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Study

Study: Older Americans 2x More Likely to Form Relationship After First Date Sex

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.


“Why buy the cow if the milk is free?”

This saying is so ingrained in our minds, discouraging us from getting physical with someone too early (particularly the first date), but how true can this adage be, especially in this day and age?

Someone must be buying the cow because they’re so fond of the milk, right?

To find out, we used our latest study to ask more than 1,000 Americans if they ever had a relationship form after partaking in first date sex. Our results were unexpected.

The data shows more than one out of three older Americans (aged 45 to 54) have had early canoodling lead to a relationship of one year or more.

At 34 percent of the population, this age group also is more than two times more likely than those in the 18 to 24 age group to have had the “sample” lead to a “purchase.”

Intrigued, we sought advice from our dating experts. Should we all be hopping in the sack on the first date?

“Americans 45-54 are 2x more likely than those

18-24 to form a relationship after first date sex.”

Dr. Jennifer Jill Harman, an associate professor of psychology at Colorado State University, doesn’t think so.

What seems like success for older Americans may just be that they’re more likely to form longer relationships than young adults.

She notes that 18 to 24 “is a pretty unstable time, as there are many other mate alternatives then than any other time in life.”

This “increased likelihood” of relationships after first date sex for those in the 45 to 54 age range could simply be because relationships are more likely to form in general for folks at that age.

Gary Lewandowski Jr., the chair of psychology at Monmouth University and co-creator of ScienceofRelationships.com, had his own points to make. He reminded us that correlation does not infer causality.

After all, first date sex doesn’t necessarily discourage long-term relationships.

He also pointed out that even at 34 percent of the population, there is still a pretty low probability of a first date romp in the hay leading to a long-lasting relationship.

“The fact that so few first date sexual encounters lead to longer-term relationships is consistent with research,” Lewandowski said.

Although sex is an important part of relationships, it isn’t typically the primary force at work in long-term relationships. Those forces are generally more centralized around being best friends and taking care of each other.

As Lewandowski said, “Having sex so quickly may place the emphasis on less important features.”

So while first date sex may be working out surprisingly well for the 45 to 54 age group, don’t think that’s a guarantee for you. The odds are not in your favor.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: 

DA-infographic-firstdatesex-1

Visit DatingAdvice.com/Studies for more research on dating and relationship topics. 

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