On Saying No to Nookie: A Dating Girl’s Guide to Abstinence

Introduce abstinence into your relationship and see how it changes things.

I know it’s 2011. I know shows like Sex and the City have “liberated” women and made casual sex cool, a woman’s right.  Still, I’m writing this. If you’ve read my last post on abstaining while dating, then you know I’m not coming to you from the pulpit. I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being preached to. This is about taking certain steps to ensure you have a happy, healthy relationship. Some women have no interest in abstaining. They’re perfectly happy having sex with the men they date and do not want to stop. This isn’t for them. This is for the women who have noticed patterns of hurt and dysfunction in their past relationships that involved premature sex and the many complications it brings with it.

We all know how abstinence is promoted: “You should do it, but everyone knows you won’t.” It’s treated like a lofty, untouchable goal that “good girls” should say they have, but put no real effort into attaining. Therein lies the problem. No one sees it as reasonable and possible. No one is taught how to conduct themselves in order to make it a serious goal. The result is a bunch of sexed up people  who can’t figure out why things keep going  awry.

If you’d like to take abstinence out of the sky and make it real and tangible, follow these rules and see how your relationships change.

  • Have a strong reason for doing it (or should I say “not doing it”)- People that are successful in abstinence often have a deep connection to the decision. Do you want to do it for religious reasons or do you just believe it will honestly help and de-complicate your relationships? Either way, you need to know why you’ve made this decision.
  • See it as a lifestyle change, not simply avoiding sex- This is where many people fail. They tell themselves they won’t have sex, but continue to be as flirty, lovey-dovey, and touchy as they’ve always been. Human nautre being what it is, it doesn’t take long for old habits to take over. In order to be successful, you have to change your behavior.  It’s not just about cutting out sex. It’s about eliminating (or at least significantly reducing) sexual behavior. Don’t sit on his lap. Don’t invite him over late at night to “just chill.”  Don’t wear your “freakum dress” around him. Don’t plan to make-out all night, thinking you’ll just stop before things go to far. Let’s be real. You’ve been there. You’ve done that. We both know what happened.
  • Show him before you tell him- No one starts a conversation by saying, “Hi, I’m Nad, and I will NOT be having sex with you.” That’s a surefire way to weird him out. In the beginning, who you will or won’t be having sex with is none of his business, but your behavior should give him a clue as to what he’s dealing with.  If you’re very “friendly” from jump, he’s going to get the idea that sex is most definitely on the horizon, but if you set clear boundaries and let him know he’s going to have to put in some work, he’ll know you’re the real deal when you do start to discuss sex.  Ask a man. He’ll tell you about all the women that said they were celibate, but quickly proved themselves wrong. Don’t be that woman.
  • Don’t be scared that abstinence will be a turn-off for him- Some women have sex just to keep him interested. “Girl, he’s too cute to let go. If he’s not getting it from me, I know he’ll just go get it somewhere else.”  Believe it or not, there are men that will respect your decision (and even prefer) to wait.  If a man becomes upset or tries to give you an ultimatum, what he’s really saying is, “I’m not the one for you.”

Are you abstinent? Has it improved your relationships? What tactics have you used to stick to your decision?

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~Nadirah Angail

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