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Patience Is A Virtue?

I’m not going to go on one of my rants about experts and others idiots who write books about .  I’m not.  I’ve just been noticing lately a lot of articles and posts, both in blogs and mainstream publications about whether or not women should be waiting before having with a new guy.

Some of this buzz can be attributed to a couple of recent books that espouse the theory that women should wait, and for a good long time (months).  But some of it is just good old-fashioned silliness of the, “once you have sex with a guy he won’t want you anymore” variety.

I’m not a big fan of rules.  And I find the rules around dating and sex particularly objectionable.  If I were some sweet, innocent young thing then maybe waiting a few months while I got to know a guy well might sound like a good plan.  But we’re a couple of decades too late for that.  And I personally don’t want to waste a lot of time on some guy who turns out to be bad in bed.  Or just not compatible with me.

That doesn’t mean I jump into bed with every guy I meet right away.  I have my own theory about waiting. I don’t want to wait too long (and then get attached to a guy only to find out he’s not a keeper), but at the same time, rushing into things might cloud my judgment (great sex tends to make me overlook a guy’s potential character flaws).

I have no clue what other people think about this (you know, you lovely normal folks who don’t write books).  Sure, there are lots of people out there just looking to get laid (and there’s nothing wrong with that).  But for those of us trying to find and build LTRs, what’s the norm?

Is patience a virtue?  Do you wait until you’re sure you have feelings for a person?  Or do you let the sex come first?

  • I tend to have sex with new men/women early. Usually on the first or second date. (15 votes)
  • I want to make sure I like them, sure, but I don’t “wait”. Usually the 3rd date or so. Rarely later than the 4th or 5th. (43 votes)
  • It’s important to wait until you know someone well, otherwise your relationship will be based on sex. 2-3 months minimum. (16 votes)
  • It depends. I don’t have a rule that I always follow. (43 votes)
  • Not me, I’m a . (4 votes)
  • Thank god I don’t have to deal with this anymore. I have a significant other. (13 votes)

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20 to “Patience Is A Virtue?”


  1. RVASarah says:

    I like to think I have a rule….but I never seem to follow it anyway. I think it depends on the guy (or girl). With my most recent boyfriend, we hung out at my place and then got right to it (Neither of us had had sex in quite awhile). Throughout our 2 year relationship, we joked that sex on that first night was our “icebreaker.”
    Needless to say, we’re no longer together but, as a single person, having a rule that fits you is important. Whether it’s after the 2nd date, 3rd date, or after a month of dating, whatever suits you. Is there a proven theory that says the guy will respect you more if you wait? I don’t think so. Besides, there are excpetions to every rule. ;-)

  2. derek7272 says:

    I feel like I have screwed up two potential relationships by having sex on the second date, so I try not to do it anymore if I think there’s potential of anything serious. (Third date is fine, I think, though). I feel like my inclination when I have sex that early in a relationship is to pull back slightly, because I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone just because we’ve had sex. Also, I think it is just human nature to value something more if you have to work for it a bit…

  3. Singlegal says:

    Goodbyegal and I have instituted a “three date” rule. And by golly, one of these days we’re going to use it! :-)

  4. CHFBrian says:

    I try and wait until a few dates in, but I’m of the opinion that sexual chemistry is as important as anything else in a relationship, so I’m not one for waiting too long.

    Still, in my experience sex too early can ruin things. It’s a fine line that I’m still struggling with, and these days I don’t think there’s anything wrong with erring on the side of caution and waiting a bit.

  5. lorilori17 says:

    It drives me absolutely bat-*** crazy that the advice out there is directed at women, and how it’s up to the woman to “wait” or not – as if she’s the only one who might be giving something up, including her reputation. Totally ridiculous, in my book. There’s nothing wrong with going to it on the first date, and there’s nothing wrong with waiting, as long as both people are realistic about expectations. Having sex doesn’t make anyone a whore, and it doesn’t make anyone fall in love, either. Sometimes it’s just a good time (hopefully), and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with framing sex in those terms until and unless there’s a deeper connection.

    Okay, rant over :)

  6. HollyPage says:

    I think any “rules” that reinforce the notion that women should withhold sex and men should pursue it are lame. That, and I always sucked at waiting. However … waiting to build a little anticipation and comfort (the 3 date window sounds about right) improves the odds that the sex will be better and the relationship still possible. In my experience, first date sex has been mostly awkward and lackluster.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Have you ever noticed that most times, a guy can talk/act his way OUT of your panties??? Well thats been my experience! I’m always glad that I waited after spending a decent amount of time, nothing crazy maybe shy of a month or so with a guy that I really THINK I like. Usually at this late stage of the game, I have given him subtle clues that I’m sexually interested, which is when they relax a bit, allow the facades to fall apart and you meet the true person you’ve spent all this time with. They become obnoxious, arrogant and give me all the reasons in the world to be happy I didnt allow it to go that far. I dont fret about the time it took me to find out either b/c typically I date a few guys @ a time if the numbers are on my side and there is always 1 to replace the loser.

    I wouldnt say that I have a time limit rule, and I have definitely met guys that made me extremely tempted very early on but never have i met the one that made me wanna give it up after only the 1st date!!! Do they exist? Maybe thats just in New York and please KEEP them there!

    I will say that I refuse to lay down with a complete and total stranger! Just doesnt seem worth it no matter how hot they are, if I am that worked up I can just go home and handle that matter myself!

  8. Dwight says:

    Let me preface this by saying I’m just out of a 30 year significant other relationship that had a deadly boring sex life. Sex is a huge part of a relationship and needs to be investigated early and continuously during the course of the relationship. I miss the security of the LTR and will probably establish another if the right lady comes along, but in the meanwhile I have several relationships based (mutually) on sex. To me, honesty with myself and my partner is the number one criteria to advance a relationship.

    That said, I go with the flow; no waiting rules and I absolutely respect the Lady’s prerogative. Amazingly enough it is sometimes interrupted as indifference!

  9. starangel82 says:

    There is a fine line. I don’t really have a set rule, but I tend to agree with everyone else. Too early can tend to ruin things, but waiting too long can ruin things as well. I’m not saying sex on the first date is horrible, earth shattering thing. I know some people who say they did and are now happily married, so to each their own. I think it just depends on each person and how comfortable they feel with each other.

  10. CHFBrian says:

    My longest and most successful relationship started with sex on the first date, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize that for me it’s generally a bad idea and has ruined a number of promising relationships.

    It absolutely depends on the situation, but I’m comfortable in answering that I think it’s best to wait at least a few dates.

  11. SINgleGIRL says:

    -RVASarah
    I’ve been there. And I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with it. Hey, 2 years isn’t a bad run at all.
    -derek7272
    I think a lot of people would agree with the feeling that they might have screwed up past relationships by having sex too soon. For me, as I said, it’s because I let the sex cloud my judgment.. Like you, I think there are people who have this sense that they have to be/stay in a relationship because they’re having sex. I’m not too sure I understand the “value something if you work for it”. It seems like you’re saying that sex is something that a guy is trying to get from a woman. That he’s working for it? I think most of my female readers would agree, we want sex just as much as guys, so I don’t see the logic there.
    -Singlegal
    Yeah, that’s the problem with these rules:-) I’d like to know if any of the folks preaching “wait until you have a ring” or “wait 3 months” actually practiced what they preached. Please!
    -CHFBrian
    It is a fine line, dammit. And I agree with you that sexual chemistry is super important. I think you and I are probably on the same page here.
    -lorilori17
    You feel free to come here and rant whenever you want, darling. I feel the same way. At least we’re not hearing the cow/milk crap quite so much anymore.
    -HollyPage
    Welcome to the blog. Yep, lame. I think that’s what pisses me off the most – the context that we are “giving it up” too easily. As to whether of not first date sex sucks. um, I think that’s a case by case thing. But isn’t everything?
    -Anonymous
    That is an excellent point. Yes, men do have a habit of blowing it/making me not want them anymore. That’s an interesting way of framing the question.
    -Dwight
    Welcome to the blog. I’m going to guess (based on very little evidence) that you’re very out of practice at reading women’s cues and at giving off your own subtle cues. The truth is, that sometimes a really laid back guy can come off as indifferent. You can be respectful, laid back (go with the flow – whatever) and clearly show a woman you are interested in her – when she’s ready.
    -starangel82
    Who knew there were so many of us in this category? I sure didn’t. Hmmm.

  12. BiblioMom says:

    I don’t have a rule but I know that I don’t believe in the myth that premarital sex is bad. Since I’m divorced after being married for 10 years to the guy that I lost my virginity to I’m not about to back pedal and try to reclaim my moral standing after enjoying years of sex (good and bad). I think that sex is an important part of a relationship and that it’s important to explore that side with any man that I’m going to find myself with. For example if a guy feels uncomfortable smacking my ass on occasion well he and I aren’t going to be a good match. ; )

    And also sometimes it’s not about sexual compatibility or wanting a relationship. Sometimes it’s just about sex. Women like it too and want it and sometimes we want it without strings (or boyfriends) attached!

  13. recklessstudio says:

    Just a few dates for me, only because physicality is a major part of a growing relationship (for me) and if you aren’t a good kisser or a good lover, it’s not going to last long for me. So I would like to get it in early to know what I could be getting myself into.

  14. Shannia says:

    I’Ve given it up on a first date because the guy was hot and he also stimulated my brain and I wanted him bad. One one occasion I ended up dating the guy 3 years, not bad for a one night stand. On another occasion I dated the guy 4 months and it ended with me getting a restraining order against him.. so you never know. I say if a guy is going to dump you after sex, you might as well get dumped before there are real feelings involved. I usually wait a few dates, but seriously, if I want it, I just do it.

  15. derek7272 says:

    SG, yes I do think in general women are still more often than not the “sexual gatekeepers.” Women are still the ones who say no (at least to first-time sex), and still the ones who expect guys to put in a certain amount of time before they ask for sex — to work for it, in other words. Most women I think would be offended if they were asked five minutes after meeting someone, “hey, wanna fuck?” I’m sure some would go for it, but not that many. I think it’s fair to say that women generally want sex just as much as men when they’re in a relationship, but before then they tend to be far pickier than men about whom they’d have sex with.

  16. BadenLink says:

    BiblioMom–wow great post!

    SG, I am a huge fence rider when it comes to this issue. There is the old saying I like her is that rules are meant to be broken. If you asked me when I was 18 I would have given you one answer, 25 an another answer, and now 30 something a little different from the last one. In the right situation (all depends on the woman) I would wait for a long time if needed–but it must be a very very special lady. With that being said if lady I was with on the first date wanted their ass spanked and called naughty things then I would be hard pressed to ignore these urges. The one thing I would NOT do is have sex on any early date (or any date for that matter) if I realized there was a good chance it was going to be only going to be a “fuck” for me, but the lady was thinking it was out of “love”. (I HOPE THAT MAKES SENSE). In the end I read the signs and go with my gut and if I feel like the both of us are on the same page then I go for it and what ever happens–happens!

  17. iamalejandra says:

    I might be the odd girl here but, I have never understood why sex on a first date can ruin a potential relationship. The few times I have done that it has had no effect on the relationship. I just don’t see how it could.

    I completely agree with Shannia, I usually wait but sometimes I just don’t want to, haha.

  18. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Bilbiomom
    I love you SO much right now for that comment. SO MUCH!!!!!
    -recklessstudio
    Hey – you and I agree on this – cool.
    -Shannia
    I have never NOT had sex with a guy on a first date if I really wanted to. I’m totally with you on that.
    -derek7272
    Hmmm. Are guys really that unpicky about who’ll they’ll fuck? Really? Alright, I’ll believe you. I just figured that past a certain age guys got past the I’ll hump anyone stage.
    -BadenLink
    That’s an excellent point you bring up and I’m glad you did. So many times I hear people talk about mismatched expectations in relationships and it’s usually because one person REALLY likes the other and the other just wants to have sex. I wish everyone were as highminded as you.
    -iamalejandra
    For me the trouble comes in when I have sex with someone early and the sex is amazing and we settle into a relationship before I get to know him. And then, well, I overlook things that are really problematic and even bad about him because the sex is great. I’ve been in a few of those relationships and they always end poorly. If we waited before having sex and I learned those things first then I would have dumped the guys before we ever got naked. I can’t speak for anyone else.

  19. iamalejandra says:

    Hey SG,
    I totally get that amazing sex can prolong a relationship that was doomed from the beginning … I guess my question was “How does having sex at an early stage of ruin a potentially good relationship?” :/

  20. SINgleGIRL says:

    -iamalejandra
    I don’t have an answer for you. I’ve never ruined a potentially good relationship by having sex too soon. My relationships have not, traditionally, been good.