When you're a teenager or a young adult in a relationship who has never had sex, you wait months, sometimes even years before consummating a relationship. By the time you're 30 or so, all that has changed. Those people I know who were dating when they reached that age were having sex well before the one-month mark, sometimes as early as on the first date.

As someone who never dated past the age of 23, I can't imagine how I would be now. Back then I was still waiting at least one month, if not longer. But at my current age, it's hard to imagine waiting so long.

So how long is the right amount of time to wait between when you meet someone and when you first have sex with them?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. It's a bit of a relative question. I know people who had one-night stands that turned into marriage and people who waited years before having sex who still broke up. There is no guarantee that waiting (or not waiting) will lead to any certain outcome in a relationship.

That said, many men do still tend to feel that the sooner a woman sleeps with them, the less likely they are to want to marry her. It's easy to say, well, who wants those guys anyway, but the fact is, whether we like it or not, we do send a message when we have sex too soon and that message is this: I have done this before.

As a woman, I would feel the same about a man who wanted sex too fast as well. There is something special about sexual intercourse when you wait to have it with someone. There were men I dated for months with whom I never had sex, so when I did decide to sleep with someone, it meant something.

Sure, I was young, in my late teens and early 20s, but it's even relevant to people dating in their late 20s and 30s.

We are all sexual beings and no one is suggesting ignoring the instinct and the hormones that make you want to get down and dirty with someone. But letting them grow and flourish could never be a bad thing, right?

The quicker you sleep with someone -- man or woman -- the higher the "body count" climbs. For some, that might not matter, but for me, it did and probably would if I were still single. Somehow it feels like the more people one sleeps with, the less special it becomes.

A month seems like the bare minimum to wait to have sex and achieve that "special" feeling.

How long would you wait to have sex?

 

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