A new study found that 30% of adults would not expect to have a kiss on the first date, even if it went well. Most people also think it is appropriate to have eight dates before having sex
A recent survey of more than 20,000 dating adults found the average time they think it’s appropriate to have sex with a potential new partner is eight dates, which comes as a surprise to the research body as the general dating rule of thumb has always been a solid three dates.
It appears that Covid has made us more chaste because just 30% of those surveyed wouldn’t even expect to have a kiss on the first date, even if they thought it had gone well.
I found this study particularly interesting for many reasons, one of which being that just a couple of weeks ago I was delighted to be matron of honour at Beverley Callard’s wedding renewal to her lovely husband Jon McEwan.
In my old life as a celebrity agent I did a lot of showbiz weddings, at least 20, of which only two are still together – so, I took the opportunity as she was getting ready to say “I do” all over again, to ask her how many dates it had been before Jon (better known to the nation since I’m A Celebrity as #megashag) had wooed her into the boudoir.
“Well, Melanie,” she said, sangria in hand as her hair was being styled, “I believe in keeping my hand on my ha’penny.”
This made me laugh so much I nearly spilled my drink.
“I might have been married four times in total, but I was never in a rush in that department if you know what I mean,” she said with a raised eyebrow.
“It was 50 dates over four months before ‘that happened’ and then I knew I was going to marry him.”
The next person I asked was another celebrity friend, Coleen Nolan, whose second marriage to Ray Fensome I attended.
When I asked her the same question she cracked up laughing and said, “Well, it was the third date,” which would have put her in line with the original statistics.
“But I was pregnant by the fourth, so I’m not sure how that’s going to validate your investigation,” she added.
The third and final celebrity I interrogated was Steps singer Claire Richards, who is just about to celebrate her 13th wedding anniversary with her husband Reece Hill .
“Blimey,” she said. “It was nearly 25 years ago so I can’t remember the exact amount of dates, but I know I made him wait six months at least.”
Now, the reason these three high-profile relationships (and I will get to my own and my normal friends’ experiences in a minute) were interesting to me were because both of the couples who had waited were still married, but Coleen is recently divorced – although they were together nearly 20 years and have a gorgeous daughter, so it’s hardly a failure.
My divorced friend Amanda said: “When I was younger I had no rules. If I liked them it could be the first date but, as I’ve got older, I’d go with at least the three date rule.”
Amanda’s response was similar to most of the answers in my age group. I’m 44, which indicates that research is not always representative of everybody.
And, while posing the question, it would be unfair of me not to reveal my own thoughts. So here they are… if the chemistry is there and I’m feeling the vibe, then honestly I’m a first date girl.
Why? If I like them I want to know immediately whether we’re going to be compatible in the bedroom.
In my younger years I used to follow these so-called “rules” – making men wait to feel respected and not look easy – only to find myself eight or nine dates down the line with emotional feelings for someone who, after finally doing the deed, I realised was never going to be right for me long term.
This led me to feeling unable to break up with them for quite a while after we’d started having sex, so they didn’t realise that was the very reason why I was dumping them in the first place!
So that’s why I choose the first date rule. However, if you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ll know I’ve never been married or had kids.
So maybe I really have got it wrong… but I’ve had a lot of fun investigating. Besides, I don’t think I want to get married any more anyway. Well, maybe.
When do you think is the right time in a relationship to do the deed? Email me at [email protected]