Let’s be honest, being celibate is easy when you are single but can be the most difficult thing when you are in a relationship.
Here you are with the love of your life, who you are emotionally and physically attracted to but you cannot act on your urges because you are being celibate.
So, I understand when people are shocked when they hear that I am practising celibacy in my relationship.
The usual questions pop up, how is that possible? Do you never feel the urge? What do you do when you feel like having s*x? Why exactly did you decide to be celibate? Is it a good decision? Do you regret being celibate?
I will try to answer some of these questions by explaining what I have learnt in this journey of celibacy with my partner.
1. We experienced emotional intimacy
The fact that we are not only focused on satisfying each other physically made us focus on more important things.
Our relationship had depth and we had time to connect and learn each other. We became friends in the actual sense of the word.
Most times, people say they are friends in their relationship because it is usually expected that when you are in a relationship, you automatically share friendship but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The truth is many relationships couldn’t be more shallow because there isn’t much going on between them beyond the physical and they don’t even know it.
We decided to be celibate because we didn’t want that, we wanted to be vulnerable, we wanted to know each other and understand the core of each other.
And we were able to do that simply by talking; we didn’t have much else to do anyway. Nothing else to do but communicate and communicate we did.
I learnt many things about him that made me understand him better and vice versa.
Without downplaying the role of physical intimacy between two people in love, emotional intimacy is even much more important because it is what holds two souls together.
However, more often than not, it is downplayed for physical intimacy.
We did not make that mistake because we had time to focus on being intimate emotionally. So when I say my partner is my friend, I mean it acknowledging the full meaning of that word.
2. We didn’t ignore our issues because of good s*x
Good s*x can cloud our judgement.
A lot of people are suffering in the wrong relationships because they are satisfied sexually or even dickmatized!
I speak for myself and I would think, for him as well, when I say the fact that we didn’t have that cloud our judgement, we were able to make better and informed decisions concerning our relationship.
We didn’t ignore it when either of us is being toxic or taking the other for granted; we pointed it out, talked it out, learnt and become better human beings.
Also, we couldn’t settle issues with s*x, so we had no choice but to actually have a conversation to resolve the issues.
It is easy to seduce your partner to bed as a form of apology instead of talking the issue through because it is more challenging to face the issues.
We didn’t have that option, so we had to talk them through. And we found out that was a healthier way of resolving issues because they don’t rear their ugly head again.
3. I didn’t have to worry about pregnancy
We are both not ready for pregnancy, so celibacy just took that worry away.
There is no worry over taking contraception or getting protection or worrying when my period is a few days late. That lack of worry is really blissful and I have to admit, I enjoy it.
4. It is possible
The present culture has made it seem like celibacy is not possible but I’m glad that I can say it is, from personal experience. It is not a walk in the park but it is also not impossible.
These points are what I learnt and experienced being celibate in my relationship and because of these, I wake up every day resolved to keep going.
I admit though that it is not easy. Apart from our body making demands, we also have to deal with external pressure from people who want to dictate to us what to do with our body and people who make us feel like aliens for our decision.
One thing I find is that (at the risk of being stereotypical), you are likely to find more women who are willing to be celibate than you will find men. And many times, women give in to their men because they don’t want to lose them.
While celibacy is not for everybody, if you find it is for you, please stick to your guns. You will find people who will mock you and men and women who will reject you, but always remember that they are simply projecting.
They feel like it’s not something they can achieve and feel the need to put you down to make themselves feel good.
Remember it is not about you and remember why you decided to be celibate; that would help you press on.
So, to answer the question of if I regret it; no, I don’t.
Sometimes, I want to throw in the towel and give up, but I’m sticking to my guns because I have learned a lot and benefitted a lot from this celibacy.
Written by Ayandola Ayanleke. Ayandola blogs at ayandola.com