Sex only dating
Concern about STDs and unwanted pregnancies can help create sexual boundaries, believes Mc Clary.
If, for instance, you're on the fence about whether or not to take sexual activity to the next level, a healthy dose of fear may cause you to pause, particularly if you're not prepared to take the necessary precautions.
"The risks of STDS have got to be discussed and prevented from spreading," Allen tells Web MD.
"I say definitely use condoms, even if you're in a committed relationship," she adds.
According to the singles whom Allen has encountered, boomers generally play by far different dating rules than young, 20-something daters.
By and large, Allen and other relationship experts endorse a cautious approach to the dating rules of sex.
"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.
Having an honest conversation with yourself about sex is just as important as discussing it with your partner, experts say.
To that end, Mc Clary often tells women, "If you value a committed relationship, ask yourself, 'What do I need to do to stay emotionally whole?
'" When directing her advice on dating rules to a male audience, Mc Clary puts things a little differently.
"It depends on how rapidly or slowly things progress." Joan Allen, a relationship expert, finds that baby boomers are far more likely to wait to have sex than younger daters.