Not Ready To Make Your Relationship Physical? Do This Instead

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The modern world sells the idea that sex and dating go hand in hand. We should put our bodies on the line from the get-go. If we don’t, it’s not really a proper relationship at all. Or, worse, yet, there’s something wrong with us. 

Humans, though, aren’t like most animals. Pregnancy and child-rearing is a serious, life-long project. Getting it on with someone is a massive decision – at least historically – so it makes sense that pair-bonding takes time. 

If you’re not ready for sex, that’s okay. It actually makes a lot of sense from a biological perspective. You need to be sure you’ve found the right person. 

If you’re not ready to make things physical, it can be a little disconcerting, both for you and your partner. Sex is an integral part of any relationship, so putting it off can feel a bit awkward. The good news is that you can navigate this minefield and keep the relationship on track. Often, you find out that you don’t need physical intimacy immediately. In fact, it can help to create a much stronger bond. 

The first thing to do is talk to your partner about how you feel about the situation. If you have a real emotional connection, the physical side of things will emerge naturally when you’re both ready. It’s not something you have to force or feel awkward about. Tell them how you feel and that you’re not prepared for it. Also, explain why. Remind them that it has nothing to do with their physical attractiveness. It’s more about you and how you feel about sharing that level of intimacy. 

The next step is to focus on the relationship around something expressly non-physical. Ideally, you want to get to know this person as well as you can so you can work out whether to trust them or not. Spend time with their friends and family and take note of how people interact with them. If they give out good vibes, it probably means that they’re a decent person who will respect you. If people are wary around them, then it could be a significant red flag

You can also spend time working on projects together. Perhaps you could do music, dance, travel or voluntary work. Having a joint enterprise will help you to redirect attention away from intimacy and onto something else. 

As the State Bar makes clear, nobody should feel like they’re being pressured into doing something they don’t feel comfortable with. You are the owner of your body, so what happens to it is ultimately your decision. It’s entirely your decision, therefore, how you decide to proceed in a relationship. Just remember, an absence of sex doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed. In fact, holding off is actually a good sign. Plus, it can help to heighten the sexual chemistry between you. You can allow your curiosity to build slowly and naturally. And you can avoid worrying all the time about what the other person thinks. If they’re the right person for you, they’ll understand your reluctance. 


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