A few (or many) failed relationships while floundering around for “The One” can hit the core and make you wonder if there was something you repeatedly did wrong. How do you decide if sex was a factor, and if it was, how to handle this moving forward to be successful in future relationship attempts? Here are 8 points of consideration when trying to decide the perfect timing to hit a home run with your current or future boo.
What your intentions are
If you’re on Tinder specifically seeking a hookup, then who cares? Look for someone you think is hot, have a good time, and enjoy your night with no regrets. Whether you talk after that, start a FWB situation, part ways, or even decide to shift to a dating relationship is up to you. Sometimes you just need to relieve some stress or simply indulge without the extra commitment and obligations that come with a relationship. Casual isn’t synonymous with bad if that’s what you’re looking for and feel like you can handle.
When you both agree to it
Crossing the lines of consent goes both ways. Believe it or not, all guys aren’t just lurking around ready to pounce on a sexual opportunity. Just like he should respect your “no” without pressuring or forcing you, you shouldn’t coerce him through seduction either. The best way to avoid confusion or an awkward encounter is to talk about it before you land yourselves in the heat of the moment, but sometimes this doesn’t happen. In that case, just read the room—check body language and listen to what he says—and proceed with caution if there’s been alcohol involved and a chance he’s not in the right state of mind.
After you’ve had “the talk”
If you can’t discuss condoms, birth control, and your status, you shouldn’t be having sex with that person. Unfortunately, no birth control is 100% effective and you need to be responsible. Personally, I already learned the hard lesson not to take my chances and accept anyone’s word for it without documentation. Not even a random hookup but a whole boyfriend gave me a specific month he supposedly got tested and had clean results, but when I started to show symptoms a month later, I found out otherwise. Make sure you get checked and don’t be afraid to ask for his papers too. Better safe than sorry when it comes to your sexual health.
About 90 days
I saw this in Think Like A Man with Meagan Good and have been intrigued ever since. I can’t say I’ve personally ever made this work and can’t attest to the results but it’s an interesting concept for some. If anything, it’ll save the trouble of having a bunch of new partners if most of your dates fizz out and never evolve out of situationship status into a real relationship, which seems to be the curse of all Millennial dating attempts these days. Not saying 90 days exactly is a concrete rule to follow, but it’s an idea to try if you’re interested in the challenge.
After you define what you’re doing
It may not take a whole 90 days to feel a sense of security. At least having a title lets you know you’re seriously working on something and hoping for a future together so you can feel like you’re not just out here sleeping with anyone simply because they paid for a couple of free meals for you. For some people, the title they need is going to be that ring or a marriage certificate, and that’s not a bad idea either. For one, sex before marriage goes against many people’s religious beliefs. Others need to know an accidental pregnancy won’t land them into an 18+ year solo commitment after a two-person mutual action.
When you want to
At the end of the day, no one is living your life but you, so who cares what other people think about what you do? Ultimately, you’re responsible for your happiness. If you want to wait, go for it. If it feels right, enjoy the moment. Take control of your sexuality and life your life the way you want to. You’ll never make everyone happy all the time and most people are self-absorbed anyway, so stop trying.
After eight dates
This is for all those die-hard rule followers out there who need specific guidelines. According to an article posted in the New York Post in 2017, the current magic number seems to be 8. I’d say if you want to be traditional, the first date is a complete testing ground. It’s the chance to gauge chemistry and feel out vibes. If you land a second date, chances are that person has sparked some interest and passed your initial screening. Date 2-3 is probably when you’d think about going for an innocent kiss. By date 5, you may want to have the “what-are-we” talk of exclusivity. From there it’s free rein! If you’ve been averaging a date once a week, 2-3 months in you may feel comfortable enough to go all the way.
When you feel certain about your partner
It’s OK to not fall immediately in love. The concept of “love at first sight” is nice and all, but it doesn’t happen for all of us. In fact, the more childhood trauma and baggage you carry from the past, the likelier you are to be drawn to chaos as your “normal.” Toxic may give you more of an “I feel like I’ve known you forever” feeling than a safe person. It could really challenge you and take work to accept real love from someone. So, you may not want to base your actions on initial impressions. Good, bad, or unsure, you may just want to wait out the honeymoon period and give yourself a chance to feel like you know one way or another what you think about someone. Some people, for example, a Scorpio, are simply mysterious and private by nature and may take you longer to assess.
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