Simply put, you have a better chance of making good decisions in dating when you have not become sexually involved with your dating partner.
In dating, focusing on emotional intimacy is a process of coming to know each other from the inside-out, not just the outside in.This difference becomes particularly critical as couples naturally move past an initial period of intense attraction and excitement into a relationship more characterized by companionship and partnership. Mark Regnerus, author of , explains, “couples who hit the honeymoon too early—that is, prioritize sex promptly at the outset of the relationship—often find their relationship underdeveloped when it comes to qualities that make relationships stable and spouses reliable and trustworthy.” Couples who have sex early in their relationship are at risk of developing lopsided commitment levels (i.e., the woman is more committed than the man), less healthy communication patterns, and less ability to manage differences and conflict.The value of sexual restraint for committed couples moving toward marriage is best understood when couples appreciate that emotional intimacy is the true foundation of sexual intimacy in a healthy marriage.Gender had a relatively small influence on the dependent variables. These patterns were statistically significant even when controlling for a variety of other variables such as respondents’ number of prior sexual partners, education levels, religiosity, and relationship length.For the other dependent variables, the participants who waited to be sexual until after marriage had significantly higher levels of communication and sexual quality compared to the other two sexual timing groups. The second study, by Sharon Sassler and her colleagues at Cornell University, also found that rapid sexual involvement has adverse long-term implications for relationship quality.