By Melanie Mar

When is the right time for the first time in a new relationship? Yes, I’m talking about sex. There is no right answer to this question. Ask numerous people, and they will each tell you a different story: “We had sex the first night we met. It was meant to be a casual encounter, but we’re still going strong nine years later,” or “We waited five months to have sex and then broke up two months later.”

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So there’s little wonder that many of you are confused on this topic! Below, I’ve outlined three points to consider when deciding to have sex for the first time in a new relationship:

1. Never assume: Unless you’ve had a conversation with your new partner about exclusivity, then you can’t presume that having sex will automatically make you a couple in a monogamous relationship. This is not true in most cases, and it can be very hurtful when you discover after the fact that you’re not on the same page in regards to what you want and expect in the relationship.

2. Premature sex: Having sex early on isn’t usually a good idea if you are seeking a long-term relationship. You are most often best served by investing time and energy getting to know the person before becoming sexually intimate. This enables you to discover if your new partner has good intentions and high integrity and is capable of making and keeping their commitments. These things are impossible to know on the first few dates but are crucial if you want a future together.

3. Oxytocin bonding: Oxytocin is biochemical that is released during sex that creates a feeling of attachment. Unfortunately, you may experience it with someone you’re not at all compatible with, but this bonding effect can override your logical sense of judgment and keep you in a relationship with a person who is completely wrong for you — another reason to not have premature sex!

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There are no hard or fast rules, and there will always be exceptions. By having an understanding of the basic principles above and being smarter in your choices, you can protect yourself from potential heartbreak. High sexual chemistry is difficult to contain, and it’s very easy to get carried away with intense sexual desire, so don’t put yourself in situations that make it harder to refrain. Keep your dating to public places, and let your hearts and minds be aroused before your body. Talk about intimate things and allow the relationship to turn you on mentally; the better connection you have out of the bedroom, the better connection you’ll have in it. Enjoy!

Melanie Mar is a celebrity relationship specialist, matchmaker and  life coach.