My wife and I have a few acquaintances that have been dating the same person for a very long time. I’m not saying there is something intrinsically wrong with dating for a long time, BUT, we who are married can all agree that there are advantages to marriage (other than the obvious – should you choose to abstain). Those advantages are for another post…
When people date for a very long time, oftentimes there is one person of the party who isn’t happy with just dating. Let’s pretend that it’s usually the woman. They want to get married. They want the commitment. They want to put the dating scene behind them (I can’t blame them, now that I’m on the other side of dating). What’s the solution? My wife and I thought it was easy…
don’t have sex with them.
It turns out that shortly after we were having this conversation, there was an article written in the Washington Times entitled, “The Economy of Sex: It’s Cheap These Days.” The article says essentially the same thing that my wife and I were saying, but in more eloquent and ‘economic’ language. The article points out that since the introduction of the birth control pill, the ‘sex market’ and the ‘marriage market’ were separated, whereas before the pill, they were closely linked.
Here’s a quick blip from the article, which quotes University of Texas Sociology Professor Mark Regnerus:
“…women have the power to influence sexual norms were they to use it…When women collude to restrict men’s sexual access to women, all women tend to benefit,” he said, noting that “if women were more in charge of how their romantic relationships transpired … we would be seeing greater male investment in relationships, more impressive wooing efforts, fewer hookups, fewer premarital sexual partners … shorter cohabitations, more marrying … and more marrying at a slightly earlier age. In other words, the price of sex would be higher. It would cost men more to access it.”
Here are my own, quickly thought out suggestions:
Women: commit to abstain from sex and ‘playing close to the line’ before marriage. Why? Because if you give this to a man while you’re dating, you’re making marriage contain something special – THE something special that he wants.
Men: commit to abstain from sex and ‘playing close to the line’ before marriage. Why? Because you will prove to a woman that she is worth waiting for and marrying. You’ll also prove to her that you can abstain from sex outside of marriage (there can be a HUGE trust issue when you enter into a relationship already having sex with other people – or even your spouse: which can be overcome, it just takes a lot more effort and building trust). You’ll also set yourself apart from other men that insist on being sexually active before marriage, making yourself more attractive to women that are looking for a lifetime partner.
What do YOU think? Have you seen this true in your own life or those around you? Please share!