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To Bed or Not to Bed? That Is the Question!

When it comes to dating and relationships, there are plenty of exciting, nerve-racking, blush-inducing moments along the journey to happily ever after. The first kiss, the first time you say I love you, the first time you tell your date that you don’t believe in sex before marriage…

If there were a soundtrack to this article, the needle on the record would scratch as the music stops right about now.

Yes, this is the 21st century. Yes, some people date and end up in bed with various partners before settling down. But there are still plenty of people saving themselves for marriage. And for them, there comes a time in every dating relationship for the obligatory conversation about their decision to remain virtuous.

The question is, when do you have this discussion? How soon is too soon? And more importantly, is it possible to ruin a perfectly good relationship because you waited too long to share your chaste intentions? Understandably, it’s a difficult subject to broach but one that’s necessary for a healthy and happy dating life and potential relationship future. What follows are some guidelines for opening the lines of communication.

Establish a comfortable level of emotional intimacy
For most savvy singles, sex is not a first date topic of conversation. In fact, it’s probably not something you discuss until Date #5 or beyond. Therefore, it’s safe to say that the same goes for a conversation about not having sex. After all, considering that not every first date turns into a second one, what’s the point of hanging your virtues out to dry for everyone to see and judge? Instead, table this conversation until you get to know your date better and establish a comfortable level of emotional intimacy. You’ll know when the time is right. And until then, it’s nobody’s business but your own.

Be honest
Once you’ve decided that the person you’re dating could be a keeper, you’ll probably want to broach the subject. Don’t be nervous. Rather than hem and haw, confidently bring up the subject of sex and state your position. Gently tell your date how much you’re enjoying getting to know them and how you appreciate the level of emotional intimacy you have established. Then, let them know that while your attraction for them grows, it can only go so far because of your decision to abstain from sex until marriage. Be clear, direct, and concise (then give them time to process and respond). More than likely, they’ll have questions. If you feel comfortable, answer them. They may support your decision and simply want to understand you and your choices better.

Remain true to your convictions
It’s also possible that the person you’re dating may not share your desire to wait for sex until marriage. They may try to talk you out of your decision. Don’t let them! If this is something that’s really important to you, be true to that. Don’t let anyone belittle your life choices and value system because it’s different from theirs. The truth is, if you can’t accept and honor one another on the subject of sex, the relationship is ultimately doomed. As painful as that may be, that’s the reality of dating in the modern world.

Look for potential partners with a shared value system
Admittedly, dating is tricky. It becomes even trickier when sex is involved or, more specifically, when two people in a potential relationship don’t agree about sex. The best way to avoid this relationship mishap is to seek out potential partners with a shared value system. For example, if your choice to remain chaste is based on spirituality, try looking for someone who shares your spirituality and/or religion. In doing so, your emotional intimacy will grow and deepen without the issue of sex becoming an underlying source of tension or resentment.

Take your time
Along the journey to happily ever after, you may discover that you change your mind about sex before marriage. You may meet and fall in love with someone amazing, develop a level of intimacy that challenges your previous convictions, and eventually causes you to rethink your position on the subject. If that’s the case, only you can know if and when the time is right to become intimate with your partner. Take your time. Don’t rush it. Communication is crucial as you navigate this new territory. Above all else, it’s important that you never feel like you have to compromise your beliefs to keep your partner happy. If your partner truly cares about you, they will honor and respect your choice to remain chaste. If they don’t, you may want to rethink your partner, NOT your position on sex. Again, only you know what’s right for you.

As tricky as dating and relationships can be, the key to being a successful single lies in remaining true to who you are at all times. And because sex can be a hot button relationship issue, it’s important to communicate your choices and expectations with your potential partner once emotional intimacy has been established. In doing so, you open the door to a more honest and fulfilling relationship future. And in the end, who doesn’t want that?