How Many Dates Before Sex? – Know The Ideal Timeframe!

A common topic of discussion between your friends, there’s no real right answer. Obviously, because each opinion varies. But there’s a general time span that you can rely on.

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Between the incessant back and forth play of fretting overcoming off as too desperate or too old-fashioned, the questions regarding sex are likely to make anyone anxious. Particularly the question of ‘when’ that weighs a ton and unloads right before a first date with a throng of questions. Not to mention how overthinking gnaws away the best-case scenarios you have imagined — what’s left of that is.

Well, fret not, here I have addressed your question (most common question among almost everyone) of ‘how many dates before sex’ with a promising solution. This will hopefully clear your clouded head of unanswered questions to come to your own conclusion and allow you to enjoy a few relaxed dates. 

How Many Dates Before Sex? – Golden Rules!

For starters, every individual is different with their own distinct interests, values, and beliefs. Similarly, the way they hold relationships will also be different from one another. The difference of opinion from mine to yours particularly on the subject of sex must not be overlooked no matter what many research reports say. After all, in the end, sex is a personal experience and a choice an individual must make on their own.

How many dates before you sleep together?


But if you are interested in what the studies have to say about the dilemma most, if not all, women and men alike fret over, here’s what the studies have reportedly shown. Before we get into that, let’s talk about the different socially and culturally constructed rules that we are supposed to follow before having sex. 

What Is The Three-date Rule?

“The 3-date rule is a dating rule which dictates that both parties withhold sex until at least the 3rd date, at which point a couple can have sex without worrying about being abandoned or considered too “loose” to be a good partner.” In short, the three-date rule is both parties withholding sex until the third date. In addition to this, other rules, namely, the sixth-date rule and the tenth-date rule put you under pressure to make a decision based on these rules rather than what you feel(1).


You cannot live by such steadfast rules and treat your sex life as a program. In fact, many adults consider the three-date rule as good as dead. You need to relax and enjoy the time with your date. But according to several studies, you need to consider the time before sex to evaluate the quality of the relationship in the long run.

Acknowledge The Dilemma Of A Long Wait Before Sex

According to the studies, if you are looking for a casual fling, you can sleep together on your first date and leave it as a one-night stand. There’s no shame in hitting the sheets on the first date if you’ve felt the sexual chemistry and used your best judgment! Rather, it has more to do with your need for commitment. Because the key to a solid and healthy relationship is not just sex. If you are looking for a relationship, you may wait for more than a few dates to suss out your dates’ true potential to be your partner. Here, you can think of sex more strategically. Why do you need to strategize sex?

Let’s take an example of interviews done by reputed companies for important posts. Companies interview exec-level candidates at least three times on three different days to determine their reliability and stability because acing one interview is relatively easy. Similarly, while hoping to get into a committed relationship, you need to truly know the person — which is hard to know by even the third date. 

Acknowledge The Dilemma Of A Long Wait Before Sex


After the third date or so, you will know if you want to be with this person or not. You also need to make sure that both of you are on the same page to prevent feelings from getting hurt if the end goal is different. For this, you need to keep the lines of communication open as they have every right to be aware of what you want and what you are expecting out of them.

You do not have to be afraid because it is empowering to know what you want and voice out your needs and expectations. Moreover, this waiting period will help you connect with them to build a strong foundation with trust — what’s better than this if you are looking for a long-term commitment?

Now, why does this matter with sex?

Well, after the sex, your body will start to produce a bonding hormone called oxytocin and you will feel the attachment with them increase by tenfold. By waiting until you are ready, you can save yourself from post-orgasm blues especially if you are not on the same page.

Besides, you don’t want to deprive yourself of the dance that happens before, during, and after sex, right? The intimate and deep conversation with suggestive flirting and long makeout sessions is the grant hints of what is to come! The wait and anticipation — however long — will certainly build up the sexual tension and energy whenever you meet or talk. 

How Many Dates Before You Sleep Together?

After observing four sexual-timing patterns, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that waiting to initiate sexual intimacy in unmarried relationships was generally linked with positive outcomes in the long run(2).

According to another study, a 2017 Groupon survey, the average number of dates before sleeping together was eight dates, with women waiting for nine and men waiting for five. In conclusion, the ideal date for having sex is considered to be eight(3).

Having Sex Based On An Arbitrary Timeline

The obsolescent idea that a woman making the first move is considered as a huge ‘turn off’ is ridiculous, but no more absurd than how is it still disapproved by the societal norms, even in 2020. Also, coming out of the shell of ‘no sex before marriage has taken way too long for both genders in a society where the value of an individual is propped alongside their virginity.

If you have sex too soon, you are labeled as ‘desperate’. On the other hand, if you wait too long before having sex, you are labeled as ‘old-fashioned’. Regardless of how the choice is yours in the end, even now, sex is governed by a load of a rigid set of rules rather than what feels right at the moment. These antiquated dozens of rules come by disregarding your emotions and as opposed to what you feel is right. 

how many dates before sex


Hence, you can either choose to abide by those rules to a certain extent or disregard it. Go with your gut feeling and make use of your better judgment. Because, between the episodes of swiping and ghosting, the modern era’s dating is largely at either advantage or disadvantage as it comes down to how you perceive it.

Either case, whether you choose to have sex on the first date or the fifth date, or the ninth date, it certainly does not determine or impact your eligibility as a long-term partner or detriment your dignity and value. The ‘when’ of physical intimacy of sex can only affect a relationship so much, so, rather than following an arbitrary timeline, have sex whenever you are ready.

  1. ReGain. (2020). What Is The 3 Date Rule, And Does It Always Apply?. [Online] Available at:
  2. Informa UK Limited. (2020). Differing Relationship Outcomes When Sex Happens Before, On, or After First Dates. [Online] Available at:
  3. Business Wire, Inc. (2020). Three-date Rule? Groupon Dating Trends Survey Finds Most People Wait for an Average of Eight Dates Before Hopping into Bed. [Online] Available at:
Writer by day and reader by night. With a thoughtful lens, Manal authors in-depth blog posts on all things health and beauty. She tries to cover here basically anything a woman wants to know.

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