How Long Should You Wait Before Sex? A Guide On Timing, Dates & Sex

You’ve met someone new and you’re super into them. But, how long should you wait before sex enters the equation? Truthfully, it’s different for everyone. 

how long should you wait before sex

Sex is a big deal for some, but not so much so for others. And you are 100% entitled to your opinions and feelings. As long as you’re being safe, you do you. Many people wonder how long should you wait before sex and it’s a long-debated subject. The truth? It’s a totally personal thing that you can only answer for yourself.

Yet, sadly there is still quite a bit of judgment that goes into having sex too soon or even waiting too long. Society has made it their mission to shame women no matter their decisions about sex, but that should not impact your choice. You have to do what sits right with you and your partner. [Read: How to have safe sex in every single way it is possible to]

What does sex mean to you?

Sex has a biological definition, but to you, it can mean anything. It can be a way to burn calories, have fun, trust someone else with your body, or to fully connect with someone you love.

But as sex means something different to everyone, depending on what you’re looking for from this relationship, waiting may be the answer for you. But then again, it may not. [Read: 12 signs meaningless sex is something you can handle]

What does having sex mean?

In regards to dating, sex can mean that you are exclusive or you hope you are. Unfortunately, it can also mean you’re too easy in someone’s eyes. Just as not having sex can mean that you’re a prude.

Although those assumptions are archaic and quite a bit sexist, they do exist. And even if a man doesn’t judge you for whenever you decide to have sex, how you feel about it matters. Maybe you have sex and break up down the line. You might regret having slept with him.

Even how you feel immediately after could make you question your own behavior. Sex may be a somewhat simple act, but everything that surrounds it tends to be complicated.

The thing you need to get clear in your mind is what sex means to you. It’s true that sex is a big deal, but how big a deal is it to you? What are your thoughts?

How do you feel about the ‘how long should you date before sex’ debate? You have to know what your ideas are before you can make your own decisions. [Read: 12 consequences of having sex too soon you need to be prepared for]

The short and long answer to how long you should wait before sex

As a species, we’ve been having sex for an awfully long time, so what the heck, guys? Why haven’t we figured it out yet?

There are two options here – the short answer and the long answer. [Read: The potential consequences of having sex too soon]

1. The short answer

How long should you date before sex? However long you freaking feel like. We’re not your mom. We’re not going to tell you to remain pure and “make them work for it.”

No, if you want to give it up on the first date, then do it. You don’t owe anybody an explanation for how you behave with your own body.

You’re a human being and you have needs. Sometimes those needs consist of the attractive bartender that you only just met. As we said, we’re not your mom. If that’s your plan of attack, we’ll wait around to give you a hive five afterward. You do you, if that feels right. [Read: How to pull off that one night stand without feeling slutty or guilty about it]

2. The long answer

Well, the short answer got away on us a bit there. It wasn’t quite as short and calculated as it should have been, but we’re not mathematicians. Basically, we want you to do whatever you feel comfortable doing.

From strangers to another, you are a temple, you are a beautiful flower, and all of the other incredibly cheesy metaphors you’ve ever heard. You’re in total control of your body, and if you want to wait three months down the road to becoming intimate with your partner, then do that. If you feel comfortable letting it go on the first date, then do that.

At the end of the day, if you are comfortable with your decision, that is what matters. Nobody gets to decide what you do with your body. We know this is incredibly earth-shattering news to some folks, but it’s true. [Read: How many dates before sex? The complete guide to pull it off]

How to decide how long you should wait before sex

There are countless factors that determine how long you should wait before sex, and they are different for everybody. You need to really tune into yourself and your feelings to understand when the right time is.

If you’re wondering how long should you date before sex, it’s because you’re jumbled in your mind over what you feel and what society expects of you. It’s a confusing conundrum but honestly, put society out of your mind. This is about you.

Here are a few ways to decide how long should you wait before sex for your particular circumstances. [Read: Unprotected sex – The dangers most people don’t even think about]

1. Do you feel comfortable?

This could mean something different for everybody. Maybe this means being comfortable with your partner, but maybe it just means being comfortable with yourself and your body.

Most people need to feel comfortable with their partners because intimacy means more than two bodies touching. Many need an emotional connection with someone before they can have a physical connection with them.

Perhaps this does not relate to you, and you don’t need a connection with your partner, but perhaps you need to be well-connected to yourself in the moment.

Whatever your connection, you need to assess your environment and determine if you are comfortable being intimate. If you aren’t comfortable, the experience will not be enjoyable. [Read: Emotional intimacy or sexual intimacy? The chicken or the egg conundrum]

2. What are your long-term plans?

If you are looking for a relationship with your sexual partner, waiting until you establish an emotional connection would be beneficial.

Again, it is different for everybody and every body. *Yes, there is a difference*. If you want a short-term fling then non-committal sex is totally fine. It can work for you and your plans. Tune into yourself, and figure out what you really want.

3. Long distance relationships

If you only see this person a couple times a month, it is going to drastically affect how long you wait before having sex. And this could honestly go one way or the other. If having an emotional connection is important to you, you may wait longer to become intimate with your partner.

However, you may feel like having sex will create an emotional connection between you, and you may choose to do it sooner rather than later.

If an emotional connection is not important to you, then you may have sex early on in the relationship. Especially since you rarely see each other, it may become increasingly important to make use of the time that you do spend together. In this situation, learning how long should you date before sex is a little tricky. [Read: Steamy, sex tips to have Skype sex with your lover]

4. Your experience level

We’re just going to come right out and say it: If you’ve never had sex before, you’re likely going to be a little hesitant to have sex with your partner.

This is by no means a rule or anything, as we know many people that view sex as purely pleasure, and losing their virginity was like going to McDonald’s for a burger.

Honestly though, for many, it is a huge deal. Many people want it to be with somebody important, and that’s a totally normal way of thinking too. in that case, maybe you’ll wait a little longer than someone who is a little more experienced. [Read: Should you follow the 90 day rule before having sex?]

5. Consider living arrangements

If you have children, a roommate, or perhaps still live with your parents, this severely impacts how long you wait before having sex with your partner. Let’s just face facts, this can be a huge BLOCK in the sex department.

It’s hard to get in the mood when your baby is crying in the next room or your mom is watching her favorite show upstairs. [Read: What are the biggest sex buzzkills?]

6. Talk about it first

Whether it is a first date, three months in, or a month into an engagement, making sure you’re on the same page before having sex is necessary.

It is a good rule of thumb that if you don’t feel comfortable talking about sex with this person, you probably won’t be comfortable actually having sex with them.

So have a simple chat. The most important part is to make sure everything you’re doing is consensual. From there you can discuss safety, past partners, and even preferences. In terms of how long should you date before sex, perhaps until you can have this conversation without cringing.

7. Forget the idea that waiting is bad

If you want to wait, it’s not bad. If you want to wait a week, five dates, or until marriage that is your decision and yours alone. No one should pressure you or make you feel wrong or weird about that choice. Not your partner, not your family, and certainly not your priest.

And besides that, waiting has its benefits. Not only does sex tend to be better the longer you wait. It can show you’re more serious about some of the other aspects of dating, not just the physical bits [Read: Why it’s okay to be prude and proud of it!]

8. Do you trust them?

If you’re looking for average amounts of time for how long should you date before sex, some people may say date number five. Others may say a month.

Personally, we like to go with 3-6 months because that tends to be how long it takes to trust someone. But it is really whatever feels good to you.

The best way to measure how long you should date before having sex is when you feel you trust this person. Sex and trust go hand and hand. You’re trusting this person enough to put your body in their hands and that they are indeed single, so take that as a green light. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and learn how to be loyal and loving]

9. There’s no such thing as waiting too long, but it may add pressure

As long as it is what you feel comfortable with, wait as long as you like. But if you’re waiting to prove a point, show you’re not easy, or for some other reason that really isn’t you, it can get awkward.

Not just that, but waiting a long time can also put a lot of pressure on the sex to be great. The first time you have sex with someone new it can be good, but most likely you’re both getting comfortable with each other and figuring things out.

So don’t rush into it or do it just to get it over with, but know that waiting can put pressure on. [Read: The common fears we all experience the first time we’re naked with a lover]

10. You want to wait and he doesn’t ….

Dump him. If you explained to him that you’re not ready and hope he’ll wait for you, and he is still putting pressure on you or tries to say you don’t have to be exclusive because you’re not giving him what he “needs.” He is not worth your time.

You’re better off with someone who respects your decisions, especially the ones about your body. [Read: Just the tip sex – Why guys always use this excuse and why girls always fall for it!]

11. Forget the ‘being easy’ idea if you want sex quickly

If you want to have sex sooner rather than later that is your choice, as well as your partner’s. Just be sure you both know what it means to you. You can’t take back sex. So, make sure you’re both on the same page.

Sex is only as big of a deal as you make it. If it means something to you personally or doesn’t, that is up to you. You’re not easy if you choose to have sex on the first date or on the first couple of dates. It’s your personal choice and nobody else’s business.

How long should you date before sex really has no answer

We apologize. This probably is not the answer you were looking for when you stumbled upon this feature. But it is the truth. Sex is about you and your choices. It is not about anyone else’s expectations, judgments, or standards.

See what feels good to you in the moment, in the relationship, and with that person, because that is what matters. Dating for months, years, or hours before having sex is no one’s business but your own and your potential lover’s.

Whatever you decide to do, know that sex is just sex at the end of the day. It doesn’t define you, your future, or anything. [Read: How to talk about sex without sounding like a pervert]

While we could give you an extensive list of rules and guidelines to how long you should wait before sex, none of it really matters. As long as you’re okay with it, your partner is okay with it, and you’re being safe, there’s no issue.

Seriously, life is way too short to live by some made-up rules that are supposed to make somebody interested in you or make them stick around. If they stick around, great, if not, “see ya later alligator” *yes, always say goodbye like this, please*.

[Read: 15 ways to seduce and let someone know you want sex without words]

The only real answer to how long should you wait before sex is this: Whenever feels right. Forget what society says, it’s about you.

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