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The “Three-Date Rule” is usually a pretty good rule of thumb for most mature women, but it is always too soon to have sex if you are not completely at ease, ready and sure about your feelings and his intentions. The first date is almost always too soon, except, perhaps, if you have known each other quite well for a long while as friends, co-workers, or friends of friends.
Otherwise, first dates give you an opportunity to break the ice, see if you have enough in common to keep a conversation going, and feel if there is any chemistry building up between you. Even if you have been “frequent flirters” (and chatters) at the coffee shop or elsewhere, your mind has probably been preoccupied with the naked elephant in the room, and you need to take the time for a real in-depth conversation on your first date.
The second date will give you the opportunity to find out if the magic of the first date was all from tension and nerves, or if you can recreate the same great mood the next time you meet. You won’t really know for sure until you can look back on the date the next day, so this is still too soon.
Especially if you are under 30 and not looking to settle down, the third date (or the fourth or fifth) should not be any pressure to have sex “just because.” If you date men the way you shop for shoes, sex should not be automatic. You don’t try on every pair of shoes you like and you take even fewer home. Likewise, you can’t sleep with every guy you date. Maybe you’ve just got to try out those strappy sandals that kind of stand out from the rest so go ahead. Maybe your instinct is right, and they really are special.
Just remember, when you share the most private and intimate part of yourself, that’s when you open yourself up to a world of potential heartaches and tears. This is a huge step and should never be taken casually or to fulfill perceived expectations. If you have real doubts, it’s too soon.