Help, I'm Single & Tempted! 4 Triggers To Avoid

My Confessions...

When I was single, I used to struggle with pornography...a not so dirty little secret of mine. Even early on throughout my relationship with my wife prior to marriage, pornography was still my vice. I knew it was my issue, but I kept it with a pet. It followed me wherever I went and would whisper to me at the right moments getting me to fold every time. If my assumption is correct, you are just like I was. Well, maybe not with pornography but definitely with the inability to say no to a sexual urge and mean it long enough to escape its strong grasp. I know the struggle of being single and I would be a fool to say that you can beat sexual urges with just sheer will power alone. Oh, and yes I was heavily involved in church...prayed, fasted and had a host of accountability partners. But, like I said...I kept it, like a pet.

What I didn't know (hind sight is always 20/20) was that when I would submit myself to that urge, I was relinquishing my right to abstain from those desires. Whenever I decided to give in to the invitations of immediate gratification, I was inadvertently weakening my desire to say "no." If you are like me, then you know the struggle that I speak of. You know the frustration of going a week or even a couple of months strong and then giving in. You may even know the struggle of trying to be sex free only to slip up...only to start from (what seems like) the base of the mountain all over again. If you are honest, then you know I'm talking to you.

Many people hide their sexual urges until the right person or right situation presents itself. Many people will fool themselves into thinking that they can suppress this desire for as long as they need to. Some can, most won't. So what can you do? How can you abstain so that you don't hand over your will to say "no" just for immediate gratification? What can you do so that you don't compromise you readiness for you next serious relationship? Well, for me, I had to become very aware of my emotional and physiological condition. I had to learn certain triggers that if planned for in advance, I could avoid. I learned that there were four major triggers that if left unattended, would lead me towards submitting to my sexual urges. In my 10 years of working with people, these four triggers are the same for about 85% of them. Chances are they are the same for you too.


H:  HUNGRY.  I have found that when you are emotionally hungry, you are more vulnerable to being triggered into acting or doing something that may not be healthy for you. When there are emotional voids that have not been filled the correct way, this empty space tends to suck any and everything into it. Needing something that you can't get creates inner anxiety. Because we humans crave stability and comfort, we tend to act in irrational ways to release this inner pressure. My way was through pornography, what is yours? If you are feeling empty and emotionally hungry, be are more likely to give in to sexual urges while in this condition. I have found that the best way to combat this is to consume myself with pursuing my passions. The moment I became focused on pursuing my passions on a daily basis, it became much easier to say "no" and mean it. Why, because I had something healthy filling my voids.

A:  ANGRY. This one may resonate with many people. Most people walk around with years' worth of buried anger. This anger lies dormant until trigger. Once triggered, this anger floats to the surface of a person's soul only to manifest as something different than anger. For some, they cope with the tension of never truly releasing anger by using sex as an outlet. It always seemed like my moments of frustration were the ripest conditions for pornography. What about you? Is anger a trigger for you? Remember, what is released on the surface may not look like may have to dig a little deeper to find the anger and it's source. For me, staying light hearted and optimistic worked as a healthy alternative. I grew up with years of buried anger that fueled some of my sexual urges. Does anger serve as the fuel behind your sexual urges? Being aware of this can spare you many moments of shame and misery. You can't be truly happy and angry at the same time.

L:  LONELY. This one was huge for me. Because I often struggled with feeling misunderstood and with not being emotionally connected to others, pornography became my friend. Watching sex or having sex was my way of escaping my island. As I stated earlier, I know the struggle of being single. I remember not fitting in and feeling like I was an alien on this planet. It's like you speak but no one fall but no one helps you up. I have always been an independent thinker and at times this only exacerbated my feelings of loneliness. Is this the case for you? Are you emotionally connected or do you struggle to escape the dreaded island of loneliness? For me, the greatest antidote was building strong relationships with people. Not just one person, but people. To combat loneliness, I had to engage in relationships. I had to invite people into my world and leave my island by choice. If you live by yourself or have been single for longer than a few months, be aware of this trigger. Work extra hard to connect with others on an emotional level. 

T:  TIRED.  I have lost count of the amount of times that I used to be up late at night doing nothing and stumbled into the dark tar pit of pornography. This was especially the case when I lived on my own and when I lacked direction in life. The moment that I was tired but not sleepy, I knew that I would be in for a fight. The problem is that you always lose when you fight while you are tired. That's like trying to walk straight while you are dizzy. Your body is just not designed to do that. What time of the day are your sexual urges more heightened? When are you tired the most? To combat being tired, you have to play it smart. I had to learn that when I was tired, I needed to either force myself to go to sleep, or read a book. Reading helped me to refocus my mind onto something productive. You will have to know when you are tired so that you don't stumble into a situation that compromises your will to say "no." Remember, being physically tired is not the same as being sleepy...make sure that you know the difference for your body. Plan while you are not tired for when you get tired.


So those are the four triggers to be aware of so that you can stand strong against sexual urges. Whether you are male or female, having this information will help you to be in the right frame of mind so that you can make the right choices. HALT is an easy acronym to remember but it is also a word that is very direct. If you are truly serious about being single but ready, then you will have to HALT and use the tools that you have to help you remain positioned for your next serious relationship. Even though this sounds like more work, don't be discouraged, we are here to assist you along your journey. By partnering with Single But Ready, you will have access to my Pre-Relationship coaching tool box so that you can benefit from the same tools that my clients pay me by the hour to receive...except you pay nothing. Simply add you email to the box below and you will be part of our exclusive email list. Sign up now and let me help you HALT.

Will you be honest?

Which of these 4 triggers have you struggled with the most?

Single But Ready Terms of Use | Permissions Policy
Copyrights to all written works on this site remain with Marpe Youth & Family Services, Inc.