Love Without Lovemaking: Surprisng Benefits Of A Sexless Relationship

September 5, 2013  |  

 

For most, sex is a part of love. When you love someone you are giving yourself freely and openly in every way imaginable. Sexual monogamy is part of romance. This is just how we do relationships in 2013.

In my adult relationships I’ve fluctuated between times of sexual freedom and chaste celibacy. There have been relationships with passion and late nights and others with none of the above.

I made the choice to have love without love making and it was the best decision I’ve made in a while. Celibacy is a trendy word. Something people seem to announce when they’ve had one too many dead-end sexual experiences and a way for someone to protect themselves for giving sex to the wrong person too soon.

But true celibacy should be about who you are as a person not just who you are sleeping with. It’s not a holding cell for your sexual energy until the right person comes along. It is designed to be a place of self-discovery. Which means it can continue even when you have found someone to love if you haven’t quite accomplished your goal.

At first I wondered would I find someone to agree to a sexless relationship when I could provide no clear ending date. Men would ask if this was a until marriage thing or a until we fell in love thing. I couldn’t provide a clear date because celibacy wasn’t about reaching an external goal like love or marriage, it was an internal realignment that I needed. When that alignment finally settled then I could open myself up again to allowing someone into my body intimately. But there’s no set date on growth. Eventually, the right man came along and we started this journey together.

The day I decided to give this whole sexless love life thing a try I discovered five huge benefits I never expected.

Avoiding Nonsense.

Prior to getting in the relationship, I was able to avoid a lot of nonsense in dating. Guys who discovered I was celibate and serious about it showed their true colors early on. I wasn’t caught up in a whatevership or developing feelings too quickly for someone that didn’t deserve it. Dating was really dating and those who couldn’t deal quickly fell to the side.  

Clarity.

Have you ever had a man go to your head like too much champagne? You can literally be drunk off love and sex. You crave the high and the closeness that it brings with your partner. Without sex, my mind was clearer so I could trust decisions I made or emotions I felt were not part of the hangover. We couldn’t bury arguments under make up sex and we couldn’t get high on love making and forget to build our foundation.

Intimacy.

Although we tend to think of intimacy in sexual way, intimacy is total mind and spirit as well. My partner and I spent a lot of time talking and doing activities. We wanted to have sex, but in order to respect the journey I was on we had to come up with creative ways to avoid the temptation. We probably used every Living Social coupon available and asked each other every question we could think of and more. We had to find a way to achieve that closeness that usually comes with sex while you are in love without having sex. As a result we shared many more experiences, talked more, and grew closer in a different way.

Good to Self.

I was good to myself in that relationship. Removing sex, like any sacrifice, was difficult. This wasn’t a walk in the park and there were many, many temptations. But I made a promise to myself not to bond myself to someone else in that way until I reached the level of self-awareness and self-care that I needed and wanted. I’d had trouble in the past with losing myself in relationships and when the relationship would fall apart I’d have to figure out who I was again outside of that situation. Keeping sex off the table allowed me be more aware of my feelings, my space, and not getting lost in love.

Breaking Ties.

When this relationship had run its course, the heartbreak was different. I missed him like an old friend but didn’t feel the severe pain like I had in the past for relationships with sex. Celibacy made breaking ties easier. I assumed that it would be harder because of how close we grew in other ways, but  I could walk away knowing completely that the relationship didn’t work out because of who we were as people. I knew him, I really KNEW him, and that is why it didn’t work. So there was peace in my heart and no regrets.

Everyone handles sex differently. I needed this time of celibacy although not everyone will. For me, sacrificing sex was a personal challenge and took me to deeper levels of the relationship I had with men and with myself. I can’t say that I’ll continue to have celibate relationships or not, but I can say that when I stopped to recognize this may be a good path for me and had the courage to try it, there were amazing benefits. I’m confident walking into my next relationships with peace in my heart, clarity, an understanding of true intimacy, and always being good to myself.

What about you? Have you been celibate before while in a relationship? Would you ever try it?

Dee Rene is the writer and creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss., a faith based blog that finds valuable lessons in pop culture and every day life. She is based in NYC. You can follow her or the blog on twitter @deerene_lcc @laughcrycuss or visit the site at http://laughcrycuss.com.

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