I’ve not been in my right mind this week, literally. So, I’m about to do something I don’t often do, which is to qualify and revisit an opinion piece; the one I posted in response to an anonymous question yesterday.
I’m human and flawed at the best of times, but this week I’ve been plagued with migraines, sleeplessness, and a few other symptoms as a result of an acute sinus infection. I’m beginning to get well, thank god, but it’s made me irritable, angry, unpleasant, and really, really bleak for the last few days, and I think it’s been showing a little too readily in some of my writing, and in this piece in particular.
First off, I’m not doing a 180 here, okay? The reader asked if I thought she was a hypocrite for doing everything but sex. No, not for that reason. I think honesty’s the most important facet of any relationship – be it with a parent, lover, friend…honesty’s EVERYTHING.
If you’re not sleeping with someone because you’re nervous, because you think you want to wait, or whatever your flavour is, then be honest. Say that sex is a really, really huge step for you, and you make no promises, and you may even wait until marriage, but that you really don’t know what your sexual future holds for now, and they can’t have any expectations of it, no matter how much you might be enjoying playing with them as you head down the road together. And if it’s confusing for them, tell them it’s far more confusing for you, because you know that’s the truth.
Don’t take the easy way out, don’t choose some simple pat answer like, “I’m waiting until marriage,” when you know deep down inside that’s not what it’s about.
Besides, you’re selling a lot of guys short. No, they may well not wait until marriage, because marriage is a huge, huge thing, but they might wait one hell of a long time for you, and you’re not giving them that opportunity to honestly consider what it is they would or wouldn’t do for you.
It’s such a hard topic, that of when sex is the right move to make. I have no qualms with abstinence until marriage, but whatever the reasons you’re choosing not to have sex, you need to be honest about them. You need to be honest about every aspect of your life, and I truly believe that.
Honesty shouldn’t be some lost virtue, or something we pull out when it’s convenient to us. It’s hard to be honest about our fears and our emotions, and sometimes being honest about them leads to hard places and difficult roads to travel because it can be so damned confusing to admit what lies behind our poker faces, but the cliché of it being the best policy is true for a reason.
It’s only through that honesty with each other that we can face challenges and adversities. If you’re being dishonest, even about something that’s “kind of” true, like waiting for the right person, you’re setting the groundwork for yourself to tell little white lies when it makes things a little easier for you to process.
I disagree with that to the very core of who I am.
Did I handle the question well? No. I’ve been in a really dark place this week and I’ve not been comfortable facing it. I’ve been dealing with things somewhat passive-aggressively, it turns out, and while I have reasoning for it, it doesn’t really excuse it.
And while you have reasoning for stretching the truth, it never excuses it, either. These are the simple truisms behind living a good life, and you are trying to choose how you want to live. Don’t commit one transgression to stave off another. Clearly, by asking the question as you did, you’re already somewhat uncomfortable with how you’re handling the situation, so maybe it’s time to reconsider.
As for abstinence – feeling guilty about it, questioning it… Abstinence is a hard, hard road to choose. You’ll have weak moments. You’ll feel pressured. You’ll feel like you’re alone in a big, sexy world. And if abstinence is really important to you, then you need to be strong and hold your position. Don’t compromise just because of all those pressures out there in that big, scary world. Do it when it’s right for you, because it’s not something you’ll ever get a chance to revisit.
Personally, I thought I waited for the right guy. In the end, we stayed together too long because I didn’t want to admit he wasn’t the right one after all. You need to be aware that waiting for rightness doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve made the right choice, and it may still go wrong, and you may eventually realize you made a mistake, and if/when that should happen, you can’t hold it against yourself. The majority of our relationships are bound to end, and many of those will end badly, and that’s why they say that all is fair in love and war; because sometimes love is war. Sometimes it’s wrong. So, if you’re holding out, be realistic, and know that your intentions are what counts, not the end result of your actions… if that makes any sense.
Anyhow. I wanted to edit that piece as soon as I posted it, but my mindset had gone to a darker place and I couldn’t conjure the genuine sentiment I needed to do the job right. I hope I have now. For whatever it’s worth, sorry it was harsh. I still agree with some of what I said, but I wish I’d said it better.