While a dating partner may not welcome this news, it at least can minimize later disappointments.
So, too, does an up-front conversation about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
"It becomes much more difficult to objectively see each other's character traits" says Susanne Alexander, a relationship coach and author of Can We Dance? "Some couples then slide into engagement and marriage only to discover they have missed seeing major aspects of each other." While not every dating scenario that involves sex leads to marriage or even a serious relationship, couples do owe it to themselves to talk about where they see their relationship going and how sex might change the relationship -- before they get in bed together. The woman may assume sex implies a commitment; the man may not see it that way," Allen tells Web MD.
Having an honest conversation with yourself about sex is just as important as discussing it with your partner, experts say.
Once you've decided what you want out of a date, say experts, you should make it part of your regular dating rules to tell your partner.
"If you just want a one-night stand, you owe it to your partner to tell them 'it's just sex I'm after,'" Mc Clary tells Web MD.
To that end, Mc Clary often tells women, "If you value a committed relationship, ask yourself, 'What do I need to do to stay emotionally whole?
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"My advice is this: wait as long as you can," Allen says.
Her rationale for these dating rules may seem obvious, but many people tend to forget in the heat of the moment.
Concern about STDs and unwanted pregnancies can help create sexual boundaries, believes Mc Clary.
If, for instance, you're on the fence about whether or not to take sexual activity to the next level, a healthy dose of fear may cause you to pause, particularly if you're not prepared to take the necessary precautions.