Can Sex on a First Date Ruin a Relationship?

If you’ve dated recently, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the 3-date rule. It’s an “unwritten” rule of dating that suggests waiting until the third date to have sex. In truth, no one really knows where this rule originated.

In this post, we’re going to explore whether there’s a good reason for waiting, how long to wait and whether sex on a first date can really ruin a relationship.

Cultural Implications

One of the biggest considerations when you’re exploring whether to have sex on the first date is cultural expectations. If you’re from a culture where it’s customary to wait until marriage for sex, having sex on the first date will almost certainly ruin the relationship. Furthermore, the other person may not take you seriously if they believe your virtue is directly correlated to your willingness to have sex right away. 

This is something to consider even if you’re from a Western culture where sex is often more casual. And you’d definitely want to consider this when choosing a mate. If your partner has deep roots in another culture, there’s a chance they hold those beliefs. And if you want them to take you seriously, you’re going to be better off waiting to have sex.

Personal Expectations

Depending on the people and situation, having sex on the first date may or may not ruin the relationship. And this is highly dependent on what each person expects from the relationship. If one person expects casual sex and the other expects a serious romance, having sex on the first date is going to be a terrible idea. If you’re thinking about it at the moment, a quick two-minute conversation could help clear things up. If you’re both on board with the same expectations, it should be smooth sailing. 

Shared History

Most first dates are with two strangers, but there are some cases where people have known each other for a lifetime. In a case like this, it’s much less likely that sex will ruin the relationship because even though it’s just getting started, there’s a lot of history. Consider your history with this person when you’re thinking about how sex on the first date will impact your relationship. 

Age Considerations

Age isn’t a barometer for sexual activity (or lack thereof), but it can help you estimate the other person’s values in the absence of other information. Generally speaking, sex isn’t as big of a deal for younger generations. And the same may be true for seniors. Just remember that even though age may play a role, it doesn’t override things like personal values. If you’re unsure, always ask. 

The bottom line is that sex on a first date can ruin a relationship, but this isn’t an absolute. Before you get into bed with someone you think you may want to date, consider some options like sexting first, here are some sexting examples for reference. It can be awkward to jump from introductions to intimacy and then back again. And not every relationship can recover. So if you think you can see yourself with this person long-term, consider whether the moment is worth the risk.