How many Dates before Intimacy

Last Updated 14.11.2022
11 min read

When it comes to dating, one of the things most people think about is how many dates before intimacy is considered okay? Knowing how long you have to wait until it is a good idea to have sex with the other person takes a lot of stress off and allows you to enjoy the experience of dating them more. For others, it is something that holds them back from enjoying their time with someone new.

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Sex is an important part of every relationship; how fast two people get intimate in their dating experience can vary greatly. Some people prefer to be patient more than the average, while others think that sex is too important in a relationship and don't want to keep waiting until they figure out whether they are sexually compatible with the other person.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you are dating someone new and trying to figure out whether you should give in to the sexual tension between you, here are some things to consider.

The Three Date Rule - Is It Outdated?

One of the most common myths about dating is that you have to go on at least three dates before you have sex with the other individual. The short answer is that the three-date rule is not great dating advice and definitely doesn't apply to every situation, nor is there a magic number of dates you should go on before getting in bed with someone.

In the past, and only regarding heterosexual unmarried relationships, men waited for women to be pure before they became intimate, preferably not until marriage. As the years progressed, this gave some sort of freedom to women, and the three-date rule was born in order to hold off every partner from having sex on the first date.

Marriage is not everyone's goal nowadays and the course of a person's life can change without them having to follow rules someone else set for them. Therefore, the three-date idea is outdated, doesn't apply to any different kinds of relationships and you should definitely not take it into consideration or expect certain positive outcomes if you follow it.

When it comes to understanding what is the norm for dating and sex, it is best that you look at what studies have to say about how other people perceive this matter. A 2014 study that examined the outcomes of different dating scenarios based on when sex took place, found that out of 10,932 participants, 47,9% of them waited a few weeks to have sex with a new partner.

In addition, 35,3 percent of them had sex with a new partner either on the first date or within the first few weeks of dating them and 9,9% had sex before they even went on that first date.

This data comes to show just how much sexual experiences differ between people. You might choose to have sex before going on a date or choose to go on plenty of dates before sex. There is no hard and fast rule about sexual intimacy between new partners and it is totally fine to listen to your body and your gut instinct before deciding to sleep with someone new.

When you have dated more than one person, you will also come to see that your sexual experiences will vary between different individuals. No two relationships will be the same, and every relationship you experience will become a great example for the matter of your future dates. There will be times when you just want to have casual sex on the first date and other times when you will become truly invested in knowing someone better.

This shows that having sex on the first date and knowing how many dates to go on is simply connected to each individual person you meet and date. Also, just because you have sex early on doesn't necessarily mean you will have great sex. In many, if not most relationships, great sex relies heavily upon knowing what the other partner likes and dislikes. Therefore, you shouldn't base your expectations on the number of dates before sex.

Sex should be fun and exciting, especially with a new partner and while movies romanticize it greatly, it doesn't always have to lead to a long-term relationship or marriage. There is no right time for you to get into bed with someone and the only thing you should think about is staying safe and putting your health first through the right means of protection.

Why Do Some People Wait to Get Intimate?

This is a question that you might have in your head but never had the chance to express or discuss with anyone. Some people tend to hold back more than others to have sex with a new partner and there are many different factors that contribute to this situation.

First of all, certain people are very religious and their religion prohibits them from sleeping with many people. For them, the right time might be when they are married or when they finally feel like they could see themselves in a long-term relationship with the other person. Having too many sexual experiences is a risk they don't want to take in the course of their lives.1

In general, religion has stigmatized sex a lot and caused many people to lead different lives than they wanted. At the same time, though, it is not religion itself that causes these extremes to happen. Some people find the strength to keep going through their faith and that is a beautiful thing. As long as faith and beliefs are not taken to extremes and followed as rules, there is nothing wrong with you waiting to have sex with someone new until you feel ready.

Apart from religion, many people decide to hold back from getting intimate in order to avoid the risk of being called names or being dumped too quickly. Unfortunately, there are people who will take advantage of you or not care about the fact that you took the time to communicate your needs and expectations early on. People can be mean and cruel and they might find ways to hurt you even if you wait for many dates before sex.

You can easily find yourself in a situation where you and the other person just want different things. Some swear by the third date rule, while others like to wait after the third date, even up to five dates or more to get intimate. If you see something in that person and you wish to get to know them better before you get intimate, that is totally okay. Just make sure you communicate this with them, so they are also on the same page about your common sex life.

Understanding the Type of This Relationship

Sometimes, you need to keep in mind that not every relationship will run the same course. When you are dating someone new, there is a possibility that this will be a strictly sexual thing or that it could also blossom into a romantic relationship. This is exactly why it is important for both of you to be open and honest about your needs and expectations, especially in regard to sex.

If you know that everyone involved is not looking for something romantic or long-term, you can easily give in and enjoy having sex on the first date with this new person. As long as both of you are on the same page about this, there is nothing wrong with two consenting adults having sex without needing to count the number of dates they have been on.

Every relationship is different and every person you meet will spark something different in you. While you might think that waiting to have sex with someone will help the romance between you grow, it is not necessary that you have to keep waiting for five dates or more in order for the other person to fall in love with you and finally have sex.

Why Do We Feel the Need to Wait to Have Sex?

The idea that if you have sex too early it will ruin things is something outdated and absolutely linked to past prejudice about women needing to be pure and not seem easy. This stems from a time when STIs could not be avoided as easily as today and created a rule that waiting a set number of dates before sex was necessary for the future of long-term relationships.

When unmarried relations used to be frowned upon, a lot of people had very little say in how their dating and sex life could progress.

Nowadays, condoms are easily accessible everywhere and are the best protection against STIs and STDs. The norms that used to apply to people thankfully no longer apply, especially to the average person that is able to not have to explain their love life or choice of lovers to anyone.

Since we now live in a society where everyone can make decisions for their lives and what they believe is correct, there is no reason to listen to what other people have to say about your individual situation.

Every relationship therapist will agree that each dating experience is different. Sometimes you will be patient for up to eight dates or even nine dates to get intimate or you might even end up having sex during the first few dates. Both are okay, as long as both of you are on board and care for your mutual pleasure.

"The third-date rule [that you need to have sex by the third date] treats sex like it's the down payment on a relationship." - Jason 'J' Brown

Enthusiastic Consent Is Always Important

The easiest way to explain the importance of enthusiastic consent is to remember that saying "yes" to having a sexual encounter is very different from not saying "no". Consent means agreeing to do something, and actually saying yes to it. If you or someone else doesn't actually give the verbal okay to do something, they are not giving their consent.

During your dating experiences, you will come across many different kinds of people. Some will be able to respect your boundaries and consent and give you the time you need and others will try to gaslight you and make you feel guilty in order to get you to sleep with them.

While there is no rule as to how many dates you should go on before having sex, if you feel like you don't want to be intimate with someone yet, even if this is out of character for you, you should stick to your word. If you see that the other person is making advances and disrespecting your boundaries and consent, you have every right to end the relationship.

Consenting to everything you do while dating someone is very important for your physical as well as mental health. Casual sex can be very fun when everyone involved is on board and respectful of their partners' wishes. This is what consent is all about. The moment when someone tries to guilt-trip you into doing something you are not comfortable with is when you should let them know you are no longer on the same page.

Approaching Every Dating Experience Differently

At the end of the day, remember that every dating experience is different. Deciding when to get intimate is something that you should openly discuss with the person you're seeing. If you see that they are not taking your boundaries into consideration and trying to change your mind in order to get in bed with them, you should not be afraid of refusing to have sex with them.

Being intimate with someone should be something that both parties want and there is no one who can dictate to you when it is the right time. There is no right or wrong answer or any rules to how long you should hold off, simply because every answer is acceptable for every individual experience.

As long as both of you are consenting adults and you decide to have sex, no three-date rule should be an issue in your decision. And remember, that if someone shames you for your personal decisions which don't affect them in any possible way, you really don't need their negativity in your life!

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