"True Love Waits"
The saying “True love waits” makes me extremely angry. Because you know, sometimes it doesn’t. Or sometimes you wait and it’s not true love. What happens in a relationship and when it happens and how “true” the relationship is is really only up to the people involved. So you can take your judgement elsewhere.
yeah…as much as i love my promise ring i really wish my mom had ordered me one that didn’t say “true love waits”
it’s not about true love, and it sounds really condescending and judgemental. what i want for my body and my relationships is my business and what others do with theirs is theirs.
When I asked for my ring when I was 15, I was naive and innocent and assumed waiting until marriage was what society and my parents would expect of me as the “perfect daughter”. We are not a religious family, although my dad was raised Catholic and my mom was raised Baptist. We never discussed expectations of when sex was appropriate, and I guess my asking for the ring kindof made that a moot point. Nevertheless I was honestly incredibly scared of judgment from my parents, particularly hearing things my mom would say about teen pregnancy. This was also around the time that Miley, Selena, and the JoBros were caught wearing them and I was an avid reader of Seventeen magazine. I was also very adamantly pro-life at that point of my life (I blame all the Republicans in Texas).
Oh how things change!
The longer I wore the ring, the more I kept finding problems with it. I didn’t like the fact that it seemed judgmental of anyone who didn’t wait until marriage. Surely, if it is true love, both parties will be willing to wait until the other is comfortable, but you can wait and find that it’s not true love, or you can find your true love without waiting until marriage, and there is nothing to say you are only supposed to ever have sex with one person ever in life, I mean how boring would that be?!
So I changed its meaning for myself. By wearing the ring it was a promise to myself that I would wait until I was at least 18. When I reached that milestone I said I’d wait until I was in a committed relationship for a year. (LOL that hasn’t happened.) But once I was in college I realized how incredibly unrealistic of an expectation that was and changed it to 6 months, then to 3 months. But literally less than a week into my first year of college I realized that you cannot put a time limit on sex. You cannot plan sex. Some people say no sex until the 3rd date, or the 5th date, or some other arbitrary number, and all that does it make it a challenge or a goal or a performance, somehow the end all be all. It should just happen when it happens.
So I decided to wear the ring until the time feels right. Whether that be after dating a person 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days. Whether that be on the 1st date or the 10th date. Whether that be in a committed monogamous relationship, in a committed poly relationship, in an open relationship, with a FWB, or a one night stand. I decided sex would wait until I felt I was ready, and then, until my partner(s) at whatever time felt ready, and that true love had absolutely nothing to do with it because we are allowed to have sex with whomever we please (as long as it’s legal and consensual) and with however many people we please, and we should not be judged by society or religion for it.
So while “True Love” will hopefully and should wait until both (or all) parties feel ready, that is a common courtesy that I would hope any couple, or potentially sexually active group of individuals would do. And there is nothing to say you will only have one true love in your lifetime.
I also have a huge problem with the idea of virginity. The idea that you lose something rather than gain an experience when having sex for the first time. And also so many people define it differently so that it’s hard to say for sure if you’re a virgin unless you’ve never seen or touched another person’s genital in your life. How does virginity apply to rape and sexual assault survivors? How does virginity apply to queer individuals? When I was 15 I held on to the fact I was a virgin like it was a badge of honor. I loved being the sweet, young, pure, naive, innocent one. It made me feel like an angel. And the first time I kissed someone at the age of 18, I was sad that I was starting to lose that innocent image of myself. But I am so glad I got rid of that slut-shaming mindset.
I still wear my ring because it reminds me of how much I have changed since I was 15 even though I don’t believe in it the way I did when I asked for it. I still wear it because it reminds me that sex is never a given and it is a constant reminder for consent every time whether with the same partner or a new one. I don’t know when I’ll take it off, maybe when I “lose my virginity” in the traditional sense. But for now, it’s an important part of who I am and where I’ve been. And I don’t care that a 77-year-old man laughed in my face for wearing it and joked that he wished we were friends so I could tell him how that worked out, then told me he was 77 and married so I didn’t have to worry about him flirting with me or trying to take my virginity. I don’t care that he asked if this was the reason I’d never had a boyfriend. No sir, I’ve never had a boyfriend because I go to a women’s college and my standards are damn high because I expect no less than being treated like a princess.
I reblogged this once nearly a year ago, but I just thought of bringing it back. Like the person here, I changed expectations for having sex a lot. In middle school, I thought waiting for marriage would be the appropriate thing to do (this wasn’t affected at all by religion). Starting high school, I wanted to wait until I was 18 and dating that person for at least a year. But like the person above, I completely changed all those expectations once I realized how easy it is to be sexually comfortable with someone you care about and feel good around and trust. Instead of placing all these expectations on myself, I created dialogue, established communication. I am so satisfied with how I’ve expressed my sexuality in the past year. Not doing anything I’m not comfortable with, but also finding myself being comfortable with a lot more than I thought I would be. And it all boils down to just feeling good in my own skin, feeling good about the person I’m doing things with, and realizing that as long as it’s safe and consensual, there’s no difference between one sexual act and the other. By that, I just mean that we don’t have to overemphasize what each act “means” about the person doing them. What you do with someone in private (or not) creates a new sexual experience each time that is uniquely yours to share.
So I’m happy I learned this lesson too. That I’ve grown so much since my younger days, when I was just starting to understand the concept of different sexual acts. Now I’m a legal adult and I feel like my new perspective, that continues to shift and grow, serves me so much better.