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"
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 an unquestionable 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".
Occasionally paired with Insatiable Newlyweds to show that the couple weren't waiting out of prudishness.
- In Girl Friends, 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.
- 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.
- Timothy Drake, the third Robin. He's 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. Gotta love that guy.
- It looks he and Steph are finally ready to have sex at the end of Steph's mini series in Convergence, but they took such a beating that neither feels up to it. So they settle for simply falling asleep laying with one another.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Axis Powers Hetalia 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!"
- 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 what knowing what she knows now, she would not have waited.
- 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 Teris 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...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.
- Ghosts of Evangelion: Shinji and Asuka argue about their sex life several times: both are attracted 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 have sex so the matter is settled, but Shinji argues he's afraid of hurting her and they shouldn't force themselves.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 to why they should wait but eventually the deed is done (to produce a son).
- 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 Something Wicked Christine is a virgin and made a vow to only have sex with her boyfriend until they're 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 and interrupts the mood, and he ends up sleeping on the couch.
- 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.
- Hershel and Mary from Super Powereds. They are by far the least noticable 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.
- Anita Blake didn't put out until the sixth book in the series, due to a bastard ex-fiancé.
- The "engaged" version also happens in Odd Thomas. Tragically, before they can actually consummate their love, the girl dies.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Spoofed in French series Lazy Company with Henry and his wife, who decided to "wait" before having sex... even after their wedding.
- Friends had the same situation with Monica and Chandler. Seeing as these are the two who declared they were the best the other had ever had, the decision didn't last long. Within a week, they staged a pretend fight to "break off" the engagement so they could sleep together again.
- 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.
Lane: "I have to wait till I get married"?
Zack: I didn't know that.
Lane: Neither did I.
- 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".
- Arrested Development:
Ann: And then that first time, after waiting and waiting, its gonna be so awesome! Because its not just going to be my love and George Michaels, but Gods love, as well. God, its gonna be incredible!
- 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.
- 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.
- Victoria and Ted planned to wait a month, but gets too impatient after the first two weeks.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- The Trope Namer is Janet Jackson's song "Let's Wait A While".
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
- 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.
- Avril Lavigne's "Don't Tell Me."
- Lady Antebellum's Just a Kiss goes, "So baby I'm alright, oh, let's do this right, with just a kiss goodnight."
- 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'
- In the gospel of Matthew, even when Joseph takes Mary as his wife, the two of them hold off on consummating the marriage until Mary gives birth to her firstborn son, who turns out to be Jesus. Catholic interpretations, though, have Joseph keep Mary a virgin even after she gives birth to Jesus.
- The Lovely Lacey, who treated Jimmy Jacobs like crap for as long as she knew him, decided to award him with sex after he finally fulfilled her desire to remove BJ Whitmer from Ring of Honor with an injury. Jacobs, who had been courting Lacey in spite of her mistreatment, turned her down. They did end up having sex later, but only after Jimmy saw that Lacey had become as dedicated to Jimmy as he was to her. Also, Jimmy let Lacey have sex with other men, so long as it supported his radical social movement, to prove sex wasn't the reason he had fallen for her.
- 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.
- 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.
- Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns: The game actually has two occurences 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.
- Mass Effect: If you romance Liara, she asks to wait because she wants it to be special. She then approaches you just before the final battle.
- In Mass Effect 2, a romanced Garrus asks to wait until just before you start the Suicide Mission.
- Another Bioware example is in 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.
- 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, no matter how long that may take... Only for Thanatos 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]
- 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.
- Dominic and Luna. Dominic learns that Luna's first time was an (intentionally engineered) utter disaster, so she developed some serious hang-ups about intimacy on top her pre-existing self-esteem issues. It works out in the end, though (Three words: "Worth. The. Wait.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Taken Up to Eleven in this Something*Positive strip during a marital preparedness course.
Debra: Oh, we got married seven years ago, but Gary really want to wait until it's special.
- In Nineteen-Ninety-Something: 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.
- Parodied in Clone High. Everyone expects to "go up a base, sex-wise" on Prom Night, which for Gandhi would mean going from A Date with Rosie Palms 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."