When Mc Clary refers to boundaries, she's not talking just about the physical boundaries that come with sexual territory. "Emotional wholeness is crucial to the decision process of whether or not to have sex," Mc Clary tells Web MD.To that end, Mc Clary often tells women, "If you value a committed relationship, ask yourself, 'What do I need to do to stay emotionally whole?Having an honest conversation with yourself about sex is just as important as discussing it with your partner, experts say."Every woman and man should know their boundaries before they start dating, and most of us don't," says Cheryl Mc Clary, Ph D, JD, professor of women's health at University of North Carolina-Asheville.Her rationale for these dating rules may seem obvious, but many people tend to forget in the heat of the moment."You might find that you don't even like the person," Allen tells Web MD.
Concern about STDs and unwanted pregnancies can help create sexual boundaries, believes Mc Clary."Especially among older people who went through the sexual revolution, with maturity they realize there are emotional consequences for getting involved in a sexual relationship," says Allen, author of Celebrating Single and Getting Love Right: From Stalemate to Soulmate.According to the singles whom Allen has encountered, boomers generally play by far different dating rules than young, 20-something daters."Think about your sexual boundaries before you've had that first drink," Mc Clary advises.Once you've decided what you want out of a date, say experts, you should make it part of your regular dating rules to tell your partner.