How Long Couples In Lasting Relationships Should Wait To Start Having Sex, According To Science


Option 3: Wait until marriage

Some people's religious beliefs dictate that they wait to have sex until after they get married. There isn't much scientific research about how this practice impacts a long-term relationship, however.

In 2010, Dean Busby, the director of the school of family life at Brigham Young University, performed a study that suggested that the longer you delay sex — especially if you wait until marriage — the more stable and satisfying your relationship will be. But Brigham Young University, which funded Busby's research, is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which isn't a fan of sexual intimacy outside of marriage.

That said, Busby's study built on a bit of earlier research, including one observational study that looked at data from the National Survey of Family Growth. Those findings suggested that women who had one or more intimate relationships involving sex before marriage were at a higher risk of divorce later down the line. But again, the evidence to support that claim is very limited.

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