“It takes discipline and discipline takes work, practice, and SACRIFICE.”
I went back and forth with myself on if I should write this post or not. I’ve already shared my journey with celibacy which you can watch on my post From Sex Addict to Celibate. I’ve even given the myths on celibacy in my post 5 Silly Myths about Celibacy but I never thought to really explain the process of celibacy until now. I’ve been hearing questions from people around me like…
“When is the best time to tell the guy you’re dating you’re celibate”
“Should you date while celibate”
“Do you think I should be celibate if…”
These sort of questions seemed pretty simple to me but then I realized that I wanted these questions answered when I first began my celibacy journey. I think it could’ve saved me a lot of confusion and hurt feelings. Since I had to learn by experience, I will share my experience with you in hopes to make your journey to celibacy easier. I’ll start by briefly answering the questions I just mentioned and add one more.
- When is the best time to tell the guy you’re dating you’re celibate?
My rule of thumb is if I wouldn’t have sex with you if I was having sex, my celibacy ain’t none of your business. I get it, sex is a huge part of dating so you fear that if you’re not having sex you need to tell your date immediately but why? People who have sex don’t smash every person they go on a date with because you don’t even know if you like that person. So why would you tell every person on the first date “Hey nice to meet you, my name is Ashleigh and I’m celibate.” It makes not sense. It’s like going on a first date and saying “Hey, my name is Ashleigh and although I’m sexually active I don’t plan to have sex with you tonight. Is the food here good?” Get out of your head. Just because you’re celibate doesn’t make you a lesser catch. I battled with my confidence when I was first celibate feeling like I needed to tell them up front because if I liked them and waited to tell, I risked the hurt of rejection if they chose to walk away. Yea, I get it. But trust me, if they stop talking to you because you’re not having sex then they aren’t it. You’ll see that eventually, trust me. I’ve weeded out a lot of buttholes from that reason alone. But not being celibate doesn’t make someone a butthole so please don’t quote me wrong. I know some good dudes who just think sex is too important to give up. Either way, if celibacy isn’t their choice then they still aren’t for you. But to answer your question, the best time to tell him is when you feel close enough to him to consider sex with him if you were sexually active. Sometimes it just happens though to be honest. It’s never awkward with me these days. It just comes out when it’s supposed to. I never have to schedule or overthink it because I’m confident in my celibacy if that makes sense.
- Should you date while celibate?
I’m going to be all the way honest with you…NAH FAM! (lol) But seriously, I would suggest you not date for at least the first 6 months because that’s the most challenging time. It is very easy to be celibate when there is no one there but it gets real tough when you are dating. You need to practice on your own before testing your celibacy out while dating. You need to build that muscle. It’s just like with anything, practice makes perfect. You can’t tell a recovering alcoholic to walk past a liquor store 1 month after sobriety. That temptation is far too strong. But after 2 years that same recovering alcoholic can possibly walk down the wine aisle in the grocery store and not be tempted by it. It takes discipline and discipline takes work, practice, and SACRIFICE.
- Do you think I should be celibate if…
Listen, anybody can be celibate. (Not if you’re married. Don’t be trying to play those games with your husband or wife. That’s disrespectful and I think it’s illegal in the marriage contract. I’m making stuff up but still.) But what I’m saying is, no matter how much sex you’ve had, you can still be celibate. You’re reading a post of someone who was addicted to sex. Trust me, if I can go without sex, so can you. I hear women saying they have kids so how can men take their celibacy seriously. It’s not about him! I’ll talk later about the reason it’s not about him or dating period but yes, anyone can do it. It just takes a very strong commitment and some practiced discipline.
- What is celibacy?
Many people argue over the difference between celibacy and abstinence but it’s really just about context. I’m a Christian so spiritually, celibacy for me is no sex until marriage. Period. Abstaining from sex usually means just giving yourself a break for whatever reason but celibacy is for the big leagues. Again, I talk more about this stuff in 5 Silly Myths About Celibacy so you should really check it out.
Since we got that out of the way, let’s jump straight into the topic at hand…how to be celibate. I don’t think you can approach celibacy from a step by step guide because it’s so subjective. But I do believe I can give you foundational tips that can help you start your celibacy journey. This thing is a lifestyle. If you’re thinking about doing it for any other reason than a lifestyle change then I’m going to be very transparent…YOU AIN’T GONE MAKE IT. I haven’t gotten to 2.5 years by doing it for a shallow reason. And that’s why I am going to start with your why…
You MUST Have a strong why…Your why is your EVERYTHING. If you’re only celibate because you think it’ll help you get a man or husband then sis, you’re not gonna make it. Straight up. I have to speak colloquially because I want you to feel me on this. My why was 2 things…1) God 2) Sex hasn’t done anything but hurt me. I prayed a lot about why I was so broken and getting closer to God and my first instruction was celibacy. It was a commitment I made to God. Having sex will let Him down and I truly don’t want to do that. And on top of that, when I looked back over my life, sex hasn’t done anything but hurt me. I have given my body to these guys and I haven’t received anything back in most cases but hurt feelings and a broken heart. So what was the point in sex? I decided to say “No, I’m not having sex with you until you marry me.” Simple. Sounds crazy but I feel I’ve avoided a lot in my 2.5 years of celibacy. So what’s your why? What brought you to this decision? Dig deep because those days when you see ol girl on Instagram getting engaged and you know she’s not celibate, you’re going to need a strong why to keep you from not quitting. On those nights when you sit alone in your bed wondering where your husband is and cry yourself to sleep, your why is going to keep you holding on. So please, make it a good one because if it’s not, you ain’t gone make it.
You MUST set unbreakable boundaries…If you think you can just keep moving how you move and keep this commitment, you are sadly mistaken. I had to recalibrate my entire mindset and routine. I had to readjust my dating plans and the men I wanted. I had to make some tough decisions because this was something I knew I wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me. So I could no longer date casually because why? Why would I date casually when now my focus in dating is marriage because there’s no more fun and sex games. It’s hard to like someone and have to distance yourself because you know if you get too close it could possibly “go down” if you know what I mean. There was also no more overnight stays. I have been celibate for a while but I still know staying the night with a guy can get me in trouble. Oh no, can’t even do it. Even down to oral sex, can I really just get that and be pleased? Some say yes, some may say no but I’m just going to say choose your boundaries wisely because in a split second your body can make a decision that your mind never approved. But one of the biggest boundaries was being able and okay with walking away from men who didn’t want what I wanted. You will meet some men who will flat out say no. It will sting but you’ll get past it. But it’s the guys who say “I’ll try” that are going to mess you up. These are the guys who are trying to do something but it’s not celibacy. You need someone who respects your commitment more than they desire your vagina. Because in your moment of weakness, they will try you and you may not be able to resist. So you have to set boundaries and be ready to walk away from the person who just isn’t aligned with your goal of waiting until marriage. They’re out there so don’t be discouraged.
“…choose your boundaries wisely because in a split second your body can make a decision that your mind never approved.”
You MUST have accountability partners…One of my main reasons for speaking about celibacy on my blog was because all my followers and readers became my accountability partners. Now, if I have sex, I’m not just letting myself and God down, I’m letting you guys down too. I dread even thinking about coming on here saying I had sex before marriage. I cringe because I am some people’s only hope and example. For that reason, I stay strong in my time of weakness for you guys. With that being said, you need to have at least one person or a few people to keep you accountable. They will be the people you trust and who will talk you out of bad decisions that’ll lead you in the opposite direction of what you’re trying to do. If you don’t think you have a lot of friends on this path, connect with some Facebook Groups or follow people on social media on the same path so you can be constantly reminded of what your goal is. You will need someone in your corner to push you forward.
You MUST have a plan of action…Right before my 1st year of celibacy, I almost had sex. I’m talking we were naked and condom was on, that close. I’m always transparent with you guys because I want you to know how important boundaries are. I had invited him over and we both had been drinking because it was St. Patricks Day. I had crossed 2 of my boundaries. He was over after dark and we were drinking. Then things got hot and heavy and he was almost “in there” and I started praying silently for God to help me in this situation. Then right before he inserted, the Holy Spirit said “Get up”. Yawl may think I’m crazy but I can’t make this stuff up. I pushed him off of me and ran to the restroom where I have all my scripture on my mirror on sticky notes. I began to read them and realized what just almost happened. 3 weeks out from my first year no-sexaversary and celebration dinner, I was about to buss it open. Whew! That was a close call. But my plan of action helped me not fall into discouragement and quit. You have to know that there is always an exit, no matter how close you are. The bible says God will always provide an exit for our temptation because no temptation has overtaken us. You have to believe that and understand that it is never too late. Even if you slip up and have sex, you can still reset and start over. But the goal is to have a plan of action so it won’t get there. As you can see, my step one is always prayer. God himself had to speak to me that day because my body wanted it so bad. But there were steps that should’ve been taken even before that. When I realized I was tipsy, I should’ve asked him to leave. When we started kissing and it got too much, I should’ve said stop. You have to have an action plan because most likely, you will end up in a sticky situation that you need to already have a plan of action for. Set up some “kick him out” drills if you need to because it’ll come in handy. Like the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
I’m sure you probably have many more questions but I wanted to cover a big part of the beginning of celibacy. Please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with more questions. I’d love to answer them and assist you in your journey. Please share this post because I am sure there are ladies wondering how to start their celibacy journey and I think this will help.
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