounters almost always end the same – he moves on to the next girl and I’m still holding out for marriage, but I’m also still alone.
Is this choice one I’m supposed to be proud of?
My longest relationship was strained and eventually ended because of my decision to hold off on sex until marriage. Ever since, there have been a steady stream of men who’ve come and quickly gone when it became clear I wouldn’t hop into bed with them after a few beers and some mediocre small talk.
So as I read my friend’s text that afternoon, I asked myself, “Am I proud of my choice to wait until marriage?” My answer is still “yes.”
One of the greatest and most important effects of not having sex while dating is the unmistakable ability to recognize the men I shouldn’t be with. Any man who flees at the thought of entering into a relationship with a woman without sex is not a man I’m interested in spending my time with.
The choice I’ve made has not been an easy one, still research suggests it’s the right one. A study in 2011 found that couples who waited until marriage to have sex reported 22% higher relationship stability, 20% higher relationship satisfaction, 15% better sex, and 12% better communication overall.
It is true that I am often insecure about being a virgin. I fear judgement and I fear rejection. But in the deepest part of my heart, I am confident in my choice to wait. I know that by sifting through the men who reject my desire to wait, I’ll one day meet a man who sees me as worth waiting for too.