Sexual Healing - 6: No sex before marriage

Image credit: Pernilla Ekholm

The TCS Sex & Relationships column is here to answer your queries! Get in touch via relationships@tcs.cam.ac.uk

I’ve been on a couple of dates with this girl, and I really fancy her, and I think it’s starting to get serious! Only one problem: she doesn’t believe in sex before marriage. I really like her, but no sex?! Help!

Okay, let’s lay things on the table. It sounds like you have strong feelings for this girl but it’s also clear that you see sex as a high-priority element of a serious relationship.

The question you need to be asking is this: what things do you find most valuable in a relationship? It’s up to you to be honest with yourself and have a good think about this. Your anxiety probably comes from the idea that sex is something essential to a relationship. And that’s fair enough – given our youth and virility it is only natural that we are expected to ‘make the most of our time at university’. If sex is what you want right now, that’s perfectly okay.

However, it’s fairly clear that this girl isn’t interested at the moment. If you just can’t cope, then, although moving on is tough, there are plenty of other people out there for you. If you feel like there aren’t, you’re not looking hard enough. Take a trip to Cindies.

But if you are still truly torn up about your feelings, then perhaps you need to reassess what is fundamentalto this relationship. If it’s by ‘intimacy’ or ‘trust’ or even ‘laughter’ that you define a meaningful relationship, then maybe sex doesn’t have to be the be all and end all.

If you can see your relationship with her as giving you things that will make you happy, then perhaps you need to be brave and accept that. Missing out on sex seems scary – but you’ll always miss out on something. You can’t have it all, and are you prepared for the alternative: missing out on this girl?

Mind you, it may be possible to both have your cake and eat it. If you feel comfortable enough, express your hesitations, and cautiously discuss alternatives with her. If she isn’t up for intercourse, she may be down for oral, or other forms of sex – and honestly, they can be just as good.
 

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