Keeping it Real

Is Sex Early in a Relationship Bad?

If you’re looking for long-term… waiting might be the answer.

Couples who have sex early in a relationship may not experience the same satisfaction as those who delay sexual gratification. Sex is only one part of a meaningful relationship, but more young couples these days are exploring their sexual compatibility before developing a deeper emotional bond with their partners – and this may decrease their satisfaction as a couple later.

Why Waiting to Have Sex May Be Better

According to a new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, couples who have sex early in a relationship have less satisfaction later on – both emotionally and sexually.

By looking at data on over 2,000 married couples who took part in an online research project, they discovered that couples who had sex early in a relationship were less likely to be satisfied in their relationship and were more likely to have communication problems with their partner. They were also less likely to have a stable relationship than those who delayed sex until a deeper emotional bond was established. Even the quality of their sex lives was negatively affected by having sex early in the relationship.

Researchers found that the couples most likely to have high levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction were those who delayed sex until after marriage. The satisfaction level dropped by about half for couples who had sex prior to tying the knot. The designers of the study were careful to control for religious beliefs since this could play a big role in whether or not a couple has sex before marriage.

Why Do Couples Who Delay Sex Fare Better?

Researchers believe that having sex early in a relationship is detrimental because a couple hasn’t had the opportunity to develop good communication skills, which are important for long-term stability and satisfaction in a relationship. Delaying sex gives a couple time to know each other on a deeper level and establish a level of trust before embarking on a sexual relationship.

The Bottom Line?

Having sex early in a relationship isn’t a positive when it comes to long-term relationship satisfaction. Hopefully, young people will get the message that sex is better when it comes after a couple is committed. Sex before commitment could affect the long-term health of a relationship in a negative way. -Dr. Kristie