When do you take your new relationship to the next level? How long to wait before sex for the first time? As a relationship coach, I am asked this question frequently. Chemistry is a wonderful thing; it is important in a relationship. Sometimes it is present from the first time your eyes meet and sometimes it takes time to develop. Either way, the decision to act on that chemistry is an important one. How do you know when it is time to have sex? I am sure you have heard of the 3-date rule or maybe the 5-date rule. Is there a magic number that tells you when it is time?
The first stage of any relationship is infatuation. There is a chemical reaction between two people that draws them together. During this stage, you tend to see the best in the other person and enjoy the feelings that chemistry produces. When you add sex into the mix, you produce a chemical called oxytocin, the bonding hormone. This hormone creates a feeling of falling in love. You start to feel like a couple. Sex and oxytocin play an important role in relationships but can cause confusion when introduced too soon. There is a danger in becoming a couple too soon. It is harder to be objective about this new person and potential relationship. So, let’s talk about some guidelines for when to introduce sex into your new relationship.
Before taking your relationship to the next step by having sex consider a few things:
- How much do you know about each other? You don’t have to know the other person’s whole life story, but you should know enough to evaluate if this person is a good match for you.
- Have you been dating long enough to see their faults and still like them? It will take time to really get to know someone new, but you want to give it time to see them as whole person not just their perfect potential.
- Are your relationship values, needs and wants the same? Have you had a discussion yet about your goal for dating? Have you talked about your vision of a future with a partner? Do your visions match?
- Have you opened up to them and shared who you really are? Do you feel safe and free to be yourself around them?
- Have you talked about what having sex means to the relationship? The general rule is that if you cannot talk about sex, you should not be having sex. Adding sex to a new relationship can mean different things to different people. Make sure you talk about your expectations. Does having sex mean you are in an exclusive relationship? It is important to discuss this and come to an agreement before moving forward.
- Are you emotionally ready? Do you feel ready to move the relationship forward to the next level? You should not have sex because you feel it is expected or it is time because you have been on 3 dates. I do not believe in a number of dates rule. Each couple is unique and capable of evaluating the relationship at their own pace. The important thing is to be open and discuss how you feel about having sex.
Suggesting you wait a little longer to have sex may not be a popular opinion, but I think the right relationship is worth the wait. Yes, you want to know if you are compatible sexually. This is an important part of a relationship. Sometimes those first few encounters are not a good judge of your sexual compatibility. It might take time to feel comfortable with each other. Waiting does help you balance your heart and your head. It is easier to decide if this new relationship has potential when sex is not part of the equation. Enjoy getting to know each other and the anticipation of having sex. Once you feel comfortable that this person might be the one, enjoy adding sex to your new relationship when you are both ready.
[Lori Ann Davis]