I take a partner’s sexual preferences seriously, so when I was crushing hard on this guy and he told me he wanted to wait until marriage before having sex for religious reasons, I felt honor bound to make sure it was easy for him to stick to his moral conviction. I was worried about how well I could stay celibate, but I never thought he would be the one with the problem.
- He Acted Reasonably… At First. When he first told me that he wasn’t up for sex, I figured he wouldn’t want to date me at all since I wasn’t a virgin — but he didn’t care that I had sex or that I masturbated. For him, celibacy was his own personal conviction and as long as I could respect his wishes while sticking to a monogamous relationship with him, he didn’t care about my past. We seemed like a good fit outside of his celibacy, so I decided to give it a shot.
- The Beginning Was So Romantic. Something as simple as holding hands was a big deal for this guy. We didn’t touch until our third date, and when he did reach for my hand, he had the brightest smile on his face. Maybe the artificial delay on physical intimacy kept the spark alive longer than it would have otherwise. Besides that, he was a pretty romantic guy — we had a few candle-lit dinners and he wrote poetry for me. Single men take note: those sappy moments won me over quickly.
- Then I Started to Feel A Little… Creepy? I mean, I wouldn’t have started a relationship with him unless I found him attractive, and he was clearly into me too. With all of that physical chemistry between us, I started to feel like I needed to keep my distance and not “tempt” him. It didn’t dawn on me how weird it was that I felt responsible for an adult man’s choices — I just thought I was helping him stick to his convictions when I gave him a small peck on the cheek as a goodbye, or when I kept him at an awkward distance when we hugged.
- He Seemed To Want More. A few weeks into the relationship, he started to ask why I was so unaffectionate. I explained that I didn’t want to put him in a tough position and he said he understood, but then he would ask me to get closer, to kiss him more or to sit on his lap. I decided that we really needed some ground rules, but when I tried to mention it…
- We Got In A Fight. He didn’t want the relationship to feel “regulated” or have “weird rules.” Uh… how exactly is that fair? So we can’t have sex but we also can’t discuss what counts as sex? He asked if I thought oral sex was sex, except he said “mouth stuff.” I was starting to think he was way too immature to be in a relationship. Then he said that if I thought “mouth stuff” was fine then he did too, and he stood there probably waiting for me to get down on my knees.
- There Was No Way In Hell I Was Doing That. Which I explained angrily. This celibacy was about what he thought was okay, not what I thought. I didn’t care either way. He said that he was willing to be flexible if I really needed it, which was a pretty transparent way of saying, “I was expecting you to pressure me into this.” It dawned on me that he just wanted to avoid religious guilt by pretending it was me who had the problem with waiting for sex.
- My Jaw Was On The Floor. He started talking about how “when” we finally had sex, he would probably want to be drunk. You know, because it would be awkward. WTF? I knew in that moment that this relationship was over. His pathetic arguments followed me to my car until I slammed the door in his face. If he had a conviction but he’d changed his mind, he should have done us both a favor and been honest. He wasn’t, and I wasn’t having it.