The concept of abstinence is one that has lurked around my life for the longest time. From when I was in secondary school and my mother told me that kissing a boy could get me pregnant, to the time I spent close to an hour arguing with my first boyfriend about the pros and cons of sex in a relationship, I’ve always encountered it.
However, it didn’t hit home until a recent conversation with one of my girlfriends.
See, my friend Tope has been sexually active for most of her adult life. In fact, she has been the General Overseer of the Jennifer, You Should Let Loose More Often committee, and has been in a committed and sexually active relationship for close to 5 years. One day, she calls me crying about how her boyfriend had broken up with her and she didn’t know what to do about it. It turns out, her boyfriend, who was the first man she had sex with, had decided to abstain from sex. And he had made this decision because he had recently become born again.
Now typically, deciding to get closer to God and start a personal relationship with Him is a good thing, but to Tope, not at the expense of her sex life. Now the predicament is – how does she go into a relationship where she doesn’t want to abstain from sex, but he does?
As her friend, I tried to advise her the best way I could but even more so it had me thinking – Is abstinence a deal-breaker for me? If I were the one in her shoes, would I be convinced enough to walk away from a relationship, no matter how many years I had put in, as opposed to making some kind of “compromise”? Would I be willing to change my abstinence status from “no” to “yes” to keep my relationship? Should my decision to abstain be influenced by my relationships or personal conviction?
Help me figure this out – would you end a relationship because your partner decides to or not abstain from sex, or would you join them in their decision? Is abstinence a deal-breaker for you?
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