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Sex on first date could harm your relationship

A reason to keep it at just a kiss?

By Glamour Magazine Dec 11, 2012 3:10PM

By Gina Kaufman, Glamour Magazine

The typical urban legend is that sex on a first date won’t lead to a relationship, period. That’s debatable, so a new study has examined what effects, if any, a couple may experience in their relationship as a result of hooking up right away.

And well, it isn’t great. In a study of 11,000 unmarried people in serious relationships, those who engaged in sex before or within the first few weeks of dating had lower levels of relationship satisfaction, communication and stability than those who waited longer.

Photo: George Doyle/Getty ImagesIn case you’re feeling doubtful about those results, it’s in line with earlier research showing that couples who wait longer to have sex have higher marital satisfaction, and the researchers also accounted for other factors that could have affected the findings, such as religion, education, race and number of sexual partners. The results still held.

More from Glamour: 10 turn-ons that aren't about looks

Scientists aren’t exactly sure why delaying sex is linked to better outcomes. They speculate that couples who have sex early may have higher expectations for their sex life, but frequency of sex and partners’ interest in sex tend to decline over time.

But the good news for anyone who just had to have their partner as soon as they met? The effect, while negative, was also a small effect: one-tenth of a point on a five-point scale. It’s probably not exactly a relationship killer.

More from Glamour: 30 sex tips every woman should consider 

And as always, correlation doesn’t equal causation: psychologists suggest there could be personality difference between those willing to have sex early and those who choose to wait.

It’s definitely food for thought that multiple studies have shown that couples who wait tend to have better relationships, and personally, I tend to be more comfortable with waiting myself. But there are so many factors that can affect a relationship’s success that I still don’t think there’s any point on getting too hung up about the timing of sex in a relationship.

What do you think? Did you have sex early on in your relationship? Do you think it's caused any problems? Do you even think it matters or is it just different for every couple?

Photo: George Doyle/Getty Images

Bing: Amazing first-date ideas.

More from Glamour:

10 romantic movies men secretly love

10 types of sex to try at least once in your life

25 first-date dos and don'ts

5Comments
Dec 11, 2012 10:01PM
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if they have known each other for years b4 they started dating then they basically have already been friends for years b4 they had sex, but if they only met on their 1st date and they don't know each other very well, the sex may be good but WHO KNOWS WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN!!!  in any case be careful people and wrap it up until u r MARRIED, u don't want a possible one night stand to affect the rest of your life with an unexpected pregnancy or even more common these days r the many STDs out there!!!!
Dec 11, 2012 9:11PM
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This is not true.. My wife and I ended up having sex within the first two hours of our first date!! 11 yrs later and one child we are still very happy together!! I think this study was mainly done in lower class ghetto areas of the united states... 
Dec 11, 2012 8:55PM
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Nah in first date,my relationship will have no 'sense' to me,I like to know that I earned it the hard way not just givent to me...well thats just me.
Dec 11, 2012 8:00PM
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Yes in most cases it is harmful, it turns the relationship in just being a physical one and the couple aren't really getting to know each other.

Make em wait ladies. Stand your ground or the will just jump your bones and leave you.
That isn't always the case but in most cases it is.
Dec 11, 2012 7:16PM
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My husband waited so long when were dating I thought he was gay.  Of course now, 23 years later I am really happy we waited.  We got to know each other, became really good friends and we didn't confuse great sex with being in love.  The love came first.  So for us it was a plus to wait.
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