We already know people are having more sex sooner in relationships than ever before, but did you know this: a recent study revealed that waiting only a month or two to have sex boosts longer term relationship success rates to 26%? And 35% of people who wait just six months before engaging in sex are still in that relationship a year later.
What is the correlation? Why does waiting to have sex make any difference at all? The answer is that sex is the flavor of a relationship, not its substance. This is the opposite of the message our culture insists upon. Sex does not connect us if we are not connected – sex expresses a connection. Waiting to have sex means there is a greater chance of knowing someone – making a substantive connection – before putting on sexual blinders.
Is this really so hard to believe? How many of us have a friend who started hanging out with someone you and all your other friends knew was a bad fit in about 15 minutes? Then your friend started sleeping with the misfit and insisted on staying with them in spite of all the evidence it was not going any where. What finally broke the spell? Usually one of two things; either (a) your friend or the misfit started sleeping with someone else or (b) for whatever reason your friend and the misfit couldn’t have sex for a while. It’s like a fog lifts isn’t it? Your friend emerges from the cloud. All of a sudden the misfit is a Misfit. What happened? The sex was masquerading as connection. Sex insisted the two were compatible. Sex has a loud voice. It is hard to ignore when it speaks up. But we are not made for temporary physical connections, we were made for permanent whole person connections and our true selves will eventually cry out with a voice louder than the best sex. Why? Because we want to be known fully and accepted completely. Sex at its best falls woefully short of expressing our full self or assuring us we will not be rejected.
Waiting on sex turns out to be the smaller issue. Wait on it as long as you like and it still won’t give you what you need. But if you discover that the gospel offers you a lover who waits for you, who knows you utterly, and accepts you unconditionally…then sex isn’t so loud anymore. Then you can take it or leave it, and if you take it, you can relax and enjoy it more completely than all the breathless unhinged desperate souls trying to milk a few moments of being known out of mere sex.