While sex is a very important aspect of romantic relationships, its timing can highly affect the success of the relationship.
Some wait a few dates, others try to resist the urge for a few months, while others instantly do it right after the first. But what exactly is the best time to start being sexually intimate in a relationship?
An early study in 2000 carried out by Illinois State University communications professor Sandra Metts has revealed that, having an emotional connection, specifically saying “I love you” before having sex, possibly yielded positive effect on the outcome of the relationship.
The findings of the study also showed that couples who made love before saying “I love you” had negative experiences. Metts discovered that the introduction of the conversation led to an awkward situation.
Although Mett did not conclude on the exact timing to have sex, Metts claimed that partners should have an emotional connection before sleeping together. This includes getting to know each other, sharing a first kiss and building an expression of commitment.
Still, experts have varying opinions when it comes to how long partners should wait.
For Bringham Young University director of the school of family life Dean Busby, couples should wait as long as possible, preferably until marriage, to have a more stable and satisfying relationship. It should be noted that the research was funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which known to be against sexual intimacy outside marriage.
Psychotherapist Toni Coleman believes couples should give it at least three months before doing it. The three-month period is said to be the honeymoon phase of a new relationship. At this stage, feelings of attraction are still intense and couples need to move past that.
Coleman said: “I think that’s probably the point at which said, the couples who waited until that level fared a lot better than people who had sex on the first, second, or third date.”
But for psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith, letting a few weeks pass is the optimal time to start getting jiggy with it. In fact, his 2012 study showed that a total of 36 hours spent together is all it takes. According to Goldsmith, the strong desire to have sex may subside after the honeymoon phase. Take note that the 36-hour period doesn’t have to consecutive and may take a few dates or weeks to add up.