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Dear Dr. Frankie,

I think I’ve met a chick I really dig. We are still just flirting but I get a really good vibe from her. When I do ask her out I really want to impress her and hold her interest. Is waiting to have sex a good tactic for keeping her interested? I don’t want to come off as prude, but I want her to feel like we could have something special and that takes time to develop.

In a dating pool where the decision to move in together is made on the second date, what is a tasteful and romantic way to maintain a slow pace and really develop an intense emotional connection before moving on to sex? Any advice you have is greatly appreciated!

Dear Patience,

This is truly a wonderful question and something that not enough women ask themselves before buying the packing tape and cardboard boxes. The decisions you make during the dating phase are so important because you are laying the foundation of your relationship. I have seen many women ruin potential relationships because they rushed through the dating and intimacy phases straight into a relationship, rather than enjoying the experience of getting to know someone.

I strongly suggest waiting to have sex until you have decided to be monogamous. The decision to be monogamous can be made once you realize that the person you are dating is someone with whom you see a significant future, and you are no longer interested in dating anyone else. But a word of caution ladies—even if the clouds part and the birds sing when you see her stunning face, don’t rush this decision! I would wait for at least one and a half months before you move to the monogamy phase. But don’t worry, I’m not subjugating you to a life of all work and no play-just because you refrain from having sex doesn’t mean you can’t make out and fool around a little!

Here is why. The problem with having sex too quickly in the relationship is that it alters brain chemistry. Sex floods the brain with neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine which cause us to experience a euphoria similar to being on Ecstasy. A chemical called oxytocin is also secreted in the brain which results in our desire to be near this individual constantly. U-Haul has made a small fortune off the lesbians exhibiting this “merging” effect.  We quickly jump into spending every waking moment with this person and merge our lives—neglecting our friends and family etc.

Being intimate too quickly actually can produce the opposite of what you’re hoping for. The honeymoon phase is a wonderful part of the relationship, why burn through it so quickly? Maintain a healthy “pace” by initially seeing each other once a week. After a month or so increase your time together to twice a week. Avoid spending an entire weekend together. It’s fine to spend a Friday evening together after a month and wake up Saturday and enjoy part of the day. It’s healthy and important to have time apart and also helps you maintain connections with friends and family.  Don’t be that girl in the relationship vacuum.

Be sure to communicate your reasons for your disciplined dating approach. After you ask her out if there is a real connection, tell her you feel a spark and are excited about the possibility of something truly special. You certainly don’t want your honorable intentions to be interpreted as a lack of interest or ambivalence.

You can communicate via text or email once a day to let the person know you’re thinking of them but do not text repeatedly throughout the day. We all have jobs and lives to manage. Maintaining balance in all areas of your life is so important and will ultimately help you create and sustain a strong and healthy relationship.  Best of luck to you!

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