Taking it slow when dating

It’s not so much the sex, however, but the cohabitation itself that it leads to which then leads the couple to slide, unthinkingly, into wedlock (or continued cohabitation).

When couples are led by sexual desire, financial need, or an unexpected pregnancy to get married, they are less likely to stop and examine whether they share similar life values, goals, compatibility, and emotional intimacy.

If you’re in a long-term relationship now, you may wonder whether these findings are coming too late to help you. If your relationship got off to a quick start, this doesn’t mean that you’re fated to be unhappy later down the road though you might be at higher risk than you might otherwise be.

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Falling head over heels in love means, to many couples, having sex as soon as possible.

The rush of infatuation leads people to take the next steps in their relationship without looking objectively at the odds of the relationship succeeding.

However, they do seem to attach different meanings to sex as an indicator of commitment.

Without moralizing on whether premarital sex is bad or good for a relationship, the authors point out that practically speaking, premarital sex actually is bad for a relationship.

Over one-third reported having sex within one month after they started dating.

This percentage was slightly higher than that observed in previous studies.

In an online study of nearly 600 married and cohabitating couples in which the female partner was less than 45 years old, Sassler and colleagues examined measures of relationship quality, sexual satisfaction, communication, and conflict.

Respondents indicated relationship tempo by saying how long the couple waited, after they started dating, to have sex.

These findings suggest that premarital sex, especially early in the dating relationship, has different impact on the later satisfaction of women than men.

Men and women don’t seem to differ in what they want out of a sexual relationship, at least according to other research.

I’ll skip over the gory details of the extensive analyses and controls that the researchers imposed, but rest assured that they did everything they could to tease apart their findings.

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