I’ve always felt conflicted in relationships because I believe intimacy doesn’t have to be physical. To preserve my sanity, I made a conscious decision to practise celibacy. When I embarked on my journey, I had no idea it’d bring me so much peace. I attribute this feeling to not having to constantly defend my views, living my truth and honouring my values. I’m religious, so my decision has strengthened my relationship with God. And did I mention that the dating pool is murky and infested with frogs?
Cue Social Media
Thanks to technology, the world is a global village, so it’s become easier to connect with like-minded people. And I was pleasantly surprised when I came across women who share similar views. Inspired by Katherine Hyland’s story, I reached out to her and asked her to share her perspective.
“I’m currently approaching my seventh month of celibacy. This is the second time I’ve been celibate long-term. The last time I went about nine months before getting into a relationship. This most recent phase of celibacy was prompted by the heart-breaking end of that relationship. It was incredibly traumatic and opened up a lot of old wounds for me, and I realised that I used sex as a shortcut for intimacy in my relationships. I also realised my relationship with sex was very complicated. I experienced sexual trauma as a child and a young woman, and being hyper-sexual was my response to that for years. For transparency, I have a low sex drive, probably resulting from that hypersexuality. It’s easy for me to be celibate because it’s rare that I even think about or want to have sex unless I’m dating someone. I didn’t want to talk about the great benefits of celibacy without being honest about my journey.
This most recent period of celibacy has led to an incredible amount of eye-opening and life-changing revelations. I learnt that I lose myself in relationships; I lose track of my goals, of myself, and everything revolves around my partner and their wants and needs; which is crazy, because I’m usually an outspoken, independent, stubborn, wild child. I realised I had many unhealed wounds from my childhood that desperately needed my undivided attention. After seven months of celibacy and not dating, I feel I have so much clarity. I’m back on antidepressants again and starting to get my life back together after letting it crumble whilst I was lost in the black hole of my relationship. I don’t feel I’ll ever need to depend on a man, nor do I want to. I’ve learnt about the wonders of creating, enforcing and respecting other peoples’ boundaries.
Celibacy and a ‘dating detox’ is a great way to re-establish your relationship with yourself. It helps you find your way back to yourself so you can really prioritise your healing and growth. I highly recommend it!’
This article was originally published in Glamour’s August 2022 Women’s Month issue. Get your digital copy here.
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