How Long Should You Wait Before Having Sex?
Let’s finally settle the age-old question of when to sleep with a new partner.
First thing’s first: You can take all the time you need before sleeping with someone, and if you’re
sexually empowered and wanna get down on the first date, then you do you. There’s a lot of rules
and guidelines out there that are sometimes helpful, sometimes hurtful.
So let’s say you wait five or six weeks. In that time, you go on dates and suss out whether you
like this person, and if you’re compatible. If you wait, you’ll probably weed out the people who
are just telling you what you want to hear. We all know how that goes: “Yeah, totally, I want
what you want. I’m gonna be busy, though, Thursday to Sunday, and sometimes Mondays, but
Wednesday is a good time. Sometimes I’ll cancel, though, last minute, and then I won’t offer
another time to see you. But you’ll text me again to pursue me and then I’ll find time for you,
only to repeat the cycle again.”
When we rush in, it’s easy to miss red flags or make excuses for someone’s behaviour. And when
it doesn’t work out, we start to make excuses about the situation: “People on Tinder are only
looking for sex,” or “My Bumble algorithm is broken and only shows me duds.” In reality, plenty
of people have found fantastic relationships online. The problem is not the app or the algorithm
— it’s a question of self-worth.
Most of us start out with a low sense of self-worth, inherited by how we are raised: taught to
pretend to believe what everyone else believes, to check a certain number of boxes in order to be
loved by our family, our religion, our culture, whatever it is, and even to fit into fucking
society. This isn’t to shame anyone, but to name that’s where we all start out. When you’re
taught that you’re not enough and you gotta go buy stuff to be enough and inject stuff and do all
the things, then you’re probably not in touch with who you really are and what you actually
want. People with low self-worth don’t recognize red flags as red flags. In finding a partner, we
need to raise our sense of self-worth and start to recognize where we’ve given people a pass in
the past, all in the name of being accepted or loved, but at the expense of our own happiness.
When you have a high sense of worth, you know how to stand in the truth of what you want and
learn to trust your own body. So it’s not a matter of tracking the number of days until you can
jump into bed with someone. It’s about doing the personal work to understand who you are,
what you value, and where you’re operating out of old relational patterns that aren’t serving you.
Part of doing this means working through the past decisions you’ve made. When a relationship
ends and you say, “yeah, that guy was a dick,” or “that chick was crazy,” then you’re skipping
over a major opportunity for growth. At the end of every relationship, turn and face the truth
and ask yourself, “Why was I a match for them? Why did I pick them? Why did I stay with them?” Because when we ignore those questions, the patterns will keep repeating, and we will recreate the same tired scenarios over and over.
You can’t just ignore your stuff and expect it to disappear. Don’t shove it in the ditch. Pick it up,
pull it out, turn it into fertilizer, and grow. Become a different person. Become a better person. Become someone who notices the red flags. Become someone with standards. What’s the price of admission to be in your life? What are your standards? Remember when you were a kid and went to a carnival or an amusement park, and there were signs that said, “You must be this tall to ride”? It’s the same with people — if someone wants to be in your life and do fun things with you, they need to meet a certain set of standards that you’ve outlined for yourself
What are your standards? Do you live according to your own standards? Do you clearly
communicate your standards? And do you hold others to those, or do you let them walk all over
Once you’ve figured this out, you won’t need to ask how long you should wait before having sex.
However long you want! By taking the time to figure out what you actually want, and practicing
communicating it to others, you’ll know what your timeline is or when you feel comfortable
jumping into bed with someone. It could be the first date or the tenth. Unless it helps you to
have clear guidelines at the outset, there’s no need to stress about putting a time limit on when to have or not have sex. Sex should be fun! And when you’re clear on what you’re actually looking for, it’ll be obvious when you find someone who checks all the right boxes.