By Rhonda Frost, Co-Author of the relationship best-seller "Why Do I Have To Think Like A Man? How To Think Like A Lady And Still Get The Man"
The question many dating women ask is, "How long should I wait before having sex?" If you have heard the question once, you have heard it a thousand times.
In recent years, this question has really become a hot topic and is worthy of further exploration.
If you have read any current dating advice books or attended any dating/relationship seminars, you have likely been given an answer to this burning question ranging anywhere from "the 90-day rule", to being told to "wait four to six months". And of course, many of you have heard the well-intended message, "don't have sex until you get married".
All of these mixed messages can lead to confusion for the dating woman. Some, none or all of these may work for you.
Related: Dating: So Great for Some, So Hard for Others
But don't be fooled by the timeline promise. A man can and will still walk away from you even after the 90-day-wait for sex, especially if that was his primary goal at "hello".
Most women have anxiety about this timeline. After all, no woman wants to be the girl who sleeps with the guy "too soon", only to never get "that call" the next day, or any other day. No woman wants to be left holding the "what if I had waited?" bag of questions or be left feeling terrible about acting on impulse and passion in the heat of the moment, never to hear from Mr. Almost Right again.
Related: Casual Dating 101: First, Do No Harm
Truth be told, it's not really about the number of days. It's about something much more involved.
So what to do? When is it OK to indulge in intimacy and sex in the dating process?
The answer is twofold: First, if you are OK with a one night stand just to relieve physical tension and you want to enjoy the moment without ANY expectations, then it is OK to have sex with the guy you are dating as early as date one. So long as you understand, he may not respect you in the morning and may never call you back. If this works for you, make sure you protect yourself, then go ahead and enjoy it for what it is, sex without connection and a physical act between two consenting adults. On the morning after, get up get dressed and keep it moving, physically and emotionally.
On the other hand, if you are seeking something more, like a monogamous relationship or marriage, then it is best to date long enough to get to know the guy before allowing him in your temple.
"What does that mean?" you ask.
For starters, you will want to know his full name, date of birth (yes, basic but real!) and his Astrological sign to see if your moons are compatible. Just kidding on the sign thing! You want to know his family background, his relationship status, where he lives, something about his dreams and goals. Is he employed? Ask about his beliefs (does he go to church, is he an atheist, or spiritual?). Does he want children? Does he have kids? If so, how much is he involved in their lives? Do a background check and ask about his credit score (I'm just serious). These are just a few things included in "getting to know a guy".
The point is, to know someone means you have to ask lots of questions and observe behavior. That means dates. And lots of them! Don't just fall for the sweet words and his sexy eyes - those things are not sustainable.
If he is truly interested in you, beyond just sex, you will feel it and see it in his actions.
In a relationship forum held in Chicago the week of April 12, 2011, with the Chicago Tribune syndicated Columnist Ask Amy! and other dating and relationship experts (Click here for more) like Shanae Hall, Co-Author of the book, Why Do I Have to Think Like a Man? How to Think Like a Lady and Still Get the Man, the panelists talked about sex and the art of dating. Amy said while dating a guy (who later became her husband), she would ask him many questions. One night she asked him, "What would you consider your best quality?" he responded amongst other things, "I am reliable". Amy said she was "floored at his answer" and it got her attention. He went on to show her, over time, exactly what he meant. He showed up on time, he was there when she needed a shoulder to lean on, he returned calls and did kind things like make sure the oil in her car was changed and her tires had proper air in them before she traveled. In other words, he showed her he cared, not just told her.
So depending on what you want, the sex question is made much easier if you take the time to evaluate him. For some women this may all happen in 2 weeks (not likely but you never know); others may take 5 months or longer.
The real answer is, as soon as you have seen enough ACTION from him, not just promises/words, AND as soon as your intuition and spirit are telling you he is "the one" then go ahead, put on that Marvin Gaye CD, that sexy lingerie and "get it on". Enjoy the moment, confident that you did your part and you actually know that naked handsome guy lying next to you.
Rhonda Frost is a writer and co-author of the bestselling book, Why Do I Have to Think Like a Man? How to Think Like a Lady and Still Get the Man. She is a mom, dating advocate and spiritual seeker. She can usually be found writing about life, sex, relationships and spirituality at www.More.com, Red Room for Writers and is a Contributing Editor at Women's Radio Network. She can also be found on Facebook under her name, and on Twitter @thinklikealady.
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