Are you ready for sex with your sweetie?
Dr. Gilda Carle
Courtesy of Match.com’s Happen Magazine
The heat is on (romantic heat between you and your new love, that is) — and you’re in heaven! Your relationship is clearly heading toward the bedroom, but before you slip under the sheets, slow down for a second. When you awaken from your lust, will you wonder what you were thinking? You can keep your heart from being trashed by thinking clearly before you do the deed. Ask yourself: Am I ready to get naked with this person? Are you sure? Consider these five reasons that reveal whether you’re really, truly, undoubtedly and unequivocally ready to disrobe. If it sounds like I’m describing your relationship, then go for it. But if you can’t check them all off, you may want to slow down and take a wait-and-see attitude.
1. You feel emotionally safe with your sweet thing.
Alice went out a few times with a guy who was bonkers for her. That alone was an ego trip. He was brilliant and had a high-level job at a prestigious organization, which was the subject of enormously stimulating conversation. They also laughed a lot. In short, he was a pleasure to be with. A year before seeing Alice, he had dated a high-profile woman for two years. Although he and Alice kept their clothes on, he complimented her body often. Then he would criticize his former famous lady, saying what an awful body she had. Alice was appalled that he would degrade someone he had once cared for. Although he was wonderful to her, his nasty critiques of his ex were a turnoff. She stopped seeing him because she felt she would never feel safe from his denigrations should their relationship go the way his last one did.
Feeling emotionally safe is vital before getting naked. I doubt that Famous Lady would have felt safe with this guy had she known he would debase her once their coupledom went kaput.
Gilda-Gram: Feeling emotionally safe means feeling emotionally protected — which is necessary in love.
2. You know your honey will still be your honey later, after you’ve put your clothes back on.
In a Seinfeld episode, Elaine described how her sweetie-for-the-night ran out of her bed early in the morning. She likened guys who do this to farmers who feel they must tend their land before sunrise. Some women, too, exit early after a night of play. And it can erode even a sturdy self-image — if you allow that to happen. When a night of passion is followed by what might seem like icy abandonment, the previous evening’s thrill becomes a letdown. No person deserves to think the passionate night before was really meaningless.
Gilda-Gram: Stave off an early departure by being absolutely sure your love will stay around long after the nakedness.
3. Your sweetie really hears you.
Out of sight doesn’t necessarily have to mean out of mind. If you and your new love really have something, he will think of you even when you’re not together. During their early dating stages, Carol and Carl were window shopping and passed a kitchen accessories shop. Carl had no interest in the shop’s contents, but Carol excitedly muttered, “Wow, I’d love to own that set of cookware.” A few weeks later, Carl presented Carol with just the cookware set she had admired. From that moment on, Carol knew she had found a guy who a) was willing to listen and hear her and b) wanted to please her with things she deemed important. Today this couple is happily married — and Carl still listens to her intently and tries to please her whenever he can.
Gilda-Gram: It is easy to get naked with someone who obviously cares about you.
4. Your honey is willing to be inconvenienced to make you happy.
New daters Cathy and Marvin developed a quick connection that seemed very tight. They had not yet been intimate. One day, Cathy’s car needed to be repaired. Marvin was at home doing yard work when Cathy called to ask him if he would drive her to the dealership. On this summer Saturday, Marvin wasn’t on any deadline, nor did he have pressing appointments to meet. But he said no outright. His negation wasn’t “No, I have to finish doing the lawn by two, before my kids arrive” or “No, I’m too tired” or even “No, I don’t want to drive to that part of town today.” He simply said no. Marvin didn’t want to inconvenience himself. Cathy began to notice other instances of his unwillingness to bend in her direction. A week later, she wisely packed in the romance. Marvin still can’t understand why.
Gilda-Gram: Someone who withholds acts of kindness also withholds love.
5. You choose to get naked for all the right reasons.
Paula and Charlie were platonic friends for three months, without the slightest hint of anything amorous. Then, just a few weeks ago, they casually kissed, and sparks flew. Neither could explain the change in their status, but they decided to officially rename their get-togethers “dates.” Now the question was how to proceed. Neither wanted to destroy the wonderful bond they had established, yet both wanted to take the friendship to the next level. Paula wasn’t quite ready to engage in naked romps, but Charlie began to pressure her. Suddenly, the comfort they had shared was deteriorating.
Paula reasoned that if she abandoned her reticence, Charlie would feel happier. But she also knew that giving in to his desires was not what she wanted to do at the time. What was she to do?
They had a heart-to-heart talk. Charlie continued to push to move the relationship up a notch. Paula suddenly perceived him as a self-involved baby who screamed, “I! Want! My! Sex!” She felt he didn’t care about her feelings. Sensing all that pressure, she ended both the friendship and the promise of more.
Gilda-Gram: Some aspects of your honey’s personality emerge only in crisis. Wait until they do before you disrobe.
Get naked and have a great time only when your romance includes all 5 of these reasons to do so. If you treat yourself like a prize, so will your new love!
DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) at www.DrGilda.com is an internationally known psychotherapist, relationship educator, and management consultant. She is Match.com’s “Ask Dr. Gilda” advice columnist published on MSN.com. Also, she is a motivational speaker, professor of psychology & communications, and the author of "Don't Bet on the Prince!" (a test question on "Jeopardy!"), “How to WIN When Your Mate Cheats” (winner of London Book Festival Literary Award), and 15 more. She was the therapist in HBO's Emmy Award winner, "Telling Nicholas," featured on Oprah, where she guided a family to tell their 7-year-old that his mom died in the World Trade Center bombing. She is currently developing her own TV show.