It inspired both praise—from the likes of purity matriarch Elisabeth Elliot and Focus on the Family—and book-length rebuttals.
at nineteen- and even as I read it- as a wide eyed girl longing for a picture perfect marriage in my future, something was missing for me.
While I still held on tightly to the rules of purity culture, I was clear on many of the ways race affected my life.
(If it’s not, mazel tov, and also please write the secret to happiness in the comments section below.) Real talk for a minute, though: heartbreak is the relationship as you learned what worked, what didn’t, and what you need to be happy. Just because he’s hard to get, doesn’t mean he’s worth getting. On your birthday, he wrote your name his name inside a heart with gasoline on your driveway, then lit it on fire. Valentine’s Day comes once a year for a reason — because you’ve got to get sh*t done on the other 364 days! Stop trying to derail his dreams, and look for someone whose work-life balance you can vibe with.
Falling in love with the wrong guy can simultaneously be the most painful and best thing to happen to you. Set him free to find a soul who wants to recite poetry for hours on end in the bathtub with him, and go find someone who subscribes to the age-old adage “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” You want a boyfriend, not a Siamese twin.
"He's hot and you hang out all the time," they'd say. But mixing friends with sex seemed like the road to ruin to me, in which a solid friendship is sacrificed for a night of questionable and potentially awkward passion. He looked at me with his round brown eyes, smiled, and asked, "Do you think we should make out? I was so engaged in the sex that I was able to turn off any thoughts of what it might mean.
Then, four years ago, Mat invited me to his family's place in Cape Cod from my home in Brooklyn for a long weekend in July. " I glanced down at my ripped T-shirt and striped leggings: I wasn't exactly dressed for seduction. By the end, my sheets were tangled, and he went off to sleep in his own room.
My introduction to sex education was not presented as something that loving partners did to care for each other, but rather something horrific and ugly that a man did to a woman or child.
I learned very quickly that sex was shameful, and not something you talked about openly.
I'd been there before: sometimes with boyfriends, sometimes with large groups. For our first dinner, he grilled fish and made a kale salad; afterward, Mat and I debated Drake lyrics and gossiped about old friends, then went to our separate bedrooms. "Are you suggesting this because you feel sorry for me? Mat had heard me complain plenty about my long, arduous dry spell—two years and counting. The next morning, I walked into the kitchen to find him making breakfast for his mother and me.
Just as I was about to fall asleep, I heard a knock at my door. I didn't say a word, saving that for an "OMG, just had amazing sex with Mat" text to my best friend, who responded, "Drinks as soon as you're back." I felt smug and a little excited about our secret with his mother there.
And it argued that any kind of physical intimacy before marriage was a violation of the sacredness of married sexuality, and could lead to lifelong regret.