Mc Clary 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.She also says the conversation, like the primping, should happen at the same time -- before that big date.
"Especially among older people who went through the sexual revolution, with maturity they realize there are emotional consequences for getting involved in a sexual relationship," says Allen, author of Celebrating Single and Getting Love Right: From Stalemate to Soulmate.
According to the singles whom Allen has encountered, boomers generally play by far different dating rules than young, 20-something daters.
Other experts agree that sex too-soon can lead to undesirable consequences.
"It becomes much more difficult to objectively see each other's character traits" says Susanne Alexander, a relationship coach and author of Can We Dance? "Some couples then slide into engagement and marriage only to discover they have missed seeing major aspects of each other." 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. The woman may assume sex implies a commitment; the man may not see it that way," Allen tells Web MD.
By and large, Allen and other relationship experts endorse a cautious approach to the dating rules of sex.
"My advice is this: wait as long as you can," Allen says.
"Think about your sexual boundaries before you've had that first drink," Mc Clary advises.
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.
Her rationale for these dating rules may seem obvious, but many people tend to forget in the heat of the moment.
"You might find that you don't even like the person," Allen tells Web MD.
"I say definitely use condoms, even if you're in a committed relationship," she adds.