D’Bunked: Is there a right or wrong time to get into a relationship?
Author: Todd Baratz
There is no such things as the “right” or the “wrong” time for someone to start a relationship.
You can start a relationship if you are:
Struggling with your mental health
Feeling lost and trying to find yourself
Healing old wounds
Sex and relationships are governed by socio-political values. These are quite literally made cultural ideals and rules. They cannot and should not be universally applied.
Many people enter relationships soon after getting out of a long-term coupling. MANY. It doesn’t matter if you are recently single, widowed, divorced, or grieving big loss – you can still get into a relationship.
You don’t have to be a perfect person, 100% healed, self-aware, and full of psychological tricks in order to cultivate a healthy and satisfying relationship. You can be depressed, chronically ill, jobless, completely lost personally, or in the process of healing major trauma.
Relationships are just as diverse as people are. Instead of creating rules for how you think relationships should present, honour the diversity and differences that people experience.
If you’re a human being you are ready for a relationship. If you don’t want to be in one, that’s a different story – in which case, don’t. But your capacity for love remains constant and unchanged.
Instead of focusing on timing or health, focus on cultivating the characteristics that make a relationship feel satisfying.
The timing of sex has nothing to do with long-term relationship satisfaction or building intimacy. This is a personal preference. That’s it!
Rules around the timing of sex are steeped in religious dogma, sex negative cultural values, sexual fear, and shame. Period.
There is no data to prove one way or another that the timing of sex can negatively impact the development of a close bond or relationship.
There is plenty of data suggesting that couples who have a positive sexual connection report more satisfaction and have a closer bond than those who do not.
Moral of the story: you define when you want to have sex with a partner. Start having conversations with your partner’s right from the beginning about sexual readiness, preferences, eroticism, touch, and more.
Stop judging other people for how they experience their body, seek pleasure, and pursue intimacy. Its none of your business. Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise.
Todd Baratz is a licensed personal and couples psychotherapist, podcast host, and writer who specializes in relationships and sex.
D’bunkedstrips down the myths surrounding gay sex, intimacy, relationships and love and is brought to you by GLUE.