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Dating and sex advice, dating rules: why wait?

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To that end, McClary often tells women, "If you value a committed relationship, ask yourself, 'What do I need to do to stay emotionally whole? Practical Matters Once you've decided what you want out of a date, say experts, you should make it part of your regular dating rules to tell your partner.

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If both people are playing by the same dating rules, sex can serve as the gateway to a consensual, committed relationship. By Elizabeth Heubeck From the WebMD Archives Whether you're new to the dating scene, a regular player, or jumping back into the game after a long hiatus, the same questions about dating rules apply: While a dating partner may not welcome this news, it at least can minimize later disappointments.

While you can't apply a one-size-fits-all response to sexual dating rules regardless of age or experience, professionals who have studied the topic say it is a good idea to develop a set of prudent dating rules - before the big date.

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Learning the Steps for a Fulfilling Relationship. Plus, not having adequately prepared for these practical aspects of sex may signal an overall non-readiness to engage in it. She also says the conversation, like the primping, should happen at the same time -- before that big date.

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And last -- but by no means least -- how do you know when the time is right for sex? Talk First, Act Later While not every dating scenario that involves sex leads to marriage or even a serious relationship, couples do owe it to themselves to talk about where they see their relationship going and how sex might change the relationship -- before they get in bed together.

If, for instance, you're on the fence about whether or not to take sexual activity to the next level, a healthy dose of fear may cause you to pause, particularly if you're not prepared to take the necessary precautions.

Her rationale for these dating rules may seem obvious, but many people tend to forget in the heat of the moment. McClary believes all daters should invest the same amount of time conducting these 'self' conversations about personal dating rules as they do primping before a big date.

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According to the singles whom Allen has encountered, boomers generally play by far different dating rules than young, something daters. The woman may assume sex implies a commitment; the man may not see it that way," Allen tells WebMD.

By and large, Allen and other relationship experts endorse a cautious approach to the dating rules of sex. Susanne Alexander, relationship coach; author, Can We Dance?

Talk It Over with Yourself First Having an honest conversation with yourself about sex is just as important as discussing it with your partner, experts say. How soon do you lean over for that first kiss?

When's the Right Time for Sex? At some point during their courtship, many dating couples decide its time to break down initial boundaries -- be they emotional, physical, or both -- and engage in a sexual relationship. She's also referring to emotional boundaries.

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Experts discuss the consequences of not playing by your own dating rules. From Stalemate to Soulmate.

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Continued So, too, does an up-front conversation about sexually transmitted diseases STDs. Other experts agree that sex too-soon can lead to undesirable consequences.

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Is it too early for a steamy make-out session? When McClary refers to boundaries, she's not talking just about the physical boundaries that come with sexual territory.

But overall, I have found that very often they want the same thing," Allen says.