Confessions of a Thirty-Something Virgin

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This is a guest post brought to you by Willi at My Life as a Thirty-Something.  She shares her thoughts on being in her thirties, a virgin, and feeling different from the majority of her peers.  Thanks, Willi, for taking the time to write!

When does it become less comforting that you are one of a kind?

The fact that no two people are alike is what makes life a little less boring! You'd think that by the time we hit our thirties, being unique is truly something to be savored, something that makes you admired and loved by those you care about the most . Sometimes, however, feeling like there's just one of you can bring a sense of pessimism.

And so it is with me - I'm 31 years old and a virgin by choice. When I was about 15, I took part in a special youth-led Sunday evening service at my church. My pastor spoke candidly about sex and that it was something to be cherished between a married couple. At the end, he asked those of us who wanted to take an abstinence pledge to come to the altar and be prayed for. More than 15 years later, here I am. Several of my friends who made the same pledge have long since found their soulmate, gotten married and even have children of their own. For better or for worse, I never dated until after college and have yet to find The One.

It seems among many thirty-something women, there's an unspoken consensus that 30 is almost the "magic age" for men -- that they focus less on sex and outward appearance and more on the things that matter. And I have noticed a distinct difference - most of the guys that were not put off by the idea of waiting were usually pushing 30 or over the age of 30. But for most people, sex naturally progresses as a result of a romantic relationship. Though I've encountered a few gents over the years who showed some patience regarding my decision, they were incompatible for other reasons, and the relationships didn't last. However, for the most part, even the sweetest, most mature of men have a serious problem with abstinence. It didn't occur to me until very recently that it isn't simply the idea of not having sex that's so frightening, it's the thought of marriage!

My faith was the basis for the choice, but over the years I've adopted purely practical reasons for waiting...namely that sex tends to complicate things. It's difficult enough to withdraw from an unhealthy relationship. I can't imagine adding sex to the equation. This choice certainly adds an entirely new dimension to the art of dating as a thirty-something. Many of us who are single thirty-somethings and late bloomers in the dating game may still be mastering how to converse in general with the opposite sex. So when exactly does this topic even come up? First date? Twelfth date? Or when things get hot and heavy? It has been precarious to say the least.

When I was younger, the big reveal was met with frustration, curiosity and, ultimately rejection from the early 20-something set. Of course getting a thumbs-down from a guy is tough to take no matter what the reason. When it's for an ideal you feel really strongly about it really hurts. Now that I'm older, I get a lot of kudos and congratulations from men, right before I get the "Let's be friends" speech I've heard countless times and it many different ways....even from men with whom I share the same Christian-based beliefs.

Inbetween bouts of sadness and anger, I've realized I have been inadvertently fishing in the wrong places - internet dating sites and my favorite karaoke bar are not the ideal places to meet Mr. Right when you are this unique! I need to go back to the basics: spending time with like-minded folks in a church setting or something similar. Hopefully, it will bring much needed encouragement that my special someone is out there.

Do you know anyone who remained abstinent into their thirties? Do you have any unusual qualities that thins out the dating pool?


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Thank you for this really interesting perspective. I don't know anyone who waited past 20 (and even then, not usually by choice) so this is really enlightening for me. I can only imagine how difficult it can be at times to discuss.

I agree that something about 30 changes men. My brother is 28 and has it in his head that men just simply don't marry before 30, period. *shrug* When I was dating, my weight was always the issue - sometimes addressed, sometimes not, but even when not, it felt like the huge unspoken topic bearing down. I don't miss having to worry about that.

I hope you find someone wonderful soon.

Wow! That was a great read! So insightful and inspiring, thank you so much for sharing something so deeply private and personal with us! All I can say is good for you for sticking to your guns; there are no words to say how admirable that is.

Thank you both for your comments. I appreciate the encouragement and am growing to accept my singlehood...even for the long haul. Although I probably shouldn't have researched the health benefits of sex....who knew abstaining from something can hurt you physically rather than help?!


This is an interesting post.

I'm a virgin in my mid thirties. Just for those curious.... I am an attractive young lady. I am not conservative nor religious.
To stay in this state was something that just happened.

Over the years, I felt that I only wanted to be intimate with someone that truly cared for me. Unfortunately, most of my dates have not lasted that long.
I never told the guy I was dating that I was a virgin. I just said I wanted to wait till we knew each other well. Since I took my time, it often came to pass that things just didn't work out.

Many people find it easy to have sex fairly quickly and are able to jump from partner to partner with ease.
It would be very emotionally draining for me to do that. I prefer to establish a good connection.
Also some say to loose it just to loose, again, that just seems very difficult especially if its to a guy I am not that interested in.

Hi anonymous,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

We sound quite similar. Most people might think it strange, but I was always very picky about who I would even date, let alone sleep with. I didn't have my first long-term really serious relationship until I was 27.

Like you, I am not religious or ultra-conservative. It just didn't feel right to sleep with someone and share that part of me with someone that I didn't truly care for and that truly cared for me. The emotional connection had to come before the physical one. I think I just value, and am driven by, the emotional more than the physical.

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About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

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This page contains a single entry by Erin published on December 22, 2010 11:55 AM.

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