Purity Rings: Chryssie’s Story

A guest post by Chryssie of I Am A Beautiful Mess

Around my 13th birthday, I began noticing that several of my friends had “purity rings” and I really wanted to have one as well. I didn’t fully understand or even relate to everything those rings stood for, but I was eager to have one, to fit in.  I begged my mom to get one for me, because I really wanted a ring.

On my 13th birthday, my dad took me out to dinner for the usual daddy-date that happens on birthdays in my family. I don’t remember what he told me the ring meant, but I had already created my ideas about why I had the ring, and my dad’s only purpose was that this ring meant he had my heart. My dad and I never really had a relationship growing up, but I took the ring seriously. I vowed I would never kiss before I got married, or touch a guy, or have sex. Obviously.

I proudly showed off the little gold ring I wore on my right hand with the three tiny cubic zurconia stones. I explained that it meant that my dad had my heart and that it meant that I would remain pure until my wedding night. I remember having a brief conversation with a friend when I was 16 about waiting until the altar to have my first kiss. She kind of laughed and said that that’s what she used to believe, but to believe her when she said that it was hard not to.

As I grew older, and began to really notice other guys around me, I began wondering what it would be like to kiss a guy, or feel his arms around me. I would daydream and imagine being in a relationship with a guy I had a crush on. I would then have a guilt trip about daydreaming “impure” things and would immediately repent of my impure thoughts. I kept wondering and constantly processing my views and values on kissing before marriage. I watched, listened, and read books about keeping yourself pure. I watched several friends go through courtships, and I still couldn’t figure out if not doing anything more than holding hands was right or now. One of the couples didn’t do anything, and their first VERY awkward kiss at the altar scared the shit out of me. There was now no way I was willing to wait before marriage to kiss my guy. Even through all of this my dad was not a part of my questioning, my wondering. From the moment that he first gave me that ring, to the day I walked down the aisle and married a man, who is the kindest and most caring man I have ever met, my dad was not involved. It was about two years after he gave me that ring that I realized I was on my own with this stuff. It wasn’t cool, but I figured I would be alright.

I met my husband and about a year into getting to know him, we both realized that we wanted to go deeper and potentially get married. We knew very quickly, as we got to know each other better, that we wanted to get married. Then came all of the questions and thoughts about how much we touched, were we going to kiss before getting married, and what about other things? I remember when he first put his arms around me. It was exhilarating and wonderful, and I loved it.  I felt loved, cared for, and heck, I was just fine with it.  I remember our first kiss. It was awkward, but eh, we got the hang of it. Honestly, it was a really comforting part of our relationships  being able to kiss each other goodbye when we parted. By the time we reached the altar, I had thrown away my purity ring.  I loved this man, and I was willing to show that in whatever way I could. I do not regret anything that we did, and I am grateful for how my husband helped me break through my preconceived ideas of what a relationship was supposed to look like and how one was to remain pure. Our relationship was, and is, one of the healthiest relationships I’ve ever had.

———

This post is part of the Purity Rings project, in which young adults who had purity rings as teens and have since come to question the rationale behind them share their stories. For more purity ring stories, click here

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • OurSally

    “my dad’s only purpose was that this ring meant he had my heart”
    That’s not just weird and controlling and sick, but I suspect daddy had incestuous fantasies. Am I alone in this?

  • Saturn500

    No, OurSally, you’re not alone in that line of thought.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com MargueriteF

    It makes me so sad to read this kind of story. The worst part of it, to me, is that the perfectly normal dreams and fantasies and longings of adolescence are being presented to young people as “impure” and “sinful.” It loads young people down under a heavy weight of guilt they simply don’t need to be carrying. Adolescence is rough enough without adding in guilt every time a vaguely sexual thought flashes across your consciousness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainie.flores.7 Rainie Flores

    It must have been really hard for you back then. There are really a lot of practices and beliefs in our society that we believed we must follow but as human as we are, we have a tendency to break those rules and commit those mistakes. Staying pure until before marriage is a hard thing to do for most of us but some managed to do it and others simply can’t but who are we to judge. Regarding purity rings, i never had one, it wasn’t common in our country but given the opportunity to have one would be nice.
    - http://www.solidrockjewelry.com/


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