We Slept Together Too Soon

Can a relationship recover and even bloom if you’ve rushed into bed?

By Stephanie Davis

t’s happened to most of us: You’re out with someone new, the chemistry is there, the conversation is flowing, and hey, since you obviously like the guy, things get physical—maybe too physical. “Often times, when two guys hook up right away, that’s all either of them expects to happen,” says Rik Isensee, licensed clinical social worker
We’re not living in the 1800’s where sex is a taboo topic.
and author of Love Between Men: Enhancing Intimacy and Keeping Your Relationship Alive. “But many couples who get intimate on the first date end up together,” he says. The trick to making it stick? Here are four steps to keep things going — but slowly! — with your potential new mate.

1. Go ahead and have the awkward conversation
Discussing the fact that you hit the mattress faster than expected is a good way to clear the air. Yes, you may feel weird bringing it up—for some gay men, hiding their feelings about sex is often ingrained, says Isensee, but there’s a very good chance your date will be open to talking about the topic. “I don’t see sex on the first date as a huge obstacle to developing a romantic relationship or even a friendship,” says David, 24, of Tampa, FL. “We’re not living in the 1800’s where sex is a taboo topic,” he says. Joking about the situation can be a good way to broach the possibility of a future together after your walk of shame. Just send a text message or email that says something like, “Whew—I sure didn’t expect that to happen! Hope you aren’t too appalled by my behavior to hang out again.” It’s a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek way to address the elephant in the living room. “If he’s not ready to date steadily, he’s likely to say so,” says Isensee, but if he is, you’re all set for round two. And either way, you’ll know where you stand, so you never have to wonder, “What if?”

2. Plan a daylight date
It’s no secret that many ‘I-can’t-believe-I-did-that’ evenings start with some loosened inhibitions over happy hour. To stop a repeat performance, skip the cocktails on your follow-up outing by meeting for brunch or an afternoon movie. “Go on a date where
So quit talking for a while, and just have fun.
you’re less likely end up in bed at the end,” says Isensee. And hey, if you wind up hooking up with your guy after a sober, broad-daylight date, you’ll know you really have chemistry together!

3. Lighten things up
Pat yourself on the back, Sensitive Male: You’ve done more heavy communicating already than some married couples do in their whole lives! So quit talking for a while, and just have fun. Go on an exciting, silly date: Visit an amusement park, play a game of tennis or go shopping. Your conversation during these adventures will show you whether you two have a shared emotional connection that matches your bedroom vibe. Having a good time together lightens the pressure of having moved too fast on the first date and also reassures you that you’re compatible.

4. Chalk it up as a positive thing
For some men, sex is just as important in the early stages of dating as, say, making sure a potential boyfriend likes dogs before introducing him to Mr. Wooferstein. So instead of beating yourself up over something that’s already happened, try considering it a shared experience and make the most of the budding relationship. “Talking about life goals should happen early on in the courting process, and I think it's wise to get the sex bit out of the way in the beginning, too,” says Yuki, 28, from Birmingham, AL. “That way, you don't save this one thing for later in the relationship that might completely make the whole thing fall apart.” At least you already know you’re sexually compatible, and knowing that can be half the battle.

Stephanie Davis, a staffer at GQ magazine, admits to having at least one first-date hookup.
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