Rather than going through the process of critically evaluating whether the relationship is right for them, they make the decision to marry out of factors such as convenience, economics, or—the sex.

Cornell University policy researcher Sharon Sassler and her research team recently decided to study relationship “tempo.” Based on the hypothesis that churning leads people to enter less than satisfactory relationships, they investigated the connection between the timing of when couples first had sex to their later perceptions of relationship quality.

One month of dating quotes video

Being able to spot the signs of relationship difficulty could help you stop problems before they become unmanageable.

You can take advantage of active listening to improve the way you communicate, which is one of the primary ways to build emotional bonds.

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.

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.

In general, the findings supported the hypothesis that having sex early (defined here as within a month of dating) was related to poorer relationship outcomes for men and women.Without moralizing on whether premarital sex is bad or good for a relationship, the authors point out that practically speaking, premarital sex actually is bad for a relationship.It’s not so much the sex, however, but the cohabitation itself that it leads to which then leads the couple to slide, unthinkingly, into wedlock (or continued cohabitation).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.Men and women don’t seem to differ in what they want out of a sexual relationship, at least according to other research.