… it’s okay. See, it’s not like I’m hooking up with someone different every weekend. We’ve been together like (fill in the blank) . So, yeah, … it’s fine.”
A lot of people see hooking up or friends with benefits or casual sex—however you define those terms—as something entirely different, and definitely way worse, than having sex in a steady relationship.
“We’re together. We’re a couple. We’re in a committed relationship.”
That’s good. Awesome. Terrific.
Be together. Go steady or be exclusive (or whatever you want to call it). I’m all for nurturing a connection. Especially in today’s hook-up culture, you’ll find me cheering for intentional relationship building. Just leave sex out of it.
“Oh, come on….”
I’m dead serious. No wedding rings, no sex.
Okay, I’ll admit, I can kind of understand the we’re-a-couple-so-its-okay line of thinking.
You have an actual relationship. You’re getting to know each other. Making time to be together. What you have bears no resemblance to a one night stand. And you’d never do that kind of thing anyway. That’s just wrong.
I understand that thinking, sort of, a little, but still I have to say no, no, no.
And here’s why.
Sex is such a major thing—it’s so big—that simply being together isn’t enough of a reason (or excuse) for two people to delve into physical intimacy. It’s way too personal, too soul-baring—even for established couples. For any couple who hasn’t reached the ‘til-death-do-us-part level of commitment in their relationship, sex will complicate things like you can’t imagine.
“But it’s consensual—we both want this. So why not?”
Indeed. Why not do… whatever you want.
You like this person, you have a great time together. There’s chemistry and sparks and enough sexual tension to burn down a city block. So, why not just do it?
Because sex will change you as individuals. And mess with your “being together.” Nothing will be the same once the relationship crosses into experiences meant for couples who’ve pledged their lives to one another. And that goes for the “other stuff” that may or may not, in your mind, qualify as actual sex. Doing everything else, except for actual intercourse? You’re not protecting yourself from STDs or from the feelings and emotions that can’t be separated from sexual acts.
Not only does sex come with risks like pregnancy and STDs, there’s the emotional baggage. Sex is so much more than two bodies coming together. Heart, mind, soul and body—all are hugely impacted by sex.
“You just don’t want us to have any fun.”
I promise you that’s not what this is about. Cross my heart. In fact, someday, in a love-filled, committed marriage I hope you enjoy the most incredible sex.
Want to really mess with the probability that you’ll have great married sex in the future? Sleep around now when you’re single. Whether it’s random hook-ups OR sex in a couple (or more) relationships, you’ll regret it. The memories from those encounters will flood your mind at the most inopportune times. And then there’s the expectations … that will lead to comparisons. And even though you really won’t want them to, those comparisons will affect how satisfying you find sex with your spouse.
Hooking-up completely removes the relationship from sex. Or tries to, you know, so you won’t have to deal with a painful “break-up” at some point. The lamest excuse I’ve ever heard. But that’s just it. Sex and relationships will forever be intertwined—that’s how GOD designed it. That’s why hooking up leaves a trail of brokenness and discontentment in its wake.
All sex outside of marriage shows a disregard for the sacredness of sex and for the bonding that comes naturally with the physical joining of two persons into one. Hearts not joined in holy matrimony should not bond physically.
“Well, it’s too late for us now.”
It’s never too late to make smarter, healthier decisions—to say “NO” to sex outside of marriage. I won’t try to convince you that ending the sexual part of your relationship will be easy. It will be tough to put a lid on the hormones you’ve allowed to run free. Might even be the toughest thing you’ve ever done, but it will be so worth it.
Instead of focusing on the physical part of your relationship, concentrate on getting to know each other on a deeper, more emotionally intimate level. Which will reveal if there’s marriage potential in this relationship. If you stop having sex and the connection fizzles, you’ll have your answer. Don’t let your past make your future’s decisions.
When you make the choice to save sex or any more sexual experiences for marriage, you’re investing in your future relationships. And you are worth it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are worth waiting for.
Share your thoughts in a comment (under the title) or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org