After leaving my ex, I spent a good deal of time reflecting on how I could have been so enamoured with that loser only five short months earlier. I came to the conclusion that I had been blinded to his true nature because I was too enthralled by the sex. I had slept with him too soon, and became attached to him for that reason alone. Not a good reason to become attached to someone. When the sex slowed down, I realized that he was a person that I didn’t like very much at all. Unfortunately, by that point, I was already pregnant.
I resolved never to sleep with a man so soon again. I thought back to something my grandma used to tell us, “If a man really loves you, he will wait”. But the problem presented itself soon after I started dating again. How long should one wait?
Obviously, the second date is not long enough, if my relationship with the last man I slept with is any indication. But beyond that … how am I supposed to know? Shall I impose the same rules that I imposed on myself when I was a virgin? That I must be really, truly in love first? You’d think that I’d have an easier time doing that now that I know what love is, but to be honest, I’ve thought I was in love many times in the beginning stages of relationships, but looking back, the only time I can actually say I was in love was with my first. And when I first had sex with him, I don’t think I was in love with him yet. I think I was just starting to think that I was too old to still be a virgin, and figured I might as well go for it with this guy, since we’d been dating for a month or so (and that was the longest any guy had ever been interested in me). For the record, we were both virgins, and both thinking the same thing, we later confided to each other. We continued to date for a year and a half, and almost got married.
It hasn’t been a big issue for me yet, as I haven’t done a lot of dating since breaking up with Elijah’s biological father. But it’s something that’s sat in my mind, because I would like to seriously re-enter the dating world again sometime soon.
Today I came across this article on MSN, When Should You Sleep With Him?, and it got my brain working on it again. When I went on five dates with a nice guy last spring, but resisted sleeping with him (even the movie night at his house date), was I holding out too long? Is that why he seemed to lose interest? Yet this article has quotes from women who waited six months to have sex with their boyfriends!
Six months!? Really? There are guys out there who are willing to wait that long? Yeah, yeah, I know there are a group of people who abstain from having sex until marriage, but my experience with them, for the most part, is that they get married after only a couple of months, and then get divorced again just as quickly (when they realize they don’t really like each other). To me, that’s just having sex whenever you want, with extra legal complications. Furthermore, most people in the abstinence circle are also in the super conservative circle. There’s nothing wrong with that, but since I am in the super progressive circle, I don’t think a long term relationship with a super conservative is going to work well for me.
The idea of abstaining until marriage is actually a really attractive one to me right now, for the first time in my life, but I don’t think I can find someone who shares that value of mine while at the same time sharing a majority of the rest of my values. If anyone knows of a circle of men who have pledged to abstain until marriage, but also voted for Nader (or at least Obama), please point me their direction.
In the mean time, I’d just like to know how common it is for a man to be willing to wait months before having sex. If this is common, then I think I can feel a great deal more confidence re entering the dating scene (of course, it will also make me look back on my past habits with a little more shame, but whats done is done). Because I just don’t think I’ll be ready to have sex after five dates. Or six. Or seven. I don’t know when I’ll be ready, but I’m not having sex again until I am sure I am.