You’re on a date and everything’s clicking.
It’s early in the relationship . . . maybe it’s the first date, or you’ve only had a few dates.
You really like him or her, and you’re clearly extremely attracted to each other.
You can’t control yourselves. Things kick into high gear from one moment to the next. Suddenly you’re on your way to the bedroom and clothes are flying off.
This may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Everything may work out, and your relationship may thrive and grow in a healthy way. It may develop into true love.
But more than likely, the relationship is doomed to crash and burn . . . probably pretty fast.
Having sex too early can kill a relationship before it’s had a chance to catch hold.
It seems that we all want things to happen super fast. In the digital age, we’re used to everything moving at lightning speed. We continuously upgrade to the latest devices and technologies, all designed to operate and satisfy our needs faster and faster.
This need for speed may have an impact on relationships, too. We may want instant gratification so much that we overlook the consequences.
A sex-too-early dating mistake I made.
But in less than a month of dating, we both got carried away and things progressed too quickly . . . and then suddenly what seemed to be a promising relationship abruptly fell apart.
The main problem: He was a recent widower, not ready to date yet, although a counselor had convinced him that he was.
The intimacy shook him. He became immediately distant and, a few days later, broke things off in a phone call. He was so freaked out he couldn’t do it in person.
The break-up was devastating for about a week, until I examined the relationship and realized that only the physical part was working. We were, in fact, incompatible in most other ways. He wasn’t right for me at all.
After that, I vowed not to let a strong physical attraction carry me away. I would wait a few months before having sex. I stuck to that plan from then on.
Because of my experience and those of other women over 60 I spoke with, I think it’s a terrible mistake to dive into having sex too soon.
3 BIG Reasons NOT To Have Sex Too Early in a Relationship
1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) / Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Did you know that boomers are the most rapidly growing group with STDs?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, all kinds of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are on the rise for 55+ people in the U.S.
Can you guess why?
Probably because, without the risk of pregnancy, too many mature men and women aren’t using condoms. They forget that STDs are still a distinct possibility.
A Huffington Post article quoted social marketing expert Natalie Bowring:
“There seems to be this myth that people turn 50, and they stop being able to have children, so they stop having sex but it’s not true at all.
A lot of people over 50 are finding themselves without a partner either through divorce or death and thanks to pharmaceutical advances, they feel great, they’re keeping up their sex drive and they’re living longer.
The rising rate of infection indicates older heterosexual adults are engaging in frequent, risky sexual behaviour but very little research has been done on why they are not using condoms or how to encourage their use in this age group.”
What about condoms for mature daters? Do they need them?
According to Michael Castleman in Psychology Today:
“Public health authorities insist they do. As 50 has become the new 30, older adults’ STI rates have risen. Since 2005, risk of syphilis among older adults has jumped 67 percent, chlamydia 40 percent, which is why health officials recommend condoms every time for everyone who dates until both lovers test STI-free and pledge monogamy.”
And, to be really safe, some couples will use condoms for a time in the beginning, even if both people’s tests came out clean.
2. Oxytocin, the love hormone.
During sex, the hormone oxytocin is stimulated within us. According to Psychology Today:
“Oxytocin is a powerful hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It regulates social interaction and sexual reproduction, playing a role in behaviors from maternal-infant bonding and milk release to empathy, generosity, and orgasm. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels increase; hence, oxytocin is often called “the love hormone.” In fact, the hormone plays a huge role in all pair bonding. The hormone is greatly stimulated during sex, birth, and breastfeeding.”
Under the influence, so to speak, we can’t always trust our emotions. We may misread our feelings for that person, thinking we love them when we’re really just strongly physically attracted to them. This often leads to poor decision-making.
Some people go so far as to move in together right away . . . or get married too fast . . . or loan money to that near-stranger . . . or perhaps get entangled in a business partnership too fast.
3. Either (or both) of you feel pressured to have sex, even though you’re not ready.
You may assume you HAVE to have sex within the first few dates.
In particular, women may assume that they have to have sex on the first date, or within a few dates, in order to catch and hold a man.
Not so, wrote Ken Solin in a Psychology Today article about his experiences as a man over 50 in the dating game:
“Countless online posts by boomer women complain of men who demand sex on the second date, and sometimes on the first. I’ve come to sympathize with them: Devaluing the goal of getting to know someone first strikes me as both dismissive and disrespectful.
Indeed, men (and women!) who still believe that casual sex is cool simply puzzle me. An emotional bond enhances both partners’ sense of safety, confidence and desirability. Midlife sex with a stranger, by contrast, seems more like masturbating. Where’s the love in that?”
As boomers, we grew up during the sexual revolution. Many of us had sex on one first date after another, without thinking too much about it.
You’re an adult now. Your youthful, reckless ways won’t cut it today.
My Advice on Sex and Mature Dating
Wait . . . maybe longer than you’d like or think you should. No matter how great everything feels and how sure you are they’re the one, wait at least a few months.
It’s probably not a good idea to even bring up sex on a first date, especially if you’ve made the commitment to yourself to wait a certain amount of time.
Make it a regular practice to discuss the details with each partner that has potential, once you’ve had a few dates.
Come to an agreement with them about when you’ll start having sex. Find out early if they’ve been involved with illicit drug use. Agree that you’ll both get the full range of STD testing, before jumping into bed.
Abstain from having sex with those you know you’ll only have one or two dates with.
If someone with potential refuses to get tested, saying their word should be enough, you’ve just learned that they’re not for you. If they care about you and they’re a decent, mature person, they’ll be willing to get tested. And they’ll be more than willing to let you see the actual results, so you can rest easy.
If you’re seriously looking to find true love, wait for love to be in the mix first. You’ll be glad you did.
Take the time to get to know each other first, and see if you’re kindred spirits, with enough common interests and shared values, who are truly compatible in the big and small things.
Good luck in the dating game!
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