Turns out true love might be worth the wait.
At least these are the findings in a new study by psychological scientist Paige Harden of the University of Texas at Austin. The study found that the later a person first had sexual intercourse not only corresponded with a higher education level and household income, but also found they were less likely to be dissatisfied with their relationships in adulthood.
However, the study also found that these latecomers were also less likely to be married and have fewer romantic relationships.
The report used data from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health that followed 1659 sibling pairs who were followed from the age of 16 to young adulthood (roughly around 29). But the study had a particular method of categorizing ages and sexual experience: "Early" sexual intercourse was younger than the age of 15, so called "on-time" was 15 to 19 and "later" was over 19.
Now of course, this is not to imply that you must be married to be in love or that there is a correct age to have sex. Sex educator Sari Locker says if you are wondering about the "right time," there are guidelines to consider with your partner, according to Match.com.
Locker notes a variety of ways to tell you're ready, including the point at which the kissing gets really good and you feel comfortable naked in front of your partner.
The study also claims that the timing of one's first sexual encounter can predict the stability of their relationships under 30. People who have sex at a later age could be pickier in choosing romantic and sexual partners, which may explain why they're reluctant to enter a relationship in the first place. But another study from the Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults found young people are optimistic about their love lives, showing that people between the ages of 18 and 29 expected their marriages to last a life time.
And to that end, if you fall into one of these so-called "early" categories, it's not all bad news. In previous studies, Harden found that teenage couples who've had sex younger than 15 had lower levels of "delinquent behaviour problems."
"We are just beginning to understand how adolescents' sexual experiences can influence their future development and relationships," Harden said in a press release.
What do you think? Do our first sexual encounters really affect the future of our love lives? Let us know in the comments below:
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