I Want To Stop Having Sex With My Boyfriend Until We Get Married.

Hi. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year. I waited until I was officially his girlfriend (2 months) before we had sex. It’s been amazing, but this New Year I want to get closer to God and stop having sex until we get married. It seems like he can’t sacrifice sex for the man above or for me, and when I talk to him about it he tries to ignore the subject.He agreed to not have sex, but I feel like he’s just saying it to say it. Should this be a big concern? Or am I taking it too far since we’ve already been sexual for the past 10 months?

Thanks! Yasmin

Dear Yasmin, I’m sorry, sweetie, but you really wrote to the wrong guy. I’m pro-sex, pro-logic, and pro-consistency, and your letter fails all three tests. I can understand a woman who sleeps with a man too quickly, like, date 1 or 2 – pulling back to say, “Hey, we should get to know each other a little better first before we embark on a sexual relationship.” The guy may grumble a bit at moving “backwards,” but, if he likes her, he’ll be pleased to wait a few weeks until she trusts him enough to resume the physical part of their relationship. You, on the other hand, were patient enough to wait two months to sleep with your guy. Good for you, really! – for showing restraint and seeing what he was made of as a man. As a result of your patience, you’ve been rewarded with an amazing boyfriend, and, not incidentally, 10 months of good sex.

And, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t God all-forgiving? I’m sorry. I really tuned out during Hebrew school.

Then, suddenly, you had a New Years Revelation (stronger than resolutions, I hear), which told you that in order to “get closer to God,” you should stop having sex. Got it. Now, forgive my ignorance of religion, but I’ve got a handful of questions: What does “closer to God” mean? What happens to all the unfortunate God-fearing women who have been having pre-marital sex without changing their minds? Are they screwed? Are they all going to hell? Or will they just not be as “close” with God as you are? And, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t God all-forgiving? I’m sorry. I really tuned out during Hebrew school.Oh, there’s one more thing that begs a question: what about your boyfriend’s feelings? It would be like you driving your parents’ car for a year when you were 16, and then, when you turned 17, hearing from Dad that you were losing your driving privileges. Why? Because Dad read a statistic that girls under 18 get into a higher percentage of car accidents. Does he have a point? Maybe. But that wouldn’t make you feel any better. In fact, having your privileges taken away will probably make you feel much worse than if you hadn’t been driving that whole year at all. You’d understandably be resentful of your Dad, even though you know he was doing it for the right reasons.

And if you cut off your boyfriend from having sex after 10 months, don’t be too surprised if he cuts you off in return.

No matter how I slice it, I see your predicament as an arbitrary, self-imposed one, based on a lack of understanding of both religion and human nature. And if you cut off your boyfriend from having sex after 10 months, don’t be too surprised if he cuts you off in return. Not because he’s a selfish jerk. But because he has a girlfriend whose actions and needs are not properly aligned with his own. Finally, I’m sincerely sorry if I misinterpreted the doctrine of your religion. If you, or anyone reading this, wants a more religious take on the Church’s position on pre-marital sex, consult your clergy. But since you asked a dating coach a sex question, you got my irreverant take on it. Hope it gives you some clarity.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    anette

    @Paul #21

    Those “liberals” that you seem to disdain don’t respond to your religions promises of reward/punishment, reward/punishment, reward/punishment. We are more than pavlov’s dogs and trying to manipulate humans by telling them what their reward is going to be if they are ‘good little humans” infantiles humanity as a whole.

    Having said that, I am of the mind that if you want to wait for sex before marriage, then this is not a bad thing in and of itself for reasons that have nothing to do with God. Being inconsistant however, is cause for concern.

    I doubt your BF’s issue is going to be waiting for sex, if he really loves you. The concern he may have is wether or not you will during your married life together ignore his feelings on this matter and do what you believe is right for yourself and do this again.

    Sex is very important to a man in a relationship. Not just because he has a lot of testosterone and sexual tension, but because it is how he feels close to you. Withhold it, deny it beyond a few normal moments of really not being in the mood and you will hurt his feelings, and he will feel lonely.

    If you are wanting to do this, then I would make it very clear that this is a one time deal. The only time you will ever do this, is prior to the wedding. But honestly, no matter what you say he is now going to be concerned. What if you decided due to a religious belief, that you needed to not have sex for 2years, because your clergyman decided it was the correct penance for some percieved sin? What if you decided that you were having too much sex and it was keeping you away from God?

    Knowing that you can turn your sex life off, at a moments notice regardless of how he feels is something he will now be thinking about. He will struggle to support that for an entire lifetime. You’ll have to find some-way of letting him know this is the only time you will forgo sex for a significant period of time. You can’t just turn sex off like it’s some tiny little part of your relationship.

    You also might want to ask yourself, how exactly IS this going to make you closer to God?

    1. 31.1
      Jean

      @Annette,
      what I don’t get is your need as a woman to defend men on their sexual desires. Never see men defenig women about their needs and desires.

  2. 32
    Cathy Elliss

    Wow – I only scrolled through the first few and all atheists!!!

    Well from experience it is possible – and so hard!!! We may be Christian but not dead – of course our desires are there and the struggle between the man we love and God is a tough one – at least it has been for me and others I know.

    I suggest living in a different place or at least limit physical proximity – and prayer with fasting does lead to miracles – even in this area!!!

    God bless!

  3. 33
    Lushka

    Sharia @5:
    “Neither did she say that she was doing this for religious reasons she said that she is doing it to get closer to God.”

    Since when does doing something to get “closer to god” not count as religious reasons??? Did I just miss the point of religion!!!???

  4. 34
    Steve

    Sex positive, Dan Savage reading, atheist here.
    Yasmin, if you don’t want to have sex, you don’t have to justify it or your religion to anyone. Your boyfriend, also, is completely justified if he doesn’t want to play along.
    A friendly breakup might be a good thing if this new level of religion in your life is permanent. You will want to be with a man who shares your faith.
    Your boyfriend will also want to be with a woman who he doesn’t see as being significantly more religious than he is as well as one who isn’t going to unilaterally decide to end his sex life.
    Good luck either way.

  5. 35
    Steve

    I’m really jealous of the pithy way Marc expresses my opinion better than I do :)

  6. 36
    Mara

    Good luck with that. As soon as your boyfriend stops grumbling, be worried b/c he’s getting it from somewhere else.

  7. 37
    Suzanne

    Oh man. Not the Sex-Outside-Of-Marriage-Is-Immoral thing again. Is this argument ever going to get old? Doesn’t adulthood mean we accept responsibility for making our own difficult moral decisions instead of handing it over to God to set down the rules? Believe it or not, there are sound, moral, spiritual, even religious people who accept that sexual expression between two consenting adults is not a moral issue. It’s a form of affection, and at its highest potential it is an expression of love. End of Story. And marriage is not a moral issue, either! It’s a lifestyle choice, a pact made between two adults which carries with it certain legal obligations, depending on where you live and mostly regarding property, and whatever else the couple chooses to bring to the relationship in hopes of making it last.

    Yasmin, what I’m wondering is whether what you’re actually struggling with is whether you’ve made the right decision in a partner? And as a result of that uncertainty, you’re falling back on an old familiar support system, your religious faith, in hopes of it providing a clear, unambigious answer? Or an escape hatch, an easy way out. The problem with that is that intimate relationships are complex and dicey and riddled with ambiguity a lot of the time. In fact, all of life is like that. And regardless of what judgmental fundamentalists of any particular religion would like you to believe, there is no clear, unwavering path for what you “should” do and there are no guarantees in any of it. It’s a crapshoot.

    As for the liberal-godless vs. conservative-holier issue: Thank you “Inaccessible Rail – #22″ …but I would add that I’m also sick to death of having god-worship equated with being a good human being, because I know some pretty creepy, immoral people who claim religious devotion. Face it, it’s humans, not god, who are responsible for what goes on here on Earth. And I’d rather set my values by my own moral compass and what I know inately or have learned from life experience is the right and wrong way to treat others. It’s called accountability, and it’s got nothing to do with politics or the dogma of any religion. Or whether you have sex now, or after marriage, or after dinner, or never. Enjoy!

  8. 38
    starthrower68

    Yet another example of how we have to be proactive on this sort of thing. This why you need to date someone with the same values and beliefs, be they spiritual, fiancial, familial, etc. If you don’t want to have premarital sex you should be in relationship with someone who shares that view, and you need to know that before getting deeply involved with them. I’m always amazed at the number of people who believe one way about something, then are all of the sudden suprised when their partner doesn’t share that belief. Life doesn’t just happen to us, we are to take charge of it in as much as we can. Communication is a beautiful thing.

  9. 39
    starthrower68

    It happens in reverse, too; I will get a contact from a guy on a dating site that doesn’t pay attention to what I clearly put on my profile, then is suprised when my values don’t line up with his, as if I’m supposed to change.

  10. 40
    Jennifer

    Cathy #32- I’m not an atheist.

  11. 41
    Cathy Elliss

    Wow – I just got in from being out all day and the conversation is going thick and strong.

    A few people are equating getting closer to God as being religious – and for some it is one and the same however to love God and know him means to seek after him and does not necessarily mean to join a group of religious people where they may act all pious by attending services, saying their prayers for everyone to hear but who do practice their own preaching. For many it is about being genuine and choosing to live with integrity ie no double standards. By walking the talk, we can be an example of how life does not have to be so complicated.

    Some comments also mention that practicing a religious faith implies not having a great sex life. God created sex as part of the two becoming one in marriage and that is amazing. Song of Songs from the Old Testament has some of the most beautiful images of true love expressed in a physically intimate setting. Gotta love those gazelles :)

  12. 42
    Ed

    Evan is spot on – Ladies stop pretending that it is ok to use sex as a religious paradox, bargaining chip or battle axe to get what you want from a partner. She wants him to commit to something and this strategy has more fatal flaws than a Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopol India. He should bring home a prostitute every Thursday night to answer the religious call of the sex drive that God gave him.

  13. 43
    Jane

    Yasmin,
    You say: He agreed to not have sex, but I feel like he’s just saying it to say it.
    Of course he is just saying it. Not many men would prefer it. It, as you can see from the prior posters, quite probably isn’t his choice. If he is willing to comply with your wishes, he is an amazing man. But don’t expect him to change his thinking, feelings or desires too! That is way way too controlling. He right to be who he is and use his god-given mind to make his own choices.

  14. 44
    BeenThruTheWars

    Strictly from a pragmatic point of view. When a man stops having sex with a woman he’s been sexual with for a while, it often means he’s losing interest. Yasmin risks her boyfriend interpreting her new edict as a loss of interest and thus moving on.

  15. 45
    Steve

    Can we STOP discussing Yasmin and get back to bickering about perceptions of the religious, non-religious, etc?

  16. 46
    Shay

    I totally agree with Amelia (#1). They are NOT married. Yasmin DOES NOT OWN the man ANYTHING.

    If the man thinks that being with Yasmin is not only about sex, then he will stay. If he thinks being with Yasmin is more than sex, he will leave.

    If he respects and accepts Yasmin’s new found belief, he will stay. If not, he will leave.

    If the relationship is built on just sex, I can’t imagine what happens when one day Yasmin is not able to have sex anymore. Like she met with an accident, a family tragedy, etc. Would the man be able to stand by her?

    I think Yasmin would have to have a good talk with the man to explain what her new belief means to her. If she cuts off sex and the man cuts her off. This man is not a keeper.

    1. 46.1
      DaGrin

      “They are NOT married” is not a reason why Yasmin DOES NOT OWN the man ANYTHING. No woman owes another man her body whether married or not. Sex should be consensual whether married or not. If Yasmin is married and one day feels like she does want to not have sex with her husband for some sort of religious cleanse, then it is advised that she does. If it is not consensual you are telling Yasmin to be raped by her husband because she owes him sex even though she doesn’t want it. As for Yasmin, do as you please with yourself just know that every action has its consequences, we must know within ourselves if our inactions are worth the dissatisfaction we gain or if our actions are worth the consequence.

  17. 47
    JuJu

    #46: That’s some faulty logic. :-|

  18. 48
    Sally

    Shay, wow. You make it sound like her boyfriend is just some pig after sex and doesn’t care for her at all, which you have NO way of knowing. Yasmin’s letter sounds like she is in a caring relationship, which means probably sex is more than “just sex”, it’s intimacy, which is not so easy to just “cut off”, for either a man or a woman. Jeez, cut the guy some slack! It sounds like he really is trying to understand her!

  19. 49
    starthrower68

    I’m going to reiterate that this is a textbook example of why you date or be in a relationship with someone that has the same values on faith and other core beliefs that you do. Now granted, I remember Evan saying that his wife is Catholic and there are probably things with regard to that which made them compatible that we would not be privy too, but as a general rule of thumb, you’d better have communicated on these issues before you get engaged.

  20. 50
    starthrower68

    @ Ed….wow….just – wow….

  21. 51
    dallas dating

    I think when things change, the partner may leave. You accept that, and this is what being true to oneself is all about. Other people have the right to be true to themselves. (Which brings us back to the discussion with Lorianne if she doesn’t want to be married to a guy who has online affairs, she gets to leave.

  22. 52
    Selena

    I think you’re right Starthrower. This is rather an opportunity for the guy to determine if he shares, or is willing to share Yasmin’s values. Maybe he is who knows. It’s also his opportunity to see how easily she can change her values if she chooses. For example, say after they have been married for awhile she decides God only approves of sex when it’s strictly for pro-creation. Unless theyare trying for kid #2,3,4 ….no sex because sex simply for pleasure is a sin.

    I’d be very wary of continuing a relationship with this woman if I were her boyfriend.

    1. 52.1
      starthrower68

      If I didn’t understand how a personal relationship with Christ, rather than religious legalism, can change a person’s heart, convictions, behaviors, etc. I’d be wary too.  I’m grateful that even though I still miss the mark, my faith is not shallow.  I didn’t say perfect, I said not shallow.  People even now are willing to go to their death rather than renounce their faith, so it is misguided to assume that abstinance due to a relationship with Christ is nothing nor than an attempt to get a ring and a date.  For me, being rejected or being seen as foolish because I resolved to keep sex only in marriage is a small price to pay compared to what some have given.

  23. 53
    Steve

    @ 49
    It reads like Yasmin and her BF started off with similar values, but that she got more religious during the relationship.

    Perfectly fine, sometimes people just change in ways that are incompatible with their relationships.

  24. 54
    Shalini

    I completely agree with Evan’s advice.. Because one Yasmin asked form advice from a dating coach here so obviously he is supposed to reply from that point of view rather than advising like the clergy! That would be completely wrong.
    And since it is a relationship advice and she must have asked this question for that reason i guess if you put yourself into a relationship where your boy friend/girlfriend suddenly decides to do something that concerns you both and not care about your opinion you will see that the other person is basically being selfish!
    And i think the car example is a perfect example of how you might feel when you get a privilege and its suddenly revoked! If Yasmin really wanted to dump his boyfriend over this issue i dont think she would be writing here!

  25. 55
    Shalini

    And about the religion thing too.. it really beats me people praise god and then do things to make it seem like if you don’t follow the rules he will punish you!! Can you to get close to God by “not having sex before marriage” when you’re passing by someone who needs help because you don’t have the time?
    If you believe in God you have to realize its ok not to follow each and every rule as long as you don’t hurt others.

    1. 55.1
      starthrower68

      I You would probably not get much agreement on that from Christians. While we would believe that God is loving, kind, and expects us to miss it, our salvation isn’t based on what we do but what Jesus already did.  So it depends on what religion you subscribe to.  God will forgive me for sex out of wedlock; He already has.  But as I have grown and continue to grow, I want to increase in obedience and wait, per His word.  I’m not being critical of your beliefs, merely explaining how one differs from another. 😉

  26. 56
    Lydia

    I fully agree with your response to her, Evan. If she truly was a religious, spiritual person, I think that is something she would have brought up with her boyfriend in the beginning and would not have started having sex if she felt it would be a sin in the eyes of her religion.
    Basically what she’s saying by waiting 2 months, then having sex with a boyfriend for several months without being married, is that she would do that again with a new boyfriend. It’s not really something you strongly believe if you only follow when it’s convenient for you.
    If there are not currently plans for a wedding (or even if there are), cutting him off now will either make him want to leave, or get married just to get sex again. That’s not why I would want a guy to marry me.

  27. 57
    bob

    @ Shay #46

    Wow. Actually, she owes him exactly what they negotiated in the relationship. She did negotiate the relationship in a certain form – and he’s not wrong to walk away if she changes it without re-negotiating (regardless of what she changes – if it’s unilateral it’s a problem). And he’s not a lesser man for it. Actually, I’d think less of him for staying with someone who feels they can substantially change the form of their relationship without discussion.

    How would she feel if he said “I’ve decided to quit working and live off your income, and you have no say in it.”? That would be a unilateral decision on his part, without discussing it with her. She’d be in her right to end the relationship.

    I don’t understand what you’re saying here:

    “If the man thinks that being with Yasmin is not only about sex, then he will stay. If he thinks being with Yasmin is more than sex, he will leave.”
    Both of those statements sound equivalent to me.

    How’s this: Yasmin has re-discovered something very important to her. It will have tremendous impact on her relationship, it may even end it. She has to make a value judgment, is this new thing of more value to her than her current beau? If so, then she’ll have to accept that it may require losing him.

    If she’s accepted this value, then there’s no problem – all she needs to do is say “Honey, I have a dilemma. I’ve rediscovered how important celibacy is to me and my beliefs, and don’t feel I can continue acting contrary to those beliefs.” This will start the conversation, and he may choose to leave, and that’s fine. All it means is he isn’t the guy for who she’s become, and she’s not the gal for him.

    But to denigrate him because he chooses to leave is very wrong. His leaving only means people change, and sometimes they change enough to no longer be compatible.

  28. 58
    Karl R

    I’ve been surprised by several of the irrational views on both sides of this issue. A couple comments (not from this blog) shaped my response to this topic.

    My girlfriend’s initial response to this topic was: “Having sex with you makes me feel closer to God.” In this she echoed part of Sally’s opinion. (#14)

    But the more important comment was from my yoga instructor: “When a pickpocket looks at a saint, all he sees are pockets.” Most of these comments tell us something about the people who made them.

    Amelia (#1) and Shay (#46) said (paraphrased):
    “She doesn’t owe him sex.”

    That’s absolutely true. Yasmin’s boyfriend doesn’t owe her a relationship either. “Owe” is an irrelevant concept when building a relationship.

    I do things for my girlfriend which will make her happy. I do things that will help strengthen our relationship. I do things which will make her life easier. And she does the same for me.

    Shay said: (#46)
    “I can’t imagine what happens when one day Yasmin is not able to have sex anymore.”

    Shay imlied that this situation predicts what would happen if Yasmin could not have sex. In doing so, she ignores the difference between “can not” and “will not.”

    Let’s say that your spouse can not contribute to his or her portion of the household chores. (Perhaps he or she has military service overseas.) You would accept that as part of life (even though you might not be happy about the situation).

    On the other hand, let’s say your spouse would not do any chores. You might not find that acceptable in a relationship between equals.

    I wouldn’t be able to stay in a relationship with someone who sees no distinction between those two situations.

    Yasmin said: (original post)
    “It seems like he can’t sacrifice sex for the man above or for me,”

    What is the difference between a romance and a platonic friendship?

    If you were to take my best romantic relationships and remove all the physical intimacy from them, they would look nearly identical to my closest friendships. Doing so would be the equivalent of, “Let’s just be friends.” How would you expect someone to react to that?

    You didn’t go to that extreme, but you took a significant step in that direction. Do you want your boyfriend to be unconcerned when his romantic relationship (with you) takes such a substantial hit?

    starthrower68 said: (#49)
    “this is a textbook example of why you date or be in a relationship with someone that has the same values on faith and other core beliefs that you do.”

    This statement isn’t irrational, but I disagree with it. Both partners need to accept and respect any differences in values, but differences do not need to be an obstacle in a relationship.

    For example: I tithe. My girlfriend’s giving is far more modest. Neither one of us sees any need to change the other. And when our finances become more entwined, we will probably keep a portion of our incomes separate so we can accommodate our differences without friction.

    But I agree with starthrower68 that “you’d better have communicated on these issues…”

    But the one that blew me was Ed (#42), who apparently sees relationships as a conflict or competition where escalating tit-for-tat behavior is acceptable and appropriate.

    Can you imagine being in a relationship with someone who behaved that way? Wow.

    1. 58.1
      starthrower68

      Karl, I only have 1 rather small quibble with your assertion: that your wife tithes more modestly is, to me, a negligible difference in comparison. She still has a heart to tithe.  I tithe 10% and give offerings.  I’m not likely to take issue with someone who gives more or less.  These two may not be on the same page about the existence of God, let alone pre-marital sex.  Maybe he will do this for her, maybe he will not.  I agree that she is not obligated to have sex and he is not obligated to remain in relationship because they both have God-given free will.

  29. 59
    Lushka

    Shalini@54 and 55

    Agreed! Can Yasmin not take up helping the homeless to get closer to god!? God would be pleased AND you she would actually be doing some good on earth! You please your god and make your fellow human beings happier – surely a superior option all round!?

  30. 60
    Shalini

    Thanks. :)
    i really feel people don’t seem to understand the concept of god fomr their heart. They just cram the rules!! Evan is right that god is all-forgiving. Don’t make him seem like an authoritarian!!!
    Let me give you an example.. In India people go to Ganga river for a bath because its believed to purify you of your sins. While its ok to go there to feel closer to god you can not think its ok to go kill someone and have a bath in Ganga!
    So you can be closer to God by actually doing something helpful rather than doing something that you should be considering your boyfriends opinion about. I don’t think god will be pleased by any selfish act done even to please him.
    Its not just about sex here.. its about the boyfriend feeling that Yasmin might do what she feels is right for her after marriage without considering how it concerns him. Relationships are not just about you its about both the people.

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