By Holly Snyder, Executive Director
We’ve talked about chemical bonds that take place during sex, the risk of contracting STDs, the emotions that can take you high and low during a sexual relationship, and what true love looks like. By this point maybe you’re thinking, it sounds great to save sex for marriage, but that’s just not how it’s done anymore. And you’re right. Enjoying sex only in marriage isn’t common anymore, but it’s possible. That’s right, it’s possible. Today, that’s what our discussion will be centered around, practical solutions to save sex for marriage.
It matters who you surround yourself with. We are more likely to live life as our friends do than to live life differently than our friends. If all of your friends are having sex with their boyfriends, than it will be easier for you to have sex and/or do sexual things with your boyfriend. Try spending time with people who are making similar decisions as you are making. These friendships hold a lot of accountability, which all of us need.
Accountability is an important part of saving sex for marriage. Friends make great accountability partners. These people are not only making the same decision as you, but they are encouraging you when when your decision has its rough patches. Just because you make the decision to wait to have sex, doesn’t mean you won’t have the desire to have sex. The friends who will hold you accountable understand that desire, but are there to remind you of the reasons to wait.
Good friends that hold you accountable only go so far. It’s also important that your significant other is on the same page as you also. Consider deciding on boundaries and make them known to your boyfriend. He’s another person you are surrounded by and with who you spend a lot of time.
How, where, and when your time is spent can make a huge impact on your success of the decision to enjoy sex only in marriage. It’s helpful to do something around other people. Something like taking a walk, going to the movies, running errands, finishing homework at the library, going to the park, attending a concert… all together but not in private. There are so many other good reasons to do things together in public for more than just taking your mind off the desire to have sex. It’s also a good time to talk and learn about each other, as well as see the other person in action, i.e. how do they treat you around other people or when they’re mad/tired/stressed, how do they talk about others and treat them. Sometimes it might prove helpful to do these activities with your significant other while being with friends.
These tips are a good place to start if you are making the decision to save sex for marriage. Choosing like-minded friends and having accountability with them, as well as setting boundaries and making them known to your boyfriend, and wisely choosing where, when, and how you spend your time together should help you to accomplish your goal. The staff and volunteers of the STPRC know that your relationships and what you do in those relationships are your choice. We are here to help.
Contact the STPRC if you need a trusted peer-counselor to talk to about your relationship.
By: Holly Snyder, Executive Director
What is love? I mean real, lasting love. Isn't that what most of us want to know and deep down, really desire to have? Let’s talk a little bit about love… what it’s not and what it is.
What love doesn't look like:
Hasty. Do you need time to decide how you truly feel about him or if you even want to be with him? Love doesn't come with pressure. Take that time to make a decision that is right for you!
Not Trusting and Jealous. He’s constantly asking you who you’re talking to or texting. He has to know where you are when you’re not with him. You can’t talk to anything male without there being a fight. Love doesn't come with chains.
Holds Grudges. If he’s running a tally of the mistakes you've made and ready to use them during your next fight, it’s time to ask yourself some questions. Does this relationship help me to grow as a person or does it belittle me?
Hurtful. It is so important to understand that love isn't hurtful. If you are being abused physically, emotionally, verbally, or sexually in your relationship reach out to us for help. We are here to listen and connect you with the help you need.
It’s important to remember that this is what love doesn't look like from your partner or you. If we don’t want to be hurt or rushed into a decision or not trusted, then let’s not treat our men that way.
Here’s what love does look like:
Patient. Love doesn't require decisions that aren't informed and thought out. Love is being patient with each other as you learn and grow as people.
Kind. Love is being gentle and helpful towards each other.
Respectful. Love is honoring each other as people with minds and emotions. It is taking the time to know each other and value the beliefs, opinions, and dreams of the other person. I’m not saying you can’t disagree with opposing beliefs or opinions. You can still love and respect a person for their beliefs and opinions and still have the choice of being or not being in a relationship with him.
Not Self-Seeking. Loving someone isn't about just one person. It’s about two. Often those two people come with other people, i.e. family and friends, people that are important to them.
Slow to Anger. Love wants to resolve problems, not blow them out of proportion. Love wants to listen to the other side of the disagreement, as well as calmly express her own side.
Forgiving. Love might not forget, but certainly forgives the wrongs of the other person. Love doesn't dwell on the wrongs.
Protecting. Love protects each other. Love doesn't want to see the other person hurt, including physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally and considers the other person's health in these areas in their words and actions.
Trusting. Love doesn't lie.
Perseveres. Love gets through the crummy parts of life. Love sticks it out through sickness, hardship, and uncertainty.
Committed and Faithful. This list wouldn't be complete without these attributes. Love in a romantic relationship is being committed to one person and being faithful to that person in every way.
Again, it needs to be said: this is what love will look like from your partner and it’s what love will look like from you.
The STPRC knows your relationships are your choice, and we’re here to help you navigate your way through. Contact us if you need someone to talk to.
Written by the staff and volunteers of the Southern Tier PRC.