Will waiting result in a more harmonious relationship?

Research examining how sexual timing is associated with relationship satisfaction, stability, and communication has found waiting to become intimate corresponded with more favorable relationship outcomes.

The answers of 10,932 individuals involved in a steady relationship were grouped into four sexual-timing categories:

35.5% had early sex (on the first date),

9.9% had pre-dating sex (becoming intimate before committing to a dating relationship),

47.9% had delayed sex (waiting to have sex until dating for several weeks),

and 6.6% had no sex.

Groups postponing sex longest or abstaining expressed the highest levels of relationship satisfaction; relationships lasting over 2 years were most affected by sexual timing.

In terms of relationship stability and communication, variations between groups grew wider as time elapsed but by the 2-year mark the no-sex group was clearly leading.

Results suggest a relationship benefits in both the short-term and long-term from delaying sexual activity.