Authors note:  This is one of several articles in a series.  Find the Introduction here, and Part Two – The Heart Speaks, here.

An Important Life Skill—Delaying Gratification

Successful long-term partnership requires, more than any single skill, the ability to delay gratification. There will be many, many times throughout the course of a relationship when one or the other of the two is not going to get what s/he wants. Whether it’s what to watch on TV, which restaurant to go to, who gets up with the crying child, what to do with the bonus check, whose family to visit for the holiday season, and more. If you both want what you want, and want it right now, life’s daily choices are going to make you crazy and your relationship will suffer. But practicing the delay of gratification by reigning in powerful sexual impulses right out of the gate, will provide access to one of the most important tools for dealing with the other challenges of relationship—the delay of gratification. I believe that learning this skill is the single most important reason, if you want long-term partnership success, for not indulging in sex before marriage/remarriage. It’s a practice just like meditation. It’s an exercise just like lifting weights. It’s important.

Use the time to get to know one another. A silly but semi-serious book you can use during this period is Intellectual Foreplay. Check it out.

Next post:  The Power of Passion.