Many young people make a promise to remain abstinent until they reach a certain age or until they get married. Here are some tips that will help in keeping the promise
First of all, congratulations to anyone who has decided to hold off on giving away their virginity, or refraining from further s*xual activity. In this day and age, abstinence is a very wise, mature, and difficult choice to make. I want to help you maintain that decision, even when it seems difficult.
s*x: It All Starts in the Mind
It is important to understand that just because you have decided not to have s*x doesn’t mean that you will not be tempted. Thoughts will cross your mind, and you will consider the possibility of forgetting about your promise. Remember, this does not make you a bad person, and you should not feel guilty for having the desire. s*xual desire is a strong part of human nature, and the only way to control it is with your mind.
What you should do when these thoughts come is immediately think of your promise and why you made it. If you haven’t done so already, make a list of all the positive reasons why your choice is a good one. Memorize it, and use it to combat thoughts that don’t agree with your decision. It also helps to direct your attention elsewhere, take a jog, cold shower, or dive into your favorite hobby.
Another weapon in fighting the mental battle is watching what you feed your mind. Avoid watching risqué television programs and movies, so your mind will have less reference. Also, be careful about the content of songs you listen to and things that you read. It seems like a lot to do, but even though it may not seem like it, you can avoid the more influential mediums through which s*xual ideas present themselves. If you are serious about the promise you made, this will not be too much of a challenge for you.
Dating Without s*x
When you find someone that you really care about, it is very difficult to keep your hands off. You don’t have to give up dating, but you should set boundaries in advance, and make sure that you don’t slip up. Setting boundaries that are not so close to the borderline of s*xual intercourse will act as a firewall against going all the way.
Make sure your partner is aware that you wish to remain sexually pure. If he truly respects and cares about you, he will not try to cross your boundaries or try to sweetly convince you that you should just, ‘let things slide.’ Tell him very specific things that you will not do from the beginning, before a boundary is inadvertently crossed.
Some suggestions for boundaries are―don’t lie down together, keep your clothes on, don’t French kiss, and don’t caress stimulating areas. You have to decide what you and your partner feel comfortable with. It might be harder for your partner or you to keep from going further, even with these rules in place. Don’t be so strict that you don’t touch each other at all, but don’t be so careless that you do everything but have intercourse. Make sure the touching is not too intimate or too lengthy. You will know when to slow down, just listen to that instinct.
Focus on connecting with your significant other in different ways. Plan a variety of activities. It’s okay to have routine hangouts, but make sure there is enough to keep you from getting bored and staring into each others eyes for two hours. Hanging out in groups is a great way to keep from falling into temptation, as long as the group members respect your decision as well. Be careful that outside influences don’t discourage both of you from remaining pure.
Avoid being all alone. There are thousands of public places to spend time together that are plenty of fun. Miniature golf courses, arcades, amusement parks, athletic parks, ice skating rinks, shopping malls, street fairs or festivals, yard sales, movies, restaurants, museums, theaters, sporting events, comedy clubs, and many other places can fill hours at a time. Enjoy each other’s company and get to know each other without pressure. Do not be afraid to call it a night if you find yourself alone with nothing to do.
If you are alone you can play board games, rent movies, create something together, go for a walk, clean your room, play cards, read a book, or play video games. Find something to keep you two busy, or shorten the date. Protect your purity; it is worth it.
Don’t think that all is lost if you cross a boundary. Don’t feel guilty! Just accept it as a red flag to slow things down and learn from the mistake. Maybe it happened because you let your emotions get too aroused or you spent too much time alone. Make the adjustment and avoid crossing the same boundary again. Remember, the ultimate goal here is to stay abstinent, not to have a perfect record of not breaking any rules.
Be encouraged that in spite of what the media portrays, there are many young people who have chosen to make a promise of abstinence and s*xual purity just like you. It is honorable, and I pray that you reach your goal. When you do get married, it will have been well worth the wait for you.