I am waiting till marriage, but my boyfriend/girlfriend has had sex before. Any tips?November 12th, 2009 by Mike
Feeling entitled to another virgin will make it harder on you
Many waiting-till-marriage people have the ideal fantasy in mind: they want their future husband/wife to be a virgin too, so it can be 100% as special as they always imagined. You don’t just want to give your future husband/wife that extra-special gift…you want to take that gift from them too, so that you will forever own each other in the same way.
The more emphasis you place on that ideal fantasy, the harder it is going to be for you to be in a relationship with somebody who is not waiting till marriage (who has had sex before).
If you are waiting for the sake of the fantasy, you’ll know it, because you’ll have this feeling when you consider marrying somebody who’s had sex before: “What was the point of me waiting if I’m going to marry this guy/gal who’s had sex before?” If you have that thought — if thinking of marrying your current non-waiting partner makes you feel like waiting till marriage was pointless (or that you wish you hadn’t waited so at least then you could be on the same level as them) — then you are guilty of not waiting for your own sake. I’m not saying this is a bad or unnatural thing…most people feel this way to a certain degree…what matters is how intensely you feel this way.
Learn to stay committed to your decision for your own sake
Waiting for your own sake means that you don’t factor anybody else into you decision to wait until marriage. It means that you objectively think that waiting till marriage is the right thing to do for you. It means that you want to give your future husband/wife that gift (even if they can’t give you the same gift), and you want the first and only person you have sex with to be somebody you love dearly and who loves you back with equal intensity (even if they can’t make the same physical commitment). It means you can see their heart as enough of a prize to trade them your heart and your body…the trade doesn’t feel uneven. Or, put simply, waiting for your own sake means “it’s not about them, it’s about me”.
The more you can talk yourself into this mentality, the easier it is going to be for you to have a healthy, happy relationship with somebody who has had sex before.
If you simply can’t get over the cosmic frustration at the idea of marrying somebody who didn’t also wait until marriage, then you have two options: 1. Find another way to get over it or 2. Break up with them and find somebody who is waiting too. Because that frustration is going to wreak all kinds of havok on your relationship and lead to fights that you really didn’t need to have; it’s going to block you from enjoying the relationship as much as you could if you didn’t have these hang-ups. For most of your relationships, it’s going to end anyway, not turn out to be “the one”, and then you’re going to feel pretty wasteful that you spent all that time stressing over “what if I marry him even though he’s had sex before?”. Cross that bridge when you get to it.
Do you share the same values besides the sex factor?
There is a difference between having hang-ups about the waiting-for-sex factor and having a completely different value structure from your boyfriend/girlfriend.
Ask yourself: Is it just the had-sex-before factor that bothers you? Or is the problem that the other person doesn’t share any of your other values either?
If you’re a deeply-faithful Christian and he’s a militant atheist, you may have bigger problems than just the fact that he’s had sex before. Take a serious look at the relationship and really consider whether it can work long-term. On the other hand, if all his/her values line up with yours except that he/she has had sex before, then you need to work on being able to look past the had-sex-before sex factor.
You may think “well, waiting till marriage is a big part of my values, so if he/she doesn’t share that then he doesn’t have the same values as me”. But that’s not always accurate. A dear friend of mine once summarized it perfectly for me: You want somebody whose attitude towards sex is un-cheapened, and un-jaded. That is what is important — them being able to take sex as seriously as you do or close to it. Give that virtue a chance to have weight with you even if the technical factor is missing (i.e, their virginity).
Other problems you may encounter in a relationship with somebody who’s had sex before
- Jealousy/hurt about their past sexual activity
- Paranoia about them wanting to have sex
- Hypersensitivity to sexual pressure
- Worrying about them not having as much invested in the relationship if you do get married and have sex