If You're in a Relationship


Make sure you and your partner have the same definition of abstinence.

For example, if one partner thinks abstinence means sexual touching is ok, but oral sex is not, while the other partner believes one can be abstinent and still have oral sex, serious miscommunication is likely to occur. Be clear, know and voice your limits. This will help reduce the chance of a misunderstanding. It will also make it easier to avoid situations that make it difficult to stick to your initial decision.

You might feel that having sex is the only way to get or keep a partner. Or possibly your partner may put pressure on you or keep asking you to have sex.

  • Being abstinent works better if you decide on it together.
  • Talk about your reasons for waiting before you get into sexual situations with your partner.
  • Be clear about your limits and which sexual behaviors, if any, you are comfortable with.
  • Do things together. Share interests, activities, and projects that will help create a stronger relationship not based on sexual intimacy.
  • Discuss any obstacles to abstinence, and plan ways together to overcome them.