Many readers asked me how I maintained self-control and what I do when it’s challenging to navigate this experience. For clarity, I’m aware this journey is a lived experience, and it won’t always be as easy as the things that I’ve written down on this list. Celibacy is a personal journey, but I hope what I can offer helps you as much as it has helped me.
I know it sounds small, but I worry about myself. You’d be surprised by the number of things you can accomplish when you pour into yourself. I’ve taken these years to heal, and lean into self-preservation as much as possible. In high school and college, I was always consumed in who I was to the person I was dating at the time, and I didn’t want to do that anymore, and quite frankly, I was tired of giving everything to other people, and not nearly enough to myself. Spending most of my twenties not having sex and discovering who I am has allowed me to succeed in various aspects.
I Don’t Date Men Who Lack Self-Control
When I became celibate, I had to get specific on dating and what type of men I wanted to know. In the beginning, I was naive. I thought it was okay to date men that didn’t have a strong relationship with God. But for me, celibacy is rooted in my relationship with him (for clarity I don’t say this from a judgmental space, I say this because I’m clear on what are non-negotiables for me in marriage) so this mindset was a lose-lose situation.
Additionally, because it’s not just about religion for me, he has to have an open mind and heart. The more I learn and unlearn, the more room I make for various perspectives, and I can’t be with someone who isn’t willing to do the same. In the past, I’d overlooked many things in the beginning with dating, but the beauty of celibacy is you have nothing but time to talk, and set a precedent of what you want your dating life to look like. Dating as a celibate person can be a beautiful thing, but with boundaries. I don’t look at my lifestyle as difficult because there’s nothing complicated about getting closer to God and waiting for the right person.
Reading Encouraging Content is Key
I read many Bible plans on celibacy, follow Instagram pages to hold me accountable, and watch many YouTube sermons to help stay focused. I watch sermons, such as sex container with Pastor Michael Todd, and interviews with Hollywood couple Devon Franklin and Meagan Good, and listen to various podcast episodes. While digesting this type of content, I’m reminded that I’m not alone, and there is support out there. I just have to look for it. Let’s not forget the beauty of YouTube is that I can bookmark and go back to re-watch content that’s comforting to me when I feel triggered to have sex or discouraged in my journey.
Accountability Starts With Me
In the beginning, I wanted celibate friends because I desired community, but if I’m honest when they’d fall short and share those moments with me, it was triggering. I haven’t had sex in more than four years, and I want to keep it that way, so the truth is I walk alone most of this journey.
But I’ve realized the only way I’d successfully navigate this lifestyle was to focus on what celibacy looked like to me.
I Lean on My Faith in Moments of Frustration
Every year that passes, this journey has become easier, but there are still times when it’s hard, and I want to give up. In those moments, I find myself questioning is it worth it, I have a raw conversation with God. Every year that I learn more about myself along this journey, I tap into another gift and talent from deep-within, making it clear why I’m by myself at this very moment.
If you’re considering exploring celibacy, I’d suggest taking some time to educate yourself on the lifestyle, and more importantly, what you envision for your life to look like after the journey. When it’s difficult, remember what you’re waiting for, and find a community digitally, or in-person of people who will hold space for you, and remind you that your wait is never in vain.