Gen X and Gen Y are equally into it.
That’s why both generations should consider a recent report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, which says that hooking up at the start makes a less-satisfying marriage, should the relationship make it that far.
“In general, couples who wait to have sex later in their relationship report higher levels of marital quality,” write authors Galena K. Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley, who drew their data from a sample of 418 people married between 2007 and 2013.
Rhoades and Stanley offer two explanations.
For one, they say “some people who are already more likely to struggle in romantic relationships — such as people who are impulsive or insecure — are also more likely to have casual sex.”
Insecurity creates problems in relationships because, attachment theorists argue, feeling like you can’t get close to people squelches any chance of increasing intimacy, and that intimacy helps couples to endure the rough spots that any relationship is bound to hit.
Second, starting out by hooking up could mean that both parties are blinded by attraction.
“Relationships that begin with a hook-up may be relationships whose partners are not as well-matched on other characteristics that promote marital happiness, such as sharing similar worldviews, values, and interests,” Rhoades and Stanley write.
As we’ve noted before, computability between couples is a many-layered thing. While couples therapists have told us that you need to have that physical spark to begin a relationship, it’s not enough on it’s own — ideally, several layers of your personality will connect.
If a relationship starts with sex, then you might be glossing over those more subtle aspects of making a match.
“The context of hooking up may mean getting together under hazy circumstances, after something that ‘just happened’ one night, and then sliding into a longer relationship,” the authors write.
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