Is it realistic to wait until marriage before having sexual relations?
Yes, it is. In addition, it is a healthy way to prepare for marriage with a strong and committed love that paves the way for happiness of both persons. At the same time, no one doubts that waiting is a challenge; our cultural environment nowadays is so sexualized that it does not make waiting an easy task. But it is a challenge that is indeed within reach of all young people who wish to initiate their sexual life in the best way and it provides a great opportunity for growing. The following suggestions might help you achieve your personal goal of waiting until marriage.
- Read up on and become more informed regarding the meaning of love and sexuality. You will discover that learning to be in charge of your sexuality is the best option for you and for the love that can grow between you and your loved one. We suggest reading the books about the value of waiting until marriage and about carácter education (see the book section of this webpage).
- Be an empowered person, Strengthen your character, your will power. Will power is necessary for anyone who wants to be in charge of his/her sexuality. It increases your vitality and ability to carry out great projects in life. If you frequently and voluntarily give up little things you desire or feel like having or doing, you will slowly become capable of doing “whatever you really want to do”, even though it requires a certain degree of effort on your part because, with this “training”, your character becomes strenghthened. Will power helps you not to be so easily influenced by the fleeting and whimsical desire of “I just feel like it” (which is usually so easy to give into but is of less value).
- Learn to handle and be in control of your sexuality. At times, certain images or situations may stimulate sexual impulses or desires. You cannot expect to be in control of your sexuality if you let yourself be influenced by these stimuli. For example, certain erotic or pornographic contents lead the persons who see them to lose control of their impulses; these contents are designed to maintain high levels of sexual arousal and to keep people constantly attracted to them. The pornographic and sex industry makes big money but at the cost of those who often end up dependent on the consumption of their products. If you avoid seeing, and/or consuming, these products you will be empowered to prevent sexual impulses from dominating you. Sometimes, stimuli can come from inside a person, from his/her imagination or memory. In these cases, try to distract your mind by changing your thoughts and activities. Remember that it is always easier for you to control the initial phases of the stimulations of sexual urges rather than waiting until they become too strong and overcome your will power. Sexual desires that are not controlled could lead you to compulsive behaviors or even to unforeseen sexual relations that you could later regret.
- Use your time thoughtfully to study or work and not only to have fun. The virtue of laboriousness gives you the ability to make efforts to reach your objectives. Boredom is usually linked to laziness and laziness results in losing a precious time that could be invested into making a better future for youself and your loved ones. Learn to have fun during your free time in a healthy way. Do some volunteer work or participate in cultural and artistic activities; get involved in sports. All of these are beneficial activities and they broaden your social and professional possibilities; they also increase what you could offer your partner and loved ones in the future.
- Be generous with others. Being aware of the needs of other people will always better prepare your heart so that you can make a loving commitment, either in marriage or in celibacy for religious reasons.