Won’t bed until wed

When I woke up this morning, there were 9,917 comments on the blog. You do the math. I haven’t been this excited since my old Honda civic hatchback hit 100,000 miles. I loved that car. Today’s letter is about not doing it.
Because of my religious convictions, I have long been committed to abstaining from sex until my wedding night. Obviously, this is not a common decision, and it makes dating incredibly challenging. I never know when/how it is appropriate to bring up the subject, or even if it is worth mentioning at all. It's heartbreaking to consistently see guy-after-guy get attached (and be attached myself), only for it to end in confusion and sadness for both of us. I am aware that I can't expect men who haven't made that decision to wait for me, and I always give them an easy out of the relationship when I tell them, and all of them have taken it. I suppose my question is whether or not I should bring this up from the second a guy asks me out for a first time, rather than make him waste his dinner dollars on someone who'd have to wed me in order to bed me, or if what I am doing (waiting until things have progressed enough for the topic to sort of come up on its own) is the best course of action? I'd wear a sign around my neck proclaiming my virginity, but somehow I think that would make riding public transportation even more uncomfortable than it already can be. Thank you! -- Chaste and Challenged, Boston

C&C (wasn't that a music factory once?), two thumbs up for using bed as a verb. I love bed as a verb. I’m not going to try to talk you out of staying a virgin until marriage. I’m sure that’s where some of my readers will go with this – and they’ll have some good points – but this sounds like a decision that’s already been made, and I can’t pretend to know what’s best for you and your belief system. What I can say is that you may want to seek out men who share your convictions. If you date a guy you meet at a church activity, for instance, he’ll be less shocked to hear you’re saving yourself, and for all you know, he’ll be saving himself, too. If you’re committed to seeing regular guys (as in, guys who expect to bed you), I’d bring it up within a few dates. But I would spin it positive – perhaps your ban on intercourse makes you creative in other ways (wink, wink). Grilled cheese, etc. I’d also recommend developing a friendship with prospective suitors before you actually date them. If someone gets to know you well enough to fall for you before dating you, they may be willing to trade a traditional sex life just to have you around. But I’m big on the church guy idea. And please, don’t wear the virgin sign on the T. If you do, take pictures and e-mail them to us, please. Readers? Can abstinence ever make the heart grow fonder? What are your thoughts on this whole waiting game thing? Share here. Read yesterday’s chat here. Twitter here. Send me a thoughtful letter to the right. -- Meredith