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Let's Wait a While

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Did she just make not putting out sound sexy?

"Life's too short to make a mistake
Let's think of each other and hesitate
Young and impatient we may be
There's no need to act foolishly
If we part our hearts won't forget it
Years from now we'll surely regret it"
Chairmen of the Board, "Give Me Just a Little More Time"

A Sister Trope to Celibate Hero, where a character declares that they've no intention of having sex just for the sake of sex. Either they're waiting for "The One", or they think they've found them, but the timing isn't right (and if it's Their First Time, they want it to be special).

A common thing in many religions, which declare that sex is sacred and must be saved for the wedding night. In fact, pre-marital sex used to be a taboo topic, but nowadays it seems to be a more common standard.

If the character who wants to wait is male, it's usually to show him as a romantic or old-fashioned (often both). If female, there's about the same chance it'll be because All Women Are Prudes.

A frequent variant is an engaged couple deciding not to have sex again until after the wedding to make their wedding night more "special".

Compare But I Would Really Enjoy It and Chastity Couple. Contrast Nature Abhors a Virgin, Everybody Has Lots of Sex.

Occasionally paired with Insatiable Newlyweds to show that the couple wasn't waiting out of prudishness.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Girl Friends (2006), due to both sides mistakenly assuming that their still virgin partner already had sex with somebody else, Mari and Akko have a very awkward first attempt that ends with this.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • Ishigami rejects Tsubame's offer of Pity Sex because he'd rather not have sex at all than have it with someone who doesn't love him romantically.
    • Shirogane tells Kaguya that she doesn't need to force herself to have sex with him after seeing her have reservations while they're engaging in foreplay and tells her that he's fine waiting until she actually feels comfortable... and then their good night kiss(es) ends up getting them both in the mood anyway.
  • In the manga version of Koi Kaze (but not the anime adaptation), Koshiro and Nanoka make a point of not immediately having sex after finally entering a relationship, and several months pass before they get intimate that way.
  • Tales of Wedding Rings: Satou and Hime explicitly want to consummate their Childhood Friend Romance, but even when they're not interfered with by the other Ring Princesses, they're still a couple of awkward teenagers. Eventually they agree to just wait until they get back home to Earth. However, after Satou saves Hime when she fall to darkness out of jealousy of the other princesses, they decide not to wait any longer and have Their First Time right then and there.
  • Why the Hell Are You Here, Teacher!?: After getting together, the Omake chapters show that Kana and Izumi aren't ready to go all the way with their new boyfriends. Not that it doesn't stop the former from fantasizing about it. In the anime, Rin Suzuki says he won't get intimate with Mayu until they're married, to her disappointment.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Timothy Drake, the third Robin. Prior to Detective Comics(Rebirth) he was one of the few persons in the Bat-Family (and The DCU superhero community) who hasn't done it. The dude's had at least 5 girlfriends, and has been propositioned for sex thrice. It looks he and Stephanie Brown are finally ready to have sex at the end of Convergence, but they took such a beating that neither feels up to it. So they settle for simply falling asleep laying with one another.
  • In New Warriors: Firestar, Nova, and Namorita break Justice out of the convoy taking him to prisonnote . After Vance convinces them to let him face the music, Nova, Namorita, and the guards look the other way while he and Firestar "have a private goodbye." Angelica wants to, but Vance convinces her that their first time should be more special than a quick rut in the woods.
  • Scott Pilgrim: Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers do this in volume 1. After their first "date", Scott ends up at Ramona's apartment with the (literal) girl of his dreams half-naked, on top of him, in bed. However, Ramona abruptly changes her mind about having sex with him the moment he shows some kind of reluctance in the process of beginning to do the deed (Granted, she does tell him that she gets to change her mind later if she wants to, and they still sleep in the same bed). Scott, who unknown to both Ramona and the reader, is still shaken from how his relationship with Envy Adams ended, is completely fine with this; It should also be noted that when he's with a woman he really likes, he has a tendency (especially this early in his Character Development) to be pretty whipped. That said, Ramona doesn't change her mind untill​ Scott both shows some initial hesitance about going all the way (contrasting being gung-ho until he lets his anxiety out the first try), and has been with her for a decent stretch of time.
  • Virgil Hawkins of Static has actually refused to have sex with his then-girlfriend, after having a serious talk with his father about how it is a big step in responsibility for someone his age. Virgil ultimately decides he isn't ready for more than he already has with his life as a superhero and decides to wait.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3, Peter Parker and Mary Jane discuss whether they're ready to take their relationship to the next level. In the end MJ decides she's not after initially wanting to, and Peter (who has been understanding about it the whole time) tells her that while he wants to sleep with her, he's more than willing to wait until she's ready.

    Comic Strips 
  • In 9 Chickweed Lane, Edda and Amos attempt the "abstinence until marriage" route. We find out about this after they apparently immediately broke that vow and Edda comically tries to convince Amos that he dreamed it. (Amos knew and played along because he thought it was sweet she was thinking of his honour.)

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust:
    • Shinji and Asuka have a conversation shortly after hooking up, and he tells her that, even if the HAD enjoyed kissing and groping, they did not need to have sex right away because he also enjoyed talking with her, and he wants all of her, so he is okay with waiting.
    • Ritsuko decided to wait on sleeping with Maya after hooking up, partially because she just came out of an emotionally abusive relationship with Gendo.
  • The Child of Love: Variant. Shinji and Asuka got a one-night stand. As a result of it, Asuka got pregnant and their relationship almost got destroyed. After reconciling, Asuka said they were not having sex until Teri’s birth at the very least and they had to be very careful from now on. Shinji agreed.
  • Children of an Elder God: In chapter 23 Asuka is feeling very strong urges to make love to Shinji. However she suspects the Outer Gods want them to give in their base instincts so they can wipe humankind out, and she restrains herself, telling herself they are still too young and with no idea of how to do it properly.
    One day she would she would make love to him. But not now. She was too young, and so was he, and she had a feeling that was what Nylarathotep wanted.
    Also, she wasn't sure how to do it properly.
  • Create Your Own Fate: After taking Gaarra to breakfast (rather than dinner, due to a time zone difference from where she woke up at the start of the story), Eleya invites him to join her in her borrowed shuttle. He declines, saying he never sleeps with a girl on the first date. To which she responds by teasing him about his presumption that there will be a second date. There is, and they've become a couple by the end of the story.
  • A Crown of Stars: Discussed. Asuka and her best friend Hikari talk about Asuka's love life, who has just recently hooked up with Shinji after several years of Belligerent Sexual Tension, Unresolved Sexual Tension, misunderstandings, and a long forced separation. Shinji and Asuka started to have sex shortly after getting together, and Hikari -who has just hooked up with her high-school crush but has not had sex yet- is seeking advice about giving the next step or waiting a while, so she asks Asuka what she would have done when they were thirteen. Asuka replies that knowing what she knows now, she would not have waited.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Monkey On Your Smurf", Empath and Smurfette are both induced into making out with each other while under the influence of microprobes that are in their bodies. When the microprobes are removed and Empath and Smurfette are back to normal, they both decide that they would rather wait until marriage before they have sex.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Germany, Italy, and Japan actually didn't do it until they got married after months of dating. Let's just say the Bad Touch Trio announced the end of the waiting period while performing surveillance on the honeymoon ship.
    "The Axis Virgin Trio is no more!"
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Shinji and Asuka argue about their sex life several times: both are attracted to each other, but their many psychological issues -which include Asuka being mentally and physically raped several times in the past- keep in the way of a healthy sex life. Sometimes Asuka just wants to have sex so the matter is settled, but Shinji argues he's afraid of hurting her and they shouldn't force themselves. Even after they manage to get past this particular hurdle, their sex life can only be described as "sparce", with the deed occurring once every couple of months at most. As Asuka eloquently puts it, "We're fucked up. We have issues. It takes a lot to get us in the right spot mentally to do it, and we can't manage that on a regular basis." Misato has a hard time wrapping her head around this.
  • Gold Poisons: Jin Guangyao has traumas around sex, so he tells Nie Mingjue and Lan Xichen that he would like to wait a bit before moving beyond kissing. Mingjue and Xichen are fine with this.
  • Last Child of Krypton: In chapter 9 of the redux Asuka tries to seduce Shinji, but Shinji convinces her to wait a while because she was severely hurt and distraught.
  • The Last War: Harry and Hermione decide to put off consummating their love until their personal situations settle down a bitnote  Given the fic's orphaned status, consummation may never come.
  • Maybe Sprout Wings has Dean and Castiel living in the same house and falling in love, but due to the fact that Dean is technically Castiel's slave and has a traumatized history, they agree to wait until Dean is freed and they are on more equal footing.
  • My Hero Playthrough: Done by Izuku when Tsuyu tries to seduce him after paired near-death incidents. He gives her a list of reasons why they shouldn't, but also a timetable to discuss it again. She agrees.
  • The One I Love Is...: Subverted. In an early chapter, Rei wants to have sex with Shinji but he backs out because he can not stop to think about Asuka. Not wanting to hurt Rei he lies, saying he has stopped because he wants to make sure things don't go too fast.
  • Severus and Lily wait for their wedding night in The Peace Not Promised at her father's request. Lily would have been quite happy to brush it off since she's an adult, but Severus both wants to make a good impression on her father and is very aware that due to his time travel, he's quite a lot older than her.
  • A Penny and Aggie Fan Art strip parodies the Marshall/Karen trope by portraying them in the future as newlyweds. As Marshall carries her over the threshold, the blushing Karen raises the question again, but he says, "Don't be silly. We're still just kids."
  • Common in TheNovelArtist's stories, but Second Chances (TheNovelArtist) is notable in that Marinette is recovering from the tragic death of her husband just a year earlier. Dating at all is something she has to work her way up to, working through the nagging sense that she's betraying Nathanael. By the time of her wedding to Adrien, she's ready, but she wouldn't have been okay with physical intimacy before making that commitment.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): When Jaune and Yang finally get the chance to sleep in the same bed, they do just that, sleep. Jaune's mother is not amused, but Jaune and Yang found it the best night of their lives, and insist on taking it slow. Not too much later, the night before the final battle, they finally consummate their relationship.
  • The protagonist of With This Ring turns down a proposition from his Love Interest because he would enjoy it too much and would want to stay with her afterward. Since he's quite disappointed in the Justice League's recent behaviour, he recognises that it's important for him to go ahead with his plans to take some time away from Earth and let everyone cool off, plus there are several interstellar civilisations that need to go. They do hook up when he comes back several months later.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • All the Real Girls: One night, Paul stops his girlfriend Noel when she tries to go further than kissing. Paul, having a history of promiscuity, wants things to be different with Noel as she is the first girl he’s really loved.
  • Dolores from Beach Party doesn't trust herself not to give in if she's alone with Frankie, so she invites all their friends to stay in the beach house with them. She wants him to see her as a wife, not just another girl, and she doesn't think that will happen unless she saves herself.
  • In the final act of The Food of the Gods, Lorna approaches Morgan for sex, in case they don't survive the inevitable fight with the giant rats outside. Morgan assures her that when they get through this, they can make love as much as they want.
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin: The protagonist and his love interest decide to wait until they've had a certain number of dates before they... do it.
  • Brought up in the film adaptation of Like Water for Chocolate by Pedro to his new bride Rosaura. However, the marriage is not of love but simply to delay an uncomfortable marriage obligation (Pedro married Rosaura to be close to her sister Tita, his true love). Pedro throws in one successful excuse as to why they should wait but eventually the deed is done (to produce a son).
  • High Fidelity: Rob dumped Penny Hardwick because she wouldn't have sex with him, then was stunned when she slept with her next boyfriend after like three dates. When he reconnects with her, she explains that she wanted to wait until they were both adults and in college before consummating, and what happened with the other guy was borderline nonconsensual and turned her off sex until she was in her twenties.
  • In Jumping the Broom, after having a one-night stand with a man who already had a girlfriend, Sabrina decides that the next time she has sex, she will be married. She eventually meets and gets engaged to Jason, and they decide they will abide by that rule.
  • In Last Christmas, Tom declines to go any further after his and Kate's first kiss, presumably because she's still a bit drunk, and because she just poured her heart out to him and is still extremely emotional. He does curl up with her and hold her in his bed at her request, though. Given what we find out later, the two never get a chance to take things further.
  • Virginia from Like Normal People wants to have sex with Roger, but doesn't think it would be right until they're married. Unfortunately, the institution where they live doesn't let patients get married.
  • Python: Tommy and Theresa haven't had sex yet, to his dismay. They do come close at one moment, while their spending at her house before a biking trip and her mom is gone, but then her cat interrupts the mood, and he ends up sleeping on the couch.
  • In Something Wicked Christine is a virgin and made a vow to only have sex with her boyfriend until they're married.

  • Logan from Almost Perfect is reeling from his breakup with Brenda, his girlfriend of three years. She never let him get to second base, saying that if they waited, their first time would be so much more special. He believed her until he found out she'd cheated on him with a guy she'd known for a week.
  • Anita Blake: Anita didn't put out until the sixth book in the series, due to a bastard ex-fiancé.
  • In The Evolution of Emily, Emily wants to have sex with August, but August wants to wait. He's the product of an accidental teen pregnancy, which he feels messed up his dad's life, and doesn't want to do anything that might result in a baby until he's ready to start a family.
  • High Fidelity: Rob dumped Penny Hardwick because she wouldn't have sex with him, then was stunned when she slept with her next boyfriend after like three dates. When he reconnects with her, she explains that she wanted to wait until they were both adults and in college before consummating, and what happened with the other guy was borderline nonconsensual and turned her off sex until she was in her twenties.
  • In Love Over Gold, Diane and Katrien agree to delay sex until their third date so it will be meaningful. Diane thinks that if they had sex earlier, they wouldn't be able to build a real relationship.
  • In Macho Man by Moritz Netenjakob, the protagonist's girlfriend Aylin tells him she wasn't a very "traditional" Turkish woman but she does find it romantic to wait for the wedding night to have sex for the first time. In the end, he seduces her when they get back together by showing how much he isn't a macho man after all by singing the smurf song to her.
  • The "engaged" version also happens in Odd Thomas. Tragically, before they can actually consummate their love, the girl dies.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: Oliver and Nanao's first attempt to consummate their romance in volume 10 gets scuttled by Oliver's PTSD from a previously unknown Rape as Backstory, so while they spend the night naked together in bed, they don't get as far as intercourse. They agree to try to take it slow and work their way up to "getting the pole in the hole", as Nanao bawdily puts it.
  • The Sunne in Splendour: Richard of Gloucester rescues his childhood sweetheart Anne Neville from her hiding place as a kitchen maid and takes her into sanctuary, intending to marry her. They spend time together at her sanctuary house but resist consummating their relationship as they both fear for Anne's reputation, should she become pregnant. Additionally, Richard's more worldly brother, Edward IV, recognizes Anne is suffering from trauma as a result of her brief first marriage and has advised Richard to give her time to heal.
  • Hershel and Mary from Super Powereds. They are by far the least noticeable of the various couples in general, but they also seem to be the most stable. The situation is slightly complicated by the fact that thanks to Roy, Hershel has a huge number of memories of sex despite being a virgin.
  • Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox: Argent and Tsumiko have been platonically sharing rooms and a bed for weeks when Argent experiences a Love Epiphany and attempts to seduce her. While initially receptive, Tsumiko puts a stop to things once she realizes how far he intends to go, due to her religious upbringing and moral convictions. Later, she's made aware that his words and actions were the Amaranthine equivalent of a proposal, and consummating the relationship would be considered as binding as a wedding to his culture. It's implied she might not have stopped him if she had realized. However, by this time, she has already set conditions for their relationship, so the couple waits until after they have a more traditional wedding.
  • The Tuning Station: Ted and Susan have been dating for two years and still haven't had sex because she's religious and believes in saving herself for marriage. Ted agrees to abstain, despite not sharing her beliefs, because he thinks she's worth it, and also because he hopes she might change her mind someday.
  • Edward asks Bella for this in Twilight, for a mixture of reasons boiling down to "I'm probably damned anyway, but you should have the best chance with whatever god(s) may exist." He would have actually preferred to wait until she's a vampire, for safety, but they settle on marriage as a compromise.
  • Don and Denise in We Can't Rewind present a somewhat unusual case in that they're both somewhat sexually experienced already, he being a widower and she being a single mother. Since he's also a rather traditional religious conservative kind of guy and she's recovered from being a sexual abuse victim and Absurdly Youthful Mother, however, he has little trouble convincing her to save their first time with each other for the wedding night. Once they get to the wedding night, however...
  • In Where the Crawdads Sing, Tate refuses to have sex with Kya because he's legal and she isn't, and because he's afraid moving too quickly will damage her. Later, Kya delays sex with Chase Andrews for a long time because she'd feel cheap if she gave in too soon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrested Development:
    Ann: And then that first time, after waiting and waiting, it’s gonna be so awesome! Because it’s not just going to be my love and George Michael’s, but God’s love, as well. God, it’s gonna be incredible!
  • There never seems to be any question that Cory and Topanga in Boy Meets World are going to wait until they are married, although Cory has a harder time waiting than Topanga does. At one point during the engagement, she shows him her butt as a compromise to placate him.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Amends", Willow and Oz get back together after breaking up because he caught her kissing Xander. On Christmas Eve, Willow attempts to seduce him as an apology for her behaviour. Oz gently turns her down because he wants their first time together to be because they both want it and not because she's trying to prove something to him.
  • The End of the F***ing World: For much of the first season, Alyssa is, by James' description, "a bit of a nymphomaniac," and on multiple occasions tries to initiate sex. Over the course of the season, as James begins to fall in love with her, he becomes more receptive to kissing and holding hands, but it's not until Episode 8 that he initiates a makeout session and indicates that he's ready to go further. However, before anything can happen, Alyssa has a flashback to her near-assault that occurred a few days earlier, and quietly asks James if they can wait for at least a few days, admitting she isn't ready. He immediately stops kissing her, says that's just fine, and lays down next to her so they can hold hands and sleep.
  • On Friday Night Lights, the first time Julie and Matt attempt sex, they realize they're doing it just because they each think the other is "The One." They're correct about that, but decide there's no rush to have sex and that they'll wait until it feels right.
  • Friends: Chandler and Monica decide to do the "engaged couple" version of this in the weeks leading up to their wedding. After a few days, they're both getting frustrated so Chandler starts a fake argument so they can "break up" for a few hours and have sex. Monica's willing to go along with it until she remembers her cousin is staying in their spare room and will hear everything.
  • General Hospital. Jagger agrees to this when he and Karen begin dating, as she's a virgin. She's finally ready by prom night but sadly ends up freaking out (she's dealing with repressed memories of having been molested as a child).
  • Gilmore Girls: Lane's devoutly religious Education Mama spent her entire childhood warning her of the evil of dating of pre-marital sex, which only makes Lane rebellious and secretive until she eventually moves out. When she starts dating her bandmate Zack, she surprises herself by saying she wants to wait until getting married to have sex.
    Zack: So...what do you think?
    Lane: Oh, well I have to wait till I get married.
    Zack: What?
    Lane: "I have to wait till I get married"?
    Zack: I didn't know that.
    Lane: Neither did I.
  • Provides lots of humor in Girlfriends when Good Bad Girl Lynn starts dating a celibate man. He initially refuses to date her due to her...reputation, but she convinces him that she can wait. She's...not very good at it.
  • The Golden Girls:
    • Blanche dated one man like this — she was so confused by the idea she misinterpreted it as him not finding her attractive.
    • Inverted in one episode with Sophia. Despite both of them being in their eighties, she decides to jump into bed with a man quite quickly.
  • Appears no less than three times in Gossip Girl's first season. An ongoing plot in the first seven episodes is Blair wanting to lose her virginity to Nate, who keeps putting it off. Dan also takes this stance with Serena for a few episodes. And Chuck Bass, of all people, tells Blair in the season finale that they should wait a while and "do it right this time".
  • In Grey's Anatomy Erica and Callie agree to wait before having sex because they both think they aren't ready to have sex with another woman. A few dates later, they consummate their relationship.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Subverted in a flashback, Marshall and Lily decide to wait to have sex... and then do it ten minutes later. Ted was especially annoyed because he was in the top bunk.
      Marshall: We said we were sorry.
      Ted: Then why did you do it again?
      Marshall: Hey, I let you borrow my Walkman!
    • Victoria and Ted planned to wait a month but gets too impatient after the first two weeks.
  • Intergalactic: Drew says he's been with other women before, but Genevieve is the most special to him, so he prefers waiting before the pair have sex so they can build up their relationship.
  • Spoofed in French series Lazy Company with Henry and his wife, who decided to "wait" before having sex... even after their wedding.
  • The "engaged couple agreeing to wait until their wedding day before they do it again" happens on Scrubs with Turk and Carla. It lasts less than an entire episode; by the time Turk comes around to the idea as being romantic, Carla has had such a rough day that she needs some loving affection and changes her mind. Turk is happy to oblige. In season 1, Carla mentions to Elliot that she usually waits a month to sleep with new boyfriends. As she puts it, she likes to make them wait until they think they are never going to get in her pants, and then jump them like an animal (which usually takes about a month).
  • Mohawk Girls: Anna has a rule about not having sex with her boyfriend for three months, so she's certain he really likes her rather than simply wanting this. She breaks it with Thunder though, afraid other women will lure him away otherwise.
  • Brian and Alex decide to do this on Wings after Brian is reminded by Joe and Helen that he has a habit of jumping into bed with women he's just met and then immediately losing respect for them. Brian being who he is, it's a definite moment of Character Development for him.

  • The Trope Namer is Janet Jackson's song "Let's Wait Awhile".
    I didn't really know not to let all my feelings show
    To save some for later so our love can be greater
    You said you would always love me
    Remember I said the same thing to you
    You don't have to be frightened with my love
    Because, I'll never give up on you
    Let's wait awhile
    Ah well before it's too late
    You know you can't rush love
  • Lady Antebellum's "Just a Kiss" goes, "So baby I'm alright, oh, let's do this right, with just a kiss goodnight."
  • Avril Lavigne's "Don't Tell Me".
  • Jermaine Stewart's "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off". The lyrics can be summed up as thus: "Don't move so fast and try to get to the sex right away, it's insulting and unclassy — let's just have fun and enjoy ourselves before we go any further." Interestingly, the POV character who wants to wait is male.
  • The Supremes' "Love Child" is about a woman who doesn't want to have sex, because she felt the sting of being born out of wedlock, and doesn't want to risk getting pregnant and having her child go through the same thing.
    Don't think that I don't need ya
    Don't think I don't want to please ya
    But no child of mine will be bearin'
    The name of shame I've been wearin'
    Love Child!

    Mythology & Religion 

    Professional Wrestling 

  • In A Little Night Music, the middle-aged widower Fredrik marries 18-year-old Anne, who even eleven months after the wedding, still isn't ready to have sex. This divide eventually drives Fredrik into the arms of his ex-lover and Anne into the arms of her 19-year-old stepson.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II: Shadow Of Amn:
    • This is the "correct" choice when romancing Aerie, near the end of that storyline. If you accept her invitation and do the deed, in the morning after she will break up with you because she wasn't really as ready as she thought, and you took advantage of her emotions. If you tell her to wait, she'll later be happy you did the right thing. Besides, you have other opportunities in the expansion. In fact, by then you don't have the option to wait.
    • Viconia's romance takes a different approach. You can bed her fairly early on (and she will break off the relationship if you don't accept), but later on, she considers it just a tedious duty ("Let's just get it over with"). You can respond by just having sex as usual... or offer to just cuddle since she's clearly not in the mood for anything else. Viconia is very surprised at this un-drow-like option but says afterwards that it wasn't bad.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, the romance option with Alistair plays out like this. You can convince him to go to bed instead of waiting for him to feel ready and approach you, but the love scene doesn't play and he seems unhappy about it.
      • The romance with Leliana has similar leanings, as she wants to wait until she's in love before agreeing to go to bed.
      • The Player Character can invoke this in any romance if the companion approaches you for sex first. Surprisingly, Zevran takes it best. If you shyly state that you're not ready and ask to wait a while he's actually charmed and welcomes you to let him know whenever you're ready. (True to his word, the only way to sleep with Zevran after that is for the Warden to approach him about it, as he doesn't pursue it again). By contrast, the other love interests honor your feelings but are clearly disappointed (and somewhat embarrassed) and lose some affection if you ask to wait when they approach you.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: When a romanced Dorian approaches a male Inquisitor for sex, said Inquisitor can either agree to jump into bed or ask to wait a while. If the latter, Dorian is shocked into silence, but happy to wait since he secretly yearned for a loving monogamous relationship with a man he loved, but was conditioned to think such things were impossible in his home country, where homosexuality is regarded as such a shameful secret that casual trysts were all he ever knew.
  • Kate, the true love interest of Grand Theft Auto IV, no matter how many times Niko dates her, she will not sleep with him.
  • Subverted in Hades when Zagreus tries this line on Thanatos upon their Relationship Upgrade, hoping to prove that he isn't just acting on an impulsive whim, and assures Thanatos that he's happy to wait until Thanatos is ready... Only for Thanatos, who had invited himself into Zagreus' bedroom, to roll his eyes and tell Zagreus that he's ready now.
    Thanatos: You say you'll wait? Well, let me ask you this: What are you waiting for? What are you waiting for, I'm here, already. Right...?
    Zagreus: Than!... Hahaha, oh, you're right! [Cue Sexy Discretion Shot]
  • Mass Effect:
  • SLAMMED!: Non-sexual example; Ecstasy will ask you this the first time you pursue them, because they aren't ready for a relationship. Later, the PC can do the same to them for the same reason.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: during the Jedi Consular's romance path with Nadia, he turns her down the first time she propositions him for sex, telling her that she's acting out of fear, grief, and desperation, not love. Her pleading with him to acquiesce and eventual admittance that she does fear losing him at any moment just cements this as the right decision in his mind. And it is—Nadia later thanks him for it, apologizes for her behavior, and agrees to take things slowly, so they can truly appreciate what they have instead of rushing it.
  • Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns: The game actually has two occurrences of this, surprisingly enough. But due to its rating, the game pulls off more child-friendly versions.
    • Kasumi mentions in her penultimate love event that she isn't comfortable enough to kiss the farmer yet, but that holding hands is alright. Her final love event then has her try to kiss the farmer, but she stops herself and says that they'll wait until marriage.
    • Yuzuki gives the farmer a kiss on the cheek in his final love event, saying that a kiss on the lips will have to wait for another day.

    Visual Novels 
  • Double Homework:
    • The protagonist has an unusual one of these with Johanna and Tamara. When the two girls decide to share him between themselves, Johanna and Tamara also leave him to choose which one he wants to go all the way with first. This is double subverted for the protagonist and Tamara, because Tamara, having made him wait for all the goods, tells him that she wants to bed him right away to beat Johanna to the same thing. However, it is all a setup, as Tamara has arranged for Johanna to walk in on the two of them when they’re about to have sex.
    • Defied by Amy. Amy is disillusioned about a lot of things, romance being one of them. Therefore, she lets the protagonist go all the way with her at the first chance he gets and initiates trying a lot of things that she’s heard about.
    • Discussed between the protagonist and Rachel. According to the protagonist, the fact that they’ve already gone through all this is the reason why it’s so easy to have sex with an ex.
  • Melody:
    • Melody is shy about jumping into bed with the protagonist, not least because she is still a virgin.
    • Becca also wants to wait for the right time before going all the way with the protagonist, because in her experience, sex has been the beginning of the end for a treasured friendship.
    • The protagonist wants to hold off having sex with Amy because he doesn’t want to screw up things for Melody.
    • The protagonist and Isabella provide an interesting aversion. When Bethany breaks up with the protagonist, he and Isabella admit that they’ve been crushing on each other since they were teenagers. However, instead of waiting for the “right” time, they agree to a one-night stand, after which they promise that they won’t act weirdly toward each other.

    Web Comics 
  • BOO! It's Sex: Christine and Ansh are very into each other, but they want to hold off on (penetrative) sex until they both feel ready for it. They still enjoy other acts like sexting and handjobs.
  • Dominic Deegan: Dominic learns that Luna's first time was an (intentionally engineered) utter disaster, so she developed some serious hang-ups about intimacy on top of her pre-existing self-esteem issues. It works out in the end, though (Three words: "Worth. The. Wait.)
  • Everyday Heroes: In a flashback during the "The Talk" arc, we see a younger Marko (Mr. Mighty) and Jane, who hadn't even kissed yet before Marko popped the question. Marko was (very) old fashioned and was most comfortable with taking things slow and traditional. Jane, who had some trust issues due to her past as a villain, was okay with this. Though the genuine love and trust in her he showed when he proposed inspired her to change her mind on the whole "waiting" thing.
  • Nick and Ki from General Protection Fault: Nick wanted to wait until he and Ki were married because he's an old-fashioned romantic. Ki thought his explanation was the sweetest thing ever.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! obliquely addresses this here.
  • In Ménage à 3, Gary said this a couple of times when his then-girlfriend Yuki attempted intimacy. How much of his motives were being a gentleman and how much was due to concern over the violent psychotic breaks male genitals caused her is up in the air.
  • Tipper and Charles from Namir Deiter, much to the annoyance of their roommate Gabby, who wished they'd stop crawling the walls and start crawling each other.
  • In Nineteen-Ninety-Something: In a pre-reboot, no longer canon storyline, Joel and Michelle attempt to have sex, but a lack of condoms led to a mood-breaking sequence where they realize they weren't actually ready. Unfortunately, Joel's ultra-conservative mom Tina catches them getting dressed and assumes the "worst". Hilarity Ensues.
  • In No Heroes, Jester and Katharina start to indulge in some Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex after a dungeon escape. But they don't get further than her hand inside his vest before Jester begs off, saying he's too tired and sore to keep going. Katharina understands and says they'll talk later - about everything.
  • In Penny and Aggie, Marshall repeatedly says this to Karen, because "we're kids." (The real reason, as the comic later reveals, is that he thinks having sex too soon will make him like his hedonistic mother, whom he resents.) However, Karen's self-esteem is so tied up in Marshall "wanting" her that she deliberately walks in on him in the shower and, when he still refuses to make love, gives him a hand-job without asking. After several months, Marshall decides he's ready and they consummate their relationship... but break up soon after for unrelated reasons.
  • This Something*Positive strip during a marital preparedness course.
    Debra: Oh, we got married seven years ago, but Gary really wants to wait until it's special.
  • Tina's Story: Kendo tells Felicia that he believes in waiting until marriage. Felicia, who until recently had considered her sexuality her one and only asset, but was looking to change her ways, agreed. Though subsequent appearances showed that neither one was above "working around the edges" of that vow.
  • Walkyverse: Joyce and Walky, due to Joyce's near-psychotic aversion to "pre-marital hanky-panky." Eventually, facing the imminent End of the World battle and having already gotten engaged, they go for it and (being mildly super-powered individuals) cause some serious structural damage to their hotel room in the process.
  • You Say It First: Played for Drama. It was assumed earlier on that Kimberly wasn't ready for intimacy beyond hugging and kissing. When Kimberly tries to go further in Chapter 38 ("Date Night In"), Brisbane panics and begs off. leading to a fight that causes them to split for six (in-story) weeks. They talk things out in Chapter 51 ("Good Morning"), both explaining why they acted how they did, clearing the way for them to actually take that next step.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in Clone High. Everyone expects to "go up a base, sex-wise" on Prom Night, which for Gandhi would mean going from masturbating to dry-humping a girl through their clothes, a prospect that excites him to the point that he becomes fixated on it. After some false starts, he finally gets together with a willing partner in Marie Curie, only to stop abruptly and say that they're so young, maybe they should wait. She replies that "I guess the driest love of all is abstinence."


Video Example(s):


Let's Wait Awhile

In the trope-naming song, Janet Jackson tries to convince Taimak to be patient with her.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / LetsWaitAWhile

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