by Amy Mastrine
Sex is a part of a relationship, but it’s not the foundation.
Okay, hear me out: You should try your best to wait until you’re married to have sex.
“What?! That’s such an outdated idea! Nobody does that anymore!”
Actually, more people than you might think have come to the conclusion that it’s better to wait until marriage to have sex because there are a lot of good reasons for it. The wait-til-marriage norm of the past didn’t just come out of thin air — it was the result of the earned wisdom of many, many generations of people who realized it had a lot of benefits for singles and couples.
You’ll weed out guys who don’t care about you
A lot of people today are just seeking instant gratification from their relationships. They want to be in relationships just for sex, with no strings attached or expectation of a long-term commitment.
Holding off on sex helps you to see if a guy is actually interested in a long-term relationship. It also helps you to see clearly whether the guy you’re dating is with you for the right reasons. If he’s into the idea of waiting, that’s a good sign he’s not just interested in using you or fulfilling some hedonistic desires. It shows he respects you and likes you for more than your body: your intellect, sense of humor, talents, etc.
You’ll build a strong relationship foundation
A relationship needs to be built on a foundation of shared values and vision. Sex is a part of a relationship, but it’s not the foundation. When you take sex off the table, you can more clearly see if the two of you are truly compatible. Otherwise, you will cloud your judgment and have a harder time assessing character. Our bodies make a lot of bonding chemicals when we have sex, which can trick us into thinking we’re connected to someone more deeply than we actually are. If you hold off on sex, it will make it much easier to truly get to know the person you’re with.
Waiting helps you practice self-control
Waiting is a good way to practice self-control and personal boundaries. The beauty of self-control is that you can apply it to many other areas of your life! Making a choice and sticking to it is what it means to have conviction. Conviction is about being self-assured and doing the right thing. Waiting is great practice for setting boundaries for yourself, which is an essential practice for all other areas of your life. Saying “no” now makes room for a much stronger “yes” later.
You won’t take intimacy for granted
One time, I went camping in the woods of Big Sur for a week, and when I came back I was so grateful to have running water. I was struck by how the absence of any plumbing in the wilderness made me appreciate it so much more when I finally had it again! When you go without something for an amount of time, the contrast of finally having it makes you a lot more grateful for it. Otherwise, you might not even realize you’d been taking it for granted. Sacrificing something in the present for the future makes you appreciate it that much more.
Waiting makes your marriage more meaningful
Sex is the consummation of a relationship, not the basis of it. It’s not for no reason that consummating a marriage is a deeply-rooted tradition in every culture. It cements your relationship and holds you together.
There are several studies that show waiting makes married sex better. A 2010 study of over 2,000 married couples found that waiting led to more satisfying sex lives after marriage. Couples also reported that their marriages were more stable and satisfying than couples who had sex early in their relationship.
There’s a lot of value in waiting to have sex until marriage, and it was a social norm for a long time because it led to many benefits. It’s an opportunity to deepen your relationship with both yourself and your partner.
Article first published in Evie Magazine.