The Fine Line Between Waiting For The Wedding And Being A Chump

Very long email shortened to: Mid twenties couple, dating for three years, with a wedding supposedly on the cards two years from now. Conservative religious backgrounds. Both each other’s first sexual partner, but limited to handjobs and an occassional blow job as she wants to wait until marriage, but also told him she wanted him to push her into intercourse… but now she’s asked to stop the sexual contact completely to “see how he feels about her without the sex”, until the wedding and started amping up the Fitness Testing….

Athol: I think you both are playing mental games with thinking handjobs and blowjobs aren’t sex… they most definitely are sex and neither one of you are really virgins. As such, you have been having a sexual relationship together.

Once you see it as a sexual relationship, it starts becoming apparent that she is now starting to sexually reject you. The whole thing of seeing how you feel about her without the sexual interaction is just an excuse to not have sex with you anymore. I also wonder if it’s just taken too long for you to seduce her into full intercourse and she’s rejecting you for that reason.

I would tell her that marriage is supposed to be a sexual relationship, and that right now the sexual relationship side of things just doesn’t seem to be working. If you can both move forward together then good, but if not, you should start looking for someone new.

As as aside, there is also no benefit to waiting until the wedding to have intercourse. The benefit comes from marrying your first sexual partners. Jennifer and I for example did not wait until the wedding. According to the studies I’ve read, there doesn’t seem to be any difference in marital happiness or divorce outcomes between waiting or not waiting until the wedding if you are each others first.

Partial Reader Reply: I’m may be incorrectly reading between the lines, but do you mean I should have full intercourse with her even considering her thoughts on waiting until marriage? Is it possible that she is unconsciously frustrated that I haven’t done it yet even though we could have many times? I have stopped short of it many times, mainly because I want to respect her wishes, and also because we didn’t have a condom.

Athol: I believe she is starting to test you and reject you because you haven’t had full intercourse as yet.

As far as her female Body Agenda is concerned, you’re a male that can’t get the job done despite being in a relationship with her for three years. Therefore you make a bad choice of sexual partner for her as she risks having offspring that have the same inability to get the job done as you do.

On an intellectual/religious level she is into the whole idea of waiting for marriage etc, but obviously her intellectual/religious beliefs don’t extend to her not Fitness Testing over this. She’s even told you that she wanted you to force the issue and just do it. Generally when women tell you to take sexual advantage of them and you fail to follow through, they regard you as a poor specimen of manhood.

Furthermore you are agreeing to drag this out for another two years until the wedding. I don’t believe you will get to the wedding the way things are progressing anyway. She’ll keep testing you and if you keep not getting the job done, the testing will get worse. She’ll meet someone that will get the job done and you’ll be dumped like yesterday’s newspaper.

I realize all this sounds immoral to wait-until-marriage ears, but the fact is you’re already in a sexual relationship with each other. You’re just doing it really badly.  :-)

So either get it together properly or call it quits. If your anniversary is coming up, a slightly sappy way of doing it is to announce that you are booking a hotel room for a night/weekend away to make “the first real time more special and memorable, and to set a wedding date.”  A more Alpha way is simply to text her that you have condoms and want her to come over.

Also as always, anytime a woman starts pulling back from you sexually, the possibility exists that another man is in the picture. I hope it isn’t so, but always feel I need to mention it. I always feel detestably awful when I haven’t mentioned it and it turns out to be the case.


  1. Anonymous says:

    The whole point of the bible saying that sex is for after marriage is to ensure that any kids born will be raised in a family, led by a married couple. This reader seems to think that he hasn't had sex. Coming from a similar background, I understand how difficult it is to make it to the wedding, no matterhow soon it is. Two more years with no sex? Come on. If she thinks she can actually make it that long, she obviously has no sex drive.

    She wants YOU to push her into it? So she can blame you. If you're going to do it, do it already. If you find your relationship can't handle being sexual, it can't handle marriage. If it works? Then at least you know you're marrying someone who is sexually compatible with you. We religious types really roll the dice on that.

  2. Stephenie Rowling says:

    Even though by the time I meet my hubby I was already out of the church. I really planned to wait till the wedding, for security reasons. But once he showed commitment beyond duty. Man those panties seemed to melt, it was like they were made out of itchy fabric and I had to remove them at once the second I was in his presence.
    I'm the poster child of self control and I tell you unless she has a phobia of hell bigger than her sex drive she is probably begging inside for him to take her. She doesn't want to be the "Eve" of the relationship wich is shitty in a way, but I think she is probably in a make of break point.
    No to mention that us virgins are naturally paranoid I'm pretty sure she is doubting he is actually that atracted to her or thinking in one million reasons why he couldn't do it: Erectil disfunction, low sex drive or thinking that she is going to be a lousy lay…
    I agree with Athol, he needs to show that everything is going to work out well in that aspect too. Heck I wouldn't even wait till the anniversary. I say maybe planning a normal evening like they use to have and then you know starting to make out and leading the situation towards sex, prepared with condoms of course, will probably work better, YMMV.

  3. "Athol: I think you both are playing mental games with thinking handjobs and blowjobs aren't sex… they most definitely are sex and neither one of you are really virgins. As such, you have been having a sexual relationship together."

    That really depends. A lot of cultures and religious traditions do not consider these sex, as you cannot get pregnant from them. For me, I believe sex outside of marriage is wrong because of the children since stable couples are THE BEST way to raise them and build communities, not because of some big guy looking down from above angrily watching out for errant blow jobs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I would say he should either walk away NOW, because there's something fundamentally wonky about this relationship and marrying won't make it better . . .

    . . . or he needs to drag her to bed by the hair.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure which of those is right.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Athol: I think you both are playing mental games with thinking handjobs and blowjobs aren't sex… they most definitely are sex and neither one of you are really virgins. As such, you have been having a sexual relationship together.

    Damn right Athol… These delusional women that say they they are virgins when they marry, are spouting nonsense. Of course they have done everything else, but!

    Chaste they are most definitely not!

    Ah, the hypocrisy of these holier than though women who boast of their virginity prior to marriage..


    When in actual fact it is nothing of the kind.

  6. Thag Jones says:

    I think you really overdo this "there's another man in the picture" meme. Don't forget that the commenters you get here are a self-selecting sample and not necessarily representative of the whole picture. I'm sure plenty of women don't have another branch in their hands before letting go of the first one, as you put it. Some of us even take a few years off altogether before even considering a date! I know, unbelievable!

  7. haleyshalo says:

    Reader needs to marry this girl tomorrow so he can stop sinning, or end the relationship. Seriously, what is keeping these two from marriage?

    Any couple who want to be involved for FIVE YEARS and not have full-on sex are just fooling themselves in a myriad of ways.

  8. Thag Jones says:

    Having said that, she is probably shit testing, because she is not chaste to begin with. I think she wants him to make a move. Maybe she is feeling a bit insecure and doesn't realise he does love her, or she feels guilty for having the sexual relationship they are having in the first place when she wanted to wait. Either way, she doesn't sound ready for marriage if she is playing these games.

  9. Thag Jones says:

    Exactly Haley – 5 years?! I know a couple who married after knowing each other for 6 weeks and she was a virgin. They seem pretty happy and are trying for kid number 2 now. Great couple, actually, I wish I was them. :P

  10. Anonymous says:

    Have to agree with Haleyshalo. They need to get married asap. And you're right too, Athol! This is a fitness test, albeit an unconscious one. She wants this young man to cut through the red tape strangling both of them. There's so bloody MUCH of it these days, everything telling you to wait-wait-wait, and 95% of it is nonsense.

    Unless one or both of them are underage, there's no reason to be engaged for five years and still in the same town. (Long distance is different).

    Imagine her reaction as he tells her to put on her prettiest dress… and then takes her to the county courthouse (to get the license or do it all, depending on state laws). "I love you. You love me. I can't wait two more years. Now is the time." A little hemming and hawwing and flustered reaction while her eyes glow… and then you don't have to fuss with a huge wedding.

    I speak, btw, as someone who was nearly-engaged to my DH for four years before I got a ring. And yes, we were sleeping together outside our religious requirements, and that was a bad thing. So there's my bias. ;)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yup…get married quick or jump ship. Considering the Bible (OT) basically says once two people have sex that they are now married I'd say the ship had already sailed her. You really can't get to "know" a person any more intimately then that.

  12. Athol Kay says:

    Thag – I wish I could agree with you. But can you imagine how bad my advice is to individual readers is if I tell them not to worry and it turns out she was involved with someone else all along?

    I'm also regrettably right on this angle with high frequency. Hence it being just a standard disclaimer/step to take in figuring out how to approach things.

    Not all women are like that I know. Unfortunately the ones that are, sometimes do an amazing job of looking like they aren't.

    What's amazing is the number of men that can't be bothered to even spend an hour or two looking up phone records, bank records and basic internet use. I've worked with quite a few cases where if they had done what I asked, when I asked, they wouldn't have ended up eventually being cheated on.

    All you have to do is get up off your ass and actively rule out something funny going on.

  13. Anonymous says:

    She probably feels some religious based guilt about the sex that they already had, and wants him to push for intercourse so that she can blame him instead of feeling guilty about it.They should probably just get married quickly, even if they don't tell anyone and have the big wedding ceremony later, and start having guilt free sex. 2 more years is a long time to go without it. Most Christian courtships and engagements are short for a reason.

  14. I agree with Haley. This is a religious girl. You need to get married and soon. I don't think this is a fitness test. Just tie the knot, have fun, and use birth control if you aren't ready for kids.

  15. I am not alone in the Manosphere in wondering if gender feminism isn't the world's biggest collective fitness test, an indirect strategy for women to weed out all but the most virile and non-subservient males – the guys who just don't bother listening to women's claims of what they want and instead just do what they themselves want.

    It is sad to see that Nice-Guy Christianity appears to serve the same purpose. She's begging him to lead her into "sin" (as much as it can be "sin" if you've already touched each other all over.) Classic fitness test – if he fails, she gets to say she's a "virgin," if he passes she gets to roll her eyes back in her head.

    "She probably feels some religious based guilt about the sex that they already had, and wants him to push for intercourse so that she can blame him instead of feeling guilty about it."

    This sounds like a good inference. Whenever there is morality, there's going to be a lot of projection.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I see this from a different perspective – it's a "time to fish or cut bait" test from the girlfriend. i.e., get married soon or end it. She's feeling guilty about their conduct so far, and two more years of fighting those urges (and failing) will be intolerable.

    If he pushes for intercourse now despite her protests to the contrary, and they do end up getting married, you can bet she'll resent it for a long time to come. As for "well, they're already sexually active" – the hampster is in full effect. To a lot of people, especially Gen Y and beyond, only intercourse = sex, however ludicrous that may sound to the rest of us.

    My advice would be: If you know you're getting married (and if you're mid-20s and been dating three years, you know by now), then go ahead and do it. Most excuses I hear for putting off marriage in this sort of situation is simply an unwillingness to commit.

  17. Thag Jones says:

    Anon 2:37 nails it. Shit or get off the pot dude.

  18. Except for the "I want him to force me" part, I was just like this girl before I got married.

    The big no-no until marriage is penis + vagina sex, because you're a dirty harlot if you give it up without the wedding ring. So I understand the fear that she'll give him some and then he'll just walk away without actually marrying her.

    If she's saying she wants to be forced, I think it means that she wants to decide to have sex with him because she gets carried away with the moment. In other words, she can't consciously decide to go against her beliefs and have sex.

    For his part, the guy should let his urges lead where they lead and see how she responds. But I think he'll do more damage than good by pulling some cocky alpha move and pressuring her into letting him bang her. At the very least, pick a wedding date and give her that peace of mind before you get in her pants.

  19. I am convinced that several decades of conservative Christians have been led to sexual ruin by trying to play the delayed marriage game. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you value the secular concept of "education and established career first, then (eventually) marriage", you are just fooling yourself to think you can keep a relationship on ice until all these requirements are fulfilled. Relationships either progress quickly, or they putrefy. Non-religious people who delay marriage do not even THINK of denying themselves sex, so why try to play that game? Marry or move on. Careers are a dime a dozen, most college degrees are a sham, and since when does being married prevent either anyway? (Granted, children can, but you can delay having kids for at least a few years–although… ask yourself what you really want.)

    Christians (and I am one) need a good dose of realism when it comes to this. I don't see how a serious relationship can last 18 months without sex, unless there is some sort of physical separation (military duty, living in other countries, etc…) and even that is very hard to sustain.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I really don't think that this is a shit test- it a language failure. If Christianity was more open about sexual attraction and the need to want to sleep with the man you love, things would be very different. I know because I was that woman for many years. Wayy too many… I was a good girl, preacher's daughter, virgin until deep into the relationship. I wanted him to marry me, so I held out, or so I thought.

    Reality was- I wasn't sexually attracted to him. I could have saved us both some heartache if I had been experienced enough or realistic enough to say that and move on.

    He was an omega guy- lived in his parent's basement for several years after college, blamed everything on the fact he couldn't make it as an artist, etc. But he was interested in me.

    My husband? I didn't sleep with him on the third date because I had made a firm commitment to a 10 year old to take her somewhere at 6 am the next morning and he was somebody who I wanted to savor making love to. I wasn't going to bail on her because of my attraction to him, and I explained that to him.

  21. Crowhill says:

    I disagree with you on this one. For some religious people, there is a line between premarital hand jobs and premarital intercourse. You may not agree with that line, but it exists in their mind. So the woman is trying to be faithful to her (confused, mixed up) convictions.

    The proper male response in this case is to say "then marry me this weekend at the court house." If she says no, move on.

  22. Dave in the cave says:

    OK, all of you saying "take her to the courthouse right away"…

    Did you miss the part where the couple is very religious? And would therefore probably want to marry in a church?

    Many churches will not conduct a marriage ceremony if a couple has already had a civil ceremony. Sheesh.

  23. Christians can be married anywhere (maybe Catholics and Mormons have to be married at church?). She may have her heart set on a church wedding, but she could also get married on the beach, in a beautiful field, parents' backyard, at a lake, rent out a place, etc.

    They could step up the marriage counseling and get married in a church sooner. There is no shame telling the pastor/priest that they have been together a very long time, love each other, and really physically cannot wait. They wouldn't be the first couple, and they will not be the last.

  24. Stephenie Rowling says:

    (maybe Catholics and Mormons have to be married at church?)

    Actually catholics can marry by the law and then by the church, as long as they don't comulgate during the mass. But then if they were catholic he would be asking the priest and the priest could marry them in private and do the big ceremony later. Many couples do that, the catholic church is more practical than many people think they know many people can't afford a huge church wedding and they won't help their kids sin if they can help it. Of course this varies from priest to priest but all you need to do is find a priest than understand and do it.
    One of my friends has a Mormon sister and she was not going to do a wedding so I guess is again a matter of speaking to the authorities and tell them "We are not going to make it…marry us NOW!"
    I smell a lot of issues in this including shit testing, but at least is a simple issue to resolve. The advice Athol gives is a good one and again the bible consider two people that had sex married already the formalities are important but Adam and Eve didn't had a wedding did they?

  25. Looking Glass says:

    Without more details, it's really hard to deduce, but let me through out an idea:

    Half-measures suck ass. Really, they're stuck in the middle of things, and it's probably driving both of them very, very nuts.

    My suggestion would be to sit down, and make damn sure this is the person you want to marry. If you both agree to that, just go find a preacher & your parents. If there is some odd legal reason (and there can be, but I doubt it in this case), just don't get a marriage license until 2 years from now.

    I imagine the "fish or cut bait" issue is the bigger one in this scenario, but you never know.

    Actively ruling out another Man isn't terribly hard and, once it's ruled out, it gives you a lot of peace of mind. If we remember back a few weeks to that case of the Affair being 2 decades in the past, the Husband was being racked by a lack of peace of mind. It's just a matter of doing your due diligence.

  26. Anonymous says:

    You can find a pastor or priest who will marry you now. You can have a big ceremony later on.

    If you love her, tell her that this is what you want to do. Tell her you can't wait 2 years – or you're out – as hard as that is for you.

    I think that is Alpha. And maybe its what she wants? Who thought up this 2 year engagement thing?

    Maybe you should not have fooled around as long as you have the past two years. Maybe dating 2 years is just too dang long. Still, what's done is done.

    My wife and I were both very conservative Lutherans. Both virgins when married. No handjobs or blowjobs beforehand, but petting and stuff on occasion with regrets (guilt).

    I think the whole "compatibility" thing is wrong. It can happen where people don't match up the best, but I think there are ways of overcoming problems. Am I wrong?

    Married 12 years yesterday. Very happy. I am much happier after buying MMSL2011 and putting it into practice. : )

    That said, if I could do it all over, I would have pushed for an early marriage with an "official" "public" ceremony later on…

  27. Anonymous says:

    As a religious chap, and amateur historian, I'd like to point out that a lot of Puritans had premarital sex, and were OK with it, as long as it was truly pre-marital. Maybe that will help these two?

  28. Anonymous says:

    "I think you both are playing mental games with thinking handjobs and blowjobs aren't sex… they most definitely are sex and neither one of you are really virgins. As such, you have been having a sexual relationship together"

    Very very true. Well-stated.

    The best thing to do about to wait, or not to wait, is to probably either go all the way or not at all. If you don't go all the way, you MUST discuss sexual preferences with each other; KNOW what each other likes and doesn't like. Some major conservatives would fault me for saying that, but the whole "keep mum and verbally pure and never even discuss it" thing is BS.

    Jennifer 6

  29. I live in Utah and you're lucky if you find a Mormon couple that's actually known each other even a year before getting married. For most, this works out and they either lead lovely lives or do a damn good job of pretending to.

    But on occasion you get a couple that hurried a little TOO fast into marriage and end up with an annulment or divorce within the year–my sister's best friend being one of these.

    Being non-religious I really can't say what people in these situations should do, but it honestly seems damaging to jump into a relationship without knowing how you connect sexually. And the idea that blow jobs and heavy petting aren't sex drives me nuts–man/woman up and admit what you're doing.

  30. Phil Mueller says:

    Together for three years already, with a wedding planned for some vague date, years from now? No wonder she is getting testy. If she's withholding sex now (and yes, what you've been doing is sex, sorry), she's probably hoping, consciously or not, that it'll help motivate you to get off your ass and marry her already. Like, this week. If your pastor won't do it for some reason, hit Google or the yellow pages and find someone who will.

    After three years you should know very well whether you want this girl to be your wife or not. And if so, why wait? The whole postmodern paradigm of dating for years and years and years before maybe thinking about possibly getting married was invented by secular types who planned on sleeping together the whole time anyway. If your families are pushing for a big ceremony, you can always do that later. This is your life, start living it (and having sweet, guilt-free sex).

    Just ask St. Paul: "But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion." : )

  31. Anonymous says:

    Ooh, GOOD ones, Phil and Arual.

    Jennifer 6

  32. Stephenie Rowling says:

    "After three years you should know very well whether you want this girl to be your wife or not."

    Heh my mother was more strict she told me that if after a year of dating my boyfriend was not talking about marriage I should bring the subject and move on if he was not into it. Of course this was early 90's I will probably say that 2 years or 3 should be enough to marry or broke up. Although my husband and I started planning the wedding pretty much before the year, but we both expressed that we were looking for marriage when started dating so the deal was to know if we were compatibles and had chemistry. You don't need a lot of time to find that out, YMMV.

  33. Have said similar to my (now) husband. The touching sex was just too much of a painful tease for me, an emotional toll of not being able to be totally with him, that it seemed better to just not touch at all.

    I agree with the person above who said that trying to have abstinence before marriage AND education complete and career on the way is untenable. Marriage at 28 means about a 15 year gap between puberty and sexual release, which to me seems like it could lead to some serious complexes.

  34. Strong Man says:

    Research shows sex before marriage is bad for the relationship. Yes, they're already doing it to some extent, but encouraging intercourse would definitely make it worse.

    First–very carefully decide for sure if you want to be married to this person. Make sure you've met and understand their family, you know their history and potential baggage.

    Then DO IT. Maybe a month or two is necessary for planning a nice religious wedding, but no longer than that.

    Two years after heavy petting and no sex is ridiculous.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of BS this guy is allowing himself to put up with. He needs to be consistent and keep pushing her boundaries. Eventually she'll cave in.

  36. My wife and I were married less than three months after our engagement – part of the reason was that we both were insistent on waiting for marriage, but it was becoming more and more difficult to hold off on sex.

    And this was a big wedding/reception affair around the holidays – not an easy feat to pull off. But it can be done. A two year engagement is insane in nearly any context.

    One of our guests commented to my MIL on our very brief engagement… "they must have the hot pants for each other." To which my reply was "You damn right."

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