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You know how it happens. Despite all suggestions to the contrary, you’ve decided that you are in fact ready to date. After all, abstinence doesn’t mean one can’t date, (as for the issue of focusing your time and energies on your education and career in these precious teen years, you’ve worked out a way to do that and still enjoy a relationship) and you want to.

So, you’re in a relationship. You know you’re not ready for sex and you’ve made it clear to your partner. They agree at first, and then before you know it they’re giving you a million and one reasons to ditch abstinence and let them “make love to you.” When you’re dating someone who wants to have sex when you don’t, the more you say no, the more they’ll pressure you, because of the human tendency to crave those things one cannot attain.

In my teens, I learnt that sometimes, sex sounds a lot like love…but it’s not. I learnt that:

“I want you” doesn’t mean “I want to give my life to you.”

“I need you” isn’t the same as “I’ll be here for you.”

“You’re gorgeous” doesn’t mean “I love you for who you are.”

“Look how happy we are” isn’t the same as “I will be content with you 50 years from now.”

I learnt that “It’s so good, I want it now” isn’t the same as “It’s so good, I’m willing to wait for it,” neither is “I’ll be gentle” isn’t the same as “I care about your feelings.”

Very, very importantly, I learnt that “It feels good” doesn’t mean “I want you to feel good about yourself when it’s all over.”

Sex is not the same as love, no matter how similar they sound. Don’t let anyone confuse you, not even the person you’re crazy about.

The thing about sex is it creates such a strong bond you wouldn’t want with the wrong person. When you’re young and dating, sex clouds issues. It makes you feel as if you’re really in love. Maybe you are…or maybe it’s just infatuation or good old lust! Sex blinds you to the reality. When you save sex for later, you’re able to separate trash relationships from genuine ones and build those real ones on healthier, more fulfilling foundations that last.

Even if you’re sure it’s real love, sex isn’t the only way to express that, especially when you’re young. How much of your relationship is devoted to talking and communicating? Are they interested in knowing who you really are, what matters to you, and where you’re headed in life?

It may seem like every other teenager is doing it, but that’s not true. And even if it were, you’re not everybody. You are you, so treat yourself with maximum respect.


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This article was first published on 12th August 2016


Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at]

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