I grew up pretty religious.
It wasn’t really because of my parents, as is the case with most people. I joined an evangelical church when I was a teenager. As a result, my formative years were full of believing “men” were bad and if I liked a boy, he had to be equally, if not more, religious or I would end up being sent to hell.
Needless to say, I was very repressed. It was the kind of place where masturbation and lust were things you had to confess to your mentor, and were treated with the same vitriol as adultery or murder.
Okay, maybe that last bit was an exaggeration, but I’m telling you, we were happy but we were suppressed AF. And at the time, being a young teenager, that was okay for me because I was convinced Prince Charming was somewhere within our church walls and would come and proverbially sweep me off my feet.
But I got tired of going on little forced dates with the boys around my age in the congregation.
In college, I stayed in the church denomination, but toward my senior year, I had enough. I still have amazing friendships and experiences from that time in my life, but I’m very much over the whole dogmatic-submissive-suppressive environment that also subtly taught women were second to men, and marriage should be their highest aspiration.
While this means, no holds barred in my personal life, as in, I can date whomever I want, this has been difficult because I’m still learning how to be okay with men approaching me if they want to talk, and not being afraid of the intimacy of sex.
I understand these things take time, and for some people, even after wild college years, they don’t master it. At times I feel like a child about this all, and at other times I remind myself that I’m still very young and am not expected to know everything.
Virginity is a difficult concept because as much as I no longer believe it is of significant value, it doesn’t stop me from being terrified about losing it. Is he the right one? Am I sure I want to do this? Will it hurt? Are all questions that rapid fire through my mind when I think about it. And currently, I’m happily riding solo so I don’t need to constantly think about it right now, but I know eventually, I will have to.
So for this Valentine’s Day, this one goes out to the ones who are terrified of love.
Who love the idea of being with someone whom they can Netflix binge with, or share inside jokes with, and have long, tear stained conversations in the passenger seat of their car. It’s not that the holiday is scary or daunting in any way.
It’s sweet, but some of us just aren’t ready for it yet. As I progress into becoming comfortable with my own pace, and meeting people somewhere in the middle of religious fanaticism and amicable nihilism (there is such a thing!), I am learning more and more about myself each time.
I want someone who is funny, who can put sentences together as much as I want someone with good credit and a good relationship with their family. I want someone who loves adventure, because I do, who will honor my decision to wait to have sex.
Who will be okay if that decision means waiting a little longer than expected.
There is no rush because I’m quite confident I’ll be okay. There is this idea in our generation at least, that what we want and desire should materialize right before us. But good things do come to those who wait. I believe this, and hold on to it.
So what am I doing on Valentine’s Day? Probably going to call a friend, and spend it with my family. You know, the original loves of my life. I’m surrounded by so much love. I am complete already.