This week marks 2 months since I have left the comfort of my Colorado home and ventured to the wide open spaces of Wyoming. I've learned a lot. I've conquered my first round of midterms and formed many relationships. I've safely navigated through the crazy experiences that were my first parties (ever). Despite these accomplishments, I'd be lying if I said I wasn’t a little lost at the moment. Isolation from my old community, particularly my Catholic church youth group, has caused a considerable amount of confusion and lack of direction, specifically when it comes to dating.

Perhaps I had a very sheltered experience (in some aspects) when it came to dating in high school. My parents were always home when I had an SO at the house and I was always with someone who shared the same faith as me (or at least that's what they let me believe). I never had any sleepovers. I thought of myself as a pretty morally strong person and I never had any real difficulties sticking to my guns.

Suddenly, I'm on my own. Everywhere I look, it seems like impurity is a given. Men are surprised when they come across me, a chaste girl in an unchaste world. It's easy to doubt that I will find someone with the same morals as me and I find myself thinking, “He’s cute. He’s funny. I'm on my own now. I know a forgiving God. Why do I even bother with all of this ‘prudish’ nonsense anyway?” I hear a calm, but confident voice in my head saying:

"She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future." Proverbs 31:25

Many women buy into the lie that “giving it up” will make someone stay. Perhaps they have no actual intention to “give it up,” but fall into the precarious cycle of making small exceptions: a dangerous way to navigate a relationship that ultimately ends with their moral codes being stripped away, little by little. As women, we tend to bend the rules until we forgot what the rules were. We settle for less out of fear that we won't find what we wanted in the first place. Heck, we don’t even remember what we wanted in the first place when he’s looking at us “like that.”

It’s hard when a guy thinks he can convince you to change your mind. It’s hard when you unknowingly become the conquest instead of the girlfriend. It’s hard when a guy loses interest in you when he realizes he can’t size up to your moral standards. It’s hard when people who aren’t even trying to sleep with you are saying, “Saving sex until marriage? Well that goal is gonna go out the window real quick," or "You're in college. You'll learn soon." No, I won't "learn." Staying chaste in an unchaste world is not for sissies.

It’s hard, but I am not weak. I am not alone, and neither is anyone else who chooses to save sex for their future husbands/wives. Stay strong. Don't give someone a chance to steal your dignity. And don't fear the future. You'll find what you're looking for if you wait long enough. Don't worry about those who challenge your beliefs, because if you're really meant to be with someone, your purity won't be an obstacle; it will be a blessing.