Dating is a crazy complicated game, that not even the savviest of daters completely understand. And when you add the lifestyle of celibacy into the equation, it can become even more convoluted. However, the benefits outweigh the complications and the benefits aren’t necessarily what you think.
I’ve talked to many people who have adopted the lifestyle of celibacy for a mere month or two and returned to the land of “sex and adventure” saying, “nope, that no nookie clause is definitely not for me” while others have continued to abstain for years and even decades. Usually, these committers have decided to enter celibacy for a myriad of reasons: mental and emotional cleansing, finding oneself, sexual health preservation, spiritual/religious commitments (i.e. Commitment to God, Lent etc.), or just plain ole “I’m taking a break.” All good and valid reasons. But there is one reason to NEVER EVER adopt the celibacy lifestyle, and that is the guarantee of finding a spouse or committed relationship.
All relationships carry a risk of failure and there are no guarantees. This also rings true for the happily married, picture perfect couples who are so perfect they look like brother and sister – yeah those annoying people. There is no guarantee that any couple will stay together forever no matter how many emotional insurance and assurance policies one puts on the relationship. So when I hear daters make the assertion that they’re turning to the lifestyle for the sole purpose of finding a man or woman to marry, I cringe with exasperation for the disappointment they will undoubtedly face when their chasteness alone, gets them no closer to marriage than before the big “hold out”.
This writer has been celibate many times in her life, with the current time frame being one of the longest periods (four years) and the longest period being six years. Due to past experiences, I am committed to abstaining until marriage but not for the sake of marriage. But rather, for the sake of my spiritual convictions.
Growing up in a Christian environment, I grew up falsely believing that purity equaled a guaranteed double ring ceremony – boy was I wrong. No one ever came right out and said it, but the implication was there. “No sex until you’re married”, they would say. So in my mind, abstaining equaled marriage. It wasn’t until my first years of college that I learned how truly wrong that theory was. First off, most married people have consummated prior to that long walk down the aisle, and secondly, most guys aren’t even willing to seriously date you if you aren’t willing to participate in the mattress mambo. So I learned very quickly that I had to identify what made my choice of celibacy important and necessary to me. If it was all about the guarantee of a ring, I might as well reconvene in “extra curriculars.”
I soon understood that my lifestyle choice had everything to do with my commitment to my faith as a Christian and my desire to explore relationship possibilities with a clear mind and heart, as experience has taught me that sex without commitment, foundation or marriage doesn’t bode well for me emotionally. Sex too fast equals heartbreak hotel. But, I also understand that just because I’m getting to know someone under the umbrella of celibacy doesn’t automatically mean this person is the one. It just means we share the same ideology with regard to pre-marital consummation. A commitment, that does not make.
With the current surge of celebrity abstinence endorsements and their subsequent walks down the aisle, one could be hoodwinked into thinking this is a sure-fire way toward the wedding march but, I beg to differ. While this is an ideal direction for me when getting to know someone, I comprehend that this isn’t the only pre-marital prerequisite on the list….there are obviously countless others. This is just a good start. I urge ladies and gentlemen, to choose celibacy and abstinence for reasons that positively benefit you and the relationship – spiritually, emotionally and, physically. But holding out for the sole purpose of a fantasy life of guaranteed bliss and forever togetherness is just plain silly and naive.