The Timing of your Sexual Involvement Might Affect your Overall Relationship | A Case for Waiting
When couples are quick to jump into bed or live together, it has the possibility to have unfavorable long-term implications for relationship quality. An analyses we looked into also suggests that delaying sexual involvement is associated with higher relationship quality overall.
Getting to know someone without being sexually involved gives you a different perspective and facilitates intentional partner selection, rather than just sticking with it because you’ve already had sex.
But it seems like being single and hooking up, especially in young adulthood, AKA college and well into your 20s/30s/40s (whenever, really) is the norm and not near as taboo as it once was. Getting to know what you do and don’t like before settling down and frequent experimentation isn’t a bad thing. The only issue with this is that when you are looking to select a long term partner when you’ve already been having constant sex, you don’t just experience pleasure while having sex – our brains actually create sensations of attachment and bonding. So, it’s impossible to separate our sexual desires from our romantic desires in most cases. When it comes to relationships, our brains trick us into thinking that these physical bonds and rewards trump, so we can ignore incompatibilities in the other parts of our relationships.
I’m ALL for having (safe) sex when you want and with who you want. These studies may seem “old school” and in favor of waiting to sleep with people or even a Christian / Victorian era ideal, but here’s a different point of view from a psychological and neurological perspective.
I believe that knowing yourself is KEY to ANY relationship. Whether it be romantic, sexual, or friendly. Knowing what you want out of anything is so important. Life, relationships, work, happiness. Fucking everything.
Separating emotions and sex can be extremely hard, as we see above and you might already know – we have chemicals in our brains that are released during sex that make this harder than it seems but I think that having open conversations with a partner and putting yourself first can be that happy medium you need.
Enjoy sex, be casual (if you want), and enjoy because life is too damn short not to.
Sassler, S., Addo, F. R. and Lichter, D. T. (2012), The Tempo of Sexual Activity and Later Relationship Quality. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 708–725. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00996.x