By Julia Feeser
Okay, so you’ve decided to wait to have sex.
Good for you! Ten gold stars for you!
Unfortunately (and fortunately!), there’s more to waiting for sex than just waiting for sex.
And soon or later what you’re going to realize if you haven’t already is that waiting for sex is no picnic. It’s difficult, challenging, and will probably make you really, really frustrated and/or questioning your judgement at some point.
One of the most common questions I hear from students is, “How do you actually wait to have sex? What are the practical steps you have to take in order to make this happen?”
Luckily, although you will more than likely encounter a few convoluted and not so black and white situations when it comes to waiting to have sex, there are a few practical things you can do to help yourself and others along the way:
Date the right kinds of people.
Waiting for sex doesn’t mean you can’t date! Seriously. It doesn’t mean you can’t hang out alone ever or kiss or even fall in love. You can do all these things, and sex doesn’t need to be part of the equation. However, part of making this happen is choosing people to date who feel the same way about waiting as you do.
If you’re working toward this mutual goal that you both have decided on, not contingent on simply just going along with what the other person wants, waiting for sex is going to get a lot easier. If you’re dating someone who is awesome but doesn’t necessarily want to wait, eventually what you’ll find is that you can only go so far physically before tension sets in.
Free yourself of this early on by being intentional about who you date and what values they hold.
Be honest about your frustrations.
Yes, at some point, you will be mad that you are not having sex (especially if you’re waiting a long time). You will feel frustrated you can’t express your physical desires in that way, and you will probably struggle with the fact that you may be in a relationship with someone you love and you cannot have sex with them. Yep, frustrating.
So it’s really important to not gloss over these feelings. Be honest. Tell someone. Find a person you trust who is not your significant other and tell them what you’re struggling with. The longer we pretend everything’s all right, the longer we put off actually dealing with the problem and finding a solution or advice.
Plus, as with any type of long-term goal, you’ll need people along the way to keep you accountable and encouraged. You can’t go it alone, and you shouldn’t have to.
Know your boundaries before you’re alone watching Netflix.
It’s pretty difficult in the heat of the moment to use your brain and say, “Oh, wait, we probably should’ve stopped somewhere around 10 minutes ago.”
If you’re someone who is waiting to have sex, you’re going to need to know yourself well enough to know how far you can go physically before you won’t be able to resist just going all the way anymore. Because the farther you go, the harder it will be to stop.
So help yourself out by thinking through where you’re going to draw the line. Will it be at kissing? Will it be at some touching? Know beforehand and don’t try to decide once it’s already happening – believe me, your boundaries will get blurry fast if you don’t have a clear picture going in of what they should be.
Oh, and this is the part of the relationship where you have to have a super-romantic conversation explaining in very clear language where your physical boundaries are. Not exactly a sexy conversation, but it will benefit you both.
Understand the purpose of waiting.
If you’re waiting just because someone told you it was a good idea, or because you think you’ll get in trouble if you don’t, or your sole mission is, “I’m just going to not have sex,” you’re going to have a difficult time sticking to that commitment.
Waiting without purpose isn’t waiting, it’s just biding your time. (Tweet this!)
Waiting is so much more than just following a set of do’s and don’ts when it comes to sex. Waiting should be the outcome of a deep, personal desire to pursue life goals and love freely without the added burdens that sex can bring emotionally and physically.
When we choose to wait to have sex, we reflect who we know God to be – a God of love, trust, and intense passion for our utmost good. (Tweet this!) One who created sex to be experienced inside marriage because he knows that’s where true life and true sexual and emotional intimacy can be found.
If you’re trying to wait without this kind of purpose, you won’t wait.
Know that waiting is possible, even when it’s difficult. And having real, practical steps in place will make all the difference.