4800 Years

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About 4800 Years

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  1. Withholding Sex in Marriage

    Interesting... I'm going to break up the male-female dichotomy going on here, as I think I identify more with the typical female response to this problem... I'm a very physically affectionate person. It's how I show love and feel loved. But when I'm mad at my partner, I'm simply not in the mood to jump her bones. When my last girlfriend and I would get in an argument (more than a simple disagreement), I would withhold kissing, though I'd hold her hand to show her I still love her. I remember one time she tried to kiss me before I felt resolved. I love kissing, but at that moment I was mad. And her attempt to kiss me made me more mad. My thought was, "Seriously, that's where your mind is? Try thinking about my feelings first." I wasn't being manipulative; I'm simply not in the mood to kiss my partner when I'm upset with her. When it comes to romantic relationships, I'm a very emotional/passionate person (probably moreso than most guys). To me, sex is all about love and intimacy. There's nothing intimate about putting out while I'm pissed off. It sounds like being used for sex (ugh, gross). I wouldn't do it and I wouldn't expect my wife to do it either. I only want sex if we're both into it. Anyway, fixing the strain in our relationship ought to be the first priority. Sweeping it under the rug for sex is ultimately not a good idea. I'd expect us to consider each other's feelings first and address the problem as best we can before anything else happens. And after we feel resolved, we can have mind-blowing make-up sex.
  2. Some good points have been made here. I'm going to try to provide an alternative view (because I like running against the grain). Waiting for marriage is an important part of your life and an integral part of who you are. While you should never feel obligated to divulge personal information, I don't think you should hide it either, as if who you are is something to be ashamed of. Be proud of your decision to wait. Have an attitude of, "This is me; take it or leave it." It's so liberating to not have to care what anybody thinks of you. I also think it's important to be able to talk to others about our opinions and convictions. Really, close friends ought to be clued in on each others' personal lives, in order to truly be friends to each other. I hide nothing from my friends; I'm an open book. Additionally, it will be good for you to think through your conviction so that you can reasonably explain it. There may be moments in the future when you're not thinking totally rationally and you need to remind yourself, "Wait, why can't I have sex with this person right now?" (It's happened to me). Or perhaps some guy pressures you (unfortunately, it happens all too often). If you find you can't reasonably explain it, you may need to do some soul searching or ask other waiters for their thoughts. Lastly, I don't think cutting out anyone who disagrees with you, only associating with like-minded individuals, is the best way to live a well-rounded life. That is such a closed-minded way to live. However, respect is also key in any friendship. If they will not respect your convictions, then it may be time to move on. One of my best friends is an atheist, yet he and I have had a close friendship for eleven years. We don't agree on everything, but we have a mutual respect for each others' views and convictions. Take the time to think through your decision to wait so that you can explain it. Then talk about it openly when the topic arises. It shouldn't become an argument or a debate, but merely a discussion. A true friend will respect your views, and perhaps even ask pointed questions. If they belittle you or disrespect you, kindly tell them that if they continue to do so, then you will not be able to continue a friendship with them. Who knows, perhaps you may be the one to show them an alternative way to live and think.
  3. Personally, I think five years is a bit long, but at your age it's not unreasonable. Your late teens and early twenties is a key time when you are still figuring a lot out. (Who am I kidding? I'm still figuring stuff out in my mid-twenties.) A lot will change for you over the next five years and being patient is a good idea. However, I think you will find your timeline changes as you get older. When I was your age, I thought I would need to date for about three years. Now that I have a better idea of who I am and what I want, I think a year is adequate before engagement. My advice? Play it by ear a bit. Sure, have a general idea so your partner knows what what to expect. But you don't have to have a solidified timeline, especially not at this point in your life. So much will change once you're actually in a relationship.
  4. I think the solution has to do with priorities, sacrifice, and thinking out of the box. If I find the right woman for me, then I will make every effort to make it work, even if it means one of us sacrificing a career move or having to do long-distance for a period of time. Finding my wife is simply a greater priority to me than my career. Men often think they need to achieve full stability before they can attract and provide for a wife. But you don't have to follow the traditional path of college, stable job, financial stability, house, and then marriage. You don't have to have your entire life figured out before you meet your partner. I'm still figuring out my career and I hardly have any money, but I'm not going to let that stop me from getting married if I find the right woman. Examples: I have two friends, a couple in their late twenties, who recently moved a good distance so the guy could go to grad school. The girl sacrificed everything she had here (a stable job, long-term friends) to go with her boyfriend. Of course, I think it should also work in reverse (the man sacrifices for the woman if necessary). I have another friend whose wife is a Navy officer. She gets restationed every few years and he goes with her. Currently they're in Hawaii. Meanwhile, he still owns property in Pennsylvania (so literally across the world) and has to make month-long trips out there a couple times a year to keep everything in order. If you have love, patience, determination, and the willingness to make sacrifices, then you can make it work.
  5. This may come across as very blunt, but I mean well. Don't kid yourself, virginity cannot be restored. When it is gone, it's gone for good. Virginity is the state of never having engaged in a certain sexual act (depending on which acts you believe constitute a loss of virginity). One cannot undo experiences. Unfortunately, life doesn't have a "redo button" (trust me, I would have used it already). God does not remove experiences or memories from us. Could He? Sure. But He doesn't. Those memories are still there, though they may fade somewhat in time. Believing otherwise is simply living in denial and wanting to accept a fantasy. If anything, instead of pretending those things never happened, I believe God would want us to consider and learn from those experiences. So instead of denying the facts, let's soberly and honestly address the issue. You may be confusing virginity with chastity (the state or practice of refraining from extramarital sexual activity) or purity (freedom from adulteration or contamination), both of which can be restored by refraining from any future extramarital sexual activity. God indeed does restore us and make us new (read 2 Corinthians 5:16–17). However, this is not a physical restoration. Hymens are not regrown. STDs and pregnancies don't just go away. The consequences of one's sin are still present. Instead, we are talking about a spiritual restoration. God removes our sin from us and wipes our slates clean. And fortunately for us, God does not regard us according to the physical. If you are able to view your girlfriend in the same way God does – according to the spiritually chaste and pure woman she (presumably) is today instead of according to the sinful actions she committed in the past – then it is a beautiful an honorable thing you do. So while your girlfriend will never again be a virgin and will never be able to give you her virginity, she can give you her chastity and purity. And the two of you can one day create memories and experiences infinitely more special and intimate than anything in her past. I wish the best for both of you.
  6. Hey Andrew. I can really empathize with what you're going through. Hopefully I'm not responding too late to help. I'm coming out of a situation in which I couldn't handle my ex's complicated past. I'll summarize for you, but if you want the whole story, you can read it here (and I wouldn't mind having your thoughts on my situation). When I met my ex my physical experience with women was very minimal; I was about as virginal as it gets. She, on the other hand, had a few experiences with one guy that really blurred the lines between sex and rape, as well as a pattern of other things that made me uncomfortable. I thought I could handle it, and for three months I did. And during that time our relationship became sexual (manual-genital stimulation). But after three months, I began to obsess over her past, much like you described. I constantly agonized over the sex/rape situation for a few months, picking apart detail after detail, interrogating her for information that might somehow minimize what happened or vindicate her. Otherwise, our relationship was fantastic. I have so many great memories. But in the end this issue overshadowed the rest, I hurt both of us a lot, and we broke up about two months ago. Is your sexual experience comparable to hers? If so, that might be a way for you to rationalize it. Your pasts could effectively cancel each other out and you could give each other a "new beginning." I now have some sexual experience. It was with one person (the aforementioned ex), in the context of a committed relationship, and we didn't go "all the way" (we stuck to manual stimulation). I could see myself getting over a girl's past fairly easily if it were comparable to mine. My problem was that my ex's experience was with a few guys, not all in the context of committed relationships, and she went "all the way" with one of them. Even our experience with kissing was vastly different – I'd only kissed one girl before her, while she'd kissed nine guys before me. I know her experience is not that bad compared to most out there, but I felt like my mole hill couldn't compare to her small mountain and we were coming at the issue from very different perspectives. And because of that, our views on sexuality were very different. I gave her a lot of firsts, which she didn't really value or appreciate in the same way I did. My situation really sucks because we complemented each other so well, she was my best friend, and I miss her unbearably; but I couldn't seem to get over that issue. If you seriously believe there is hope for you to get over the issue, then I encourage you to try to stick with it. But if you find there is an incompatibility in sexual values and/or you can't come to grips with her past, then breaking up or even just separating for a while would be the right move. Being apart may provide some clarity. Whenever I was with my ex, I couldn't imagine being without her, but our time apart gave us the opportunity to think with a clearer head. It's good you're in therapy; stick with it. I'm seeing a psychologist for my OCD/anxiety and I'm seeing some small changes. I really wish I could give you more hope and provide a tangible solution, but unfortunately the solution for this sort of thing is a bit ambiguous. It really is a shame to let go of an otherwise great partner because of a past she cannot change, but it is also not right to cause yourself and your partner undue distress if you can't overlook her past. To prevent this from happening again, I've decided to be upfront about my past and my views on sexuality with future girls, and to ask them to do the same, before we commit to a relationship. By the way, while you can't reclaim your virginity or your firsts, you can decide to wait again (if you haven't already) and reclaim that part of your identity. While I've made mistakes, I've decided not to share myself sexually again until I'm married, so here I am. P.S. Watch the movie "Chasing Amy." It may help, or at the very least be something you can relate to.
  7. You're right about one thing – six years is too long to wait. I couldn't wait that long either. Why don't the two of you get married? It sounds like you practically are, except in title. If marriage isn't on the table, then there's no point in dragging the relationship out.
  8. I second most of what 'tis the Bearded One said – especially this. She might come with no romantic baggage, but frankly, I might be wary of dating someone my age (or older) who has never been in a relationship before. One would have to wonder why she's never had a relationship. Plus, I'd be concerned about her level of relational maturity. Personally, I've gained a lot of valuable wisdom and maturity through my past relationship experiences and failures that I don't think I would have otherwise. This is the one point I have to disagree on. This may sound a bit harsh, but a romantic relationship isn't charity. It's not meant to fix someone. Sure, neither of you will be perfect (I mean, who is?), and you both ought to help each other learn and grow, but a romantic relationship isn't a "ministry." Find someone who already has her head on straight.
  9. I just wanted take a moment to thank all of you for your responses here. After a while I was able to accept and look past the rapes, no doubt in part because your responses helped me to work through a lot of thoughts and emotions. We did both seek counseling individually - her for her sexual assault and me for my anxiety and OCD. Unfortunately, things did not work out for us in the end, but not because of the rapes. I may make a post about it later. Either way, I'm grateful to all of you.
  10. Is your desire irrational? No. You've never had those experiences, and you want those firsts to be just as new and significant for the other person as they are for you. You want her to be wholly yours. Part of my desire to marry a virgin is for a similar reason. Knowing that she has shared herself with someone else in the most intimate way possible is unbearable for me. But is your desire realistic? At your age probably not. Finding a virgin is already like finding a needle in a haystack. Finding someone with absolutely zero experience would be even harder. I'm 24, and I only know one person around my age who hasn't been in a relationship or been kissed. I think it's fine for you to shoot for that, but if you get too hung up on it you may pass up on some great potential relationships. And I think that would be the greater tragedy. Similar to what Slayerofdragon said, you need to balance your ideals with reality. Like Skylark said, relationship experience brings maturity. I've had three relationships, and I have learned so much from those experiences. I learned how to treat a woman. I learned to get advice. I learned which qualities I'm looking for in a woman, and which ones are deal-breakers. And I learned so much about myself that I wouldn't have otherwise. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I will be all the more mature and loving for it in my next relationship. None of that will keep me from loving my future wife with all of my heart. If anything, I may love her more after some of the negative experiences I've had. I'm not jaded after those experiences. Also, the entire point of dating is to find your spouse. Some people get lucky the first time, but most take a few tries, and that's okay. Unless you're waiting for an arranged marriage, you're not going to find your spouse if you never date anyone.
  11. I found my girlfriend on OkCupid (well to be more honest, she found me). We're both 24 and "waiters." I think OkCupid is good because it asks questions about sex and you can compare your answers with others. We live less than 2 miles apart, but would never have met without OkCupid.
  12. Hey everyone. My girlfriend and I are 24, "waiters," and have been together for 4.5 months. During that time we have become each others' best friends. We have so much common ground we fit like puzzle pieces. We both come from conservative Christian backgrounds, but left and are currently exploring our faith together. She is everything I would want in a partner, and she feels the same way about me. Unfortunately there is one major problem: at 18 she was raped several times by her first boyfriend (that's all the detail I'll give). This was her first experience with being in a relationship and her first and only sexual experience. She hasn't been in another relationship until me. She told me about this pretty early on and I accepted it without thinking too much about it. After all, it wasn't her fault or decision. As the relationship progressed and we grew closer together, we began to talk about our intentions and views on marriage. And slowly the knowledge of her rapes began to eat away at me. Eventually I told her, and we've been talking it through. My anxiety has been progressively worsening and I've been obsessing over this (I have OCD, particularly in regard to obsessive thoughts). Despite that, she has been absolutely patient and understanding with me. I could use some objective guidance, advice, and encouragement in working through this. I love her and would hate to lose her over something that was never her choice or desire. I know how much that would devastate both of us. And I know it's really hard to find real love, a best friend, and a "waiter" all wrapped up in one. But I'm terrified I won't be able to get over it (which only adds to my anxiety). I know if I can't, then dragging her along would just be cruel. Some questions we've been mulling over: 1. Is rape a type of sex, a type of assault, or both? 2. Would it be right to say she's never had sex before since she didn't consent or participate? Experientially, she sees it as something totally different (like being in a fight vs. being abused, or skydiving vs. being pushed out of a plane). 3. Would it be right to call her a virgin since she has never had consensual sex? Or would we be lying to ourselves? She does still bring the same level of innocence, purity, and chastity as a virgin, right? 4. Does this guy count as a sexual partner? 5. If we get married, will we still have that same "specialness" of two virgins coming together for the first time? 6. Does she still have just as much to give as a virgin? 7. How do I get over the idea of another guy having already "been there?" I feel nauseous when I think about it. 8. She never gave him anything sexual, he only took. But how do I stop from feeling like I will be "sharing" her with her rapist ex-boyfriend? 9. Is this something I will always be worrying about, even into marriage? Or will I eventually be able accept and move past it? 10. Could this help us both grow in the long run by helping her to heal and helping me to focus on the heart and love unconditionally? I love this woman and I want to explore every avenue before deciding I can't handle it. I think I would hate myself for giving her up over something that was never her fault, desire, or decision. I also know that things happen in this life that are out of our control and part of a marriage is to stay together despite life's challenges ("for better or for worse, in sickness and in health"). But I fear that either way I'll always wonder what could have been.