I Waited, And It Worked

Trying to keep your hands to yourselves on your first few dates with a new match? You may be on to something. As it turns out, making no moves might be the best move of all.

By Chelsea Kaplan

ccording to a recent study conducted at University College London, putting a halt on hitting the sheets may be the smartest move a woman looking for love can make. According to the study, a woman reduces the chance that she will eventually mate with Mr. Wrong if she delays physical intimacy. The study’s researchers found that if she chooses to have a long courtship before she gets physical with her love interest, she’ll increase the likelihood that when sex does eventually happen in the relationship, it will be an experience both members of the couple will find meaningful and beneficial.

In the real world, “waiting” has also proven to be a successful play in the game of love. Read on for
Eventually, I realized that first-date sex was a dead-end idea.
real-life stories from people who benefited by taking it slow, and the experts’ explanations as to why their waiting paid off.

1. “I wanted to earn his respect.”
“I used to have first-date sex all the time and I never thought twice about it. However, instead of a steady boyfriend, all I got was a reputation as being ‘easy’. Eventually, I realized that first-date sex was a dead-end idea, and I started waiting until I was well into a relationship — months, even — before having sex. I noticed that the longer I waited, the more respect I earned from guys. I waited a long time before sleeping with my current boyfriend, and I know he respects and values me more because of it.”
— Mary, 33, Plano, TX

Why this waiting worked: “If you jump into the sack quickly with a guy, he can’t help but wonder if you’d do it with others as well. Make him want to see you again by earning his respect.”
—Robin Gorman Newman, author of How to Marry a Mensch

2. “I wanted him to see me as the marrying type.”
“I believe that when it comes down to finding the woman he wants to marry, no guy wants someone who gives up the milk before he buys the cow, so to speak. I eventually found the perfect man for me, and we did get married — after waiting six months before ever sleeping together. Now that I am married, I realize that a couple needs more than a great sex life to truly sustain a marriage — that’s why good relationships need to be built on more than just sex, and waiting helps that happen.”
— Tracy, 39, Fresno, CA

Why this waiting worked: “It’s one thing for a guy to want to have sex with a woman, but it’s a completely different thing for him to want to marry her. It’s great to have sexual compatibility, but in the long run, other things are just as important, if not more important. If early on in your relationship he feels like you two have ‘been there, done that,’ what’s to look forward to over time?”
— Robin Gorman Newman

3. “I wanted to discover whether we were compatible beyond the bedroom.”
“When I got serious about settling down, I became less interested in my sexual compatibility with a guy, and more in our ‘life’ compatibility. Instead of using our sexual chemistry as a barometer for our compatibility, I put sex on the back burner and waited until I discovered we had a lot of life goals in common before having sex with him. At the end of the day, those things just seemed more important. I
"Waiting is a great way to establish genuine friendship and passion."
think the fact that sex wasn’t my go-to selling point helped me find a great guy: my current fiancé!”
— Gina, 26, Utica, NY

Why this waiting worked: “By waiting, you communicate that you really want to get to know him and find out who he is before having sex. Truly mature men appreciate and respect this!”
— Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., host of “The Love Doctor” radio show

4. “I’d never been friends first with a boyfriend.”
“Before I met Caleb, all of my relationships had centered around sex. Sure, they were fun, but I never felt like any of them were particularly deep or meaningful. When I met Caleb I knew we had the potential to be a great couple, so I decided I’d try waiting before having sex with him. I focused my energies on becoming friends with him first so we could build a close relationship first before it became all about sex, as all of my other relationships had been. We became incredibly close — so much so that by the time we eventually did sleep together, the sexual part of our relationship never overshadowed the fact that above all else, he was my best friend. That’s why I think we’ve lasted as long as we have!”
— Brianna, 29, Atlanta, GA

Why this waiting worked: “Waiting is a great way to establish genuine friendship and passion rather than simply a lustful connection. It allows you to really determine whether you genuinely like a person or whether all you have is chemistry.”
— Debra Mandel, Ph.D., author of Dump That Chump: From Doormat to Diva in Only Nine Steps

5. “I realized it protected me from getting too hurt.”
“I take sex seriously, so when I sleep with a guy, I expect he will take our relationship seriously. Unfortunately, the guys I have slept with in the past haven’t always done so. For my own self-preservation, I’ve learned that I need to take it slow when it comes to having sex with a new guy I am dating. Now, I wait until I trust and am on the same page with the person I am dating before having sex with him, which can sometimes take a while. That’s OK, though, because it prevents me from getting hurt if things do not work out. My new plan has helped me with my dating confidence and self-esteem in general!”
— Heather, 23, Easton, PA

Why this waiting worked: “Once you have sex, the body often starts ‘falling in love’ with your partner biochemically — you become attached, needing and wanting that person’s presence, attention and touch. This infatuation process can feel like an overwhelming addiction to the new person. But if sex happens too soon, you run the risk of becoming ‘addicted’ to a person you don’t really know if you like or respect — or if it’s returned, for that matter, which can be a recipe for heartbreak. Waiting until you really know and like a person before you have sex helps minimize this risk.”
— Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., author of Love in 90 Days

Chelsea Kaplan is deputy editor of The Family Groove and a regular guest on Sirius XM Radio's “Broadminded.” Read more from Chelsea on her blog, The Momtourage.
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