You Won’t Believe How Many People Regret Waiting to Have Sex Until Marriage

Couple man and woman lay cuddling on the bed

Couple in bed. | Kuzmichstudio/

After you’ve been in a serious relationship for a while, one conversation that will come up is when to engage in sexual activity. For some couples, the answer is simple: wait until marriage. For many other couples, they choose to have sex once the relationship becomes exclusive.

Among those who chose to wait, there were some regrets. A survey conducted by Superdrug Online Doctor found many people ended up wishing they hadn’t waited to have sex. Here’s what the researchers found.

Key findings:

Attitudes surrounding sex before marriage have drastically changed. Years ago, premarital sex was taboo. Now, however, there is much more acceptance.

There were quite a few surprising findings in this study:

  • Among those who are celibate, some have a very flexible view of what is considered sexual activity. Roughly 28% of people who chose to abstain from sex didn’t consider anal activity a sex act and 44% felt the same about oral activity.
  • It seems that many who waited to have sex have lingering regrets. Almost half of the celibate respondents (45%) said they slightly regret their decision to wait until marriage to have sex. Among respondents who did have sex before marriage, most did not regret their choice (81%).

Why do some people wait to have sex?

One of the reasons given for waiting to engage in a sexual relationship is religious reasons. Although religious respondents held true to their beliefs, some did not feel positively about their choice years later. Roughly 1 in 3 who waited because of religious reasons ended up regretting the decision.

How was the sex?

So, how was the first time for the celibate group? For a portion of them, having sex for the first time wasn’t worth the wait. About 21% of those who waited weren’t satisfied with their first sexual experience.

Others believe waiting to have sex was beneficial. One survey respondent says her relationship is better because she and her spouse remained celibate. She feels the decision helped establish trust between her and her significant other. This respondent is happy with her decision:

I believe [waiting until marriage] improved our relationship, as he knew I was trustworthy and honest. Our marriage was based on that, enabling us to have friendships with the opposite sex without it ever causing a sense of distrust. That was very freeing and helped me have a lot of wonderful friendships with people and to travel alone on business without him being concerned. I also did not worry about sexual diseases, and we focused more on getting to know each other rather than getting to the goal of having sex.

The reason many decided to have sex before marriage

Among those who chose to have sex before the wedding, many said they wanted to make sure there was sexual compatibility between them and their partner. Said one survey respondent, “I believe that sex is important in a relationship. I would not wait until marriage in case the sexual chemistry was not there.”

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!