Dear Alice,

My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for a year and a half now. He makes me happy most of the time that we are together! We share almost everything in common. Except one thing, SEX! We have discussed the subject numerous times. He tells me that he loves me very deeply and I tell him that that makes me the happiest woman in the world. However, he says that we should wait until we are married. The problem is that I want to show him my feelings by giving up my virginity to him now, the one true love of my life, and he still says that we should wait.

My question is this: Is he cheating on me, or does he really love me enough to wait until the night of our wedding so that it will be more special?

Sincerely, Totally Confused

Dear Totally Confused,

Congratulations on finding that special someone. To address your concerns, in reality only your boyfriend truly knows the answers to your questions. How about we look at some thoughts and supportive words on the matter? Have you pondered from where your doubts may originate? Has your boyfriend done or said anything to lead you to believe that he is cheating on you? Or, is infidelity the only reason you can surmise that explains his desire to delay sex?

Trust is a key requirement of any healthy relationship. Most people would recommend you trust that your boyfriend truly wants to wait to make love with you until your wedding night; unless he gives you reason to believe otherwise. Trust your instincts. This could be a wonderful test of your ability to trust him (and he, you). These issues will continue to come up periodically — learning to handle them well now can only be to the benefit of your relationship.

Another critical aspect of a healthy relationship is having and sharing common goals. Looking at this situation from that perspective, holding out for your wedding night can be something you both can work on and look forward to together. The two of you can talk about how you envision the night. Where will you be? What will you do? What will you wear? Do either of you have any fantasies? What type of birth control, if any, will you use? It could be fun to talk about it and plan for your wedding night together. In the meantime, you can explore ways of being intimate and romantic without having sex.

However, if you feel strongly about having sex now, make your feelings known and assert yourself with your boyfriend. Along with trust come the other pillars of a healthy relationship; honesty, respect, and communication. Respect your relationship, communicate with him, be honest, and trust that the two of you can work this out.

Remember that compromise is an aspect of a healthy relationship, too. Perhaps the two of you can come up with a creative and fun solution to your dilemma. How exactly do you and he define sex? Can you come up with another way to "make love" and be romantic that meets both of your needs? It's probably best to not wait until your wedding night to talk with your boyfriend about this. With a little self-reflection and time spent with your partner, you'll know what to do.


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