Question asked by Melissa – Hello there, I stumbled upon your site and have found it informative and insightful. Here’s my question for you.
I met my boyfriend at the end of September, started dating him casually a few months after that, and we have been an official couple for a few months now. Currently we have a big conflict that we cannot resolve. The issue is that I am abstinent and am committed to being so until I am married. My boyfriend has always been respectful and considerate in the physical area; he has let me lead the pace physically and has stopped when I have said “stop”. However, it is extremely frustrating for him that we are not having sex. He believes that sex is necessary for intimacy and he feels like we are in “relationship lite” because of the lack of sex. We have been talking about marriage and he has told me the one thing holding him back from us getting married is that he won’t know how sex will be since we are not having it: he is worried our desires and wants won’t mesh and he wants to have a “perfect” marriage. Other than that, he has told me he has no doubts that I would be a good wife who would make him happy: he even told a mutual friend that if he was certain sex was going to work, he’d “propose in a heartbeat.”
He went through a nasty divorce a decade ago and had another relationship where he waited for several years to be with someone, only to have her end up getting engaged to someone else without telling him. Needless to say, he has a lot of fears and struggles, which I understand. However, I am extremely frustrated because it seems like he is making a huge issue out of something that is not that gargantuan.
Three weeks ago, we decided to take some time apart where we were not speaking and just thinking. We got together ten days ago and discussed breaking up: in the end, he didn’t want to walk away and said that he still wanted us to be together. He actually started crying and became quite emotional and when he left, he was teasing me about my dowry and having a talk with my dad. However, I don’t know if any progress was made. From our mutual friend, I know that he is still frustrated and still circling around the same issues. He also has indicated to her that he doesn’t think it is going to work.
It is not that I am unsympathetic to his side of the story, and I know that it must be rare and extremely odd for guys to encounter women who are determined to wait until marriage. However, I don’t understand why this has to be such an issue. If, as he has indicated, everything else is good, why should this one issue be holding him back from something we both want? Also, how long should I wait? Isn’t three weeks enough to make a decision? Any advice?
A strong relationship is built on the foundation of trust and emotional compatibility. Sex is a great way to increase your closeness, and feel more intimate with each other, but if it’s a deciding factor on whether or not you should continue a relationship then there is something a little screwy (no pun intended).
It’s important that a guy respects a girl’s boundaries and conditioning and vice versa. There are many girls who prefer to stay a virgin till marriage simply because they attach a certain significance to it. If a guy is in love with such a girl then he should ideally not force her, neither should he stipulate conditions, to change her mind about it. Usually a girl who gives into having sex under, emotional or physical, pressure is likely to feel exploited, and this can highly tarnish the relationship.
If he wants to break up with you, or if he is uncertain about the relationship, because you are not willing to have sex before marriage then it would be better for you to simply stand your ground and move on. True relationship is all about mutual understanding and there is no place for any manipulation or pressure. If he truly loves you, he needs to love you along with your conditioning or beliefs. Of course, there is nothing wrong with discussing issues but when you feel so strong about not having sex before marriage he should understand your perspective.
What is the meaning of “sex compatibility” anyway? Does he want to figure out how good you are in the bed before he marries you? If he believes that you are compatible with him emotionally, he needs to believe that you will be compatible with him physically as well. It’s unheard of for a couple to have bad sex while in a good relationship. Good sex is usually an extension of a good relationship and not the other way round.
The fact that he has put up conditions on your relationship, shows that he does not really feel a deep love as yet. Maybe he is quite uncertain about many aspects and is hoping that sex might solve all of it, which it won’t. Love has got nothing to do with sex, it’s more an emotional thing than a physical thing. And a relationship built on anything other than love is standing on feeble ground.
As you said, he has gone through a lot of pain in his previous relationship and this might be the reason why he’s so cautious, but he needs to understand that he cannot place sex on the pedestal and claim that he cannot marry you until you agree to have sex. Such conditions have no place in a strong relationship.
He’s probably hoping that you will change you mind about sex, that might be the reason why he’s delaying his decision to break up. It’s best if you can sort it out without giving each other any additional pain. If break up is the only option he’s presenting you with unless you succumb to his condition, then it would be in your best interest to simply move on. Its best that you confront him, if he’s delaying the decision, 3 weeks is long enough to really know where your heart and mind stands.