I’ll skip over the gory details of the extensive analyses and controls that the researchers imposed, but rest assured that they did everything they could to tease apart their findings.
In general, the findings supported the hypothesis that having sex early (defined here as within a month of dating) was related to poorer relationship outcomes for men and women.
Close relationship researchers have known for years that couples who cohabitate before marriage (and are not engaged) are more likely to divorce or, if they remain together, experience poor marital quality.
Because the study was a cross-sectional one, meaning that people were not followed over time, this meant that it was impossible to determine whether people destined to have worse relationships jumped into sex sooner than those who would go on to be satisfied with their partners.If you’re in a long-term relationship now, you may wonder whether these findings are coming too late to help you. If your relationship got off to a quick start, this doesn’t mean that you’re fated to be unhappy later down the road though you might be at higher risk than you might otherwise be.Being able to spot the signs of relationship difficulty could help you stop problems before they become unmanageable.Before they know it, they’re making plans to move in together.Unfortunately, many of these hurried unions lead to disappointment as the relationships falls apart before it’s even had time to take shape.