The researchers weren’t sure if this finding reflected something unusual about the sample or that people just aren’t very good at estimating how long it takes for relationship to progress to sexual intimacy. Slowing things down for women, but not men, meant paying attention to other factors that would ultimately improve the relationship such as commitment and emotional intimacy. Early sexual activity symbolized relationship commitment. Again for women, but not men, having sex early in the scheme of things signified to them that their partner was committed to the relationship.
For men, having sex early in the dating period didn’t actually have that same meaning. Entry into cohabitation accounted for the negative effect of relationship tempo on quality.
I’ll skip over the gory details of the extensive analyses and controls that the researchers imposed, but rest assured that they did everything they could to tease apart their findings.
You can take advantage of active listening to improve the way you communicate, which is one of the primary ways to build emotional bonds.
What about if you’re a “churner,” and not yet in a long-term committed relationship?
The upshot is clear: Take your time, examine your motivations for intimacy, and figure out whether you and your partner share a similar vision for your life and your relationship.
Chaotic and impulsive these series of entries and exits into relationships, called “churning,” take their toll.
Relationships that form under these circumstances, should they lead to marriage, are more likely to suffer in terms of quality.