I was writing a novel in which the main character decided to remain a virgin until she got married. Her reasons and her boyfriend’s reaction and attitude toward her decision played a role in the story. The fact that their wedding night would be their first night together, and her first time having sex would impact their lives later.
After a friend read the manuscript, she said, “No way. A guy would not wait five years for a girl no matter how much he loved her.” I was surprised because she likes to view the world through her tiny little rose-colored glasses.
I didn’t like her response. My rose-colored glasses on the subject were still firmly perched. So, I went to the next most reliable source I had on male behavior, my husband.
“Nope. Never happen,” he said resolutely.
“Not even if he loved her very much?”
“I would say a guy would wait four or five months tops, if her really loved her.”
OK, I realize it’s hypocritical of me to be disappointed. Not only did I not wait until I got married, I lived with him for two years first. Still, for some reason it made me sad to think it was impossible for a couple to wait. I reluctantly changed the story slightly.
I met a young newlywed just a few months later. She had read my manuscript and we were discussing it. I told her about my original plan to have the characters wait to make love until their wedding night. She told me that she and her fiance–yes, this is true–waited five years until their wedding night. I wiped the smudge off my rose-colored glasses with a smile. But I didn’t change the plot of the story back to the original. Five years is just too unbelievable.
What are your thoughts? If you read a book and the characters waited until their wedding night, would you think it was unbelievably unrealistic? Do you have an opinion about a couple waiting to have sex until they are married?
This is a revised post from March 2011.