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By October 1, 2011

Timing of intimacy in a new relationship

What is the ‘rule’ (if there is one), for establishing sexual intimacy in a new relationship?

I’m a 24 year old grad student who has been dating this really sweet guy for several weeks. Things are moving in the direction of becoming serious, both physically and emotionally. I feel strongly for him already. He is ready to have sex, but I’m not sure about that. I’m not a virgin, but I really think I should wait until I know him better, but I don’t want him to think I’m playing games and being a tease. I also don’t want him to think I don’t feel passion for him, but I don’t want to feel pressured to do something I’m not ready for either. What’s the best way to handle the sex issue in a new relationship?

Before the sexual revolution, men felt free about pressing for sex, as society placed the responsibility for saying NO upon the female. With the birth control pill and a change in social mores came a sexual freedom previously unknown to women…no longer were they held back from having sex due to the stigma of unmarried pregnancy and single parenting.

However, many men still test a woman in this manner and then sit back and judge you by how soon you have had sex with them. Don’t think that because this is the 21st century that men have changed their way of thinking about women. Men have not evolved emotionally when it comes to this stuff, and the old-fashioned double standard is alive and well!

The bottom line is do what you feel comfortable with doing. Since you don’t seem to feel that you know him well enough right now, tell him that. A man that respects you and cares for your feelings and wants a serious relationship will be willing to wait until you are comfortable with him. If he decides he doesn’t want to wait, you have your answer. And I would think its better that you know he isn’t interested in anything long-term before you invest much more emotionally; certainly before you become intimate and share your body with someone that is just playing games.

To protect yourself and to present a clear message where actions and words are in sync, make sure that you stay out of compromising situations. Avoid placing yourself in positions where passion might carry you away until you feel that you ARE ready to proceed. Go on at least 10 dates, in settings where you are not surrounded by huge crowds and deafening music or noises…go where you two can really spend time getting to know each other. Try to spend as much time talking about issues that are important to you as possible to feel him out and get to know where he stands. Give yourself time to know how he thinks, what his values and morals are, and to see what you two really have in common. Is there enough there to form the foundation for a long-term relationship, or should you not waste another day of your time.

After ten solid dates you should have a better idea about how truly compatible you are. You should also feel much more comfortable with your decision about timing of physical intimacy.

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Posted in: Dating FAQs

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