Dating and Sex: What to Do if There's a Strong Attraction, But You Want to Wait

If you’re dating someone, it’s normal to have a strong attraction. It’s part of the joy, after all. But it can be hard to stay committed to waiting until marriage when you are drawn to someone you care about.

I know it can be difficult, especially when so many people confuse lust and love. But I also know it’s possible to stay true to your beliefs.

I’ve got a few suggestions for setting healthy boundaries in dating. I hope they help you feel more comfortable and confident in your dating relationship.

How to Manage Temptation and Maintain Purity

1. Communication is Key

It’s important that you and your boyfriend or girlfriend are on the same page when it comes to what you’re comfortable with in your relationship. If you’re both wanting to wait to have sex until you’re married, it will be easier to work together to accomplish that. But it’s not impossible to make that commitment if you have two different perspectives. It’s just a matter of having an honest conversation and respecting one another.

If your partner wants to wait and you’re having a hard time, focus on how much you love them and the sacrifices you’re willing to make for them. If your girlfriend or boyfriend wants to move things forward physically, but you’re not ready, tell them why waiting is important to you.

2. Focus on Connection

There are plenty of ways other than sex to share intimacy with someone you love. It’s good to balance things out so that not all your focus is on physical affection anyway.

Do things you enjoy together, or try taking up a new hobby, game, sport, or craft with them. Take a drive to a park, museum, or tourist attraction you’ve never visited before. You’ll be surprised by what you learn about one another and how much fun you have together when you’re trying something new.

Another great way to connect is to get to know people who are dear to your boyfriend or girlfriend. Ask them about their family and close friends, look at old pictures, and arrange a visit if you can. You’ll treasure those memories and deepen your bond together.

3. Take it One Day at a Time

It can be intimidating to think of “waiting until you’re married”, especially if your romantic relationship is new. But you can do it. Just take things one day at a time. If you feel pressure, give yourself space, or do more things with a group.

Be patient with yourself. You were created by God to feel strong feelings and learning how to discuss and manage those feelings is a process, not a one-time decision.

When you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. You can learn from that experience, make adjustments, and move forward in your relationship.

If you need help setting boundaries in dating relationships, we are here for you. Talk to a HopeCoach at TheHopeline anytime. We are a judgment-free zone, and we believe in you and your relationship.

Do you still need help and reasons to wait for sex? Read my blog that gives 10 reasons why it might be actually worth it to wait.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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