Essential Credentials: The waiting game

Leanne Osmond - Essential Credentials (Tom Bateman/AQ)

I think it’s fair to say that society – especially in North America – has begun to view sex in a much more casual way than it did in our arguably prude past.

What was once a never-before-marriage ordeal, is becoming something that many people just do for fun – some more than others. But when sex becomes so casual, how do you know what the appropriate length of time is to wait before sleeping with a new beau or lady?

This can be a tricky thing to determine. But when you think about it, the “appropriate time” depends on a number of things.

First off, what are you hoping to get out of this partnership? Are you just looking to have fun, or do you want something more? If fun is all you’re chasing, then I guess the question of how long you should wait shouldn’t really be a question at all. It doesn’t really matter how long or short a wait you want, because there’s nothing riding on that decision other than who you’ll be riding and when.

When does it get tricky?

When you want something more. For a lot of us, even though we’re big kids now, getting involved with someone new is an endeavour that leaves us feeling like we’re 13 again. There are tons of uncertainties because often you don’t really know each other that well and that can make gaging the situation much harder.

From my own experience, and from the experiences of my friends, moving too fast too soon can really wreck things from the get-go. This is not new information, but some people may have never looked at it that way. Moving into the physical aspects of a relationship before you have the chance to establish a connection on a personal level can lead to a relationship based almost entirely upon sex.

In some instances, that can be great. But if you’re hoping for something more meaningful, it has the potential to cause this new flame to burn out rather quickly. This isn’t to say moving fast will only ever result in quick relationships, but it does have an effect.

Fighting off those teenaged-boy temptations isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s worth it. Not giving in and having sex right away leaves you both wanting more and there’s so much anticipation for when it actually happens.

Another big factor in deciding when it’s appropriate to hook up with someone is how comfortable you are with the idea. If you don’t fit into the category of people who think sex can be a casual thing, then chances are you wouldn’t be comfortable having sex in the early stages of a relationship. There’s no point in having sex if both people aren’t comfortable, because then it’s not enjoyable. (And sex that’s not enjoyable is just a waste).

On the flip side, what are you waiting for…Christmas? If you don’t think of sex as only something two people do when they love each other and you’ve done it before, then will it really affect your relationship that much?

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