One day a few years ago, a close friend of mine told me she was going to practice celibacy before jumping into another relationship. At first, the concept of being celibate was foreign to me. Of course, I knew what abstinence was (thanks to sex-ed class), but considering celibacy is voluntarily removing yourself both from sex and relationships, I thought she was out of her mind. I mean, sex is good, and physical touch is so important. But, now, I realize that she was being very mature and wise for our age back then.
Hookup culture is a very real thing, whether or not you want to believe it. It is often one of the main themes the songs we listen to, the movies and shows we watch, and the books we read. It is easy to feel FOMO when you’re not getting any bedroom action while it seems like everyone else is doing it. Or, maybe you’ve always been with someone and the idea of being alone freaks you out. Perhaps it’s a combination of both, along with other things.
Even Lady Gaga has publicly referenced celibacy as being a positive experience, saying “I’m single right now and I’ve chosen to be single because I don’t have the time to get to know anybody. So, it’s OK not to have sex, it’s OK to get to know people. I’m celibate, celibacy’s fine.”
No matter if you’re an introvert or extrovert, everyone should experience the importance of being with oneself. I am a strong believer in the fact that you should learn how to love yourself before offering someone else your love. Practicing celibacy might help in your journey of self-love.
Here are the ways practicing it short-term could lead you to a healthy, strong relationship in the long-run.
Finally get out of the cycle of having bad relationships.
We all have been that period when it was just one failed relationship after another. You might even go to the extent of calling it serial dating. There are two main reasons why this cycle might be occurring. One, bad energy often attracts other bad energy. If you’re not in the right frame of mind with yourself, then it’ll influence what kind of partners you bring into your life. Two, it takes serious dedication to break a bad habit or addiction. I’m not saying you’re addicted to toxic relationships, but if you have them for so long, you condition yourself into believing that that’s the norm.
You need to be removed from the situation to realize how to bad it is. It’s easier to see the true nature of the relationship more clearly once you’ve detached from it. Being celibate for a little while can help calibrate your relationship habits, and start again on a clean slate. Use that time by yourself to think about what your needs are, as well as what you can offer to others.
Take the chance to have a more balanced social life.
This is especially true if you’re a typically busy person. If your work demands a lot from you, then the chances are that the weekends are the only time you have “free time.” And, if you’re in a romantic relationship, you’re most probably spending all of that “free time” with your s.o., forgoing time with your friends. Your friends might’ve already called you out for never hanging out with them. Sound familiar?
Take this time of singlehood to invest your time in your friends, not seek out your next partner. Maintaining your relationships with friends is a crucial life skill to have. As you move along in life, it’s only going to get harder to make time for friends, especially once you start a family. So, use this time alone to work on building stronger bonds with your friends and family members, if applicable. Having healthy and grounded ties with these people is going to be incredibly beneficial for your future long-term romantic relationship. Everyone should aim to have a balanced social life, even when married and with kids.
You don’t know what you miss until you miss it.
Have you ever been surprised to realize how much you’ve missed your bed after coming back from a long trip? For me, it takes just a weekend away to understand how much I love my bed. This is especially true if the bed I was sleeping on during the trip wasn’t comfortable. The same line of logic applies to sex and relationships.
Think of a time when you were away from your former lover for some extended period. First, you probably appreciated their presence to a greater degree than you had when you saw them frequently. Now take it a step further. At the beginning of the celibacy, you’re probably going to miss sex like crazy. But, the longing will subdue after a little while. By then, you can pinpoint specific aspects of sex you miss, and the parts you don’t. Not only will the sex you’d have after the period of celibacy be insanely good, but you’ll also have the ability to communicate your sexual needs with your partner.
This is the ultimate way to love yourself sincerely.
You don’t know if there’s going to be another time when you can enjoy your singlehood. So, make the most out of it! Especially if you’re in your mid-20s/early-30s, you already know your biological clock is ticking (if you plan on having biological children). Use this time for yourself and learn new ways to be kind to yourself. That can be through trying new fitness classes, solo traveling (Wild, anyone?), taking longer baths… literally anything.
Additionally, you’ll become much more loving and accepting of yourself. Even though we hope that whoever we were with, received us just the way we are, there might always be a little second-guessing. But, if you take the time to find your self-love and self-confidence, that’ll illuminate to your future lover, and they’ll be more likely to treat you with the love and care that you deserve.
When it’s time, you’ll be more than ready.
I’m not sure whether I’m better or worse off by not believing in a particular religion. However, I believe that sometimes things work out when they’re supposed to work out. This isn’t always the case, but when you’re in a good place with yourself, you’ll be more likely to attract people who are good for you. I want to believe that your positive energy emits to other people, and they come to you.
There isn’t a set rule about how long you should be celibate for, or how long is long enough. Just like everyone’s body is different, everyone’s sexual and physical needs are different. Follow your intuition to set the appropriate amount of time to be celibate. Look at it as a way to “detox” from toxic relationships and hookup habits, and to prepare yourself for a healthy relationship with both yourself and a future partner.