I Think Sex Is Wrong Outside Marriage. Why Won’t Anyone Date Me?

A photo of a lonely man

Dear Evan,

I keep losing relationships when I say that sex isn’t right outside of a marriage. I used to think that women have more self-control than men, but have since realized that we are all humans.

Is it ever possible to have a year-long relationship without sex? Even the most conservative girl I’ve met gets heavy on that after a while. I feel pressured. They ask questions like “will we be doing that (whatever is the action in the movies) in future?”

I think maybe I’m the problem. I’ve been called frigid, gay (am not), etc.

There’s so much more to life than sex, right? Maybe I should look for intelligent scientists.


Dear Jon,

You sound a bit like the guy who insists on buying flowers for women on first dates. He seems like a really nice guy, but what he doesn’t get is that his views are out of step with the majority of society.

So it’s not a matter of whether he’s right or wrong; it’s a matter of whether his behavior is effective or ineffective.

When you lead your question with “I keep losing relationships when I say that sex isn’t right outside of a marriage,” you make it abundantly clear that your moral stance is quite ineffective. That doesn’t make you wrong. That makes your choice a highly questionable one as far as most women are concerned.

And, as I am wont to do, I’m going to use this platform to ask readers to consider if they have any hard-wired minority beliefs that prevent them from making a connection. Again, I’m not a moralist; I’m a pragmatist. Just because a guy tells me that his mullet hairstyle is the purest expression of how he likes to look, doesn’t mean that wearing his mullet in his online dating photo will help him woo the ladies.

Just because a guy tells me that his mullet hairstyle is the purest expression of how he likes to look, doesn’t mean that wearing his mullet in his online dating photo will help him woo the ladies.

Lest you think I’m joking — that’s a true story. I had a client four years ago who was a grown-up 70’s rocker who teaches guitar lessons. Nice man. Very passionate. But in his insistence on “being himself,” he pretty much eliminated every woman who tossed her AquaNet out the window in 1989. Same goes for my Jewish client who loved his dreadlocks, and was surprised he didn’t get much attention on JDate. Somehow he was shocked that all the Ivy League women who want to marry doctors and lawyers weren’t flocking to his unwashed nest of hair. Doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy — it just means he had to make some tough choices: Keep the hair and lose the women. Or lose the hair and get the women.

Since I’m not a psychologist, I’m not gonna worry in this space about WHY you’d opt for abstinence. That’s between you and your clergyman. All I can say is that the number of people aboard the no-sex train is increasingly small. So as I see it, you have two choices:

Keep beating the drum that says sex is wrong outside of marriage and continue to wonder why most women keep running away, OR:

Get off your moral high horse and start sexually servicing these women the way they want to be serviced.

If not, someone else will. I guarantee that.

Join our conversation (284 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    Jon, when I read the title to this article my first thought was “duh”.

    Evan is right, you are simply out of step with what most people are looking for.

    I don’t think you are on a religious high horse. If abstinence before marriage is important to you I think it is important to stay true to what you think is right. However, you have to accept the consequences of it making dating MUCH harder for you.

    It might also help to think about how you tell women your views.

    Saying that you think “sex before marriage is wrong” may simply be stating your personal preference to you, but to your dates who have had and want premarital sex it may come off as an offensive moral indictment of them.

    The wording you choose might also make your dates assume you conservative and rigid about other issues, eventhough you might not be.

    1. 1.1

      Jon, I wish I could find a man with your values to date. As a woman, I feel the SAME WAY THAT SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE IS WRONG and I too can not find anyone to date with the same values.

      1. 1.1.1
        Miss Nene

        Apparently, my cousins waited until marriage, and they were in their late 2o’s, some of them! They met like-minded people through their church group’s singles club.

      2. 1.1.2

        I agree with the Curse of sex outside of marriage, in this society no one views it same but I’m not of the world nor want to have std or lust verses love and loyal partner, God will appoint in his timing the right person stay pour it’s worth the wait, I to   wish more people had same values but never compromise yours.

    2. 1.2
      Miss Nene

      It shouldn’t make dating harder. What truly makes dating harder is all the jaded, miserable, angry men and women that are that way as a consequence of getting their hearts broken by women they had sex with outside of marriage.. a misuse of sex. That is what makes dating so hard.

      1. 1.2.1

        That is too true!

  2. 2

    Evan I had to laugh at your comments about mullets. I got rid of mine a long time ago, but I still think it is one of the better looking mens haircuts. If it ever comes back into fashion I am there.

  3. 3

    In regards to Evan’s client who insisted on keeping his mullet haircut because he was just being himself, my answer to that is the question

    Is your self in a static, forever unchanging state?

    There was a time before mullets when this man had another haircut…wasn’t he being himself then? If he finds something new he likes will he eschew it because it doesn’t fit with who he used to be?

    I only mention this because I had similar hangups with some dating baggage.

    Who we are is not static.

    The way I see it, if I try something new and keep doing it only because it gets me dates then I am not being myself. However, if I try something new to get more dates and I keep doing it because I like it, then I am being myself.

    1. 3.1

      I struggle with this kind of thing all the time also mostly because of “I Gotta Be Me!” Syndrome.

      I am saving your brilliant and wonderful thoughts / comments on this topic. They have given me an answer  I can live with.

      Thanks for your insight!

  4. 4

    i would not date a guy who won’t have sex. i think sex is important and fun. lol

  5. 5

    The bottom line is: What is more important to you? If you are choosing to abstain from pre-marital sex because of moral/religous reasons then that is going to shrink your dating pool. If that is the case, then you need to be proactive in finding groups/websites that cater to this life choice. If you happen to find yourself dating a woman whose views are different it doesn’t mean that the relationship won’t work out in the long run. However, in those situations you need to be able to clearly explain why this position is important to you (and of course don’t bring it up until you have proceeded beyond merely dating) and be prepared for potential rejection.

    1. 5.1

      Very true. Don’t disclose it too early – I’ve sort of ruined 2 potential relationships prematurely when the topic came up and I answered it too honestly (that I’m still a Virgin).

      I’m not a Virgin for religious reasons- but personally I want to be in love before I have sex- yet most guys I meet want to “test-drive” and have sex before they commit to a relationship. So not everyone can take it well.

      In fact, one of the said “potential relationships” ended yesterday- that’s why I’m on this forum, seeking some solace from like-minded people. Haha.

      1. 5.1.1

        I am widowed and have had a number of sexual partners through the years in and outside of marriage relationships.

        My Christian faith has been strengthened in the past 2 years and I’ve decided I’m not going to have a sexual relationship with a man I’m not married to.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the most passionate women I know and my drive is as strong as ever.   BUT I understand there is a reason God has laid down the rules he has and they are for our protection.

        No, I don’t run around telling people that I’m not going to have sex outside of marriage, that is no one’s business.   It isn’t a first or second date topic either.   And by the looks of me you wouldn’t guess I’m that conservative, I look completely ‘normal’.

        I’m also looking for solace.   A man I was interested in, whom I haven’t dated because he is in the midst of a messy divorce, decided to go on an extended vacation with a woman who will happily

        A-date a man who isn’t single yet (yes, he’s filed for divorce and it’s really just a matter of time-maybe a long time-lots of assets to divide…she was cheating on him)

        B-have sex with a man who isn’t single yet, clearly let alone waiting to be  married to him.

        He and I had several conversations where he said he was uncomfortable having  casual sex with anyone so I’m sure he’s decided he’s serious about her-pretty quickly I might add.   I’m telling myself I dodged a bullet and he’s not the man I want but there was a great deal of attraction and respect between us. That doesn’t happen often at my age.   He’s always very respectful of me and we had great chemistry.

        I tell myself she is is his rebound relationship and she’s going to get hurt (and I actually believe that.)   But he’s made it pretty obvious we don’t share the same values so I’m just disappointed more than anything.   Sigh.

        One thing for sure, disappointment hurts a whole lot more when we’ve given ourselves physically to a man who is wrong for us and the relationship ends…that is absolutely heartbreaking…literally!   Last time it happened to me I ended the romance but it took almost 2 years for me to get over the pain because I loved that man so much.

        Been there, not doing it again.

  6. 6
    kat g

    There must be a Rules girl out there with your name on her. The book sold like hotcakes, so either a majority of the books’ readers are buying The Rules and promptly discarding the lessons contained therein, or you’ll find at least a few women who “live” by the book and are willing to practice red hot abstinence with you.

    1. 6.1

      I live by the book and I can’t find anyone my age who does.

  7. 7

    Unfortunately, what worked for our moms and dads way back when simply does not hold true today. The worse thing we can do is listen to the ethics that our parents taught us. Altho well intentioned and sure it worked in the 1930’s, those ethics simply do not apply to this age’s society. Adapt or break under the force of the winds of change.

    1. 7.1

      I hate to break it to you, but people have premarital sex in the 1930s.    It is highly likely that your mom and dad had premarital sex with other people before they got married.   

    2. 7.2
      Miss Nene

      Why, did people and emotions magically change since the 1930’s-1964? Of course not! Right and wrong never goes out of style. It does not change with the times. Funny that those marriages were very happy and they are still together (50 year anniversary).. or I guess they are putting on a great act of happiness with their beaming, loving smiles I see the older couples still giving to each other.

  8. 8

    The answer to the question Jon poses is simple. No one he’s approached with his views will date him because he has yet to approach someone who agrees with those views. Doesn’t make him wrong or right per se, just in a vast minority. Most of us want to test drive the vehicle before we buy it, ya dig?

    The solution: pursue only those women outside the mainstream who agree with your views. I’m sure there are dating sites, meet-up groups, or other resources that can lead you in the right direction. Religious or socially conservative groups are your best bet. Perhaps you can get involved with the Republican party – they preach “family values” and cater to the religious/social right, so maybe you can find some chicks who won’t give it up before marriage in those circles.

    1. 8.1
      Miss Nene

      Women are human beings, not cars.

      1. 8.1.1

        THANK YOU! I can’t count the number of people (many of whom are women) who’ve denounced the objectification of women, but then turn around and say they want to “test drive” their suitors before dating/marrying them, as if they are a car or a machine you can “try before you buy.” It’s total bs and rife with fallacy and double standards.

  9. 9

    Jon, PLEASE don’t compromise your most precious moral values in order to get dates! You will instantly become “less” of who you are at your core if this issue is extremely meaningful to you. And I guarantee no women wants “less of a man” in any way.

    As long as you reassure the women you date you find them sexually attractive, and that you aren’t putting yourself in overly tempting situations with them because of your moral beliefs, NOT because of them being unsexy or because you are a weirdo or gay or whatever, I bet you’ll have better luck with relationships taking their proper course.

    I know half a dozen “hard core” Christian women with the exact same lament as you! Some of them are absolute knockouts, but they are waiting until marriage to have sex, and that is that. End of discussion. One woman I know is 32, blonde, gorgeous — and absolutely committed to her faith and morals. Yes, she is having a hard time finding a husband, but guess what: when she finds one, he’s going to share her outlook on a great many things, and their wedding night will be super special. She only dates within her faith and fully accepts that it will take her longer to get married, and she is cool with that.

    I have been in too many relationships (before my current marriage) where I had to give up huge pieces of myself in order to stay with a certain man, and THAT is wrong, wrong, wrong in my opinion. If chastity truly is a dealbreaker for you, then stick to your guns. If I’d stuck to mine about my own supposed dealbreakers (“If he cheats on me I will leave him” for instance, or “No alcoholics”), I wouldn’t have wasted approximately a decade of my life banging my head against a wall, not to mention risking HIV infection or being killed in an accident when my man was sleeping around on me or driving under the influence and I decided to keep my mouth shut rather than start another a fight. I can only believe “someone up there” was looking out for me during those times as I finally emerged unscathed, sadder, wiser, and ready to finally have my own little internal “Showdown at the Okay Corral” about what I was willing to put up with or walk away from.

    Jon, I’m sure I’ll get plenty of crap for this from the other bloggers, but I say hold out for what makes you, YOU.

  10. 10

    Get off your moral high horse and start sexually servicing these women the way they want to be serviced.

    If not, someone else will. I guarantee that.

    Okay, if a man chooses to not engage in premarital sex that’s his choice although, it tends to sound like a moral judgment based on religious belief. However, the above snip from Evan’s response is an extremely poor choice of words, it positively reeks! Service?? When did sex, as an integral part of dating and pursuing an exclusive relationship, become become an act of service – to women? That may be Evan’s perception – why he has sex with women – however the conclusion deftly includes all other men in the category of perceiving sex as a service to women. Come on Evan tell us what you really think about women?

    P.S. I wonder if Evan’s girlfriend is content to know that sex isn’t about physical gratification and intimate sharing, it’s simply about her being serviced?


    1. 10.1
      Miss Nene

      What is someone told others to get off their moral high horse about issues that would not seem ‘politically correct’ to comment on? Morality has nothing to do with the sex or abstinence choices of some. We are ALL supposed to strive to be good human beings. That does not make anyone higher than anyone else. There are people morally superior to me (hermits, the completely celibate or women who have never been kissed, those who sacrificed more than me) and I don’t say they are on a high horse. I simply state the fact that they are superior to me in that way.

        1. Miss Nene

          That’s your opinion. It certainly is! as it shows self control. As not overeating shows self control.

        2. Miss Nene

          Having sex outside of marriage is not superior to waiting until marriage.

  11. 11

    My best advice to you is to stay true to your own values. There are women out there that share the same values that you do (albeit they would be hard to find nowadays).

    Listen to your own heart, not people on the Internet.

    If people think you’re square or strange for the values you have, perhaps you’ll have better luck meeting the right girl in your church.

    My recommendation is, don’t sell out. If you have to rearrange your own values for some other girl, is she really worth it?

    1. 11.1
      Miss Nene

      Why is everyone saying it’s hard to find these women? I personally have known many! They are called very intelligent women who looked around at all the unmarrieds having sex and getting left pregnant poor and alone (‘it’s called aid to dependent women and children,not dependent men)   and were smart enough to hold out for the ring and the bling, baby! They considered their chasteness, loving personality, intelligence, beauty   a prize (wait, I thought every man wanted a virgin??) and every one of them got husbands who are very financially sound and ‘rich’ (yeah, those things kind of go together, because he was willing to wait, apparently, until he got married, and his career success showed those same values, drive, responsibility, and determination), a lot more then it takes to move your underwear over a few inches and take a penis out for any woman (or gf).

      1. 11.1.1

        Very interesting comments. I think it reflects Eastern/ Asian values and somehow I see less of these amongst Westerners. I’m asian btw. Haha. What’s your background (that led to these values?)- if may I ask

    2. 11.2
      Good Guy

      The frustrating thing for him is that he will have no way of knowing if the girl is truly a virgin or just lying to him.   That’s the problem.

  12. 12


    C’mon man. God really doesn’t want you to have sex before a lifelong commitment? I have no problem with waiting for someone you’re really into or something but pretty much no one is going to fall for you unless you lay some pipe. Have standards and all but be realistic. ALL THAT SAID, if that is what you MUST do, there are dating sites for Catholics and Fundamentalists (not to equate the 2) where you might be able to find someone of your mindset. Good luck.

    1. 12.1
      Miss Nene

      Oh, really? Tell that to my Catholic cousin who married her Catholic Attorney/investment banker husband while both (presumably) waited til marriage to have sex,   after dating for a very short while. They look very happy to me, while we know a lot of miserable single people who had sex with multiple people who get strung along for 1-10 years by some man who won’t marry them, because why should he?! He’s getting all the sexual benefits of marriage because she’s giving them to him! That’s why sex is called a ‘privilege of marriage’.

  13. 13

    …some women, mostly mature,(they have lost their hormones) that have been hurt in previous relationships, they will go without sex ’till you marry them….

    1. 13.1
      Good Guy

      Women who have had lots of sex in the past and now want to catch a decent man with money you mean?   I’m sure that’s just the kind of woman he’s looking for.

  14. 14


    Both Evan & Steve are right. In your question to Evan you state, ” I used to think that women have more self-control than men, but have since realized that we are all humans.” I don’t know how you express your views to the women you date but that sounds fairly judgmental whether you mean it to or not. Of course you have a right to your beliefs, but as Steve said you might want to look at how you express them as that can be even more off-putting than the belief itself. I can tell you that if, a man I had just met told me or I read in a profile online that “sex outside of marriage is wrong” I would blow him off. Because I have nothing but a brief snapshot to go on the statement, whether or not you realize it, as Steve said it implies a moral indictment of women who have had premarital sex.

    I think it’s great that you have a set of values that are important to you. But I can also tell you that as a woman I don’t know that I would be able to cope with it. The simple fact of the matter is that more and more women are sexually active these days.

    1. 14.1
      Good Guy

      I can tell you that if, a man I had just met told me or I read in a profile online that “sex outside of marriage is wrong” I would blow him off.  

      Well that’s what he wants – because he wants a woman who will wait for marriage.

  15. 15

    I agree with Steve’s first post about Jon’s choice of wording in revealing his feelings about premarital sex. Are you talking about how you want to live your own life (I want to abstain from sex before marriage), or how everyone should live life (Sex is wrong outside of marriage. Period.)?

    I frequently come across this issue because I’m in the minority along with Jon. I don’t intend to have sex until I’m married, but when I reveal this to anyone, in any context, I always state that it’s a personal decision for me, and not a judgement on everybody else. I’ve also tried to make it clear prior to that conversation that I’m very open-minded about most issues. This actually causes problems because most people who abstain from premarital sex are very conservative religously and politically, and I’m a liberal. And the liberals all believe in having sex before marriage. Alas!

  16. 16

    Hm, the self is certainly not static and unchanging. What mullet guy probably meant was that he still liked mullets and wouldn’t do something he didn’t want just to score with women. I can relate to that. Getting sex at all costs isn’t everyone’s top priority. I was a mullet afficianado for a long time, though I grew the front long too in the past two years so now it’s all long like Fabio, heh.

    I basically don’t think sex before marriage is not immoral, because I don’t really believe in marriage. I believe in connections, and that it probably makes sex better if you connect on some other level first so that it reinforces that connection in addition to whatever sexual connection you’re making. That being said, I’m an abstinent virgin, lol, but not due to religious marriage-related things.

  17. 17
    One of Kind

    I don’t believe in sex before marriage because I want to give my husband something reserved just for him, a bond between only him and me. At 37 years of age, I’ve waited this long to lose my virginity and hope that my wait is at least half over! If I lose a guy because he doesn’t respect my core value, that’s okay. I’m not desperate or willing to settle.

  18. 18
    Evan Marc Katz

    Thanks to everyone for your responses – even you, Jane. I would encourage anyone who dissented to reread Jon’s email. He said that he’s “losing relationships” and that even “the most conservative girl” starts putting pressure on him to have sex. He’s asking for feedback that’s going to give him some clarity on his issue.

    Thus, those telling him to keep holding out are willfully (and foolishly) ignoring Ben Franklin’s maxim, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    The results: women are leaving him.
    Your advice: keep up the good work! stay true to yourself!

    Once again: I’ve got no problem with Jon or with sexual abstinence. But if his SOLE problem is that women leave him because he won’t have sex, he’s got two choices: change or do the same thing. If he does the same thing, he has to take responsibility for the fact that it may be a very very long time until he meets *a* girl who gets him, much less *the* girl who gets him…

    1. 18.1
      Miss Nene

      Right.. having sex outside of marriage over and over again, year after year,   expecting different results from a man or woman who doesn’t want marriage.

    2. 18.2
      Miss Nene

      Having sex is gonna make a woman want to marry the man? No.

    3. 18.3

      Actually, Evan, I believe you are only touching the surface. Jon being the way Jon is, would loose relationships with these women even if he has sex with them.

      You see, these are his core values, they are not changeable like underwear. Him going against these values will only render the same results. Ben Franklin’s saying would also require it to be the same women over and over again … All women and men are not the same.

      What Jon needs to do is date different women and not focus on what he is loosing but rather focus on the perspective he is gaining that will allow him to make better choices in the women he dates.



  19. 19

    For me, sex is too important in a relationship to wait until marriage, to “see how it goes”. Waaay, too much of a gamble. Finding out if you are sexually compatible is part of getting to know each other. A fun part, ideally.

    If I found myself dating someone who insisted on waiting until marriage to have sex, I would theorize he had a low drive, sexual issues, or both. I wouldn’t be willing to yoke myself to such a person.

    Since there are people out there that share the same convictions as Jon, joining church singles groups, of different, but complementary churches, would seem the most efficeint way to go.

    1. 19.1
      Miss Nene

      ALL of marriage is ‘a gamble’. Sex is not always enough to keep it together, and many many many changes can and do occur during marriage.

      1. 19.1.1
        Miss Nene

        Low sex drive??! What?! All the ones I know that wait until marriage (historically back to at least the 1300’s) get impregnated within a week- 6 months of marriage and have a kid every year!! That’s what comes of waiting so long!

        1. Good Guy

          No – that’s what comes of living in a society that has no contraception, abortion and no concept of marital rape.   In those days basically the husband had sex whenever he felt like it, and it was the wife’s duty to comply – no excuses allowed – and marital rape was looked on then the way domestic abuse against men is looked at now – a subject of ridicule.   Nowadays we are expected to take the woman’s feelings into account.

  20. 20

    There are people out there who don’t want to have children. Who don’t want to be with a spouse who drinks alcohol. People who work in a job where they’re gone 2/3 of the time. These people are all out of line with the “typical” American, and yet, are you really going to tell someone who doesn’t want children that they should agree to some anyway just so they can find someone to marry them? When somebody feels strongly about something (as Jon obviously does) and it’s a dealbreaker for them, then I think the majority of people who have responded on this issue are correct; Jon should keep trying to find someone willing to accept what he has to offer.

    Moreover, many people are not telling him to do the same thing over and over. From his original e-mail he sounds rather judgmental, and most have commented on this fact. They have told him that he may want to rework his wording (and his mentality that goes with it) when explaining his viewpoint. By changing the way he expresses his views, rather than changing his views, he should get a totally different response from girls.

    Now Jon doesn’t mention whether or not he expects the girl to also be a virgin…if so, he really has a long while to wait. Holding out yourself and expecting your partner to hold out while you’re dating them is one thing. Expecting your partner to have held out their whole life is something else entirely. When I do have “the conversation” with a guy I’m dating, I convey to them that I don’t expect them to be virgins but nor should they be unfaithful while we’re dating simply because they’re not getting any. I also explain to them why I’ve decided to wait until marriage for sex, and most guys I’ve dated have responded really well to my reasoning (it is NOT because the bible said so). But yes, Jon and all other virgins waiting to have sex until marriage will have smaller dating pools, and most realize that and accept it with their eyes wide open.

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