Heartbreaks are not a rite of passage to adulthood. Indulging in sexual relations is one of the surest ways of getting yourself in the throes of an agonising heartbreak. Psychologists explain that whenever a person intimately involves themselves with another person, neurochemical changes occur in both their brains and that this boosts their limbic, emotional bonding. This partly explains why moving on from such a relationship becomes harder than one where partners remained celibate. An article on infatuation and love, sex and intimacy sheds more light on this. It shows how the media often gives the message that being intimate is essential to a relationship and will bring a couple closer. Will it? Sex can be a wonderful part of a real love relationship, but of itself does not remove a person’s feelings of loneliness or lack of belonging. Sex does not and cannot replace love. True intimacy is emotional closeness. Physical closeness can happen without any love or intimacy at all. Sadly, it’s easy to mistake that for emotional intimacy and feel deep hurt and regret afterwards, the article reads. “Whether or not to get into sex is something you deserve to really think about – not just because of the risk of STIs, but because of pregnancy, abortion and emotional hurts. There’s no such thing as casual sex. People’s emotions and physical wellbeing are always on the line. Popular culture gives the impression everyone is having sex and those who aren’t are losers. It’s important to make decisions based on a sense of your worth and dignity as a person, not what advertisers, porn sites and television writers say you are worth.” Nita Mutesi, a university graduate shares that it’s a hard decision to make within a society that deems you backward if you chose to stay celibate. As a young woman, she says she has been involved in a number of relationships but most of them have ended up in heartbreaks. One thing she has observed to be similar with all of her failed relationships, is intimacy. “Most of the time, a relationship starts out well but the moment you choose to go deeper with your mate, that’s when things start falling apart.” Much as staying celibate is a hard decision to make, Mutesi considers it worthy. “There are so many good reasons to abstain. Apart from being safe from sexually transmitted infections, you avoid pregnancy but also, guard your dignity,” she says. Frank Bahizi got married a few months ago. He and the wife chose to stay celibate and focus on building their relationship. He says, though it didn’t come easy, it gave them enough time to learn and understand things about each other. “When I was still a single man, I didn’t value abstinence. I never understood love without being intimate. I always thought the two complimented each other, and whereas this is true for married couples, it’s not necessarily the case when you are still single. Something is always bound to go wrong when you engage in sexual relations, I learnt this from experience,” he shares. According to information shared by Your Life Counts, a critical front line resource working with youth, families among other facets, notes there are so many other personal, social and economic reasons why abstinence is a great idea. But ultimately, it all comes down to personal choice. One of the benefits of celibacy is the chance to lower stress. Pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are some of the serious risks associated with sexual relations, by being celibate; you choose to do away with these worries. Also, abstinence is the only 100% guarantee that you won’t become a mommy or a daddy until you’re ready. Intimacy with your partner has psychological repercussions. If there is a breakup, increased chances of depression and unstable mental health are higher. Practising abstinence is a great way to get to know your boundaries and develop a stronger relationship emotionally and spiritually with the person you are dating. You won’t need to hide anything from your parents or your friends, which takes a lot of pressure off your back and helps strengthen your relationship with them. You will know that the person you are with is with you, for you- your personality, your interests, and all of the great things about you besides sexuality. Statistics show that teens who practise sexual abstinence are less likely to have depression, less likely to attempt suicide, less likely to live in poverty as adults.