We all want different things from our intimate relationships but these, unofficial research has taught us, rank high on most women’s list: exclusivity, support, affection, and partnership.
If you’ve dated more than two people, I think it’s safe to say, you’ve noticed that these qualities take time to reveal themselves in potential partners. They’re not things you can tell from someone’s dating profile or within a couple of dates.
In her book, Hindsight, relationship expert Maryanne Comaroto offers compelling reasons why we should stop having hasty sex. After working with thousands of couples and coaching many others, Comaroto came to the conclusion that hasty sex isn’t allowing us the time and opportunity to find the right person.
I have my own theories on why that is as it took me a while to “get” this myself. I started dating at age 18 and from then to almost all through my 30s, I was in a relationship, but never in a fulfilling one. I got married in my 30s after basing our compatibility on the wrong things: I married him for his “potential” and the fact that we had a lot in common, but not the most important things to ME. We had in common our obscure taste in music, we both loved to travel, and both liked tennis and soccer.
For years I had been jumping from relationship to relationship without ever stopping to figure out what was important to me. I need to feel supported by my partner. I need to feel like we belonged to the same team and was in a real partnership. I need someone with values. I have a few other needs that are totally reasonable, but without thinking about them first, I wasn’t looking for them before jumping into a relationship.
This experience has brought me to this belief: Around age 23 (sooner depending on the person), women should quit hasty hookups and start figuring out what they really need in relationships. Hasty hookups are fine for a period of your life, let’s say when you’re in college, but after a certain point, we all need to quit certain habits and behaviors and grow up.
Another sound reason we should wait. We produce the hormone Oxycontin during sex and childbirth and this “love hormone,” can be deceptive. For many women, after we begin to sleep with a guy, this hormone can blind us to qualities about them that make them a bad match for us. By waiting, as the saying goes…
Infatuation gets to die a natural death and, if it’s there, give birth to true love.
So, when you’re in the market for a committed relationship, and when you want a guy to take you seriously, observe these top 5 new relationship rules.
First, the Do’s
1. Be a true beauty. A truly beautiful woman owns herself and in relationships, nothing is sexier than a woman who has her own life, ideas, interests, passions, friends and knows what she needs. Even in the early days of a promising relationship, make time for your die-hard friends, continue your personal development, and don’t skip your yoga and exercise classes. In short, make that relationship secondary to the one you have with yourself.
2. Share your real self. Be vulnerable. Be clear about your big needs – in a non-clingy way, of course. Share your true and best self. Share your life and career goals and talk about the things that matter to you. These will either deepen the connection faster — or chase away the wrong person.
And now for the Dont’s
3. Don’t do last-minute. Alice Walker once said, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” With the dearth of commitment-friendly guys in big cities, you may feel like you have to accommodate a guy or you won’t hear from him again. Lose that false and backward way of thinking and know that you’re worth the wooing and consideration of planning your dates ahead of time. If you want a serious relationship, don’t do last-minute dates as they’re almost always a sign that he’s not looking for a future with you. You’re his here-and-now.
4. Keep “Slutty Amy” at home until it’s clear the relationship is going somewhere. Sex on the first date is sometimes fine–he’s hot, you’re horny, whatever. I’m not judging. Giving away BJ’s, doing 3-ways, back-doors and other hardcore sex early on however, is, in my opinion, a privilege men should earn. Don’t give a guy you want to take you seriously that level of “attention” before you’re exclusive. And of course, only do hardcore stuff because you want to, not because you feel pressure to do it.
5. Continue dating other people until you’re committed. At about the 2-3 month mark is a good time to ask a guy whether he’s dating other people. Make it clear that by dating you mean “sleeping with,” and until you both agree that you two are exclusive, continue dating others to keep your options open.
So what if you have (errm) needs? I’m not an expert here, so you may have to find your own thing but these are what work for me: an emotionally safe friend-with-benefits and a great vibrator. Needs met!