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Why wait? Considering your options when it comes to sex.

Why might a person choose to wait?

  • To eliminate the risk of an unexpected pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection (STI).

  • To wait for a long term committed relationship based on trust.

  • Personal values & beliefs.

  • Personal life goals.

  • To avoid the possible emotional repercussions of having multiple intimate partners and break-ups.

All of these are reasonable options worth considering when it comes to making a potentially significant decision such as to when and with whom you engage sexually. A further look may help us see that each of these reasons involves focusing on a very personal value or goal we have in life, instead of letting feelings alone, or another person, dictate our choice. It is only when we move beyond feelings and pressure that we can discover our own values, beliefs, priorities, and unique goals and dreams. You have the right and responsibility to determine and follow yours. As a matter of fact, whenever we make decisions that go against these things that exist within us, feelings of regret, guilt, and sometimes even shame tend to follow.

Choosing to wait is about waiting to be sexually active until you feel fully informed and comfortable with your choices. Being informed includes understanding the potential consequences, such as contracting a STI, an unexpected pregnancy, or the impact either of these can have on your personal goals and dreams. And even if you’ve been sexually active in the past, that does not mean you can’t make different choices in the present.

If you’re finding it difficult to vocalize your values or boundaries in a relationship, consider writing them down and exchanging lists with your partner as a way to break the ice. Or maybe you need to recognize that this is a sign you are not ready to give that part of yourself to someone yet and that is perfectly okay. On the flip side, if someone expresses a boundary to you, if you truly care about them you will respect that boundary. To do otherwise is selfish and harmful. Healthy, loving relationships can only exist within a context of mutual respect and trust, and that is worth waiting for!

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