A relationship will be stronger and more real when both people can truly be themselves both inside and outside of the bedroom.When we question these “rules,” we respect our partner for who they are instead of who they “should be.” Sexual abuse is any type of unwanted sexual contact.In a healthy relationship, both partners are able to express their feelings and respect each other’s boundaries about sex.You shouldn’t have to have sex to keep your partner.For couples in between—those that became sexually involved later in their dating, but prior to marriage—the benefits were about half as strong.Source: Adapted from Busby, Carroll, and Willoughby (2010). The effects of sexual timing on marriage relationships. Note: Figure depicts mean scores reported by spouses in three sexual timing groups on relationship satisfaction, perceived relationship stability, sexual quality, and communication.Forcing or pressuring someone to do something they don’t want or don’t consent to is sexual assault.
It can be uncomfortable being completely open when it comes to talking about sex, even with a girlfriend or boyfriend.Just remember that you are capable of making your own decisions and creating your own set of values.Only you know what’s on your mind, so unless you express yourself, the other person is only left guessing.This can be a very serious and dangerous form of abuse.Learn more about sexual abuse and what to do if you experience it.Learning to listen is equally, and possibly even more, essential to strong communication.When you show the other person that what they say matters to you, they will be more likely to trust you and listen to you in return.You may feel comfortable kissing or holding hands but not want to go any further. Deciding whether you want to have sex or when you should is a decision you should make when it feels right for YOU.In a healthy relationship, your partner respects your decisions, even if they don’t like them.If you are thinking about when to have sex, keep in mind: Having sex can raise the intensity of emotions that people feel for each other — whether you’re in a serious or casual relationship.At times, this elevation is a good and enjoyable thing, but sometimes it makes a difficult situation worse.