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What dating is like when you're celibate

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It’s the 21st century. Reading and seeing things related to sex feels as common as getting a cup of joe. Talking about sex no longer feels as taboo as it once did. But being a 20-something-year-old-woman practicing celibacy does. Personally, I’m waiting until I get married.

When you bring it up in conversation, you hear “Are you serious?” “How?” But contrary to what society thinks, being celibate can be empowering. I love myself — and this is how I choose to express that. It’s what *I* want to do.

Unfortunately, though, dating while you’re celibate isn’t always so beautiful.

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Sometimes, it feels like someone is falling in love with you. However, as soon as they make a move — and you bust out with the news that you’re celibate — they act as if their world has collapsed, totally confused as to what has transpired.

Next, you might get dinner with a man who will be straight up honest and let you know that he has zero interest in that lifestyle. He’ll still treat you well on the date and make you laugh, but you won’t hear from him again — and that’s okay. Another man might act intrigued. He’ll ask a bunch of questions; you’ll start thinking he is interested — but he is actually assuming you’ll eventually change your mind. Months later, he’ll realize you are, in fact, serious. He will give you some excuse as to why he isn’t happy anymore. It’ll be something along the lines of, “It’s not you, it’s me” — don’t lose any sleep, though. You’ll meet someone who admires the fact that you are doing what you want. They’ll see a future in beginning a relationship this way, even if it is something they have never done before.

In my experience, some men think that as soon as a woman states that she’s celibate, it automatically means that she wants to get married the following Tuesday.

Granted, many people who are celibate aren’t waiting forever to get married, but a wedding is definitely not right around the corner, either — at least not for me. I may be celibate, but I’m not rushing to get married before I know what I am looking for, before I know a partner’s goals for himself and the relationship. That’s extremely important to me.

Celibate women are also stereotyped as being boring and not fun.

Sometimes, the people we date feel as if they won’t be able to fully enjoy their potential soulmate because sex is out of the question. But intimacy comes in many forms — there are a lot of ways to dive deep into someone’s heart and soul. For me, remaining celibate helps me become friends with the person I am dating. It helps me better understand who they are and build a strong bond. I can discuss long-term goals and learn their mindset without feeling distracted by anything else.

So yes, it is in fact the 21st century, and some of us are celibate and proud of it. Being celibate may not be the easiest thing to do — but, after all, neither is dating, right?

Brittany Turner is a Jersey girl who loves God and asks far too many questions at times. Now residing in Atlanta, she’s an author, editor, and YouTuber. Contact her at TurnerWriter@yahoo.com

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