“It’s easy to take off your clothes and have sex. People do it all the time. But to open your soul to another person, letting them into your spirit, thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams…Now, that is being naked. ~ Rob Bell
It’s exciting when we first start talking with someone new—but when is too soon to start having sex?
We live in a different society than we did even a decade ago. Sex is everywhere, and between Snap-chatting and private Instagram, there is no shortage of ways that we can “sext” with new love interests—but just because we can, should we?
Sex is a crucial aspect of any relationship—yet, it’s been shown that those who have sex too soon are more apt to have the relationship end in dissatisfaction.
When we start connecting on a sexual level before we have formed actual emotional bonds, our decision making process becomes impaired.
We overlook red flags and make compromises that we wouldn’t normally consider because we have already bonded sexually and are no longer thinking rationally.
The reality behind the idea of waiting to have sex is that men and women fall in love differently. Women can have sex and then fall in love—but that usually isn’t true for men.
Once sex is introduced, it can confuse the situation—especially for men, making them question if they are actually having any emotional feelings, because their sexual impulses become so strong.
While women can have urges just as strong, sex solidifies what is already there emotionally.
The reality is that if all we are after is a rousing tryst, then there is nothing wrong with delving right in between the sheets for a night of fun. But—if we truly want more, then we owe it to ourselves (and our partners) to wait.
According to Steve Harvey—in his book, Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man—he suggests a three – month waiting period before sex gets introduced into a new relationship.
He describes sex as the “ultimate benefit package,” and as with any new job, there is a probationary period before the benefits are released.
Simply speaking, we can’t be just throwing around our greatest asset to anyone who applies for the job of our lover. We owe it to ourselves—and our potential partner—to wait.
A corresponding study noted that there was no marked difference in those who waited one month versus three, before introducing sex into the relationship—but the point is they didn’t give it up on the first date.
But really, how soon is too soon—and why should we wait for something that we want so much?
In the beginning of any new relationship that is exploring the possibility of longevity, time needs to be given for each person to get to know one another and to see if actual compatibility exists.
We need to spend time dating—finding our similar interests and just talking with someone—in order to see if there is a connection present, before introducing sex and the “bonding hormone” oxytocin.
The difficult aspect of this research is how it differs for those people who previously knew each other, either through similar circles of friends or the workplace.
When we already have an awareness of someone or if we are already friends, then it seems that it wouldn’t be as necessary to wait—but that is simply untrue.
It doesn’t matter if we have been best friends for 10 years, or if we suddenly notice the person two offices down in a new light—there is a transition from a platonic relationship to a romantic one, and that excludes the sexual aspect.
The longer we wait to have sex, the more sure we can be of what we are feeling and what our intentions are towards the other person.
We also are giving ourselves time to truly get to know all the messy details and to build a solid foundation of intimacy that is not based solely in the time spent naked with one another.
By waiting to have sex, we are giving ourselves and our partners the gift of falling in love with who we are, rather than with how we excite them sexually.
As much as we’ve moved away from cultural and societal norms, it isn’t getting any easier to find love and stable relationships, because what we want the most can’t be created overnight.
We cannot simply have sex with someone in order to force intimacy or to explore our feelings.
We can’t even really have sex with someone new to get over a previous lover—although we’ve all (perhaps) attempted these shallow physical outlets before, they don’t truly work, because they don’t actually address the issue at hand.
In order to develop a lasting relationship, it needs to be based on more than just sex—and to achieve that, we need to abstain from sex in the beginning, so we can strengthen all of the other facets of the connection first.
The reality is that it takes longer than just one or two dates to build trust—and it takes longer than a few hours spent together to be able to decide if the person we are with is someone who we see fitting into our lives.
This is why when we enter into a new relationship, we should wait a minimum of one month before getting naked—if not the full three that Steve Harvey suggests.
We need to simply give ourselves the time to develop a bond that’s not based solely on physical pleasure.
The longer we wait, the more time we will have to build trust—and then the more we can also enjoy the act of sex itself when we finally do partake in it.
Then no one will have to worry about what it means or if their partner will disappear in the morning.
There won’t be issues of wondering if other people are involved—or if the interest will fade once sex has been experienced. A solid foundation will already have been built.
When a relationship is truly built on a foundation of friendship, trust, respect and caring—then sex will only enhance what is already there.
Because no matter how great the sex is, we can’t force a relationship out of it.