Abstinence before marriage was an accepted norm in past generations, but current ones don't feel the same about it. Even though waiting to engage in sexual intercourse until after marriage doesn't have the same cache that it once did, that doesn't mean it isn't a healthy choice for many people. Some religions preach abstinence before marriage, and some families hold it as a common value. Whatever the reason, holding off on sex until after you're married has benefits.
Abstaining from sexual relations until you've found and married your partner can help preserve your emotions. People who have sex before marriage are more likely to experience regret, guilt, promiscuity and fear of commitment, notes the Family Research Council. If you both wait, these feelings are less likely, which can improve the quality of your life together.
2. Children out of Wedlock
Having sex before marriage increases the chances of an unintended pregnancy. Approximately 40 percent of births occur to unmarried women, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not only does having children before marriage decrease the chance that a couple will marry, but it increases the risk of depression and poverty, notes the Family Research Council. In addition, having a child makes it difficult to date and marry because many people are reluctant to enter into a relationship when children are involved.
Foregoing sex before getting married can decrease the risk of one partner bringing a sexually transmitted disease into the relationship. If neither person engages in sexual contact, the risk of either of them contracting herpes, HIV, HPV or syphilis is reduced to zero. This can help make both partners feel more secure in the marriage and protect their health in the years to come.
Abstinence can help reduce the rate of unfaithfulness in a marriage, notes Focus on the Family. Making a commitment to have only one sexual partner for life, and only after marriage, can help keep spouses faithful to each other once they're married. Abstinence can also reduce the risk of divorce, adds the Family Research Council, because committing to one person sexually improves the bond between a married couple.
- Focus on the Family: Abstinence Before Marriage
- Family Research Council: Why Wait: The Benefits of Abstinence Until Marriage
- Planned Parenthood: Abstinence
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Unmarried Child Bearing
- Journal of Family Psychology: Compatibility or Restraint? The Effects of Sexual Timing on Marriage Relationships
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