By Dan Callan
Sex in relationships can be a bit of a minefield and, while you might be gagging for a bit of action, it’s important to approach the subject with some caution as sex, when used for good or for bad, is actually a pretty powerful thing.
When a person feels like they aren’t ready to have sex with you as their partner, it is normally for a good reason and it may not be an easy stance for them to take.
It could make them feel like they are letting you down, like they aren’t satisfying your needs which can lead to them feeling guilty and that they are a disappointment.
Therefore, it is important for you to realise this, and to clearly communicate that it doesn’t change the way you see the person. You may need to do this more than once, but be patient, your trust and understanding will really help your relationship thrive and if and when you do eventually have sex, you’ll both be the better for it!
To you, the decision to allow more time before having sex may seem strange, but to understand it, you may have to understand your partner’s history. Previous experiences may have led to an idea of sex that is different from yours.
For example, a past relationship may hold uncomfortable memories related to sex, bad sexual experiences, partners cheating on them, or in severe cases, sexual abuse. If these are present, they may feel fearful of sex, worried about getting it wrong, or they don’t want to have a repeat of that situation and therefore would prefer to avoid it for the time being.
These experiences will mostly mean that it’ll take time for that person to build up trust again and therefore, the most loving and caring thing to do is to be patient and give them space to talk about it.
Low Self Esteem
Another reason why your partner may not feel ready is because they are feeling insecure about their body.
Self-esteem plays a massive role in a person’s willingness to have sexual intimacy with somebody, let’s face it, it’s one of the most vulnerable ways you can be with someone.
If certain levels of trust haven’t been established then being in that vulnerable state can be extremely difficult.
Ways you can help this could include complimenting them, telling them you’re attracted to them physically but also boosting them by letting them know what parts of their personality you are attracted to and basically building them up. This will really help them learn to trust you and feel better about themselves.
A final reason why your partner may choose to wait is because of their beliefs about the importance to wait before having sex. This may or may not be religious, however it could mean they don’t want to have sex before marriage. Whilst this may seem alien to you, it is within their rights to do so as it is to want to have it before.
This leaves you with a choice to make. You either accept these beliefs and wait with them, or you respectfully explain that the difference in beliefs would be too much for you and break off the relationship. Just as it would be unfair for you to force them to change their beliefs, it would be unfair for them to make you conform to their beliefs if you don’t want to.
How to deal with it
Above all, it’s important that you both make your feelings known.
Communicate. It is so important that you make it clear to each other how you feel about the situation. It allows trust to be formed but more importantly, means you can avoid getting into an awkward situation which could harm the relationship going forward.
It will allow you to understand the reasons behind your partner not wanting to have sex yet which will make waiting easier, and is good for your partner to have peace of mind.
One of the biggest factors in how the situation will turn out is how you respond. However you feel about it, it is vital that you respond with love, kindness, and understanding. You want to build your partner up, even if you are not with them long term.
A sobering thought is that if you give them yet another bad experience in this area, you could be part of problems they have in future relationships.
The most important thing throughout this process is earning the trust of the other person. Trust takes time.
As hard as it may be, if you really care about someone, you will respect their decision and will commit the time to developing trust between the two of you. And I promise you, it will benefit your relationship in both a non-physical and a physical way.
True love is accepting a person for who they are in that moment, not who you would prefer them to be.
We know that this article includes some sensitive issues which many people have been affected by. If you would like to talk to someone, or need any advice, please visit our Get Help page.