Is She Too Old-Fashioned?
Things seem so mixed up and confused nowadays that it can be hard for a young man to get his bearings straight. The word “traditional” used to be synonymous with “conservative”. That is no longer the case. There are women who are political, religious, and social conservatives who nevertheless maintain high-power careers, party hard, have pre-marital sex, and go through more boyfriends in a year than you have girlfriends in your entire life. On the other hand, you will find women who harbor a kind of bleeding-heart liberalism who are the most incorrigible prudes you will ever meet: no sex, only moderate drinking, and back home by ten on a school night.
Some women take the old-fashion approach out of natural shyness, some do it out of fear; for others it is the result of a very strict upbringing (often, but not always, religious); and increasingly there are women who do it as a response to hook-up culture and what they perceive as too great a blurring of gender roles.
But whatever the reason for your girl’s lack of modern edge and casualness, it is important to be honest about whether you can be happy with her.
Here are a few things to consider:
It is no longer safe to assume—if it ever was—that a girl who is in her mid-to-late 20s is no longer a virgin. I have known a number of beautiful women who were in this age range and still had not given it up.
There are a few ways to respond to this.
If she has determined that the man she marries will be the first person she sleeps with, you may as well let her go. Don’t view this as a challenge. If she is well into her 20s and still has not had sex, she is in all likelihood serious about her vow.
Or, she may not be waiting for marriage but for what she believes to be the right man. That could be you. And there are two ways it can go: either you will have to wait an inordinate amount of time or she may have let you take her out because she already chose you as the first man she wants to have sex with. The latter is not fantasy; it actually happened to me nearly 20 years ago.
I took this girl (23 years old) out, we had a great time, and then, to my surprise, she said she wanted to come back to my place. I was shocked once more when she told me she was a virgin and was ready to lose it that night on my bed.
It would be unfair to characterize old fashioned girls as husband hunters. Her talk of getting married and starting a family is not designed to pressure you into popping the question. It is forthright and sincere, and constitutes her deepest desire. She is just trying to tell you where she stands. That’s the thing about old fashioned girls: they don’t scheme and strategize.
If you have no plans to marry in the near future, you should find a way of telling her this. You need not break off the relationship because of a hypothetical future, but it may be best to be as honest with her as she is with you.
Old-fashioned girls tend to be very close to their families—I mean very close. If she is close to her brothers and sisters, they will know everything that the two of you talk about. Her parents will be intimately involved in shaping the decisions that she makes, which means they will be involved in your relationship.
You need not leave her over this. Sometimes girls who are in this situation don’t know any other way of behaving with their families. They may want to assert their independence but don’t know how. If you sense this is the case, you can help your girl gain the confidence to free herself from her family’s control.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.