How to Practice Abstinence While Dating

Three Methods:Communicating That You Are AbstinentSpending Time Together Without Having SexSticking to Your Decision

If you practice abstinence, you may sometimes feel that dating is a challenge. You might feel that you either have to give up being abstinent or stop dating. But you don’t have to give up practicing abstinence or dating. You can practice abstinence while you are dating if you communicate that you’re abstinent, spend time with your date doing non-sexual activities, and stick to your decision.

Method 1
Communicating That You Are Abstinent

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    Talk about abstinence at the appropriate time. You may not want or need to tell someone that you are abstinent on the first date. It is the first date, after all. But, if you continue dating, you will probably need to let the other person know that you are practicing abstinence before you become too intimate.[1]
    • You could try saying, “Before we go any further in our relationship, I think we should talk about sex. I’m practicing abstinence.”
    • Or, you might say, “Our relationship is getting more serious and I want to let you know that I’m abstinent and talk about it with you.”
  2. 2
    Define what abstinence means for you. It is generally accepted that abstinence means not having sex, but some people have different opinions of what sex includes. It will be easier for you to practice abstinence while dating if you are clear about what you mean by abstinent. In other words, define what exactly you are abstaining from.
    • Tell your partner what sexual acts, if any, you are comfortable with. Or, if you aren’t comfortable doing anything sexually, then say that.
    • For example, you might say, “I’m abstaining from intercourse, but I’m okay with other sexual contact.”
    • Or, you could try, “I’m abstinent. So that I don’t get tempted, I choose not to have any type of sexual contact.”
  3. 3
    Explain your choice to practice abstinence. Tell the person you’re dating why you are practicing abstinence so that they can understand your decision, and you, better.[2] Once they know the reasons for your choice, it may be easier for them to understand.
    • Try saying, “I don’t want to have children yet, and this is the best way to make sure that I don’t.”
    • Or, if you have religious reasons, you might say, “I’m abstinent because my religion and beliefs say that it is right to wait for marriage.”
    • Or even, “I don’t want to complicate my life with sex right now, so I’m choosing to wait to have sex again.”
  4. 4
    Communicate abstinence with your body language. Don’t be a tease by doing things that you know will get the person you’re dating sexually aroused. It can be confusing and frustrating if you say that you’re abstinent, but purposely do things that are sexually arousing or go along with it when they do.[3]
    • For example, if you say you don’t want any type of sexual contact, then don’t touch your date in a sexual way.
    • Or, for instance, if you say you are only okay with touching with clothes on, then don’t take your shirt off.

Method 2
Spending Time Together Without Having Sex

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    Hang out with a group. It will be easier to practice abstinence while dating if some, or even most, of your dates are in group settings.[4] The more people there are around, the harder it will be for you to be tempted by sex.
    • Go on double dates with other couples. For example, you could go on a double date to a museum with a friend and his girlfriend.
    • Attend sporting events or concerts. Being in a group setting like this will be exciting without the sexual tension.
  2. 2
    Volunteer in the community. This is a great way to spend time together without having sex while also supporting a good cause.
    • Volunteer together as mentors at a local community center or youth organization.
    • Spend time together attending a community event that promotes a cause you believe in.
  3. 3
    Do something active together. Physical activity is a great way to be healthy and to spend time together. It won’t be as hard for you to practice abstinence if you plan dates where you are out doing something active.
    • Play a competitive sport together like tennis, ice hockey, table tennis, or flag football.
    • Take walks, bike rides, hike, skate, skateboard, or jog together.
  4. 4
    Explore other ways to be intimate. Remember that sex is only one way to show each other that you care. Take advantage of all the other ways you can show your date that you care that don’t interfere with your abstinence.[5]
    • You might try holding hands, hugging, or cuddling as ways to be intimate without taking it too far.
    • Or, you may want to spend time together just talking and getting to know each other better.

Method 3
Sticking to Your Decision

  1. 1
    Encourage yourself. It will not always be easy to practice abstinence while dating. Take the time to remind yourself why you are practicing abstinence and to encourage yourself to keep it up.[6]
    • Tell yourself, “I’m abstinent for a good reason. Even when it’s hard, I know that I can practice abstinence while I’m dating.”
    • Make a list of reasons why you are practicing abstinence and keep it somewhere you can see as a reminder.
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    Take a break from intimacy. If you are on a date and things starting getting a little too intimate, then take a break from the date for a minute or two.[7] This gives you time to remind yourself why you are abstinent. It also gives you and your date time to calm down a bit.
    • Go to the bathroom and splash some water on your face. Look in the mirror and remind yourself that you can be abstinent and you are.
    • Even just moving a few inches away from your date can give you enough of a break to stop things from going too far.
  3. 3
    Talk to someone close to you. Sharing your challenges and successes with a close family member or friend can help you stick to your decision to practice abstinence.[8] They can encourage you when it is difficult and celebrate with you when you handle a situation well.
    • For example, you could talk to your best friend about how to handle going on a date to see a movie with lots of sex scenes.
    • Or, you might share with your mom how you dealt with your date’s friends pressuring you guys to have sex.
    • There may even be support groups in your community for people that are practicing abstinence.
  4. 4
    Avoid drugs and alcohol. It will be much easier to practice abstinence while dating if you aren’t under the influence of anything that could impair your judgment. Avoiding drugs and alcohol will make it easier for you to avoid situations that could make it hard for you to remain abstinent.[9]

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