Abstinence: Not Just For Virgins

Miss A Health Guide
  • Miss A in Georgetown ---photo courtesy of Joseph Allen Images


    Hi Miss A-  

    First off, let me express my condolences at the recent loss of your pup.  My pooch is my best friend, and I would be simply lost without her!  I can feel your pain.   I first heard of you on LateNightShots, and was introduced to your blog via LNS also.  I really enjoy reading your blog and LNS posts as I can really relate to your advice. 


     I feel as a woman in her 30s, I am expected to "settle" for any man who shows interest in me, ignoring the fact that I am a successful, educated, attractive, wonderful woman in my own right. I hear this from other women in my similar situation (i.e. single in my 30s).  It is wonderful to see a woman telling other women to be true to themselves and hold out for Mr. Right!   


    I have one question if you don't mind answering it.  I have read in a few places that you decided to practice abstinence/celibacy.  This idea really intrigues me, as I feel that since high school, I have always been concerned about a man--boyfriend, fiancée, crush, what have you.  No matter what women say, it is in our nature to care for others and put those we care about before us, and as such focus on our men instead of ourselves. As such, I have been thinking that abstinence/celibacy might be a good idea for me in my current situation, but I don't know where to start! 


    How does it work--can you date but not have sex? How long does one practice for?  Men have become so ingrained in my life that I don't even know how to start un-ingraining them!  As such, I would love to find out what made you decide to practice abstinence/celibacy/whatever you want to call it, for how long, etc.   Thank you so much for your advice, and keep up the good work!   





    Dear Linda,

    Thank you so much for your condolences and your question. Yes, I don't think you should be with a man just because he is interested in you. However, I feel our generation which hasn't had to sacrifice as much as previous generations, has turned the search for Mr. and Ms. Right into a search for Mr. and Ms. Perfect - someone who is ideal in every way, who won't make us compromise, or inconvenience ourselves. I think previous generations were forced to sacrifice during the Great Depression, or learned what really matters in life through serving their country during times of war, whether in battle or on the home front.  I think Generation X and Generation Y are a bit spoiled. We've grown accustom to getting things instantaneously, and not having to defer gratification.  And unfortunately, we aren't as religious as previous generations. So, hold out for Mr.Right, but don't wait around for Mr. Perfect. He doesn't exist.


    As for abstinence, I got back together with an ex-boyfriend late last summer.  He came back to me saying how he missed me, never stopped loving me, and wanted to marry me. To give you some background, we had dated for a year, and were talking about marriage to the point that his mother wrote me with contact information for her cousin who she thought we should ask to marry us. We had been broken up for eight months when he pursued me, and wanted to get back together. I was thrilled to be back with him. Then, out of nowhere, his mother passed away. We went through a lot together, and I felt we had grown even closer. Then, he completely shocked me by breaking up with me over email while I was at work last December. I have been through a divorce and a broken engagement, and I'll tell you this hurt just as much. After this experience, I decided to give myself a year - a year to focus on my career, the nonprofit that I've built in my free time, and to take some time to myself to consider what I would want out of a relationship in the future, and what sort of man I would want. I'm big on goal setting, and keep to my commitments. So, January 1, 2009 will be the end of my self-imposed celibacy. Honestly, it hasn't been hard at all. I haven't found a man more interesting than what I am doing. And I haven't met a man this year who I'd want to devote attention to more than my career and philanthropic pursuits. When I do meet someone who interests me, who I can respect, who I can trust, and who I am attracted to I will accept a date. I don't think that we, as women, have to be dating to feel ok or successful. Sometimes we choose to be single. And honestly, it's not fair to date when you are emotionally unavailable. Sometimes you just need time to pass.


    I hope that this explains my decision to take a hiatus from men for a year.


    - Miss A




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Published On: September 05, 2008