Born Again Virgin Chronicles: The Mental Toll Celibacy Has Taken On Me
The pursuit for love when dating is a game we have all played. Some of us have lost while playing, and others have won and have ultimately found true love.
When I decided to begin practicing celibacy I knew that I would experience many if not more disappointments and other curve balls compared to when I was dating and sexually active. However, I think the difference with this experience was that I didn’t realize just how difficult this change would be or how much discipline it takes to walk this walk. In my mind I simply thought, “This shouldn’t be too hard.” After all, the only thing I had to do was tell the men who came into my life that I was practicing celibacy and if they accepted my commitment or not I would be fine. Telling myself this was okay in the beginning because I wasn’t involved with anyone on consistent terms. I wasn’t looking for a serious relationship, and I didn’t believe it would have any effect on me. But after the first few years of my practice and constant rejection from men because I wouldn’t engage in sex, I started to question whether or not I made the right decision. I quickly came to the realization that withdrawing from sex had an unexpectedly profound effect on me mentally, physically and emotionally.
While I struggled with my emotions and physical desires, I realized that I had to do something soon before I gave in to temptation. So, I decided to take some time for in-depth reflection. After a few days of reflecting, praying and building myself up spiritually, I decided that the best thing for me to do was take a hiatus from dating in order to really delve into practicing celibacy, and learning how to do so successfully. This wasn’t an easy decision, but it was one that was necessary for several reasons if I wanted to continue on this journey.
First, I decided I needed to understand what it meant to practice celibacy (not be celibate) and what it actually meant for me as a woman who has experienced sex and loved it. After much research, I sought out advise from others who were practicing celibacy and realized what it truly meant. I’m glad I took the time to do research and seek out others for motivation because it helped me see things clearer and discover the true purpose of celibacy.
I also needed time to become confident in my decision. I say this because every time I was faced with telling a guy that I was practicing celibacy I became nervous, almost to the point of tears because of the fear of rejection. If I were more confident in what I was doing this wouldn’t have been the case. The only way I could become self-assured with my walk in celibacy was to take a few steps back from being involved with men and figure things out.
Lastly, I decided to take a break from dating so I could think with ways to burn off unused sexual energy without actually having sex or any sexual contact of any kind. I started working out heavily, eating more sweets, and other things, but then I realized that these things only gave a short term effect. So, I then started meditating more, praying harder and asking for understanding, strength and guidance while on this journey. Doing this consistently has helped me tremendously along the way. It has taught me that sex is more than just a physical thing. Before, I was so focused on resisting the physical aspects that I overlooked the fact that sex is mental thing too.
Since incorporating these three actions into my no-dating game plan, I’ve learned to take rejection from men in a positive way and keep my mind stimulated and focused on celibacy no matter how or if the subject of sex comes about. I won’t sit here and say that this has been easy, and it seems as though the more I hold out the harder it gets, but one thing’s for sure: it’s been a road worth traveling. For those of you wondering if I’m still on a hiatus from dating, the answer is yes, and I’ve never been happier.
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? a motivational speaker, and an advocate for single women who encourages them to live their life God’s way! Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin and ask her anything you want to know about her journey through celibacy.