Sorry this is so long, I just needed to get it all out...I'm 20 years old and have been in a relationship with my 21-year old boyfriend for a little over 2 years. We are both virgins and this is the longest, most serious relationship either of us have ever been in. We have engaged in every sexual activity except full-on intercourse.
We fell very deeply in love very quickly and, I knew about 5 months into our relationship that he would be "the one" to share my first time with. The first time I brought it up, he backed off immediately, emphasizing that he was no where near ready to have sex but that he loved me very much and hoped I wouldn't take his reaction as a personal rejection. I was upset and couldn't help but feel rejected, but I did back off. I didn't broach the topic for another 6 months, when I received the same response. This time, he was more vocal about the mentality behind waiting: he was raised Catholic (like myself), experiences a good deal of Catholic guilt about sinning, could never forgive himself if I got pregnant, etc. He, again, assured me that he loved me and that he was working to get to a place where we could share that together. I cried. A lot. But backed off, once again, and pretended like it didn't matter. I asked again, 6 months later, a full year and a half into our relationship, and once again things got heated. This time he admitted that he's always seen himself waiting until marriage; he only ever wants to give himself to one person, the person he marries.
I love this boy immensely: he is gorgeous, loyal, funny, kind, thoughtful...he's genuinely a dream come true. The fact that he's withholding sex from me, though, is killing me. Despite the strong, healthy emotional relationship we share, I feel like our physical relationship has hit a wall that I just can't handle any more. He has told me that he wants to have sex with me, one day, and that he wants to get married and have kids and grow old together. The idea is beautiful and romantic...but I'm 20 years old. I don't know what I want out of my senior year of college, let alone the next 10 years of my life. I love him so, but I'm not ready to plan my future yet. So, given his overriding desire to only give himself to one person, I can understand, to some extent, him holding back from me, since I am still unsure about our future. Still, I cannot help my overwhelming need and desire to experience love in that way, not simply before I marry someone, but in this relationship, here and now. I can't envision marrying someone without first having sex. Even just oral sex changed our relationship, brought it to a different level. I don't want to wait until after I marry someone to see how sex changes things.
The emotion surrounding the issue has impacted my mindset towards sex a great deal: whenever we engage in any sexual activity I find myself unable to enjoy the moment because I'm preoccupied with the pain of knowing it's never going further. I can't listen to my friends talk about sex with their boyfriends, I switch channels when a TV show or movie involves sex. We've discussed the issue so many times and are unable to resolve it. My needs and his convictions butt heads and I always walk away placing my emotions aside, shoving my feelings down, pretending they aren't there. I read so many comments that say "If you love someone, you'll wait. Period." Comments that call people like me jerks for prioritizing sex. Am I a jerk? If so, I can't seem to help it. How do I reconcile my love for him with the resentment and pain I feel because he holds back from me physically? Is it wrong to feel the need to experience desire and passion in that way from someone you care about? Is it unreasonable to say I 'need' something I've never experienced?
Posts: 1 | Registered: Jun 2013
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Hi crackerjack. You're not a jerk. You're really, really not a jerk. When you bring up sex and he asks you to back off, you do. I think 6 months is a decent amount of time to wait before you bring it up again, so I wouldn't say it seems like you're rushing him or trying to push.
However, it sounds like you've come to a hard decision that you're going to have to make here. He's made it clear, now, that he DOES want to wait until marriage to have sex. And you're quite clear in feeling that you want to have sex before getting married. Neither of those feelings are wrong; neither of you have to, or should feel that you have to, or should make the other feel that they have to, change your feelings. You both get to feel the way you do.
But now that you've both been clear about what you need in a relationship in regards to sex, and they're not syncing up, you have to think about where to go from here. You haven't been unfair to your boyfriend so far; however, I think it'd be unfair to continue the relationship believing that he'll change his mind/you'll be able to convince him to have sex before marriage. (I'm not suggesting you were planning on doing that, though!)
What you're describing is just one form of incompatibility, like any other. Having sex as something you need in a relationship does not make you a jerk, or shallow, or sex-crazy, or any other shaming word people can think to hurl at you. You absolutely get to decide that sex is something you need in a relationship to be happy, and you should not feel guilty or ashamed about that. Being sexually incompatible isn't an incompatibility that you should just "get over" otherwise you're shallow; it's a real incompatibility between your beliefs, your needs, and it should be treated that way. So ignore anyone saying you're a "jerk" or that if you "really loved him you'd wait".
It seems clear to me though, that now you have to think about whether this is a dealbreaker for you. Would you be able to stay with your boyfriend and wait for marriage to have sex? If you decide that you wouldn't be happy doing that, then the fairest decision for BOTH of you would be to move away from this as a potential sexual relationship, you know? It isn't "mean" or "shallow" or anything to break up with someone/change the nature of your relationship because of a sexual incompatibility. Our culture hangs a lot of shame on that, but as I said, sexual incompatibility is a legitimate incompatibility like any other.
So I really suggest thinking this over, weighing the situation and deciding if this is a dealbreaker for you, discussing it with your boyfriend, and coming to a decision about whether you'd be able to realistically be happy in a relationship without sex until after marriage, since that is what the future would hold for you if you decide to stay in this relationship as a potential sexual one.
Here are a couple of Q&As that I think will help you think about all of this:
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