Arbitrary sexual time line

by Dating Goddess on July 12, 2010

  • Three dates.
  • One month.
  • Ten dates.
  • Three months.

I’ve heard all these as people’s criteria for when to first get intimate with a new love.

A pal recently shared that he has been taken aback by some women’s arbitrary time line for intimacy. He once dated a woman who, on their 4-month anniversary, announced it was time for them to have sex — that night! They did. He said it felt mechanical because they hadn’t built the emotional connection that he sought to make it fulfilling.

Do you have such a time line? Or do you just have certain parameters, like “never on a first date,” or “whenever it feels right”?

I don’t have suggestions for when you “should” get naked with your sweetie for the first time. I’ve learned I need to feel a significant emotional connection, not just a physical one. And I need to trust that he won’t just disappear afterwards — not that there needs to be a spoken commitment. A pledge of exclusivity is important, although I’ve had that with a past beau and he still cheated on me.

The important thing is for you to know what you need to proceed to this step in the relationship. An arbitrary time line isn’t usually enough. You could date someone for months and still not have the emotional connection you feel you need. However, I would be skeptical if you say you have a significant enough emotional connection after just a week or so. That’s usually the brain’s chemicals tricking you into thinking you have more than is likely after such a short time. So even if you feel that you are soul mates by the end of week two, an arbitrary wait period of, say a month, then would be wise. A lot can happen in those ensuing two weeks.

Some experts suggest 3 months is long enough for a man to show his true self and for you to see him without his best wooing self put forward. My experience corroborates this. Usually by 90 days, the chinks in his armor begin to show and you can see if you can live with those or not. So before you’ve gotten physically entwined, you have a better sense of the man. Because once you share horizontal happiness, the relationship usually shifts dramatically. As the aforementioned pal expressed, “The flood gates of expectations open and a man can drown in what rushes forth unabated.”

Yes, we women generally do have expectations once whoopee has been made. That is if we didn’t perceive the encounter as just a fling. So we need to see that the man is someone we’re interested in being with and he’s shown he’s interested in being with us.

So examine your own criteria. Ask yourself why you have determined that you would be ready to have sex at a certain point. You may stick to those boundaries, or you may decide they are really just arbitrary. If the latter, make a list of what you need to feel comfortable before becoming intimate.
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To explore more things to consider before having sex with someone you’re dating, get your copy of From Fear to Frolic: Get Naked Without Getting Embarrassed.

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