7 Tips To Navigate The Dating Scene While Celibate
Without a doubt, celibacy was the best decision I've ever made. I gave far too much of myself in my last relationship, and when it started to deteriorate I made a promise that moving forward, I wouldn't compromise my morals for a man again. I walked into my relationship happy, and eager to have sex with a man I loved, but I walked out broken using my body as a means to keep us together when I knew years before, it was time to leave.
Ultimately, taking sex off the table altogether was the only way I knew I'd keep my word because I'd be setting boundaries with the next man from the door.
But the beautiful thing about celibacy is that it's taught me so much more than just how to abstain from sex and toxic men. It's brought me closer to God, given me immense self-control, confidence, and it's allowed me to tap into talents inside myself; I never knew I had. What hasn't come as easy in the journey is dating. Because let's be real, your dating pool decreases significantly and the ability to stay strong requires discipline. What's great though about what being celibate in 2020, is that it's slowly is becoming a lifestyle that's embraced in the mainstream with celebrity couples such as Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin, Ciara and Russell Wilson, and Chance The Rapper and Kirsten Corley. Even television shows are joining in by displaying characters like Nia from Lena Waithe's Twenties, David from Boomerang, and real-life couples discussing their journey on the hit TV show Black Love Doc.
So if you're considering celibacy, or you're celibate by force thanks to Rona, keep these tips in mind to help you tap into some self-control and, withstand your new normal.
1. Know your triggers.
Most people who are celibate will tell you to be mindful of what you watch and listen to, and they're right, but you should also ask yourself what triggers you specifically. Masturbation and watching porn are a no for me (because it was important for me to completely surrender to the process), but I can have drinks at the club with my girls, listen to R&B music (in moderation), and not be tempted at all. But dating a man who's consistent, baby, that can trigger me to want to be all in, and sex is the closest you can be with someone. Realizing what would cause me to go from playing "My Goodies" to "Body Party" helped me navigate those moments with men much easier because I was prepared.
2. When it gets hard, remember your why.
Sexual frustration is a real thing, and it can get to you if you aren't reminding yourself of the long-term goal. There are days where I want to just say forget this and have sex, but then I had to be real and ask myself, "Is sex worth me compromising what I know is important to me?" While it might seem like a moment to give in to something that feels good, you'll soon realize that it's actually self-sabotage, and you learn to avoid those moments because you see them from afar off. And because my celibacy is rooted in Christianity, I remember what my life looked like when I wasn't listening to God, and it didn't result in happiness.
3. Once you know you really like someone, tell them.
The question of when do you tell someone you're celibate is always something people who are new to this lifestyle ask me. The answer is there is no perfect time, but I'd say that once you know you're really interested, be upfront with them. It's a scary conversation to have because the reality is they may not be up for the challenge, but you don't need every person you meet to be open to celibacy - you need the one person that's for you to be on board.
4. Get an accountability partner(s) you can be vulnerable with.
Whenever I meet someone new, I make sure that I talk with my godsister and my best friend more than ever. They remind me of my triggers, give me the advice to stay committed, and if I get a little too close to a man, they call me out on it. It's also important to mention that both of these women aren't celibate, they just love me enough to support my decisions (I say that because many people feel like you need celibate friends and, while it's good to have them, your friends should support your journey period.)
5. Be prepared to get ghosted.
This journey is not for everyone so more often than not; you'll find that men will ghost you. My first year of celibacy, there was a guy trying to date me and I wasn't ready at all, but he was so persistent I gave it a shot. The second he found out I was celibate, that man was Casper; but it was a valuable lesson for me, and it gave me thick skin. Ultimately you don't want to spend years of your life with someone that has no intentions on marrying you so, while it hurts at first, getting ghosted is actually a good thing. Now when men run, I get excited because all that means is I'm one step closer to meeting the man that thinks I'm worthy of waiting for - my husband.
6. Read 'The Wait'.
The Wait, a book written by Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin on their celibacy journey, was the cheat sheet I needed to understand what this life would entail. If I'm honest, it's the reason why I'm celibate as it came out around the time I decided I would really change my life. The book covered everything I needed to know from controlling sexual urges, bouncing back if you slip up, discovering your purpose before marriage, healing from past relationship trauma; it was one of the best books I've ever read. What I loved most about it was they addressed celibacy from the perspective of a woman and a man.
7. Once things get serious, establish boundaries with your partner.
Once you meet someone willing to wait with you, you'll need to establish rules and specify what works for the two of you. Some couples don't go over each other's houses past a certain time, avoid the bedroom, or refrain from kissing each other in certain areas. Ultimately only you and your partner know what gets you hot and bothered, so once you're committed to being together, you need to be honest about what you need in order to make abstaining work.
Bonus: Celebrate the self-control you've tapped into.
Celibacy has taught me that if I can control my sexual desires, there's nothing I can't do. Establishing discipline in my sex life has allowed me to better decide what I eat, who I spend my time with, and what I work toward because my mindset is different. This lifestyle isn't easy, but the benefits are rewarding and, if you're focused, there's nothing you can't accomplish, including finding the love of your life.
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Dubbed one of the "21 Black Women Wellness Influencers You Should Follow" by Black + Well, Yasmine Jameelah continues to leave her digital footprint across platforms ranging from Forever 21 Plus, Vaseline, and R29 Unbothered discussing all things healing and body positivity. As a journalist, her writing can be found on sites such as Blavity, Blacklove.com, and xoNecole. Jameelah is also known for her work shattering unconventional stigmas surrounding wellness through her various mediums, including her company Transparent Black Girl. Find Yasmine @YasmineJameelah across all platforms.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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