Sex on first date could harm your relationship
A reason to keep it at just a kiss?
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.
In 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.
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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.
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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
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