Celibate Dating Doesn’t Always Guarantee A Happily Ever After
Growing up a Baptist girl, I was always taught that sex before marriage was the no no of all no nos. There were really no in-depth discussions about alternative decisions or choices. It was, “don’t do it!” Period. Not only was it a sin against the almighty, but it was also the ultimate way to slow down your progress of earning the ultimate degree. an M.R.S. The implication was that if you were fornicating, you were not going to get a husband; God wasn’t going to bless you with one. So in order to reach the “holy grail” of labels, a good gal had to stay chaste.
I learned very quickly that this proverbial choke hold, was a crock. I can’t tell you how many “blessed” married couples I know who were engaging in the mattress mambo prior to the double ring thing. And alternatively, how many women I know who’ve been celibate for years, some even decades, with no husband in sight. So what gives? Well, firstly, one cannot be compelled to do the “right thing” through guilt. It most definitely is a personal decision, based on choices that affects your life and no one else.
While I’m not telling you to go out and throw away your “V” or celibacy card, I am saying one must check themselves to be sure that this decision is based on your own self development and not solely on the hopes of getting a husband out of the deal. There are no guarantees, and in the end you may just find yourself embittered and empty handed, literally. No ring, and no self esteem. Why? Because you weren’t abstaining for self, but for the hopes of drawing someone to you.
Isn’t that desperate? Oh, the dreaded d-word. Don’t we hate hearing that word in relation to ourselves and dating? Well, “Good Girl,” in this scenario if this is your game plan, you are no less desperate than the girl that puts out on the first night in hopes of snagging a husband. The reason? You aren’t making choices for you. You’re making decisions based on the need and desire of being married. You’re needy, another word we cringe at the very sound of.
Dating is a crazy complicated game that not even the savviest of daters completely understands. And when you add the lifestyle of celibacy into the equation, it can become even more convoluted. However, the benefits outweigh the complications and the benefits aren’t necessarily what you think.
I’ve talked to many people who have adopted this lifestyle for a mere month or two and returned to the land of “sex and adventure” saying, “nope, that no nookie clause is definitely not for me,” while others have continued to abstain. There are a myriad of wonderful reasons to enter the celibate lifestyle: mental and emotional cleansing, finding oneself, sexual health preservation, spiritual/religious commitments (i.e. Commitment to God, Lent etc.), or just plain ole “I’m taking a break.” But there is one reason to never ever adopt the celibacy lifestyle, and that is the guarantee of finding a spouse or committed relationship.
All relationships carry a risk of failure and there are no guarantees. This also rings true for the happily married, picture perfect couples who are so perfect they look like brother and sister – yeah those annoying people. There is no guarantee that any couple will stay together forever no matter how many emotional insurance policies one puts on the relationship. So when I hear women, especially church girls, make the assertion that they’re abstaining for the sole purpose of finding a man to marry, I almost immediately cringe with exasperation for the disappointment they will undoubtedly face when their chasteness alone gets them no closer to marriage than before the big hold out.
I have been celibate many times in her life, with the current time frame being one of the longest periods (four years) and the longest period being six years. Due to past experiences, I am committed to abstaining until marriage, but not for the sake of marriage, rather, for the sake of my spiritual and personal convictions.
Growing up, I actually thought abstaining equaled marriage. It wasn’t until my first years of college that I learned how truly wrong that theory was. First off, most married people have consummated prior to that long walk down the aisle, and secondly, most guys (not all) aren’t even willing to seriously date you if you aren’t willing to get personal between the sheets. So I learned very quickly that I had to identify what made my choice of celibacy important and necessary to me. If it was all about the guarantee of a ring, I might as well reconvene in “extra curriculars.”
I soon understood that my lifestyle choice had everything to do with my commitment to my faith and my desire to explore relationship possibilities with a clear mind and heart, as experience has taught me that sex can muddle the emotional waters. But I also understand that just because I’m getting to know someone under the umbrella of celibacy doesn’t automatically mean this person is the one. It just means we share the same ideology with regard to pre-marital consummation. It’s similar to you and your new boo having the same favorite color. A commitment, that does not make. Re-read this paragraph, saints and ain’ts. Rinse and repeat as needed.
With the current surge of celebrity abstinence endorsements and their subsequent walks down the aisle, one could be hoodwinked into thinking this is a sure-fire way toward the wedding march, but I beg to differ. While this is an ideal direction for me when getting to know someone, I know that this isn’t the only pre-marital prerequisite on the list. In fact, there are countless others; this is just a good start. I urge ladies — and gentleman — to choose abstinence for reasons that positively benefit you, spiritually, emotionally and, physically.
Holding out for the sole purpose of a 5 carat Tacori sparkler and a fantasy life of guaranteed bliss and forever togetherness is just plain silly and naive.