8 Ways A Physical Relationship Before Marriage Affects Your Relationship

Love and Romance | | , Writer
Updated On: March 12, 2024
physical intimacy before marriage
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Are you one of those romantics who believes in saving the best for the last and whats to do the final act only on your marital bed? Or have the raging hormones gotten the better of you and you can’t wait to get into a physical relationship before marriage?

“The greatest evil in premarital sex is disappointment”

What is more compelling- the ingrained doctrines of society or the natural instincts of your body which are desperate to feel the passion and fulfilment of uniting with your beloved mind, body, and soul?

We at Bonobology believe that mothers should stop conditioning their girls to be a virgin bride. But it is only fair that you think and decide what you believe to be the best course for you.

How does a physical relationship before marriage affect you both psychologically and physically and how what are its ramifications in the context of your future husband? Is a physical relationship before marriage good or bad? To be honest, there are both pros and cons to an intimate physical relationship before marriage in India.

And it’s always best to get to know the pros and cons before you dive head-first into a physical relationship before marriage.

8 Ways A Physical Relationship Before Marriage Affects Your Relationship

In India, sex before marriage is still looked down upon far more than in the western world. Here, according to professor Ahalya from NIMHANS Bangalore, even the boys in a relationship who indulge in physical intimacy feel obliged to end the relationship with marriage. It is an expected outcome unless something goes really wrong with the relationship.

This is a very basic human instinct is considered a taboo even if the two in the relationship are way beyond the appropriate sexual activity age both legally and otherwise. We often hear stories of women who are caught in this dilemma. While every cell in their body is screaming to give in to the longing of physical intimacy, they still refrain themselves as they feel guilty, confused, and fear that sex may change their equation with their beloved.

How physical intimacy changes a relationship

How physical intimacy may change the relationship between two people is subjective and depends on the emotional-psychological and cultural composition of the two involved. There is no one theory that works for all. We had this query from a  man who wanted to have sex only when he was in love. So there are several men out there who also want to wait before getting physically intimate with someone. Hence it should be noted that this is not a phenomenon only found in women.

For some, physical intimacy can mean little and less and can be a one night stand and for the rest, it may be a really big ordeal. How physical intimacy changes a relationship depends on how a person views it in the first place and how much importance we give to it.

In western cultures, premarital sex is a given and there is much less stigma attached to it. We live in a global village now. The internet, migration, and international streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime allow us to be influenced greatly by different cultures. Each culture is imbibing something from the other. More and more couples now feel that it is okay to have a physical relationship before marriage.

In such a state of constant flux, who decides what is right or wrong? Should you have a physical relationship before marriage? Or is it best to wait? We bring to you 8 ways a physical relationship affects your marriage.

1. Sex makes the relationship stronger

Physical intimacy strengthens emotional bonds. We see different sides to our partners in this very intimate act that we would not otherwise. How gentle or assertive they are, how much they care about the partner’s needs, how receptive they are to what brings them pleasure etc.

In the physical act of making love, lovers bare all to each other and share something that sets them apart from the others. Regular sexual sessions help them to get to know each other better. Long chats after a fulfilling session are something that even therapists recommend to increase closeness. You are most vulnerable after sharing a sexual experience with your partner and want to commit yourself to them, mind, body, and soul.

Is a physical relationship before marriage always a success?

It is not a given that the first session would be a total success. It takes time and patience and practice to understand how to give maximum pleasure to each other. This is normally something that takes a lot of exploring. Sex before marriage gives you an opportunity to share your sexual kinks and fantasies and see if the two of you are somewhat on the same level.

This is a smart way to eliminate mismatched sex drives and bad sex lives. Remember, sex is incredibly important to a lot of people, and, for most couples, sexual compatibility is necessary for a great marriage.

Couples Cuddling
More and more couples are open to pre-marital sex now

You get to know whether you have sexual chemistry and are the right fit and also  see whether he/she can satisfy you the way you want him.

Working on your sex life before your marriage ensures that there are no surprises later. You need to know whether you both are sexually compatible before you say ‘yes’ to him. Sometimes, this experimentation works out for the best and your relationship gets stronger now that you are connected on a sexual level as well. However, even if you do find out you are not sexually compatible, it works in your benefit as you do are not promised to this person for your whole life!

According to a survey conducted by goodhousekeeping.com, 83% of the respondents (aged between 33-44 years) had had premarital sex.

Here is a story of the man who cheated on her because she would not agree to premarital sex! We, however, think if such a situation happens to you, you must break off before he does!

2. Focus on other responsibilities after marriage

Most marriages begin with a honeymoon phase but sooner or later the honeymoon period gets over and you are shoved back into reality. Once back into the routine household system, especially if it is a joint family, privacy becomes a big issue. There are set systems where the members normally have meals together and hang out with each other almost till bedtime. Excusing yourself to retire early can seem rude or even embarrassing. This can make things a lot more complicated.

If you are in your own setup

Being your own setup involves having a billion chores that need to be taken care of constantly. Managing housework, cooking and a job can be taxing leaving little time for nocturnal activities. And then the irritation and minute annoyances which are bound to creep up can play a spoilsport in the bedroom. Most couples fight in the first year of marriage as they are learning how to adjust to living with each other.

Marriage brings responsibilities more so for women than men, and willy-nilly sex takes a back seat.

Experimenting with kinks, having long love-making sessions, chatting carelessly, eating and repeating the cycle in the same night seems tedious if you have to wake up and be in the kitchen at 7 a.m. If the adjacent room is occupied by your in-laws it may inhibit you in other ways. There are a billion mood killers to ruin your sexual experiences.

Perhaps, the quality time that one gets before marriage could be a reason to try premarital sex and let those experiences and your knowledge of each other keep the spark alive long after the honeymoon phase is over.

More on relationship advice

3. You could be giving away all you have

One big con about having a physical relationship before marriage is that, by nature, sex between two people begins as an upward curve that flattens into a plateau, and then goes for a downward dive. Unless the couple takes measures to make sure the zing stays alive.

Reddit has an entire subcategory on dead bedrooms. This is a very real fear and it could falsely lead you to think that the two of you are not sexually compatible with each other. Something that happens naturally can seem like a flaw in the relationship.

Because sex has become boring you might move on to the next person and actually miss out on what could have been a perfect relationship.

If you are considering premarital sex, remember to discuss this curve with your partner and if possible also save some tricks that you can experiment with at a later stage in your relationship.

4. You could get pregnant

We don’t want to scare you, but even if you have taken all the precautions there are chances that you could get accidentally pregnant. This may force the two of you to make choices when you are not ready to make. If you do decide to go ahead with the pregnancy and the marriage you could be very well sitting with a bump in the mandap which can be one of our worst fears.

The importance of using protection

Consider a scenario in which you forget using protection because of the excitement and the adrenalin rush. You can go ahead and use a morning-after pill or an emergency contraceptive but these have the ability to mess with the female hormones. Needless to say, this is not an ideal situation.

There could be other situations as well, the man may not be ready for either marriage or a baby. If your family and his, believe in the no-abortion principle you could see your career and life being cut short because of an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy.

This is why it is of utmost importance that you use some form of birth control at all times. Here is a list of contraceptives that you can try out. Better be safe than sorry! This is the biggest downside of having a physical relationship before marriage in India. Conceiving before marriage can be scary at many levels.

unwanted pregnancy
Unwanted pregnancy can lead to stress

5. You might not go any further in a relationship

All relationships do not end up in marriage. That’s why sex in relationships before marriage could land you in trouble, especially in a country like India. “Waiting until marriage” is a cultural phenomenon, if not for the people in your generation, then the one above yours. We are still in a phase of transition. Another point to consider is whether your man is in a relationship with you because he loves you or because he only lusts for you. Find out here.

Sometimes all men want from a relationship is sex. Make sure you understand what is going on in your relationship. There is nothing wrong if you want the same too, but you must have your situation and priorities clear. Are you okay with premarital sex even if it does not end up in a marriage? If yes, then there is nothing to worry about.

Your partner could be satisfied with just a relationship and may not want it to go any further. Or you may feel you two are not sexually compatible and take a call to call off the relationship. But This is any day better than having a sexually frustrating married life.

Related Reading: I Can’t Satisfy My Wife In Bed

6. Your relationship could end up being just about sex

When a couple does not have a physical relationship, it is the emotional bond between them that keeps the relationship going. The flirting, the subtle expression of desires, the sharing of each other’s likes and dislikes, wanting to get to know each other because they are so fascinated.

This sharing encourages emotional bonding. But when sex enters the equation it might pale the rest. Making love is definitely more exciting that just chatting and this may end up making the emotional bond taking a backseat. You both may use the relationship to only satisfy your sexual urges. This is a downside of having a physical relationship before marriage.

Related Reading: 10 tips to develop emotional intimacy in a marriage

7. You give up control

There is a saying that women give sex to get love and men give love to get sex!

Even in the times of hook-up culture women still, pause before going all the way. It is the internalization of generations. For women, other issues come into play too. Safety, whether the man is careful with her reputation, and what is his motivation for wanting physical intimacy etc. It is seen that only after a woman feels a certain sense of trust and comfort do they feel emboldened to get physical with a man.

The natural consequence is an emotional attachment. However, it is not only the women who might end up getting attached. Oftentimes, even men feel strong attachment after sex. Either way, one-sided emotional attachment is a recipe for disaster.
It hurts men and women both when their feelings are not reciprocated in the way they want them to be. For some people, sex can be more of a physical than emotional act. When this discrepancy creeps up in the relationship, one or both the partners are bound to get hurt. More often than not, it is the partner who gives up control and gives sex to get love.

In this case, a physical relationship before marriage could become detrimental to the well being of the marriage itself.

One sided emotional attachment
One-sided emotional attachment can hurt

8. You feel trapped

Often when you get into a physical relationship, you can’t get out of the relationship that easily, especially if you have consummated it. You start to feel trapped because of the guilt and you feel obliged to make the relationship work. With sex in the picture, you ignore major red flags in the relationship and focus on making it a success, thereby heading towards a disastrous marriage. You keep beating yourself up as you blame yourself having come this far with him.

Our expert Dr Shefali Batra says,

‘Sexuality is not just a physical act. Sexual intimacy has powerful emotional consequences too. While it can be argued, that in many young individuals, early sex is experimentation and aimed at momentary fun, emotional hurt can surface many years later at the time of a committal like marriage.

Children are offered sex education from the early years and taught to be physically safe. This education is imparted by parents as well as by schools. But very few people explain the importance of emotional safety in sexuality. Multiple premarital sexual experiences can hurt a marriage if the person has not processed these maturely.

It is true, that the vast majority of these people are capable of safeguarding themselves emotionally. But these emotional troubles are not uncommon:-

  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-doubt
  • Paranoia
  • Scepticism
  • Distrust
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Unsatisfactory sex

Shame and guilt are rooted in morality and one may feel impure and doubt their own sanctity in the marriage. This could trigger low self-esteem and a lack of faith in the self as if one is not good enough for the partner. Paranoia, scepticism, and distrust arise from the projective belief that any and everyone can be like me and my partner may have past or present ongoing affairs. All these thoughts can interfere with sexual intimacy and hamper a good sexual connection in the couple.

Is it wrong to have premarital sex?

So is it wrong to have premarital sex? The answer is No. It all depends on what you think is right for you. If you are okay with being in a physical relationship before marriage, then go for it, keeping in mind how much it affects your relationship and the future of it.

If you are thinking of building a future with your present beau, then keep these points in mind before moving forward with him. Here is a piece by our expert Komal Soni on whether couples should go for premarital counselling before marriage on other issues as well.  You can also book a session with our expert on this issue by clicking here.

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Readers Comments On “8 Ways A Physical Relationship Before Marriage Affects Your Relationship”

  1. Article is very nice and covered many aspects and deemed for appreciation.
    Dont have premarital sex if
    1. One is coward and can’t marry the person with whom dating is done because family will not accept the love/dating marriage. Dating is done for time pass only.
    2. Family accepts dating partner for marriage but one is not settled with right partner. Also even if right partner is there but so called right is also a coward or he/she can’t go against his/her parents wishes & hence there is no guarantee that match is final.
    3. People wants only partners chosen by parents but meantime have developed crush and just time passing with dating
    4. People dont dare/dont have guts to inform their parents that they are physically getting involved with dating partners or they dont have guts to inform that they have physical past to prospective groom/bride during marriage meeting in arranged marriage. That time one should not keep mum like a lame duck.
    4. If one believes in spirituality /religion and God, just obstain from pre-marital sex
    If some one involves in pre-marital sex
    a. Inform ur parents about physical past
    b. During arranged marriage match, boy or girl should clearly tell prospective groom/bride that they have physical past and should also ask otherside regarding the same. Then it is ones choice (both boy & girl) to proceed with match or not based on their value system. The daring one has in having pre-marital sex with reasoning of telling 21st century, feminism/womenism/manism/broadminded/open minded etc also should be reflected in revealing the past to the prospective match. These should not be judiciously exercised only for cheating by keeping mum like lame duck after completing the adventures. There are many marriages which are tossed because of hiding past.
    c. If anybody has physical relation, pl. get tested for all STDs prior to match fixing if going for arranged marriage as literature/research says protection failure is @ 15%. Some STDs cropup after six months of intimacy.
    Other negative aspects are
    1. Every individual has unique way of making love to his/her partner. When one is involved in pre-marital sex, novelty and thrill vanish. If the person is married to other person with whom dating was not done, then new partner may be judged against ex and one may/may not enjoy the intimacy and leads to acting drama or fantasizing ex while in act with married partner. This will affect marriage.
    2.When arguments crop-up or marriage is under stress or under vulnerable conditions, it is likely that the person can go back to ex and can cheat the married partner with ex. There is fair amount of statistics which says 80% married people cheat with ex. What a shame & cruel. For some ones immature adventure, somebody else getting punished.
    By all means, it is better to await for marriage for having intimacy.

  2. Exactly,,, every points are very important for those persons who are excited in premarital sex…And it’s totally depends on ourselves… I always had a trust on point 6… I feel if the original love relationship broke up for the physical relationship… because I trusted that If a person can fulfill his physical needs, he may leave at any moment…
    But now, I say it’s totally depends on ourselves… If you can properly trust him/her & he/she is able to keep your trust then you can go about physical relation….if you feel you’re not secure or he/she isn’t perfect for you..He/She can’t understand you & your desires, your feelings…then don’t go to the physical relation

  3. Right, it actually depends from person to person.

    And the last pointer “You feel trapped”, I feel this is the most important factor for premarital sex or relationship as if you are not sure of marrying the person or being with him/her forever probably you should avoid being physical. Once you get physical it’s really difficult to get away with it and accept someone else. So, be sure about it!

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