Becoming Intimate

Unless your relationship ends early or you've both decided not to begin a sexual relationship, you have to decide when to become sexually involved with each other and talk about the associated general issues, such as sexual safety. If you and your partner aren't in agreement about when to begin a sexual relationship, then talking through the issues is important. Good communication is the cornerstone of any relationship and can resolve unnecessary areas of conflict or misunderstanding.

Taking things at your pace

Being yourself is important. If you feel you're being rushed or things are going too slowly, you're not going to appear relaxed and natural.

If you feel you're being pressured into taking things too quickly, for example you're seeing too much of them too soon or feeling pressured into hitting the hay, be honest and tell them that things are going faster than you'd like and set the pace for future relations. A date worth keeping will respect your wishes.

If you're frustrated that things are going too slowly, for example you're only seeing them once in a blue moon or you've been dating for ages and you've only kissed, talk to your date about seeing them more often or ask gently if something's behind their reticence.

Taking precautions

Pregnancy isn't your only worry when starting a sexual relationship; you also need to consider sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). According to the Department of Health, STI statistics are at an all-time high and those over the age of 45 are particularly vulnerable.

If you risk having unprotected sex in a casual relationship you're also risking your health.

No contraceptive protects you from everything but a condom is the next best thing. Stick to your guns and make sure you always use a condom until you're in a mutually-exclusive relationship and have established that neither of you has an STI.

Attitudes towards contraception differ depending on what you've been told as a child.

✓ You're not 'easy' because you've had the sense to carry a condom.

✓ Someone who has had sex with anyone else is a risk to your sexual health if you don't use a condom.

Continue reading here: Considering Dating Rules and Relationship Advice

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