I know a lot of people who have sex whilst dating. While it’s different strokes for different folks, much of what I hear from people who do is that it complicates and sometimes ruins things. If it’s worked for you, great, don’t bother to read this. However, if you think having sex in the early stages of dating plays a role in some of the challenges you’ve faced while dating, keep reading.

1. Connect mentally first before you connect physically.

Some people can have great sex with people that they barely know a hot minute. For many, though, the more at ease, the better they know someone, the better the physical connection, the better the sex. If you are dating to find a potential partner for a relationship, then sex doesn’t need to be the primary thing on the agenda.

2. Put your libido on the back burner.

Lust and libido cloud judgment. Everything will feel great when your body is sizzling, but what are you missing, and what about afterwards? In our quest to cement the meeting in the bedroom, we often sit on dates ignoring red flag behaviour, or at the very least, things that should raise a question mark. Instead, we shag first, think later.

3. Avoid The Justifying Zone.

The Justifying Zone (TJZ) is that slippery slope you spend time on after you sleep with someone too soon. On some level, you feel the need to justify the decision to sleep with this person so that you feel that you have a genuine reason for sleeping with them and continuing to put energy into the relationship. The Justifying Zone enables you to find reasons and loopholes to keep flogging a dead horse. Sometimes women find themselves on this slippery slope without even having had sex because instead of focusing on the orgasmic time, they focus on that first few weeks when they thought that they had an amazing connection and that this person was Mr/Miss Wonderful. Hence, TJZ prevents you from staying in reality and lets you dine off the potential of your imagination.

4. Avoid ‘accidental’ one-night stands and becoming someone’s booty call.

You think that it’s the start of something wonderful when you get naked, whereas he has already decided to hit the road. He just hasn’t mentioned it. Or their ego decides that you slept with them ‘too soon’, so you’re only good enough for casual sex, and you become a booty call. Either way, it’s not good. If you leave sex out of the mix for a little longer, you’ll quickly suss out who’s just in it for the sex and who wants to get to know you with a view to a relationship.

5. If you build castles in the sky, you create an attachment to the person or your idea of the relationship.

Not all women get emotional about sex, but many do. I’m not saying that men don’t, but they are socialised and conditioned to screw around with less attachment. Many women get high off the ‘drug’ of sex and start wondering about the future of the relationship or thinking that the person’s the best thing since sliced bread. That’s our socialisation and conditioning around romantic relationships. Certain people are more predisposed to feeling a disproportionate sense of attachment when they have sex, which sets them up for a fall. Know yourself before you wreck yourself

6. A half-decent guy isn’t going to get their underwear in a twist if you don’t ‘put out’.

Someone who wants to get to know you with the possibility of going beyond dating doesn’t put the focus on the sex. The person who keeps going on about sex or trying to get you in the sack or push you for ‘everything but’ doesn’t scream prospective partner.

Yes, there are some wankers out there that would stick around for you to put out and then leave, but they’ll do it no matter when you sleep with them. You’re not being more mindful about when you have sex as a means of controlling the outcome; it’s about taking better care of yourself. Take off your rose-tinted glasses and be very alert when you start dating someone to protect yourself as much as possible from a place of being boundaried. Someone who really likes you will want to get to know YOU, not just the length and breadth of your vagina.

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