After a month break, I am thrilled to host my first guest. Remember that you can add your story here. I received this piece that captures the tumult of being a Hopeful Abstainer in a world that often misunderstands and doubts the plausibility of a sexual ethic other than just do it. I’m sure many of us can relate to these thoughtful questions. I, myself, have witnessed one grown man cry when I mentioned my abstinence, another laughed because he thought I was joking, and more seriously, another didn’t know how to navigate our physical relationship and constantly pushed us further than I felt comfortable. This struggle is truly real, embarrassing, anxiety-ridden and can drive a Hopeful Abstainer to feel like a crazy person. My prayer is that sharing these stories rids them of their power to terrorize us and to keep us enslaved to our shame. May vulnerability and honestly unlock the doors to our lonely attics and invite us downstairs to share in the intimacy, friendship and love of belonging in our own homes.
And so, without further ado, please welcome our brave guest.
Once I turned 30…oh, let’s be honest – 25… it became common practice for any woman in my life to regularly inquire about my state of singledom. I’ve long since become immune to it and have plenty of witty retorts standing by for why I’m still single, not dating or not actively trying to be dating (i.e. – internet dating). But on Wednesday I was betrayed by the one thing that was supposed to love & cherish me regardless – Starbucks. The good people behind my beloved Starbucks app have joined the club wanting me to plunge headfirst into the terrifying world of online dating and will even pay for it on my behalf. (Really, Starbs? This is how you pay me back for the $2.67 I give you everyday? Betrayer!!!) Online dating freaks me out for a variety of reasons, but one of the bigger reasons is I have ZERO interest in talking about my sexual history and sexual ethics (totally intertwined for me) with a stranger. I realize I’m a delightful human being with any number of charming characteristics that should make me a catch, but for some reason I feel like sex (or current lack thereof) would come up quicker with some dude from the internet. I just don’t wanna deal with it. I’m blushing just thinking about this imaginary conversation. I realize I’m cutting myself off from a large chunk of the dating pool by not signing up for all these sites (even those Starbucks partners with) but I can’t make the Risk/Reward math work.
So tell me Abstainers – if you’re braver than I and have jumped into online dating, do you announce your Abstaining out & proud? Do you not mention it initially and deal with it in person? On date 2? Moments before you’d stop abstaining? Or have I created an imaginary situation that just doesn’t happen as often as I think it will? Bless you, lovely Abstainer & your bravery!
I invite you to share your support and the ways you have navigated our puzzling questions in the comments. How are you living in this body of yours?