It’s a common notion to make sure we’re compatible in the early stages of a relationship by moving fast — but maybe we’ve got it all wrong.
There’s nothing quite like the starry-eyed, early stages of a romantic relationship. Everything about the person we’re dating is unfamiliar, intriguing, and worth discovering more about; they can do absolutely nothing wrong or mundane in our book.
It’s also during the early, budding stages that we get the most caught up in our whirling and stirring emotions for this person. We seek to connect and know them deeply and fully, as speedily as possible. It’s why we feel this mystifying need to do as much as is humanly possible to get closer to one another in the first few months of dating.
And to do this, our culture regularly stresses the importance of using intimacy to achieve the closeness we long for. We’re encouraged to sleep around, not only as a means to have fun, but to feel like we know the guy we’re dating better or to lock down the relationship. But what if this approach is backwards? What if it’s actually hurting the evolution of our new relationship?
Here are five practical reasons why holding off on getting intimate is the smart way to date.
1. It Weeds Out the Guys Who Don’t Want a Relationship
If a relationship is what we’re looking for, the guys who desire nothing more than a casual, no-strings-attached setup will bolt the moment they realize they’re not getting what they want. They might ghost us, physically leave, or just mentally check out for the rest of the date.
No guy is worth bending our own convictions for.
While their brisk abandonment of what could’ve been an otherwise entertaining date is hurtful in the moment, and can even lead us to question if we’re doing the right thing by sticking to our guns, it’s surprisingly helpful to our cause. No guy is worth bending our own convictions for, and no relationship in which we had to convince someone to stay and agree with our way of doing things will ever work out well.
2. We’ll Know There’s More Than Sexual Chemistry
The prevailing sentiment these days is that sexual chemistry is the most important type of chemistry in any lasting romantic relationship — and if we don’t ensure it exists early on and confirm the chemistry is to our taste by moving fast, we’ll end up in a loveless, monotonous relationship.
But we fail to recognize that our hyper-focus on sexual chemistry means our relationships end up being based on little more than that, instead of on sincere friendship, trust, a profound emotional connection, or loyalty — the qualities that guarantee a healthy and durable relationship.
Friendship, trust, a profound emotional connection, and loyalty are the qualities of a healthy relationship.
It’s not glamorous or whimsical to admit that sexual chemistry, while meaningful, is not the secret ingredient to a life of happiness and bliss — but it’s true. Relationships that are based solely on what felt good in the moment, and nothing more, don’t have a fighting chance of surviving when life gets tough (spoiler alert: it undoubtedly will).
3. It Gives Us Time To Agree on the Relationship
As odd and unromantic as it sounds, at the beginning of every romantic relationship, there’s a sort of unspoken contract, or terms of engagement, that dictates what the rest of the relationship will look like. Believe it or not, this contract is drawn up by the end of the first date or two.
This unspoken contract is drawn up by the end of the first date or two.
When we hurry up to get intimate with a guy, we’ve virtually committed to an agreement that we haven’t even explicitly settled with him yet — and that agreement most definitely includes hooking up, but not necessarily commitment. By waiting to take that step with a guy, it gives us a chance to get on the same page in terms of what we’re looking for from the relationship, saving us from getting hurt if he says he’s not ready for commitment.
4. It Gives Him a Chance To Woo Us
Why wouldn’t we want a guy to go out of his way to buy us flowers just because, offer to bring us our favorite soup when we’re feeling under the weather, or ask what our upbringing was like and actually care to know?
It’s safe to say that in our modern dating culture, where finding a date is as easy as swiping through a menu of singles in the area, taking the time to woo a woman isn’t at the top of every guy’s agenda. In fact, too many guys would prefer to skip the niceties altogether and go straight to what he considers the main event.
Wouldn’t it be nice for him to make the effort for some good, old-fashioned courting?
But wouldn’t it be nice for him to make the effort for some good, old-fashioned courting? Holding off on going further with him will not only sort out which guys are willing to do this (the best guys always are), but also allow us to enjoy these early stages in which we’re both trying to impress each other.
5. We Might Be Trying To Convince Him To Like Us
In a culture that treats dating less as a getting-to-know-you arrangement and more as a I-have-an-itch-to-scratch understanding, it’s reasonable to feel like if a guy can find a hookup that easily, we may as well offer that to him in order to pique his interest and make him willing to stick around.
Using our bodies to get a guy to stay will never work out the way we plan.
Unfortunately, this approach can end up backfiring on us when he eventually starts looking elsewhere for something new, or we find out he never stopped meeting up with other girls. Using our bodies to get a guy to stay will never work out the way we planned, instead leaving us wondering why we weren’t enough for him — but for him, it was never about finding one woman to fulfill him and all of his needs.
We’re sold on the idea that our best chance at finding our perfect match is by moving fast to lock a guy down, but it turns out that waiting to take that step has enormous benefits to the health of the relationship, as well as ourselves.
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