Hooking up too soon could prevent you from being seen as girlfriend material — there’s a reason why waiting to have sex can help secure a relationship status!
If you’re looking for a serious, committed relationship, or even “the one,” then the goal of dating is to be placed in the “girlfriend bucket,” not the “hookup bucket,” right? Despite the argument that hook up culture makes Millennials more comfortable with their sexuality and gives them lots of experience to help better identify their potential soul mate, it is also really disruptive to the dating process!
Hook up culture focuses more on sexuality than creating and evaluating emotional intimacy — exactly what’s needed to form a successful relationship.
Emotional intimacy is created when you connect by sharing and understanding your partner’s feelings, experiences, and opinions. It is strengthened when you feel you can be vulnerable with your partner by sharing your fears, failures, and dreams, as well as by expressing appreciation, praise and positive regard for each other.
Sex early on shifts the focus away from developing an essential emotional connection, and towards the passionate and intense physicality of a new partner. That’s because it’s easy to be blinded by the love potion — the chemicals, such as dopamine and noradrenaline, which enhance excitement and reward.
Of course physical chemistry is important, so by all means give off a flirtatious vibe through eye contact, smiling, touching, and fooling around. Just hold off on going all the way! Before getting between the sheets, stop and think about the direction in which you would like this new relationship to head.
People tend to value the things they have to work hard for. It’s flattering to know that a man finds you attractive; who doesn’t like to feel wanted?! But if the goal is to create a relationship, then he needs to want you for more than your body!
Taking the time to get to know someone on an emotionally deeper level, without sex, can help you rule this potential mate in or out as boyfriend material. Rather than feeling guilty after sleeping with the new guy too soon, feel proud of yourself for taking the time to get to know him before adding another notch to your belt!
With that said, how do you know when you’re ready to “seal the deal?” You should have the following three things in place so that you can feel good about yourself the morning after.
1. You need to know your and their core values.
A relationship is a two way street, so stop worrying so much about how he feels about you, and more about how you feel about him! It’s your duty to practically evaluate whether a new partner will fit comfortably into your life. Why confuse this big question with sex? Especially since we know women aren’t as sexually carefree as hook up culture likes to promote?
If you’re dating with intent (that means with the purpose of finding a serious relationship) then you should dig deep early on. Successful long-term relationships are not built on surface level similarities, such as enjoying the same music; rather they thrive on shared core values.
Reflect on the following questions as you get to know your potential soul mate:
• Do you want kids and what is your parenting style?
• What is your ideal work-life balance?
• What lifestyle do you want to have, and what socioeconomic status does this require?
• Is religion important to you?
• What are your family values?
• How do you spend and save money?
Basically, what is important to you? People who are interested in having a relationship with you will be open and engaged in these types of questions because it shows they are on the same page with wanting something serious.
And remember, you can have hot, passionate sex with many people, but not everyone will have the core values that align with yours. This is the secret to finding a relationship that will last!
2. Know that there is mutual interest in progressing forward.
Before sleeping with someone, you should have a good sense of whether you even want the relationship to progress after sex. This means you can envision a future with this person; he’s been placed in the “boyfriend bucket.”
If you can see yourself entering into a committed relationship with this person, then sex is used as an expression of attraction, connection, and love.
Rather than feeling empty and disappointed in yourself for sleeping together too soon, sex in this case enhances your intimacy as a couple. It builds upon the foundation of the emotional intimacy that you have already developed through your discussions about core values.
3. You need to have relationship security.
For some people, security means having an exclusive, monogamous relationship title (hello bf/gf status!), whereas for others it just means they have the confidence that this partner is not going anywhere once they hop in the sack.
Only you can be the judge of the level of emotional security in this new “relationship.” So rather than overanalyzing his texts and dissecting your dynamics with your girlfriends, be assertive if you’re unclear.
Having the, “What are we?” or, “Where is this going?” convo before sex will decrease your anxiety about whether he’s sticking around. The last thing you want to do is freak out about whether he is going to call you the next day!
The truth is that there is no magic answer to the question, “How long should I wait until I have sex?” If your goal is to have a serious relationship, then make sure you answer, “Yes!” to feeling connected on an emotionally intimate level, “Yes!” to having core values that align, and “Yes!” that you feel secure in your connection.
You don’t want to act on impulse and regret it later, so do the foundational work now, and enjoy the toe-curling sex later!