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ESSENCE dating columnists and professional matchmakers Kelli Fisher and Tana Gilmore, AKA The Matchmaking DUO, answer your biggest dating dilemmas — for free!
Q: When is the right time to tell someone you’re dating that you’re abstinent?
A: It appears that Russell Wilson and Ciara along with Devon Franklin and Meagan Good have catapulted a trend that more singles are now adopting. Congratulations to these couples for creating and supporting awareness around abstinence. We have had more women in the last two years that have come to us expressing interest in finding love after 30 as they declare to either be virgins or born again virgins and have decided to wait until marriage to have sex.
Their fear is, how and when do I share this information with my potential suitor?
As Certified Relationship Coaches we say it should be discussed in the early stages of dating. Although you may be anxious to determine whether you’re “wasting your time”, we wouldn’t recommend bringing it up on the first date or the first phone conversation but perhaps during date 3 or 4 and once you’ve determined this could be someone you could definitely see yourself dating for a period of time. One of the main reasons to wait is you want to focus on getting to know each other and showing the fun side of yourself since your relationship won’t be based on sex anyway. Let him envision some of the things you can do together and what a great person you are before broaching the subject. When you do discuss it, we recommend that you have your valid reasons for “The Wait” already outlined in your mind to better explain why it’s important to you. This is not the time to fumble around or be unsure of your reasoning because then he’s thinking there’s a chance and it might be ok to ignore your goal down the road.
In our professional opinion, abstinence while dating works best when you share the same values and it is equally important to you both. Whether that means you both want to be celibate or one of you loves and respects the other so much that it becomes their goal as well. So when there are weak moments, the other person can remain strong for the both of you and you can work together to keep each other accountable. We encourage you to share with him your desires for the future also to be free and open sexually only for your husband just so he knows there are no boundaries and he can look forward to being rewarded for the wait.
Here’s to LOVE!