I’ve decided after years of dating that the next time I have sex with someone, I’m going to be damn sure that the ‘relationship’ is going somewhere. This list is based on the premise that you don’t want to have casual sex and you’re going for the long haul.

1. Do you know what the status of the relationship is?
If you’re thinking long-term relationship and your significant other is thinking ‘casual shag’ then you shouldn’t sleep with this person. Having sex won’t change a thing and it will only leave you feeling empty when they don’t step the relationship up a few notches. If you’re going to have sex, make sure that you know where you stand as it’s difficult to have conversations about the ambiguous relationship after you’ve slept together. Sex complicates things and skews the way you think and people make the mistake of assuming that because you’re sleeping together, you must be both on the path to long-term relationship heaven.

2. Are you comfortable?
I don’t mean are you comfortable in their bed, I mean, how comfortable are you with your significant other? Think back to your dates and conversations. Have you ignored things that should have set off alarm bells? Have they behaved oddly? Do they return calls promptly? Do they respect what you say and do? Do you feel happy around them? Do their eyes wander when you’re out together? If any of your answers flag up an issue or there is anything else that you find questionable, hold off on getting jiggy and figure out what these things mean. Again, sex does not remedy something that’s questionable. If they’re not calling you when they say they will, having sex with them is not the way to test if their behaviour will change.

3. Are you a secret?
If your ‘relationship’ is like a covert operation by MI5/CIA, you might want to keep your pants up. If they’re uncomfortable with admitting that you exist, what are you having sex with them for? If you’re good enough to have sex with, you’re good enough to have your existence acknowledged. Which brings me to…

4. Do they ‘belong’ to someone else?
Based on the fact that this article is for people that are about to embark on sex with someone who they would like to be in a long-term relationship with, borrowing someone else’s partner from the library of love should be a no-no. In an ideal world, we’d meet people and they’d be ready and available and they wouldn’t be in a relationship with someone else. But they often are. Talking from personal experience, sex will complicate things and if your significant other is serious about you, they will clear the decks and end things with their ‘someone else’ before they have sex with you. They shouldn’t need to have sex with you to determine whether they should give it a go with you. You are not operating a ‘Try before you buy policy’!

5. Do you see yourself with this person for a significant amount of time?
We know if we want to be with someone for a while. If you’re unsure, then it’s not the right time to sleep with them. If you have answered all of the above questions and you have positive feelings about moving things forward, then it’s OK to have sex. I recognise that things change, but if you cover your bases by answering these questions, it can save headache further down the line. You can’t go back to holding hands once you’ve had sex because sex changes everything.


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