Look, most guys really enjoy sex. If you’ll let them, most guys will gladly have sex with you on the first date. They might think you’re easy, but they’re not going to complain about having sex.
But that isn’t all guys. And so when you meet the rare guy that doesn’t mind waiting, or even seems to be holding off on sex longer than you would prefer, it can be a little unsettling.
You may find yourself asking if something is wrong, or if he maybe isn’t that interested in you. You may start to question things. After all, this is hardly normal male behavior.
But there can be several completely normal (and even romantic or sweet!) reasons a guy wants to wait for sex.
So if you’ve been left wondering what does it mean when a guy wants to wait – check out some of the most common reasons below, as well as what that reason may mean for your future.
He’s a Bible-thumper
Let’s be honest: Even among fundamental Christians this is the exception rather than the rule, but some good Christian men actually do believe that sex should wait until marriage.
As far what this means for you? Well, that’s a little more complicated.
While you may think you want a husband who is all about “family values,” is that actually what you want? If you have any friends married to fundamental Christians, try and speak bluntly with them about what their marriage is like.
While many of them will say they are happy (and some of them may actually be happy, I suppose), those of them who are honest with you may be just as likely to tell you that the constant judging and subjugation can get pretty tiring.
Because let’s be real: When it comes to fundamentalist Christian relationships, the expectation is that you’ll be the good wife who does whatever her husband says, cooks all the meals, does all the chores, and pops out a bunch of good Christian babies. If that’s what you want from life, good for you.
If not, though? Buyer beware.
He might be gay
Okay, this one might not be as common as it once was, especially as cultural attitudes toward homosexuality slowly seem to be coming out of the dark ages.
But there are still plenty of parts of the country (and plenty of families) where being gay is seen as something shameful, wrong, or broken.
In such instances, can you blame a guy for trying not to be what his culture and family tell him he’s supposed to be? As a result, he may be all about the dating life because he thinks he has to be, but sex with a woman may just not be something he’s all that excited about.
That, of course, isn’t a mark against you. And if he really is gay, or more gay than straight on the spectrum, trying to force sex (as if you can turn him straight) isn’t exactly the kind of relationship you want, is it?
I mean, remember the key to a strong relationship is a truthful and honest relationship. How honest and truthful are you being with each other if he’s more interested in the same gender and you’re trying to force him into sex for an ego trip? Just…don’t. You’ll both regret it.
And then there’s the chance that he may just have old-fashioned ideas about what makes a gentleman.
This is less common, too, but there are still some men who think that a guy should wait for sex until he sees a long-term future with someone. That is, sex is the mark of a serious relationship, rather than something done purely for fun.
That isn’t to say these guys don’t enjoy sex, but simply that they don’t seek sex simply for enjoyment. If this is the reason he hasn’t tried to sleep with you yet, you need to decide how you feel about him.
Is he a casual fling in your mind, or do you see yourself potentially ending up with him? Because that’s the way he’s gauging whether or not he’s ready to sleep with you, and you need to be real honest and clear with your intentions in the relationship—both with yourself and with him—or someone could end up badly hurt.
He might be holding back to protect himself
Ask yourself this: Has he been burned badly before by a relationship? If so, that could be why he’s holding out.
When you start having sex with someone, it can change the emotional dynamic, and if he’s been burned before, especially if it was relatively recent, he may be holding back to protect himself in case you’re not as invested as he is.
This is especially true if he gets the feeling the two of you might be headed in different directions. For instance, is it a fling for you while you’re spending a summer interning? Then it might make sense that he’s holding back, especially if he knows you’re likely to leave at the end of the summer.
Some guys are sensitive, and holding back when it comes to sex may be one strategy they adopt to try and protect their heart and avoid unnecessary heartbreak.
If you think about it, it’s actually pretty sweet, in that they already care a great deal about you and are afraid that having sex with you will make it too hard for them to recover if and/or when you do leave.
He’s looking for something serious
This is similar to the previous point. For some men, sex is about an emotional connection, not just a physical one, and he may not want to spend that connection if you aren’t someone he can get serious with.
This is related to an old-fashioned idea of what makes a gentleman in some cases, but it can also be just as related to protecting himself from heartbreak or an idea of how he wants to spend his sexual capital.
It may just be that he values sex differently than some other men, and thinks it isn’t something he should share with anyone but a person he can see himself potentially spending the rest of his life with.
That isn’t necessarily saying he won’t sleep with you until the two of you are engaged, but it does mean he may be waiting until he sees signs that you’re just as head-over-heels about him as he is about you, and that you are in it for the long haul.
If this is the case, it might be worth asking him about his feelings, or why he’s waiting to have sex.
After all, clear communication and honesty is key if the two of you are going to make a lasting commitment to each other, and it’s never too early to start practicing that open and honest communication with each other.
He may be afraid sex is going to ruin the chemistry
For some men, a new relationship is about the chase, about getting to know each other over successive dates, and slowly building up a meaningful emotional connection.
For them, skipping ahead to sex before the emotional connection is as charged as they want it can actually dampen the quality of the sex when you do get there.
If you think about the best sex you’ve had, you might see better what I mean: The best sex isn’t just physical, but the result of an intense emotional connection between the two of you.
Some guys know this better than others, and as a result, may be more inclined to wait until the two of you have built an amazing emotional connection, because he knows how that can translate in the bedroom.
As a result, he may be afraid that having sex too early will make for not very good sex, before that emotional connection has really had a chance to develop, which can hurt the chances of your relationship really developing into something.
If you think about it, that may make sense relative to your experiences, too. After all, most of the bad sex some of us have had hasn’t just been bad because of physical things (though when someone lays there like a dead fish, that’s never good) but rather because the emotional connection was also off.
So he may be waiting for sex because he likes you, and he’s afraid that having sex with you too early makes it less likely the two of you will have a chance to develop a truly meaningful and lasting relationship.
He may think waiting will make the sex better
Related to that, some guys just don’t want mediocre or okay sex. They would rather hold out for amazing sex. And you don’t get amazing sex without an emotional connection and developed chemistry, which doesn’t happen unless you’ve put time into developing that connection.
So some guys would rather wait, to help ensure that the first time the two of you sleep together is better than just okay, but rather something truly memorable and special.
Skeletons in the closet
He may have a screwy past that affects his attitudes toward sex.
Look, there are plenty of us out there that are former Bible-thumpers or otherwise grew up with pretty messed up attitudes toward sex, and sometimes guys are still working through that trauma to develop a healthier relationship with sex when they meet you.
In that case, maybe they have a lot of guilt about sex, and so have a really hard time enjoying it, because they grew up believing it was wrong outside of marriage. Or maybe they grew up believing that women who enjoyed sex were somehow broken, evil, or sluts.
There are a lot of really, truly messed up attitudes about sex out there, and some guys really struggle to recover from growing up in those sorts of environments. If that’s the case with your current fella, that isn’t your fault, nor any reflection on you.
Instead, it just means he’s working through things, and it may take him some time to fully commit to you in sex.
Related to this, two other pieces of past trauma when it comes to sex can affect a guy’s decision to wait. First, maybe he’s had performance issues in the past. It happens, and sometimes it leaves scars, where a guy is afraid that he’s going to have performance issues with you because of that past.
Second, he may be scared of sex. Really, really, really bad sex can be traumatizing, or maybe he hasn’t had sex, and that’s why he’s afraid of it. Either reason, though, can affect his attitudes toward sex, and those can be coming out in his waiting to sleep with you.
He’s afraid you’ll think he’s a player
If he’s not that attractive (to be blunt) this is less likely, but some guys may wait a few more dates than they normally would if they’re afraid you’ll think they’re a player or way more sexually active than they are if they sleep with you sooner.
Let’s be real: We all get ideas of our partners’ past based on how they approach us sexually.
My wife and I were crazy about each other and couldn’t keep our hands off each other from the very get go, which, as it happens, led to each of us maybe each thinking the other had been a bit more sexually active and adventurous before meeting than was strictly accurate. (It isn’t as if we hadn’t had our share of fun before meeting each other…but, well, you get the idea.)
The truth is, if a guy is afraid you’ll think less of him for jumping into sex too early and he really likes you, he may risk waiting too long just so that you don’t get the wrong idea of him. It happens.
Guys won’t admit it very readily, but when it comes to a girl we really, really like, we’re pretty good at getting in our own heads about it, and sometimes that means things like holding off on sex just so you don’t think less of us.
He doesn’t want to commit
There are some guys, too, who feel like until they sleep with you, it can’t be that serious, and so if they don’t sleep with you, they’re less beholden to you in their actions when not with you.
Of course, when they do something stupid that hurts you, that doesn’t make it hurt any less, but there are some guys that use “But I haven’t even slept with her yet!” as a defense for their stupidity.
This, though, just tends to be a reflection on them and their immaturity, rather than a reflection on you.
He’s just not that into you
None of these reasons for avoiding sex or waiting to sleep with you are a reflection on you. In fact even the one instance left isn’t a reflection on you, but rather on how he feels about you – which tends to be more a reflection on what it is he wants than a reflection on who you are.
In every other case, though, if he’s waiting to have sex with you, that’s generally a reflection that he really likes you, and he wants to ensure the two of you have a possibility of a long future. As a result, he waits – because when it comes to sex, you’re more than worth waiting for.
Don’t get me wrong – one-night stands can be plenty of fun. But if a guy is waiting to sleep with you, it’s a pretty good sign he really digs you.
And don’t forget: You can always ask. If a guy hasn’t tried to sleep with you yet and you’ve been dating for a while, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
After all, if you want to build the type of emotional bond between the two of you that is essential for a lasting relationship, clear and honest communication has to be a key. It’s never too early to start practicing those clear communication skills, so don’t be afraid to ask.