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Do I Need to Sleep with Someone to Know if I Love Them or Not?

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Feb 28, 2022

Do I Need to Sleep with Someone to Know if I Love Them or Not?
  • Falling in love is a beautiful part of the human experience, but for many people, when it comes to matters involving both love and sex, things can sometimes get confusing. Everyone is different. For some, sex and love are deeply intertwined, and one can’t exist without the other. For others, sex and love may feel like two completely different things that only occasionally intermix. 

    Particularly in today’s hookup culture, it’s rare to postpone getting intimate in relationships. While we may live in a culture that tends to separate the two, love and sex are connected in the sense that they both release similar chemical responses. Understandably for many, sexual intimacy may enhance feelings of love for a partner, and it may be harder to distinguish the two. However, it is still certainly possible to fall or remain in love without having sex, and many people have said starting relationships this way has made them feel stronger together in the long run. 

    At the end of the day, everyone has varying needs when it comes to feeling close to a romantic partner. The most important thing is to always communicate to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you are worried about not yet having sex with a romantic interest or partner, know that sex is just one of many forms of intimacy, and HER has your back!

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    The Quick Answer: Everyone is Different.

    When it comes to sex and love, everyone is different. Although getting intimate can make people feel closer to each other, it is certainly not a requirement to get those warm and fuzzy feelings. Many people do and have started to feel love for another person before ever sleeping together.

    For example, perhaps due to more limited options in one’s local community, not yet being ‘out,’ and more, many LGBTQ+ relationships begin online and/or are long-distance. Despite being physically apart, many people have fallen in love with each other before ever even meeting in person. At the end of the day, love is about much more than the physical aspects of being intimate. Many people really fall in love with others’ minds and hearts first, and they may value this above all else. 

    On the other hand, some people prefer to make sure they are sexually compatible with someone before entering a relationship. Sex is important for a lot of people, which is also completely valid. What’s most important when getting closer to someone both emotionally and/or physically is having clear communication and making sure you both are on the same page.

    Does Sex Make You Fall in Love?

    For some, yes! Sex and love are biologically connected and release the same chemicals in our bodies, so sex can certainly make people feel more love for each other. For many, the two may even be nearly impossible to separate. Sex is definitely a way to feel more physically and emotionally intimate with a partner, and many experts say it’s even vital in a healthy long-term relationship (but again, not all relationships are the same!).

    However, that still doesn’t mean sex is necessary for those loving feelings to come about. As we’ve said, love is about a lot more than just being physically intimate. Love can mean and look like a lot of different things for different people. 

    For many, being in love feels like being best friends and wanting to do everything together. It may look like being able to tell each other anything without judgment. Love may feel like you are so comfortable and secure with someone that they feel like your home. It can look like enjoying doing your favorite things even more when you’re with them. It may also look like you can see a clear and hopeful future together. It may even mean you feel like a better person because of them.

    Additionally, being in love may look like making love. Get clear on what being in love means to you. Know that it is more than possible to fall in love without yet having sex, and, despite our culture of casual sex, it’s still a common occurrence!

    Should I Be Worried if My Partner and I Aren’t Having Intercourse?

    Firstly, keep in mind that worrying means you truly care about someone and don’t want to lose them, which is a beautiful thing! It’s a wonderful feeling to have your heart open to someone, but you’re not alone if it also feels a bit scary. When we’re feeling worried about aspects of our relationships, the best thing we can do is be open and honest about our fears.

    Again, everyone is different, and everyone has different needs when it comes to romantic partnerships. For some, sex is a very important part of relationships, and for others, it’s not as vital in comparison to other needs. It’s important to have clear communication about each other’s needs. People need to have their relationship needs met for it to be successful. 

    However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a negative sign if you and your partner aren’t yet or are having less sex. Every relationship is different, and many couples feel just as happy and fulfilled spending time together without having as much physical intimacy.

    Sex and Intimacy Are Different

    When it comes to having a healthy relationship, intimacy is an important factor. However, sex and intimacy can be two different things, and there are other types of intimacy that exist. For example, emotional intimacy can be just as important as its physical counterpart. In addition, other forms of intimacy include intellectual, experiential, and spiritual intimacy.

    Some examples of these types of intimacy besides sex include:

    • Holding hands, cuddling, and other physical touch.
    • Having deep conversations.
    • Opening up about your hopes and dreams.
    • Spending quality time with each other.
    • Talking about your spirituality.
    • Talking about your life experiences.
    • Acts of service.
    • Taking care of each other.
    • Laughing together.

    As you can see, there is a lot more that fosters intimacy than just sex. There is definitely no one right way to show or feel love. Rather, there are many different forms of intimacy, and many different ways to fall in love with someone. 

    Finding Love on HER

    No matter your style of falling in love, you are sure to find like-minded people with HER, the dating app for LGBTQ+ women and nonbinary folks.

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    Katie is a writer and creative person based in Seattle who is passionate about the arts, environmental justice, and all things vintage fashion. She celebrates queerness as a natural yet radical state of being, and she strives to make the world a more inclusive place for all. You can find her taking meditative strolls in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest channeling her inner Bella Swan, or just on IG @ktmarieeee.

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