I read the question about forgiving yourself for sexual sin and the one about the boyfriend not being a virgin. Well, in my case it’s the opposite. I am the girl and the one who is not a virgin, and with more than one person. I’ve repented and forgave myself. I have built a stronger relationship with God and committed myself to purity for my husband one day. I truly believe in the purity of sex within marriage and wish I had saved myself for my husband. I have been talking with an extremely wonderful Christian man. He brought up his past relationships and that he is saving himself for his wife. He told me how he broke up with his last girlfriend because she had slept with two men and it consumed him amongst other issues other than just that. My heart sunk and my greatest fear crushed me when he told me this. The thing I’ve worried most would be someone rejecting me because I’m not a virgin. I realize that God will provide me with a husband that will love me for all of me and my past. I know if this guy doesn’t want to continue talking, than that’s his choice and he’s not the right person. The real thing I want to ask help for is how and when I should tell him I’m not a virgin, and that it was with more than two people like his past girlfriend. We’ve been talking for a month and I want to know when is the appropriate time to tell him. He hasn’t asked me, so I haven’t lied, it just hasn’t been brought up about me yet. Also, I need to know what to say so that he may be more understanding of how sorry I am and how much I wish I would have saved myself for my husband. Also, to show him how truly pure I want to be for my husband one day. Thank you for your help.
Thanks for writing. I’m glad that at least intellectually you understand that anyone for whom virginity is a non-negotiable, is not right or wrong per se, but not right for you. But I also appreciate that emotionally, it’s difficult. When you say that you and he are “talking”, to me that means you both know that you both are interested in each other romantically. If that is indeed the case, because it’s already come up, I recommend talking to him about it as soon as you can. Get it over with. Why torture yourself? The longer you wait the more difficult it will be. Tell him now so that if it’s a deal breaker for him you both can be free to follow the paths God has for each of you. Don’t chain yourself with fear to the realm of What If? Let the truth set you free.
As to your next question, I wish I had the perfect set of words that would cause him to understand, but you could give the most compelling explanation ever, and if he has his mind set, nothing you say will change him. Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t want and try to be compelling. But in the end, you have to see him as an individual who exists, on one level, independently from you and what you say to him. Again, don’t torture yourself. You can’t be responsible for his reaction, only to tell the truth.
Your commitment to chastity will have marked your character in a way that will be clear to anyone who really knows you. It will be evident through your everyday actions. So my advice is to commit the conversation to the Holy Spirit through prayer, and trust that He has you in his hands regardless of the outcome of your conversation.
I do however, have a bit of practical advice about what to say which I hope will be helpful. You read our email conversation with the young woman who was torturing herself about her bf’s past, so you know the devil’s in the details, as the saying goes. If the young man you’re seeing asks for details about how many men you’ve been with and so forth, it is in his best interest, and yours, for you to respectfully decline to give him details. Details eat us up. Or to use the word you yourself used, they consume us. Sordid details are fuel for the most vicious side of our imaginations. And besides, you’ve only been talking for a month. He has not earned the right to the more intimate parts of your life and psyche. And you have not earned the right to put that burden on him.
I might say something like, Remember the other day when you said you broke up with your ex because she’d slept with two guys? Well, because it came up, I feel in order to be fair to both of us before we consider pursuing our relationship further, I need to tell you that I’m not a virgin. He’ll be sad and disappointed. That’s okay. You are too. Tell him that. Then tell him of God’s grace in your life and your commitment to chastity, your commitment to sexual purity for the rest of your life. Your friend will believe you or he won’t. He will trust you or he won’t. It’s possible he can choose to trust you and still choose not to pursue you romantically; as you’ve said, that’s his choice. In which case, this guy isn’t rejecting you; he’s choosing a different path.
Rooting for you.
Thank you so very very much for the insight and encouragement. Your guidance has helped very much.
Ladies and gents, I know this is a bit beyond the norm here, but I can’t help giving a little extra advice: Avoiding conversations like these with romantic potentials is yet another good reason to fight for yourself and your purity. We already deal with a crap load of fear and insecurity in our relationships. Why add to it?