How To Know When To Make “The Move”
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I try to avoid sex on a first date. Let me be clear, I’ve had one-night stands. I don’t say this to brag, just as a necessary distinction. Besides, some of them may not be something to brag about (insert winking emoticon here). But ending up in the bedroom with a girl you’ve been dating is a very different situation than bringing a girl home after the bar closes. The latter is usually just about sex, and the former is often about more. Consequently, the question inevitably rises over time: When is the right time to bring sex into the dating ritual?
I’ve been back and forth on this topic with friends since we were old enough to know that we wanted more than just physical intimacy and that we wanted relationships. As we get older and begin to look at the women we meet as potential partners, we begin to weigh many factors before jumping into bed with them. It does not mean we forget about those fun nights when we offer shots to the girls next to us in hopes of seeing the inside of the cute one’s apartment. It simply means that when we are really going after someone, it requires more tact when looking to get the physical things brewing. The questions is: Is there a perfect time?
Jumping The Gun
Clever wordplay and double meanings aside, there is nothing more potentially disastrous to a good courtship then getting there too quickly. Now, I know that everyone likes to say things like, “But what if the moment is right?” or “Sometimes it just has to happen,” but when talking about dating as the pursuit of a real relationship, too early is a very risky play. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t go for it if your date leads immediately to sex; I’m just saying that the likelihood of that turning into something more is diminished significantly.
As cliché as it sounds, men like the challenge. You know we do. The importance of having to really work toward sexual activity with a woman we are seriously interested in helps build the romance for us. Whether we choose to admit it or not, what comes from having to wait to get naked is the gradual formation of the opinion that this girl is worth waiting for.
If you have sex on the first date, what inevitably follows is a sudden dip in real interest. We’ve all been there: Watching from the bed as our enthusiasm sneaks out the window like a ghost before we even get our pants on. It sucks. It may seem to women that we are being cruel, but it’s coded into our male gene. The difficulty of the pursuit is directly correlated to our perception of the romantic potential. The fact is, the right women know this and work equally as hard to avoid sleeping with a guy they like on the first date. For many of them, the regret they feel if things move too quickly is not guilt; it’s just genuine concern that something good may have just been sabotaged.
The Long Haul
Waiting too long can be the kiss of death. It’s one thing to make it clear you want to pace things because you like and respect her, but it’s also vital that you do not behave so cool that she begins to wonder if you are really interested.
There are two sides to this one. Whether we are comfortable with it or not, there is some strategy and calculation required at the beginning. Nobody has ever won over a girl’s heart by being too eager — that only happens in the movies. But being aloof is very different from taking yourself out of her sights. There is much to be said in keeping a woman’s attention by not pushing too much at the outset. Not only will she respect that, but it has the added benefit of creating desire on her part. The flip side to that coin is you have to be careful not to drag it out too much.
We have to keep in mind that when things are starting out, most people do not consider themselves exclusive just yet. As a result, their minds are still open to meeting other people. If you withhold for too long, this keeps that period of uncertainty going for longer than you may want to risk. If either of you are getting antsy about the lack of progress in the sex department, there may be the temptation to rationalize some more casual encounters with others if the opportunity arises. It is key to try and close that window sooner than later.
I waited until the fourth date with someone before we found our way to the bedroom, and she remarked, “I’m glad that finally happened,” when we were having brunch the next day. “Glad” and “finally” are a good outcome, but maybe things were cut a little too close. Even the most interested woman will start to wonder what’s happening if you keep waiting for the right moment. But don’t sit back and wait — this is where things can be drawn out into the “too late zone.” Sometimes you need to make the moment happen before too much time has passed. Try to choose the right plans and settings for your dates to encourage things to happen.