Does having sex on the first date matter?

We can all get swept up in the moment on a first date. That time when you meet someone new, flirt and laugh, form a connection and feel a strong spark of sexual chemistry. Everything seems to click, and before long you both decide to have sex. All of this sounds exciting and fun, but does it ultimately ruin your chances of forming something more special with this new person?

The short answer is yes.

If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, then you have to walk the walk. You need to think and act in line with this goal. That means behaving with other singles in a way that says you’re serious about relationships. By having sex on the first date you’re giving out the opposite message to this new person and sabotaging your chances. It’s saying that you value having casual fun and that you’re not really ready to settle down. You may tell them that you want a long-term relationship, but having sex when you first meet them isn’t in line with this.

So my advice is simple.

If you’ve had enough of playing the field and you now want a long-term relationship, then put the sex on hold. Be upfront when you meet a new love interest and tell them that you like to date a person for 4 weeks before jumping into bed.

This immediately sends a very clear signal. It says you value yourself (and your body), you want a long-term relationship not a short term fling, and you’re happy to wait and to be selective. It also has the added advantage of immediately ruling out all of those “players’ and ‘commitment-phobes’ who are looking for no strings attached sex.

Now when you meet a first date and they find out where you stand on sex, and they’re willing to wait and to get to know you, there’s a much better chance that this has long-term potential. Far from ruining your chances, you enhance the likelihood of it working out with this person, as you know they want the same thing as you – a serious relationship.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship psychologist, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (

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