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sex and intimacy question- Did I actually screw up from the start?


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Dear all,


I know this question will bring up some debate perhaps...because actually it is still a debate now and nobody knows the exact answers to all situations. It is a classic, really.....


Well the question is, do you think having sex and moving in together before being married or engaged lessen the chance (for a girl) of getting a marriage proposal or formal commitment?


I ask because I actually don't know until now, and it is still hurting knowing that I might have screwed myself up big time.


I grew up in a sort of multicultural environment. Having one parent who hails from Europe and the other from Asia, I find it difficult from the start to choose what to believe in. My mom, who is Asian, believes in abstinence until marriage. "If you don't hold anything back, and if a guy can get everything he can get from you without marrying you, why would he be motivated to marry you? You should not give him the privilege if he doesn't commit. Don't behave like husband and wive until you actually are husband and wife"


My Dad is not inclined one way or the other, just like most of the Europeans or the Americans.


Plus, I went to an American college. So I got pulled, tempted into all these things as you can guess. At first I thought I only cared about love, happiness and commitment, not just fun. But my ex, whom I was with for three and a half year, convinced me (through his actions of course) that he really cared and I thought throwing sex in would never be detrimental in any ways. ( I thought so then). After all, after we became intimate, he was doting on me like he used to me before and there was no awkwardness or anything. And after all he stayed with me for those 3.5 years I did loads of horrible thing to him but at least he has been number one on my mind always..no cheating in that department.

and was loyal and gave up everything he could for me if I ever need (or wanted) them. but



However after being broken up for a while I started to realize sex/boredom might be the issue here. I could not help but realize

- That things gradually became less exciting after I started having sex with him.

- That the gentle touches (stroking cheeks, cuddling), became less and less special to him as time went by. Before we started having sex, he could not have enough cuddling or stroking my hair, but later on he just "realized, maybe, that those were not all that great and that he did not like it all that much" (these are in his words)


of course the last year together I still got a few of those days when I woke up to see him sitting beside my bed with his hand stroking my cheek, telling me I was pretty. But so few--maybe two times...In the beginning I got that like every week.

- And he started doing less and less things for me. And when I talk things, I mean things that can be expected, for example, walking me to the bus station when I go out of town or going to visit me when I go out of town. Since the second year together I had to fight to get those things--or maybe it was because I never let him choose to do it in his own time?



I really feel that I was too easy for him. Of course, things did not turn around 180 the day after I started sleeping with him, but perhaps it started to turn around slowly, day by day, less affection and less excitement, until it is done 3 years later. Well note that I slept with him about 4 months into the relationship not right away. Still...


It is said that things just go stale easily if you give the guys access to everything. They already have all the privilege a husband could have, so there is no motivation to commit. And guys get bored more easily and are less attached anyways. Coupled with the fact that the couple is still young and not ready to settle down due to financial/career reasons--then you know all these reasons together means the demise of the relationship....


3.5 years later brought us to the point where excitement died down almost to zero, there is no more to get since he already got everything, where we just graduated and had no money/no job so we are not ready to settle down. Everything was difficult and was not doing any favor for the relationship.


I kept thinking that we might have survived if we had the excitement/anticipation/reservation of some privilege to keep us going. He might have worked to get over the career/money/not being ready to settle down issue if he had something to work for, something to look forward to. He already had everything and I was just another soda bottle that was all slurped up and empty maybe......



Tell me what you think. Are there a lot of people out there who got that ring and the commitment after they had sex and did everything possible with the partner? (moving in, etc.)

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I think you're placing too much emphasis on the sex part. Sex is only one spectrum of the relationship. Like you said earlier, you may have been too dependent on him, which is what may have driven him away. There are so many factors that may cause a person to stop being interested in someone.


I don't believe that if you move in and have sex prior to getting engage, it will decrease your chances of getting married. I think it happens if you move-in together for convenience sake or without a plan for a future, then the man may feel less inclined to propose.

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I think it happens if you move-in together for convenience sake or without a plan for a future, then the man may feel less inclined to propose.



Can't he get serious later??? Why not??


This is the case for me. We moved in together due to circumstance (I did not have summer housing and asked to stay in his room--and that was before we even became attracted to each other). It then became a habit. (living together, that is).


Sigh...so college love is doomed, right?


Because...it is so hard to plan for any future when you still have not finished college and have no job/money. He always told me he had not thought about those thing because we were not ready yet then...no money, no degree, no job. He said we would think about it when we were ready.


Perhaps that BS after all...

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3.5 years later brought us to the point where excitement died down almost to zero, there is no more to get since he already got everything, where we just graduated and had no money/no job so we are not ready to settle down. Everything was difficult and was not doing any favor for the relationship.


I think you're mixing up a lot of issues into one, to try and figure out why your relationship ended.


First, I think it is important to realize that sex will always wind down somewhat in a relationship; it doesn't matter if it is a boyfriend or a husband. Have you thought about what married life would be like? Your sex life changes as you get older, get to know the person better, and other circumstances in life. So although it is nice to idealize marriage as one never-ending passionate affair, in reality this doesn't happen. You must realize sex will change with a husband - but this isn't bad! It is normal! And when I say 'change' this can mean many things depending on the couple; maybe it is quality instead of quantity, a deeper connection, etc.


Second, sex will not have been the cause of your breakup. Don't feel guilty for 'giving in' as you describe to your boyfriend. You were in a committed relationship for almost 4 years and a kiss on your first date will obviously be different to a kiss on your 700th day together. It seems likely that other factors played a part; the job stress, financial worries, and simply growing up.


Ok, and now to the cultural significance. There are many people conflicted in sex before marriage or after. I think in your case it is important not to feel guilty. At the time it was the right decision and you have learnt a lot from it. If you are going to live in the US or another more sexually open country regarding sex before marriage, well what your mum says about keeping a man interested (why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free), has a different context here. It might not necessarily mean sex, but it could mean to only do it when you feel comfortable (i.e. never on the first date), or moving in with someone before you are engaged, etc. In general the principle is right, but you have to do what feels comfortable to yourself.


Some final thoughts; don't regret having sex with your long-term boyfriend. It wasn't the sole reason why you broke up. Take it as good memories, experience, and a lesson for the future. Think about what you want in your next relationship. It seems to me you won't be sleeping around with a lot of men, so no need for your mother to worry! Everything will be ok and you will find your husband one day - one that loves you inside and out!!!! : )

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Here's a guy's perspective, or at least one guy's perspective. I think things in a relationship die down with or without sex. I don't know any relationship that remains as exciting 2 years down the road as it was when it first began (w/ or w/o sex). To be honest with you, I would probably put sex sequentially before getting married. It is good to know if you and a partner are compatible in that way. Also, from my perspective, which I think may be different from a lot of guys, I prefer a girl that waits until they have been in the relationship awhile. The sex becomes more "special" and not just sex. At the same time guys can be driven away if there is never any sex even after many years together. So, I think there is a timing issue personally. Do it when you have been serious with each other for at least year, but don't wait 4-5 years.

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5 Red Flags In Relationships
5 Red Flags In Relationships


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