When we start dating, I think a lot of us question when to start having sex. When I was in my 20’s I was told waiting until after the third date would mean the dating would turn into a relationship. I diligently followed that rule and sometimes, actually a lot of the times, I still didn’t feel ready, but felt a strange obligation to sleep with the guy anyway. Wouldn’t you know, a lot of those situations didn’t turn into relationships. I’ve also been told to wait longer to have sex. Finally, I have settled on my own philosophy on the subject— it isn’t really the length of time that matters.
Let me back up— I do think the advice I’ve gotten to wait a longer period of time makes a lot of sense. One, it allows for the safety nets I’m about to describe to fall into place or for both humans to see they are there or not there and walk away if they choose. Biologically women do get attached quicker after sex than men (this isn’t true for every woman or man for that matter) and this is especially true for my anxious attachment humans. Waiting longer also means both parties will more likely be ready to have sex because they want to and it feels right versus some arbitrary “it’s been x dates” rule. All in all, I think waiting a longer time is a good idea. However, here’s what I’ve discovered ACTUALLY matters more than days/weeks marked off on a calendar:
There needs to be a level of emotional connection that isn’t attached to the physical. You two both have feelings developing, getting stronger and you’re bonding over common interests/philosophies.
This only applies to those of us who want to be in a monogamous relationship, but you want to know that your partner isn’t dating/talking/seeing/sleeping with anyone else and neither are you.
Make sure you’re both tested before engaging in sex because safe sex is the best sex.
It is imperative you feel comfortable telling your partner, and vice versa, how you feel and are able to speak your needs. You want a partner who listens, is supportive and values your thoughts and respects your needs.
There aren’t any red flags
It’s going to be a lot harder to walk away after sex so make sure you don’t see any blaring red flags before getting into bed with them.
What you want and what they want has been established
I don’t fuck around with this one and I bring up what I’m looking for ASAP— date #2 usually. I ask them what they are looking for/want and tell them what I am looking for and want. If I am looking for a serious and longterm partnership than I make sure a potential partner wants the same before moving forward with them.
Showing up with words AND actions
This is very important! Your potential partner needs to be expressing to you how they feel, following through on what they say they are going to do (texting/calling when they say they will, showing up on time for dates etc) and backing up their words with ACTIONS.
In my opinion and experience, those above safety nets matter more than a certain timeline. As I said, waiting longer will allow those to more fully develop, but each relationship will be different and thus the length of time you wait will vary too. I believe worrying less about timeline and investigating the above and watching how your situation unfolds, is more helpful for you and for your future relationship. Also, it goes without saying that your body is your body and NO ONE can tell you when doing anything with your body is right for you. If you’re not ready, you are not ready. If you think you’re ready and then you’re not ready than you get to stop what is happening immediately. If your partner doesn’t respect that than BYE BYE. Your body, your choice. PERIOD.
If you’re wanting guidance around dating or feeling stuck around love, I look forward to connecting over a session.