Unfortunately, you don’t hear stories like this one very often:
As grueling as Olympic qualifying can be for an athlete, American hurdler Lolo Jones says that pales in comparison to another challenge she faces daily.
Jones is a 29-year-old virgin who is saving herself for marriage. And in an interview with Mary Carillo for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” she discussed just how difficult that path has been.
“I just don’t believe in it.” Jones said. “It’s just a gift I want to give my husband. But please understand this journey has been hard. There’s virgins out there and I want to let them know that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Harder than training for the Olympics. Harder than graduating from college has been to stay a virgin before marriage. I’ve been tempted, I’ve had plenty of opportunities.”
A devout Christian, Jones has previously discussed the central role religion plays in her life from reading the Bible before a race to listening to Christian music. That faith has helped her persevere through a trying childhood in Des Moines, Iowa. Jones’ family was so poor that she had to shoplift frozen dinners.
When asked on Twitter what she’s looking for [in the right man], Jones listed four basic attributes: “single, Christian, non smoker, no kids with any baby mamas, have a job.” But even if she’s feeling pressure as she closes in on her 30th birthday, she’s still able to laugh about it a little.
“I’m one year out from 30,” she said. “So if they’re making a sequel to ‘The 30-Year-Old Virgin,’ I am their candidate. I would love to. I’m a little bit awkward like Steve Carell. I could definitely play that role.”
Of course, outside of everyone gasping at the thought of someone Jones’ age being a virgin in this day and time – what with the pressures of our “progressive” culture being what it is – people are saying, “Oh, Lolo and Tim Tebow should get together.” It would make sense, wouldn’t it, but then again – that assumes there aren’t more men out there who share Jones’ Christian values (whether they’ve remained abstinent or not) who would be interested in dating her with this knowledge in mind. In her own words, though, it’s difficult because guys don’t want to stick around once they find out her feelings on sex before marriage:
“When I was 22, 24, it was cute,” she said. “But 24 to 29, it’s not cute. You get judged a lot, a lot of guys won’t return your calls after they find out.”
A devout Christian, she told Women’s Health magazine in 2010 that she listens to “a lot of Christian music” to help calm her during training seasons.
Miss Jones, who is actually named Lori, also revealed to the program that she has tried using various online dating sites as well as Twitter in an attempt to seek out a boyfriend.
It was on Twitter earlier this year where she first announced to her almost 55,000 fans that she was a virgin.
She also said on the program that she has grown accustomed to being rejected by men as a result of her beliefs.
She said: “Here’s the two things that happen when you tell a guy you’re a virgin, this is the honest truth. One, you tell them [and they say] “oh ok, I respect that”. But you can already see in their eyes [that they're thinking] “she’s lying about this and I’ll crack it”.
“So we’ll talk usually one to three months [later], then they’re like “oh shoot, she was serious”. Time for me to exit.”
Um, ladies – how often did this happen to you when you were on the dating scene? Even women who don’t remain abstinent before marriage but who do like to wait a while before the physical nature of a relationship starts have had this happen to them. It’s very frustrating. I myself have gone on countless dates where the guy has set a “time limit” of sorts on when he expects things to, ahem, “escalate.” They don’t TELL you this after the first or even second date, but by the third or fouth date – or going into the third or fourth week – it become clear that if “things” don’t happen soon, the relationship is over. There are many men out there who have no idea what they missed out on because they wouldn’t wait another couple of months (or more) before their then-girlfriend decided she was ok with taking things to another level. Making love (or “sex” – whichever you prefer to call it) is so much more meaningful and fulfilling when a relationship has had a chance to grow and mature beyond the infatuation stage.
Do I sound like a romantic lost cause on this stuff? Yeah probably. But I don’t care. This is how I feel about it. I’m old-fashioned about this sort of thing, even if I HAVE made my share of mistakes along the way in my own life.
As I’ve written before, it’s probably unrealistic to expect people to remain celibate until marriage – especially nowadays with people marrying much later in life than they used to. And though it’s a big part of it, it’s not just societal and cultural pressures that make it difficult to wait, but, darn it – sometimes it’s just difficult to resist when the person you are with is so danged sexy/cute/charming/witty/intelligent, etc. Even if you choose not to remain a virgin until you get married, please at least do NOT jump into bed after the first few dates. Wait a while. AS LONG AS YOU NEED TO. See if the other person is truly worth giving that side of yourself to. Sex is such an intimate, personal act, and is ideally a demonstration of ultimate trust in your partner. Your body is not a toy meant to be given freely to get/give a quick “high.” Treat yourself, your body with respect, and eventually you will find someone who will love you forever for both your body AND your mind.