Spring Fever and The Urge to Merge
How long should you wait to have sex?
Spring is here again, and let me tell you about the birds and the bees and the flowers…” We all know that spring is the time of year when many critters get busy in the name of reproduction. We have a heightened sexual desire in the spring ourselves. Getting out in the sun and enjoying longer days and the rising temperature is so appealing after the cold months of winter that it’s no wonder there’s an upswing in romance. They don’t call it “spring fever” for nothing.
When you add the excitement of dating someone new to the spring fever phenomenon, then you are sure to get the “urge to merge”—maybe even follow the old and misguided three-dates rule. The unofficial rule that after three dates, you’re okay to have sex with your newfound infatuation. This rule is so passe and not one I would recommend if you’re looking for commitment.
The advice I give to women about sex, is like my colleague, Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker: “no sex before monogamy.” Sex is great, especially when you’re in love. But most of the women I coach are looking for long-term commitment and sex before monogamy often muddies the relationship waters.
If you are ready for a committed relationship that leads to marriage, consider waiting. According to a study by Dean Busby of Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, relationships get better and better the longer a person waited to have sex. Up until marriage, those going to bed before a month having the worst outcomes. Professor Sandra Metts at Illinois State University conducted a study that found that having an emotional connection, in particular, saying “I love you” before sex, positively affects the relationship in the long term.
Conversely, if you are not looking for commitment between consenting adults, it’s all good. Some “girls just want to have fun.” Men tend not to turn down casual sex. According to the Clark and Hatfield study published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviors journal, women are just as interested in casual sex when they take away societal judgment and safety risks.
Nonetheless, my ample warning to you is this: If you believe having sex with a man shortly after you have met means you are in a relationship, guess again. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself waiting for a text that never comes. Even Facebook stalking him only to see his picture with other women. Worst yet, checking his online dating profile to learn that he was just online a few seconds ago.
Knowing the exact time to have sex with someone new is never easy. Despite the studies, we still don’t have an exact science or a specific set amount of time that we should hold out for to guarantee a relationship will work out.
My recommendation is to get to know the person long enough to confirm that you have aligned core values. Make sure you share similar life goals, and that the person doesn’t violate any of your dealbreakers. And in the spirit of spring, be sure you spring-clean your belief system to ensure your beliefs support your relationship goals for a long-term relationship. Most of all, have fun and be safe!
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About the Author
Arlene Vasquez Washburn is an industry leader and former CEO of the Matchmaking Institute. She’s a Master Executive Certified Matchmaker and Science-based Dating and Relationship Coach with over a decade of experience working with singles to help them achieve their relationship goals. Arlene is the Get REAL Get Love Coaching System creator and author of the soon-to-be-published book with the same title. Ms. Washburn walks her talk and is in a happy and healthy marriage after overcoming her relationship struggles. Her mission is to help a minimum of one million people do the same.