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Celibacy: The Pros and Cons of a Celibate Lifestyle

Updated on June 19, 2013

The Cheese Stands Alone

There's something to be said for a celibate lifestyle, after all.

I know, I know--we associate celibacy with priests, or weirdness, or a signal lack of sexual fulfillment that makes us very grumpy , or a socially maladaptive personality that can't hold a relationship together. Most of the adult world walks around in pairs. A celibate person is looked upon as anti-social, or gay and in denial about it, or something.

Not me, not anymore. Now I'm the Number One Fan of a celibate lifestyle.

I was married, then got divorced. i started dating again, after a while. Omigod! I tried out the bars--the men I met in bars just seemed to want sex, now, tonight, without getting to know the person attached to the body at all. I could've been an inflatable doll, for all they cared. It was just no good.

I tried out a dating service. A couple of those dates really turned into a farce. One guy told me he went to a single-parent support group to pick up women, even though he didn't have a child. It was all too pathetic, or laughable, depending on one's mood...I had the thought, even then, that celibacy would be preferable to THIS!

I knew some men through work, but the good ones were married and I wasn't about to interfere with that situation, and the ones that weren't married--well, I could see why not. They could be very difficult to deal with. Or, they were too young for me.

Practically all my women friends were married. I was sad and hurt to see it, but they shied away from me after my divorce. I think they now viewed me as the competition, and weren't comfortable socializing with me as a single person. Married women are threatened by single women. I wish I could wear a sign today, and let all the married women out there know, I'm no threat at all. I've adopted a celibate lifestyle! Maybe then some of my married friends would come back to me. I miss them.

Men have been sexually attracted to me since I was a teenager. I'm fairly secure (or sometimes indifferent to) my sexual attractiveness to men. I didn't need reassurance on that point. What I needed and missed the most was simply companionship. I was lonely and missed having a man around; having a man in my life; having a man to love. I still miss that, even after having been celibate for many years.

I missed the social life I had as a married woman. Couples got together over a weekend in August and splashed around in somebody's pool; or we'd get together and play Liar's Poker and drink lime vodka or something. The women could have a girl's night out. I did seem as though I lost a lot of friends through my divorce. It hardly seemed fair--he didn't lose his friends. I'm still not too sure I understand it.

So my social life fell into the toilet. I'm naturally a pretty outgoing person. I missed it.

My work engrossed me during the week. I had worked my way up to more and more responsibility at work, so I was very busy during the week, preparing for presentations to the Board of Directors and sometimes travelling to conferences. They downsized at work right around this time and got rid of their info-tech person, and shifted those responsibilities to my desk. So I became the informal info tech person in addition to being the Finance Manager. It got to be quite hectic, though I didn't mind, really. It gave me a new challenge (I had very little formal training in info-tech, and what I had was old) and new problems to solve. It kept the lonelies away and helped me not to dwell overmuch on my personal situation.

After a while, I had a two-year live-in relationship with an Irishman from Dublin. He was an ex-pat working for Xerox, here on an L-2 visa. He brought a girl home with him one night and had sex with her in our spare room while I was sleeping in our bed! Bold thing, he was. Charming but absolutely unreliable.

I had a one-year not-quite-live-in off and on relationship with a man who owned a State Farm insurance agency, after that. He wanted us to join another couple for a foursome, and I was just not comfortable with that idea. He pouted and persisted so, when it was obvious the topic distressed me. He really wanted to re-visit his swingin' youth. I just let him go, finally. He wanted me for sexual insurance. He wanted me sitting in his back pocket while he pretended to be a teenager again, hitting all the bars, picking up women.

I'm not judging him. I really liked this guy as a person, most of the time. I understood where he was coming from. He was widowed after being married 25 years, and his poor wife died from MS. He was still recovering from her death and was wild and crazy for a while. We parted with very few hard feelings.

So now I'm just me, by myself. I got comfortable with that over time. It's been four years since I've dated anyone. I'm not looking, either. The decision to remain celibate is now a conscious choice. Celibacy is the right choice for me.

I discovered that some freedoms come with celibacy and a solitary life.

  1. I have control over the remote to the TV. As a matter of fact, I can have it OFF if I want.
  2. I get to see the movies I want to see.
  3. I cook only when I feel like it; I eat what I feel like eating. The downside is--I'm eating alone most of the time, but hey--I found I can live with that.
  4. I can take a walk whenever I want. I like walking alone because I don't have to match my pace to anyone else's and I can stop and look at whatever I want to look at.
  5. There's so much less noise; in my head, in the air, in my life. it's QUIET!
  6. I'm only running my own errands, not three other people's.
  7. I'm only doing my own laundry, not three other people's. It seemed when I was married I was doing laundry ALL the time. Now it's down to once a week.
  8. I definitely have more time. Too much time, sometimes, but I'm learning what to do with it--how to use the time constructively to developed my own talents, resources, hobbies and enthusiasms. Instead of trailing after my husband and adopting his interests, I get to developed my own.
  9. I can get more exercise. I hike and cross-country ski now. My husband discouraged me with his lack of interest in coming with me in those sports. Now I get out there more--a lot more.
  10. I can go dancing! How I love dancing! My husband just didn't dance.
  11. I can read a book solidly all the way through without being interrupted. How I love this. No disruptions. Such peace.

Looking this list over, it seems pretty selfish to me. So selfish that it's tweaked or warped or something, maybe.

I'm alone and I'm Number One to me and I'm happy that way.

It sounds awful, stated baldly like that, doesn't it?

Maybe it's still all right. Maybe I came in last on my own list of people to consider and care about when I was married and a stepmom, for too long. So many years putting everyone else first; considering everyone else's needs before my own, make this solitary life a big thrill for me now. I think I'm making up for some lost time, some lost ME time, with my celibate lifestyle.

Do I Miss My Bad Boys?

 Well, to be honest, sometimes.  How could I not and still be human?  Would I trade the lone-cheese life in for a new relationship?

No.  Really.  Not.


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    • profile image

      Joe Heat with a Heart 4 years ago

      Staying celibate as well. Let everyone have sex if they want it. I'll wait until I see the Lord and his choice for me. He's the most fantastic person in the Universe anyhow.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, and I'm glad a celibate lifestyle agrees with you. I find if you give it some time, you'll see all the advantages. You aren't missing that much, and are living a cleaner life.

    • profile image

      Amanda 6 years ago

      I have recently, after having my second child takin this vow myself.. people think im crazy lol after being saved.. i havnt felt better.. i no in my heart this is the way our lord attended! so many people judge and run, i really find it funny sometimes, but sad as well others.. im glade i took the time and pulled this up i was beginning to feel like kate in underworld or something lol ! well im happy and proud of all of u !)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Sweetie Pie. I've read your hubs on this same subject and you definitely have me on your side!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Enjoyed your article Paradise, and I actually feel pretty much the same way as you. Last night I started reading the novel Moonlight over Odessa, and I was engrossed for hours on end. There are plenty of amusing ways to spend ones time, and sometimes I do not mind if that makes me the odd one out.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      TMinut, I love the image of the big mommy tiger...I'm never afraid, living alone. Just a wee bit lonely sometimes. For some reason, that kind of fear just doesn't get to me. I always think, if some big bad boy breaks down my door, I'll deal with it, or not be able to deal with it, when it happens. I'm not gonna lie awake worrying about it. To me, it's like worrying about being hit by a bus.

    • profile image

      TMinut 8 years ago

      I've been divorced for a lot of years, 10 or 15, haven't had a man around for about 7. YES, it's selfish how much I enjoy it! Sometimes I feel guilty but it's not like there's a rule that says I have to do it again. Being married was wonderful, fine, great, but been there, done that. Not sure what I'll think when i'm actually alone though, I still have one child at home (he's 15 now) and am now living with my oldest son and his two littles as well.

      When I have children around, I'm a big mommy tiger, nothing scares me, if i hear a noise in the house, I've got a weapon in hand in no time and WILL STOP ANYTHING THAT COMES. When I'm alone, I feel like hiding. Hope I don't stay all scared and wussy when I really AM living alone; of course, it isn't looking right now like that will ever happen. I don't want to be married, don't want to be in a relationship. Sex isn't worth it even if it seems like it is during! Maybe that's just from being a woman though, from what I've always seen, heard, been told, it's not a desire that just goes away for men. Do you ever think it's an obligation for a woman (to marry) just so some guy alone can have sex and love? :-)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you all for the support! I really expected a more negative reaction. I feel very selfish sometimes because I'm living alone and don't have to please anyone but myself. And it is very different, and not always better, than being part of a couple. However, I like your comment so much, James. Being celibate is better in my eyes than having meaningless, loveless sex.

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      If I had a glass in my hand I would raise it to you! That was beautifully expressed. I am so glad that you are finding happiness in your life without having to compromise yourself. Well done.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Bravo to you for having integrity and dignity when the message of our society is all about gratifying our most base instincts. I enjoyed your article and I have experienced celibacy for myself without any ill effects.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Rob, it gets better over time...that's all I can say, really. I still miss my husband. I guess my heart is loyal. I'm not a great one for chopping and changing, or putting it around.

      People say, oh, get over it, or, move on, just move on. Take your own time, set your own pace. There's no law about these things.

    • Rob Dee profile image

      Rob Dee 8 years ago from Florida

      I know the feeling....i really miss my ex all the time...and in every aspect.