Before I got married, when I told someone that I had never stayed overnight with Lester, that we hadn’t had sex and that we intended to wait until we were married to do so; they were shocked. On more than one occasion I was told, “Hey you have to test drive it before you sign up for good. What if you don’t like it or him?” To them it seemed perfectly reasonable. Sure that might seem like a logical precaution to take if you feel like a relationship is something you can do away with when things aren’t to your standard. But as a Christian I am told to be long-suffering, patient, and kind no matter what my circumstances are. This is always a requirement, not only when things are easy or the sex is great.
Lester and I met 6 years ago while serving on the maintenance ministry at our church. True story. After about 6 months we started officially dating. Early on we decided to wait until we were married to have sex or live together. This is what we were taught as Christians and it was definitely reaffirmed by our mothers. So it was great that we were on the same page! However, I thought we would be together for a year or two max before we got married. He didn’t exactly have the same idea. We were together for 3 1/2 years before he finally proposed. We got married 6 months later.
Now I won’t make it seem like we were perfect and only held hands the whole time, but overall, we did our best to respect each other the way that we knew we were supposed to based on the Bible. Not spending the night with him was the part that proved to be a bit more challenging for me. When we first started dating it was easy. I lived with my mom, he lived with family. So it wasn't an issue until later on he moved into his own place and I did too. His apartment was closer to my job, there were times we would go to an event together and would be returning late, so the struggle to avoid staying the night with each other was real. We didn’t live near each other, so I would sometimes wanted to stay over but sleep separately. In each scenario, he said no, and honestly I knew that wasn’t the right decision. So that was that.
Would I suggest waiting that long to get married while also waiting to have sex and live together? No. But now that I’ve made it to the other side, I can say that it was absolutely the right decision for us. I really believe that part of the success of our marriage is that we took the time to really get to know each other, and to see each other through many life events. He also did not give into my pressure to propose before he was truly ready. Now we are married without regrets or uneasiness. However, I can be honest enough and say that, knowing that was the right decision for us did nothing to make waiting any easier!
Now that we’re married we certainly do NOT regret either of those decisions. There weren’t very many surprises as far as our living situations were concerned. I had a lot of people say, “oh just wait, you will really see how your spouse is after you live together.” But what I see now is what I saw before since we took the time to talk and get to know each other beforehand. The only surprise for me was that he takes an unreasonably long time to get up and ready each morning. That one still gets to me sometimes, but its also kind of cute since it’s one of his “quirks” that I have to deal with. I have many quirks, so to get a chance to pick at him for one is pretty funny. He says that he didn’t find out anything new regarding me because he always knew that I was crazy since I told him from day one. Ha! Whatever.
What about the sex? That is everyone’s first question. Even people who I don’t know very well ask me that. At first I was pretty irritated by this question, I am a relatively private person. So that question seemed so ridiculously rude! However after I thought about it more, I realized that for many people their first time was so long ago and for many of them it wasn’t exactly a calculated decision. Also, people want to know if it was worth the wait, there aren’t very many people who they can ask on the other side of things. So without going into any personal details I will explain a bit of that to you.
YES, it was well worth the wait. Being able to have guilt free sex with my husband was great! Was it the perfect vision that I had assumed I would have since we both waited until marriage for sex? Absolutely not. Even though we read books on sex and we talked to trusted sources about it we still weren’t ready for what it actually was. Of course each couple will have different bodies, different past experiences, and different expectations that will alter their personal experience. Yes, some of the advice was very helpful. But when we got into it we realized that what was told to us didn’t necessarily pertain to us. So we had to learn what worked for us. Since we had no experience with anyone else, we didn’t have anything to compare it with, bonus! Since it was new to both of us we quickly realized that we needed to drop all expectations and just enjoy each other.
Oh and what was the coolest part? The connection that we had due to sex, and our new proximity to each other made us love and appreciate each other even more! Now don’t get me wrong, Lester was a wonderful man and obviously he loved me very much or I wouldn’t have married him, but these new additions to our lives has made him more mushy gushy and more lovey dovey with me. Yes those are real terms!
Living together also gave him a better appreciation for me. He sees how I come straight home from work and then will spend an hour on my feet cooking dinner. Or when I get up at 6 a.m. to do laundry since that’s the only time I will have to do it. This has made him appreciate me more. I get the bonuses of having him rub my back when I get back in bed after using the bathroom in the middle of the night. We can mumble to each other through dinner if we are still trying to unwind from work. Then if we get our second wind after we get in bed we can have pillow talk until we get tired.
Of course, all of this can happen without being married. But building our relationship first, and creating a solid foundation before adding these other aspects to our marriage was the cherry on top. I definitely suggest waiting, it most certainly worked for us.
Click here to read #TwoRingsToThinkAbout from Angela's story.