Couples who leap into bed together on the first date are less likely to have long and happy relationships.
A study looking at the effects of sex before marriage has found it is better not to, with early sexual satisfaction stunting the development of key ingredients of a healthy relationship, including caring and understanding.
Researchers from Cornell University in New York say it is better to abstain early on in a courtship or build up a gradual sexual relationship.
The research, reported in The Independent On Sunday, is the first of its kind, and concluded: ‘Precocious, premarital sexual activities may have lasting effects on relationship quality.
‘Courtship is a time for exploration and decision-making about the relationship, when partners assess compatibility, make commitments and building on emotional and physical intimacy.
‘The postponement of sexual involvement is associated with higher levels of relationship quality.’
The study asked 600 couples, all with woman under the age of 45, to score areas of their relationships, including commitment, intimacy, sexual satisfaction, communication and conflict.
The results were much higher for women when sex was delayed for one month, while scores for the men followed a similar trend but the differences were not as great.