I don’t enjoy telling people that I didn’t kiss until I got married. I feel like they either just dismiss me as a crazy prude or feel like I’m condemning them if they don’t choose to do the same. I’m used to having everyone think I’m weird, but I wanted to encourage anyone else who has decided to do the same.
I know there are plenty of people who think it’s a good idea to have sex ahead of time to make sure there’s some compatibility. I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do because of my religious beliefs, but those comments still made me nervous. What do I know about sex? For all I know, it is better if you try it ahead of time.
The best thing that helped me with that was hearing someone on Focus on the Family talk about how if you’re having sex to see if you’re compatible, there’s a lot more pressure and even anxiety. Going into it thinking, “If I don’t do well, they’ll probably leave me,” is a lot different than having sex in marriage and thinking, “If this doesn’t go well, we still love each other and are committed to getting better and overcoming any problems that arise.” And you have plenty of time to do that.
A big part of the reason I chose not to kiss before marriage is because I thought it would make it easier to not have premarital sex, which it did. I had been sexually abused as a child, and even though it was a negative experience, I feel like it made me more sensitive to physical touch in a way. I also remember hearing that some prostitutes don’t kiss because they find that to be more intimate. I figured that with the innocence lost early on, kissing could be something special to give. The longer I went without kissing, the more it seemed like, “Why would I change my mind now?”
I felt the freedom to go camping together, which would have been too much for some people (and too much for me if we were already kissing). It was one of our biggest hobbies so we just set good boundaries, and never slept in a tent together. I also always let my sister and or mom know we were together overnight.
It was really helpful that he was on board with it all even though he hadn’t had those boundaries in previous relationships. I had an ex who was frequently trying to push my boundaries. And I met my husband on Match, but while I was still on that site, I met another guy who was fine with me being a virgin but not fine with me not kissing and being one to four hours away. (My husband is military, so we had to deal with long distance of being 3 hours away normally and then him overseas for 3 months.) It made me realize even more how special he was, and how serious he was about me. He’s so perfect for me.
As you can see, saving my first kiss wasn’t all wonderful, but for me it was worth it. Still, it meant that I often felt like an outsider. And when it came down to actually getting married, I got a little stressed about the kiss. I didn’t want my first one to be in front of all of my family and friends and his!
We talked it over, and I was in favor of a kiss on the hand or forehead or a kiss after we walked down the aisle. We ended up doing two weddings, one that was an outdoor elopement-style wedding at the lake with just our parents and bridesmaids and another traditional church ceremony where everyone could attend about six months later. So he wanted to do a normal kiss for that first ceremony. I had finally stopped worrying about it, and just let him be in charge of that.
So it was pretty awkward and funny. First he paused longer than I expected before he tried to kiss me. I was like, “You can’t give me time to think before you kiss me!” He barely kissed me before I buried my head in his chest. And I wouldn’t kiss him for any of the professional pictures after that. We can do those at our next wedding.
And as my sister said, “Not many people have their first kiss on video.” At least people my age! And it’s kinda cute, so I don’t mind…especially since it only took one makeout session on our wedding night for me to be completely comfortable with it.
I had started to feel bad that he was marrying such a bad kisser, but he didn’t seem to mind at all. He still likes kissing me. I mean, really likes it. I’m glad he’s the only person I’ve kissed so I don’t have those memories with anyone else.
But honestly, everyone is different. My friends who did kiss other people haven’t had problems in their marriage just because of that. They dealt with it and still have beautiful families. They may wish they had only kissed their husband, but it isn’t a huge deal that they kissed other people. So if you have, please don’t read this with guilt or shame. Just pass it on to any friends you have who might need some encouragement in this area.
Because, most of all, I’m glad that I can inspire others who choose to do the same by letting them know that they’re not alone. And even if it takes them 29 years for their first kiss like it did for me, it can be a great experience now and all along the way. I love reflecting back on that season of life and having such unique memories with my one and only.