Does Chastity Lead To (Manipulate People Into) Marriage?
I have some non-Mormon girlfriends whom I love and admire. These are some of the most thoughtful, kind, and ethical people I know. They also, not surprisingly, are sexually active.
These friends are in their early 30’s and aren’t married, though they would like to be. They fall for men easily and sometimes sleep with them within a few weeks of meeting them. Some of these relationships do turn exclusive, but within a few weeks or months, they end. Sometimes the man’s unwillingness to commit to a serious relationship triggers the end for them. The Mormon part of my brain wonders if getting so involved so quickly lessens the likelihood of the relationship working out long term.
I sometimes contrast their experience with mine. My husband and I had a pretty chaste courtship (due mainly to my iron-willed husband), and our path to marriage was relatively smooth. We both wanted it, we were excited about the future, and we were willing to jump into the scariest of commitments in our mid 20’s. I think our chastity played a big part in that, since we were both excited to not be celibate anymore. I’m left wondering if the chastity advocated by our religious leaders is at least partly a brilliant manipulative social tool to get people excited about marriage. (Not that that always works out great – I know of quite a few young Mormons who married and divorced quickly. And, of course, those Mormons that don’t marry have a brutal road of perpetual celibacy in front of them – not fun.)
Was your desire to leave celibacy behind a huge motivating factor in your decision to marry?
Do you think you would have married when you did if there was no social or religious pressure to be single and celibate?
For those that are not married, do you feel celibacy is an obstacle in forming serious relationships with non-Mormon (or Mormon) men?
And finally, what do you advise your non-Mormon friends to do about sex?