We Are One of Those Couples That Didn’t Have Sex Before Marriage

I thought we could discuss this hotty topic. 🙂

I know this is somewhat unique, but it turns out that Danny and I did not have sex before we got married.

But flirting & giddiness & desire? YES. 🙂 Oh my. haha. Sooo much of it! It was so ridiculously off-the-charts. I can’t deny that I *LOOOVED* every second of our courtship, I loved that we didn’t have sex until our wedding night, I loved the anticipation. I would not have had it any other way.  

Not having sex while dating can be so hard, though. In our case, we had a lot of motivations for waiting.

We did have religious traditions at play, but also – aside from religion and just based on experience, I personally loved the idea of focusing on emotional and spiritual connections first and saving the sexual connection for later as I found that sex would get in the way of making good decisions and would make me feel artificially close or bonded with someone.

But I know this is one big wide world, and I know people view this topic very, very differently. I’m so curious what it’s like for others – and whether you like the idea of waiting, or whether it just doesn’t seem necessary or practical or possible. If you had advice for a friend, what would you recommend?  

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  1. Anonymous February 22, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    I had sex with my husband before we married, and we'd both had sex with other people before each other. I have no regrets. Sex is meaningful to me, and I always did it in the context of serious relationships with someone I mutually loved and respected. I didn't meet my husband until my mid-30s, and I'm grateful that we both had full and happy but challenging relationships before each other that helped us grow as people and be prepared for each other. To me, 15 years of adulthood spent developing myself included maturing in, learning about, and reveling in my sexuality in the context of safe, loving relationships. My sexuality is an integral part of my person, and I didn't feel the need to not express and develop that part of myself for a few decades as I was waiting and preparing to find my match in my husband. In my case (and no one else's, because I think it is a completely individual decision for everyone), I think my self-development and relationship readiness would have been hampered by an arbitrary ban on sharing certain important parts of myself with people I loved, just because I didn't happen to meet my husband until later in life.

  2. Anonymous February 22, 2016 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I think sexuality is very important. Sometimes people are not compatible when it comes to it. Yes, you should not have sex with random people. you should wait for THE one. In my opinion it is important to see if IT will work for both sides. I will never tell my children that you have to wait with sex till your wedding night.
    But I do understand that some people want to wait.

  3. Anonymous February 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    We waited until we were sure it was what we wanted and that we knew a fair bit of each other. We were in a distance relationship so spent a lot of time chatting online and occasionally over the phone so we got to know a lot about each other between face to face visits. I sometimes wish we had waited maybe a little longer but I love what we have.

  4. Anonymous February 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    my husband and i did wait, and i'm one of the few who waited and regret it. my husband and i have been on completely different pages sexually. he's almost sexually neutral- and no, he's not addicted to porn, and no, he's not cheating on me, and his testosterone levels are just fine- and he hasn't seen it as a value to pursue me or reciprocate in the time we've been married. people can be sexually incompatible. sex isn't everything, but it's a very big deal. obviously i know our sexual problems are symptoms of other issues in our relationship, but i would never wait until marriage again. i grew up in a religious environment that promised me waiting would make it special, and no matter how hard i try in my marriage, it's hard to make it special when your husband isn't that interested for no apparent reason.

    i think marriage is such a huge commitment that it's almost dangerous to wait. i thought my husband was respecting me and our shared values while we were dating and engaged but really, sex isn't that big of a deal to him and he has no problem going without.

  5. Lissa February 22, 2016 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    My husband and I also waited until we got married to have sex. I grew up LDS so it was important to me but my husband did not and lost his virginity at 11 (yikes). Looking back, I am glad that we waited but I also understand that doesn't work for a lot of people. I'm also starting to realize that maybe sex before marriage is not this mother-of-all-sins that it is made out to be. My husband and I are raising our sons to know the weight and responsibility that comes with sex, especially if they choose to do so before marriage.

    • Lissa February 22, 2016 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      And to add a thought: even though my husband made my first time as perfect as possible, it was hard to not feel insecure knowing that I had no idea what I was doing and my husband did. Even though I knew he loved me and that made it special for him, it was hard to NOT feel like I was competing with his past partners. I feel like if I had experience as well, then I would have been more confident and realized that feeling insecure was ridiculous 😉

  6. Anonymous February 22, 2016 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    My husband and I waited, and I'm happy that we did. We have been struggling in our marriage though, and he recently told me that he thinks if we hadn't waited, we wouldn't have gotten married so young, and possibly not at all. So I think maybe on some level he regrets it and feels like waiting clouded his thinking more than not waiting would have.

  7. Sam February 22, 2016 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    I planned to wait .. until I didn't. We didn't talk about sex in my family or in my circle of friends. Religion was a large part of it, but I was also just really uncomfortable having those conversations and had no one telling me that it is okay, good, and healthy to be able to talk about sex (regardless of whether or not you're having it).

    I have had sex with two people – both serious boyfriends. One of whom I lost my virginity to and later married, and one of whom I found out I was not at all sexually compatible with. I doubt we would have gotten married anyway, but I cannot imagine how unsatisfying that aspect of my life and marriage could have turned out to be. My husband and I waited long enough to be sure that we weren't just staying together for the sex and we waited long enough for us to know that we were deeply connected on so many different levels. Knowing that we would be able to experience a healthy and satisfying sex life was tremendously reassuring when we got married.

    Additionally, I was sexually assaulted in college. At the time I had only slept with one of the two men I've had sex with and the assault was damaging enough. I can't even begin to fathom how much more damaging that experience would have been had my assailant taken my virginity. I am certainly not saying that you should go for it just in case you're raped at some point, but for me and in my case … I am eternally grateful that I had already experienced a loving, healthy sexual relationship and that I had begun to understand that talking about sex is anything but shameful. Those things allowed me to recognize the rape as well as to process and move forward from it.

  8. Unknown February 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    I don’t see this is a discussion between apples and oranges per se (as in, I recommend waiting/not waiting). A full discussion on this topic must leave room for context and perspective and belief systems as well as one’s own past experiences complete with regret or lack thereof. From the rooftops (and with respect to other paradigms and perspectives), I personally declare sexuality was given of God and is an invitation to connect with Him and a partner in a creative, ennobling process. Offspring, closeness, and a private dimension of finite physical exaltation can be the blessed results of sexual activity here and now. And of course there are many other possible results.
    But one can only comprehend my personal view by understanding my belief system that maintains the sanctity of the human body, the creating and rearing of children where possible, and the investment of time and attention toward an eternal, perfected ideal (a progressing marital relationship that includes sexual activity past death and into the eternities).
    I would recommend waiting. It has meant the world to me because 1. it stemmed from a value system 2. Which I upheld 3. And don’t regret but also 4. I am empowered by and thereby feel compelled to share my perspective. But already as we read, some who have waited wish they hadn’t. My true and underscored recommendation would be to take the topic seriously and align decisions with beliefs and value systems which you claim to uphold, if any. Otherwise, one risks breach of self-trust, the consequences of which could take a whole post in and of itself. And in my opinion at the other end of the spectrum, conscientiousness in this arena, generally, is advantageous.

    • Anonymous February 24, 2016 at 5:39 am - Reply

      Love your response. I couldn't have said it better myself!

    • Melanie February 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      Thank you, unknown! There is so much more than the lowest common denominator. Thanks for being so smart and articulate. I really appreciate you expressing these views!

  9. Anonymous February 23, 2016 at 3:18 am - Reply

    Based off of what I’ve read so far, I recommend Pope John Paul II’s writing on sexuality. I may not agree with everything he presents, but it’s thought-provoking! His work Love and Responsibility gives quite a foreign approach to sex/love even for someone like me who’s grown up in a religious (protestant) environment. I think moral philosophy has something to offer on this topic.
    Also, I think you can be well-adapted sexually without ever engaging in any sexual activity. I know there are many people who’ve had sex yet don’t possess a healthy sexuality. So having sex is not sufficient for sexual well-being. People probably believe it’s necessary though and would argue that it needs to be done in the right way for you. Yet I feel that sometimes I’ve flourished sexually without any sexual activity!

    Thank you for the post! 😀

  10. Diana February 23, 2016 at 4:25 am - Reply

    My husband and I waited as well. We were both virgins. I think it's really rare in modern USA for this to be the case but we were both motivated by our beliefs and like you, wanted to be sure all the other connections were there. Ten years later and I am grateful. I don't judge how people do things at all, this just worked for us. We were also really young and I think it prepared us for marriage. A lesson in self discipline.

  11. Anonymous February 23, 2016 at 5:52 am - Reply

    We waited until marriage and it was that waiting, that anticipation, and that expectation that you loved that made our experience quite traumatic. He was a virgin, I wasn't, and neither of us knew about his low testosterone levels and EDD. So due to both his lack of experience and lack of physical ability, he couldn't show me or himself that he desired me, that he thought I was beautiful, that he wanted to show me he loved me in this most divine way… Nothing. We've been in counseling ever since and it hasn't really improved in the year we've been married, I believe due largely in part to the trauma of our wedding night/honeymoon. He feels completely emasculated and like a failure and I feel completely undesirable. I believe that had we not waited and learned some things about sex with each other prior to getting married, we wouldn't have had the traumatic experience that ruined a big part of our marriage before it even got started.

  12. Captivating Eyes February 23, 2016 at 11:32 am - Reply

    My husband and I waited, but I did not in my previous relationships and it is something I regret at times. I loved our courtship and the anticipation that it built up and I truly feel we were able to connect on so many levels much deeper than if we had sex before marriage. We committed to each other mentally, spiritually, emotionally…before we ever did physically. Our decision was fueled by religious traditions, but it was also something we wanted for ourselves. It's a personal decision and one that should be made after lots of discussion. But I feel like I learned that the hard way.

  13. Anonymous February 25, 2016 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Mara- can I ask how long you and Danny dated before getting married?
    I too waited- which I'm glad I did. I'm now divorced. If I ever find someone to date, I plan to date for at least 2 years. I have several people tell me that's not possible and they married quickly because they were waiting, and couldn't wait long. In my opinion, I'd rather date longer and have sex rather than marry quick and say I waited. Preferably I'd date long and wait. (If that makes sense). Just wondering if I'm out to lunch to think I can wait -for the same reasons you stated?

    • mara February 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Hi – We dated for 7 months. I know that doesn't seem like a long time, but we were both particularly in a good place when we met and were ready to have a relationship. (We had been doing healing years prior and so the healing was in motion when the divorce happened. I know others have different timing though.) Also, we were so very much on the same path when we met that getting married just seemed like the most natural thing ever. It was a super easy decision.

      As for waiting two years – I personally think it is really doable if two people are committed to it. Certainly, it could be really hard at times. But if someone really wanted to wait, I think it could be done. I think having a few boundaries for yourself while dating would be wise though.

  14. Anonymous February 26, 2016 at 4:08 am - Reply

    My husband and I dated for 18 months before we had sex (we dated 6 years before getting narried). At 19, we were each other's first partners, and I think we got a lot of the anticipation and build up that you describe by waiting until we were really connected and really ready, even though we hadn't gotten married or even fully committed to each other.

    I think it is important in your story that you didn't wait to have sex AT ALL (at least in the relationship you're talking about), you waited to have sex with each other. It seems a lot of commenters who waited and it presented hurdles in their marriage are facing problems from committing to a partner before they knew enough about THEMSELVES sexually, not just an issue of compatibility.

    To answer your actual question, I think I would advise any friend to wait, but not necessarily for marriage. I think you're absolutely right that sex can be a distraction from other kinds of connection if it comes too soon. However, I'd advise some sexual experience before marriage in the same way that I would advise a young friend to make sure they live alone (or at least not in a dorm or with their parents) and experience running a household before they get married because they need to learn things about THEMSELVES as a householder.

  15. Anonymous February 26, 2016 at 5:58 am - Reply

    I'm still struggling with the question myself. My boyfriend and I are both active LDS returned missionaries, but we are also nearing our 30's. We've both had many romantic (non-sexual) relationships and our relationship is one we see progressing to marriage. We've both gone through some self-discovery sexually and spiritually, and are finding it harder and harder as our relationship progresses to find reasons not to have sex. My faith in my religion has been called into question on so many things in the last year that it's hard to really see the wisdom or merits of waiting. Also the reasons and rules on this are extremely nebulous and usually only addressed to teenagers. There isn't a lot of thoughtful or specific counsel given to young single adults that isn't heavy handed or shaming. I feel like sexual exploration is a beautiful thing that can't and shouldn't be divorced from romantic love. It's hard to keep things semi-platonic with someone you're wildly attracted to physically, mentally and emotionally. I wish I knew how to better navigate this without the shame and guilt and vague warnings.

  16. Anonymous February 27, 2016 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    My husband and I waited until we were married (mostly due to our belief system), however it is something I'm forever grateful for 13-years later! It showed me that we could practice self-discipline in respecting one another, it also allowed us to focus on connecting emotionally and spiritually without clouding our judgement or prematurely "connecting" to one another. Our honeymoon was sweetly awkward but it was wonderfully just "us" starting a life long journey together. Something so special and intimate that only we had/will share. About 5-years ago we hit a rocky patch and my husband had an emotional affair, however, after counseling and working through many issues we are now stronger and even more respectful of one another. I can't help but question or wonder if sex wasn't something he held as so special, or something that he had had multiple partners before, if he would have more easily taken his emotional affair further and further hurt our young family. I'm also grateful that we are able to provide an example to our children that it is possible to wait until marriage.

  17. Anonymous March 7, 2016 at 4:36 am - Reply

    My husband and I waited and I'm so grateful. I personally think it made our relationship stronger since we focus more on the other parts of our relationship like you and Danny did. We were both virgins, and our first night was beautifully awkward if that makes sense. I loved how we both saved ourselves till we were married. I don't have to worry if he's comparing me to other women, and I love that we both can experience our sexuality together, especially when I think sex is a lot of communicating and experiencing. I also don't think we realize how much power and emotion comes when you touch skin to skin with someone. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere (sorry I don't remember all the scientific or chemical terms) that touching skin to skin creates a chemical reaction that helps you bond together in many levels, and I think that can be dangerous if you have sex with several partners especially when you don't know them well, and maybe you are in a bad relationship but you have this chemical bond that makes you want to stay. So personally think it's wise to wait to you have committed to marriage before you commit to sex and create that bond. With that said, I don't judge other people who did have sex before they were married, everyone lives their life differently. But I do think Hollywood sometimes cheapens sex when they say you should jump in bed to anyone that you meet, and I think it's more special than that.

  18. Anonymous March 9, 2016 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    My husband and I were both in bad first marriages. i won't go into the details but when we met, my hubs and I feel in love quickly and it was magical. We had sex a couple of times and really knew that we wanted to be married and in our church. Our Episcopalian priest challenged us to not have sex until our wedding night 6 months later, during our counseling. He told us that if we decided to have sex, it would be our choice, but if we waited… well we could wait and see. We decided to try. I won't lie. It was tough. We flirted, we took lots of cold showers, we even bought a candle that said blessed on it. But, we really got to know each other so intimately. I am definitely my husband's heartbeat and he is mine.
    There is nothing that I wouldn't do for that man and we have been through a lot. We have been married 17 years and while we have debated, I don't believe we have ever really fought. We listen to one another and try to hear what each other needs and wants. We have been through stepchildren, cancer, death, and now we are helping care for my elderly parent, which has been an honor. It definitely is not always easy, but there is alway, always love. We start our day with a quick prayer thanking God for our blessings and we always end our day telling each other how much we love the other. I'm glad we "rewaited" until marriage.

  19. Killa D March 30, 2016 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    My wife and I waited until we were married (mostly due to our belief system), however it is something I'm forever grateful for 13-years later! It showed me that we could practice self-discipline in respecting one another, it also allowed us to focus on connecting emotionally and spiritually without clouding our judgement or prematurely "connecting" to one another. Our honeymoon was sweetly awkward but it was wonderfully just "us" starting a life long journey together. Something so special and intimate that only we had/will share. About 5-years ago we hit a rocky patch and my wife had an emotional affair, however, after counseling and working through many issues we are now stronger and even more respectful of one another. I can't help but question or wonder if sex wasn't something she held as so special, or something that he had had multiple partners before, if he would have more easily taken her emotional affair further and further hurt our young family. I'm also grateful that we are able to provide an example to our children that it is possible to wait until marriage. Also, this site helped a lot and everyone should check it out! http://theobsessionformulareviews.com/

  20. Anonymous June 8, 2016 at 4:22 am - Reply

    I grew up LDS, and waited until I was in my thirties. I left the LDS church for a lot of reasons, for a while I was worried it would seem like I left because the rules were too much for me, so I tried to be the perfect non-active LDS person. Then my perspective changed, and I wondered how much of what I had drilled into my head was just bunk. I met a guy, but refused to date him for nearly a year, because I wanted to be sure I know who I was, or where I stood on religion before we got involved. I probably didn't know who I was, I was probably still experimenting, but then, experimenting is part of life, I think. WE got more and more physical by degrees, which didn't and still doesn't seem like the worst way to introduce physical love into a relationship. I don't regret sleeping with him before we got engaged, but it has hard; losing your virginity after leaving an all-encompasing religion, in your 30s is hard. There was literally no one I could talk to about my experiences who could relate to what I was going through. My boyfriend, now husband, didn't really understand the incredible swings between desire/passion and shame/guilt I was experiencing. I know that some people would say the the guilt was a natural product of sin, and that the desire was all just lust, but we have been together for over 8 years now, six of them married, so I think that there was love from before the time we started getting intimate, and it lasted through it all. Since I know that boys are not given the same intensity of messaging around sexual purity as girls are in the LDS church, I wonder what my experience would have been like without such a loaded religious background. I think I would have had some of the same emotional turmoil even if we had waited for marriage. In some ways having sex helped me put sex in its place, it became one part of life. When you are celibate in a sexual body and a sexual world, having a religion puts so much focus on sexual purity, actually makes sex loom larger, it seem like you are missing out on a cosmic event that everyone around you got an invitation to attend. Overall, I would do it the same way again. Sometimes I think I should have even done it sooner. Who knows? It is human nature to accept the decisions that we can no longer undo as the best course of action.

  21. c April 3, 2018 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    It took me many years to figure myself out sexually, going through several relationships because of it. When I met my partner, I was finally able to love and care about myself enough to love and care about someone else aswell. To me marriage is non-negotiable and to not be sexually compatible or not mesh in an intimate way is WAY too high of a risk for me. Waiting until marriage to really be together and experience every aspect of life together I feel is too big of a gamble and a danger of being mismatched or eventually divorced. To me, the cons of waiting for marriage far outweigh the pros.

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