For most of my life, I thought I wouldn’t have sex until I was married. I was born and raised in abstinence-only society and was a steadfast follower of that rule growing up. I went to purity Bible studies, and a purity ring ceremony at church. It was the biggest, most important rule society taught me to follow. Then, I broke it. I hooked up with a guy on the first date, and now we’re getting married.
To be honest, when I first had sex, I was kind of terrified I had “ruined” myself for my future husband. (Yes, virginity is a sexist trope, but it’s how I was raised.) But in college, I finally let that rule go. I started having sex, liking it, and stopped caring about the rules. Sure, I was “breaking” them, but I didn’t really feel guilty. I realized I wasn’t "ruined," and I was learning more about myself in the process. When I broke what I thought was the biggest “rule” of all, sex on the first date, fire didn’t rain down on us, nor did I get smited by God. The guy actually proposed less than a year later. I’m a happily-engaged woman, and my fiancé and I got it on on our first date.
We met on a dating app, where both of our bios referenced our favorite show, The Office. To paint a clearer picture: He was dressed as Dwight in one of his photos, mustard shirt and all, and my bio read “My spirit animal is Pam getting sh*t-faced at the Dundies and permanently banned from Chili’s.” Our conversation was sweet, easy, and fun. Once we switched to texting, he let me know straight up that he was ready to settle down — he wanted to get married and start a family. This transparency was the first time our relationship broke the rules. I’ll explain.
You know that feeling you get when you’re about to give a huge presentation, or go on a big trip, or a first date? That nervous/excited/anxious/nauseous feeling? That’s what I felt when my fiancé sent the message that said he was looking for the whole nine yards. I was scared because deep down, I knew I was ready, too. We started our relationship knowing that we were both serious about what we wanted, and that was terrifying to me. I almost ghosted him because, how could someone so hot be so sweet, and actually want a serious relationship? I knew that if we got together, it would be real. This wasn’t going to be some casual relationship with another ex-frat boy who wouldn’t be ready for something serious for years. This could be it — and it freaked me out. His transparency could’ve easily scared me off. He knew that, and I knew it too.
We were breaking all the rules before we even started dating. He was frighteningly honest in telling me what he wanted, and it took a lot of courage on my end to actually go out and meet him. But when I did, and we hugged hello, I was done. I was a goner. It was almost one of those “when you know, you know” moments, and I was so nervous because I knew that this was something different. After our date at a slew of bars, we agreed to go back to his place, and my nerves started to kick in again. By the time we sat on the couch together and he moved in for a kiss, I practically curled up into a ball. I didn’t want to mess anything up, and I wanted our first kiss to be perfect. He was so amazing, and I knew I wanted this to work out, so I freaked out that I would bite his tongue or bump our heads together. We were about to break the rules, and we knew it. But we went for it, and I’m not lying when I say it was the best sex of my life (up until then).
For so long, these rules I grew up with conditioned me to believe that sex on the first date was “slutty,” or that it would make me seem “easy,” or that it was wrong, period. And I’m not saying that you should abandon your own convictions about sex if you want to wait, but you also shouldn’t let these “rules” stop you from doing what you want. Because contrary to the horrible cliche, “Why buy a cow when you get the milk for free?”, sleeping with someone soon into your relationship doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll dump you right after. And although it might sometimes seem like all hookups just want to “hit it and quit it,” it’s not fair to transfer those assumptions onto everyone you date, especially if they’ve proven otherwise.
In fact, after we had sex for the first time, my now-fiancé made a midnight snack, came back to bed to cuddle, and when he had to leave for work the next morning at 5 a.m. (he’s a firefighter), he left a note and texted me the next day. By then, we’d already made plans to get coffee, then dinner, then a weekend getaway. Sure, we moved fast. We got engaged after 10 months of dating, but we both know we want the same things in life: marriage, kids, and to support each other’s career goals along the way. We fit together — he’s my person and my home.
Sure, we hooked up on the first date, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t serious. It just felt right in the moment, and that’s more important than any judge-y rule. Because now, I get to marry my absolute best friend and spend the rest of my life having great sex, thank you very much.
I can’t explain why we belong together, because it sometimes doesn’t even make sense. If you had asked any of my friends before we met whether they could picture me, a feminist with a journalism degree, married to a West Texas fireman, they would have laughed in your face. But here I am. My fiancé makes me feel confident, safe, and loved. He cooks and cleans and works hard. He can tell when I’m anxious and does what he can to help. He holds me when I miss my dad, who passed away 10 years ago, and brings me chocolate when I’m stressed. I’m a worrier, he’s calm. He encourages me to write when I don’t feel like it, and he loves the fact that I cry at everything. He’s the one, rules be d*mned, and that wouldn’t have changed whether we’d hooked up on our first date or on our wedding night. We hooked up, we broke the rules, and we’re going to live happily ever after.
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