As a dating and relationship coach whose company is called Dating With Dignity, you might guess I try to convince my clients that sex before commitment is a no-no. Not true! Instead, I believe that dating with dignity, simply means that regret does not factor into the experience. As a result, the Ahhhhh moment will last well into tomorrow and beyond, whether or not she continues to see her man.
So then, let's look at three things a woman can do to ensure that her choice to have sex is always made from a place that is free from regret, fear and false expectations:
1. Know your relationship goal.
Understand where you are in the cycle of dating and relationship development. Prior to getting into the dating game, it is critical that both men and women get clear on exactly where they hope to land once they have achieved their goal.
Is marriage your goal? Are you looking for an exclusive partnership? Or maybe you are hoping to date a few men or women at one time and keep things casual. For example, if you are fresh from a breakup or a string of dating disappointments, your goal might be to begin dating a different type of person than you typically attract so that you can better understand what you are looking for in a partner. Or maybe you want to learn and practice better communication skills so that you can articulate your needs in a way that is free from drama and conflict.
Once your goal is clear, you can then decide what boundaries you will have regarding sex. If you haven't been single since before Madonna's first marriage, then perhaps your goal is merely to "have fun"—which could include safely exploring a variety of sexual partners. If your goal is find Mr. Right, perhaps you will choose to hold off on sex until your partner agrees to an exclusive arrangement. Either way, you are empowered, in control and will avoid making the hasty type of decisions that can be made horizontally on your date's living room couch and can lead to regret, sadness and disappointment. 4 Steps To Your Own "Happily Ever After"
2. Be empowered to respond to what happens in each moment and make conscious choices.
Once you are aware of your relationship and dating goals, it is important to make sure that you are free and clear from the hang-ups of your past so that you stop reacting and making choices based on how you were treated in previous relationships.
For example, if you historically get hooked once there is "chemistry" and choose to have sex with a partner based on his or her potential, instead of how he treats you moment to moment, you could be ultimately disappointed or hurt.
To really make this advice work, you need to follow these action steps to complete today's challenge.
Right now, I want you to:
Determine your sexual ground rules. Where do you stand on issues like commitment, monogamy and sex? How far are you willing to go sexually before getting certain needs met? What weak spots have caused you regret in the past? Write them down and make a pact with yourself to stand firm around your beliefs.
Within 7 days I want you to:
This one is a two-parter. First, craft your rebuttal message to guys who want to try and "encourage" you to set your ground rules aside for them. One sassy way to do this is to look a man straight in the eyes, smile and say, "not yet... but I hope soon...". Men need to know what the rules are, so part two is to make time (not in the heat of the moment) to share with him what it takes to win the keys to your bedroom. Share as honestly, simply and in as straight-forward of a fashion as you can, what you need in order to be comfortable with intimacy.
By the end of the challenge I want you to:
Make a choice to put sex on hold with men you date, until you collect enough "data" and see if you share common values. The Dating With Dignit—Rule of 60—(days, that is) helps ensure that you are making good choices without letting lust and hot sex factor into the equation on your search for Mr. Right.