Sex and New Relationships

A sexy picture of a man and woman, staring at each other.

Brad was just completing his divorce after having been married for over 25 years. He had not dated in what seemed like forever to him, and had no idea how to start. “How do you start a new relationship?” he asked me in our counseling session.

“What are you most concerned about?” I asked.

sex,” he answered.

“What about sex?” I asked.

Pause… “Well…performance. What if I can’t perform? What if I’m too nervous to perform?”

“Okay. Let’s start with sex.”

In the 35 years that I’ve been counseling, I’ve discovered that the one mistake people make in starting a new relationship is to have sex too soon. There are many reasons why people have sex too soon: they think it will create deeper intimacy, they are just in it for the conquest, they are afraid of rejection if they say no, they get physically carried away, they like sex. Let’s take the example of Yvonne.

Yvonne is a lovely young woman in her middle thirties who really wants to get married and have children. She has no trouble meeting men, but the relationships don’t last. In fact, they rarely even get started.

The problem is that Yvonne often believes what men say to her early on in the relationship. The last man she dated a couple of months ago, came on really strong. He told her on the first date how wonderful she was, how he had rarely met anyone like her. When he came on sexually, she resisted, although she was really turned on and attracted to him. He suavely said to her “I bet you’re worried that if we have sex I won’t call you again.” “Right,” she said. “That’s exactly what I’m worried about.” Well, he answered, “I’m not that kind of man. Can’t you tell that we’re really connected to each other? I haven’t had such a good time in years! Of course I want to see you again!” Yvonne agreed that they were having a wonderful time. She put aside her inner warning signals and had sex with him. Sure enough, he never called her again.

The reality is that, no matter how wonderful things seem on the first or second date, this is not enough time to deeply care about someone. And sex without deep caring might be a physically satisfying experience, but it is flat emotionally and spiritually. It will almost always leave both people feeling like something was missing. Without love and caring, it is easy to move on to another person, another conquest. It is easy to dismiss the encounter – since something was missing, it must not have been the right person. But these two people never gave themselves a change to see if they were right for each other. They jumped into the most physically intimate of experiences before there was any emotional intimacy. They tried to get the intimate connection through sex, but great sex is an outgrowth of intimacy, not a cause of it. Without love and caring, any problem becomes too much to handle, any deficiency or imperfection becomes cause to move on. Physical attraction is never enough to see people through the inevitable conflicts that come up in primary relationships.

Deep caring comes through spending time together getting to know each other. It comes from months of laughing together, crying together, discovering what is deeply endearing about each other. It comes from having conflict and getting through it to understanding each other on deeper levels. It comes when two people let each in on the soul level. You need to love someone’s soul before you will be willing to go through the challenges that come up in all relationships. Without that depth of love, it is just too easy to leave.

So, what I said to Brad was, “Take your time. Don’t jump into bed until you feel so safe with each other that even if the first time you make love you don’t get an erection it won’t ruin the relationship. It may take months or longer before you feel that safe with someone.”

“Months? I’m supposed to wait months before having sex?”

“Brad, I don’t know how long it will take for you to feel loved and loving, safe and deeply caring. It depends on how much time you time you spend with each other. It depends on how honest you are with each other. It depends on how you each deal with conflict. You will certainly not feel safe until you have conflict and see how the two of you handle it. What if you discover that your partner completely shuts down or gets enraged in conflict? Will you feel safe if you are worried about her reaction if you can’t perform? All this takes time. What’s your rush? Is it sex you want or a relationship you want?

“Okay, I got it. I want a relationship. Whew! I actually feel some relief knowing that it’s okay to take my time!”


Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?”, “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?”, “healing Your Aloneness”, “Inner Bonding”, and “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?” Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:margaret@innerbonding.com

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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