Sex: When Should a Couple Take the Next Step?

In today’s instant-everything world, knowing how to navigate the road of love most often seems to lack substance, commitment, and time. With help from the Free Love Movement of the Sixties, tradition has given way to one-night stands, cell-phone apps like Grinder and Hook-up, and women finally have complete control over sex through birth control. In fact, women have more power than ever! In many ways this is a GREAT thing, but often times this new sense of power makes it too easy to skip all the traditional dating nuances and get right to the business of sex. At first this may seem easy and hassle-free, but when it comes to building an intimate, long-term relationship, can having sex too soon be destructive instead of constructive? How long should a couple wait before taking that next step? In this new and equal playground for men and women, it is essential to create a bond and a level of trust before deciding to have sex. We humans possess a deep sea of emotions and feelings. Adding sex into the equation too soon can really add unnecessary turmoil to something that is already so complex.

As a traditional Matchmaker and relationship advisor, I strongly believe there are many different scenarios we play out in our heads when it comes to how we perceive a given situation, and not all of them maybe be accurate. There is an old adage which says that “women play with sex to get love, men play with love to get sex”. While it is true, there is so much more to it than that, as there are many subconscious factors that can play into these roles. What are the parties involved looking for? Is it that both want control? Both want security? Both want acceptance? If we take the time to explore some of the thoughts and emotions men and women experience in their relationships, it gets a little easier to understand why there is so much uncertainty. I can recall hearing from male clients that when sex came into play, they too had an emotional connection with their new partner, only to find that person had then moved on after having sex. Their reason for taking that step too soon? “She seemed ready to go so I let things happen.” Alternately, I have heard female clients say, “but there was such an immediate connection, it seemed natural to connect even more with sex.” Here both parties are getting caught up in the passion and lust of their newfound romance. They forget to stop, breathe, and think clearly about what they both ultimately want from the situation.

To mitigate the emotional damages from this unconscious want, both parties must be and remain in the conscious present. Take the time to get to know one another and set a strong foundation on which to build your love and friendship; establish trust and a solid communication base first. Without it, the days and weeks following the initial sexual encounter can be very confusing and intimidating. The only way to find out if the connection is there is by putting in the time and communication as outlined above. There used to be a term for that, what was it again? Oh yes, I think it used to be called courtship! You know, that long-forgotten concept of approaching a potential mate with respect and aspiration that goes beyond just “hooking up”. The problem is in today’s world it seems that courtship has gotten steamrolled and congested by many different new standards. Standards that seek to expedite everything and lump every relationship into one standard rulebook. Unraveling what was proper dating protocol and what it has become now is key. Do this and if your mate has any potential, you will see the significant signs of a committed relationship developing. When you have dating confidence, aka love and respect for yourself, you will know when the time is right to have sex. You can then add this as a beautiful building block to your new, intimate, loving relationship.

So let’s go back to what is tried and true, the way it naturally happened back in the good days: boy meets girl, they get to know each other, girl “waits it out” to make sure the boy is worth it, and from there great things happen for both of them. When a man understands the value of a woman and pursues her with the respect she deserves, the woman reciprocates with the same respect and kind gestures of admiration. So much love and passion can come from this.