Although you're probably excited to spend as much time as possible with your new bae, staying over every night is not a great way to kick things off. New relationships can be tough to navigate for a few reasons. Things can be especially tricky if you're still getting to know your partner and haven’t explicitly spoken about where you stand. But how do you know when to take things from Strictly Waking BF to Sometimes Sleeping BF? To help you navigate the tricky world of dating and sleeping over, I spoke with some relationship experts who know just how to avoid the pitfalls of moving too quickly in a new relationship.
“Pacing a new relationship cannot be underestimated,” breakup coach and dating expert Natalia Juarez tells Elite Daily. “It is an incredible feeling to be so sexually attracted to another person — and of course, we are human animals who tend to follow our gut instincts — but these things need to be navigated and managed. There needs to be some kind of structure or guideline in play so that you don’t allow your emotions to just take over when you start spending all your time with someone new. You’re going to run into problems without that.”
Read on for more insight on how to handle staying over in a new relationship.
How Often Should You Have Sleepovers With A New Partner?
“I am not a fan of hard and fast rules about when or how often you should sleep over with someone,” Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples therapist in Los Angeles, tells Elite Daily. “What I do recommend is to try and get a sense of what you want and what your new love interest wants.” The best way to approach this situation is to have an open discussion with your partner about how often you'd both like to spend the night together, and come to a solution that’s respectful of both of your preferences. Consider class and work schedules, the possibility of roommates and shared living spaces, and the need to spend some time apart every now and then. Don't forget you had a life and friends before this new person came along.
And while Juarez agrees that everyone’s circumstances are different and there’s no magic number of sleepovers that applies to every new relationship, she recommends keeping it to one sleepover in the first month, two in the second month, and three in the third, until you know each other well enough to have very clear conversations about your individual needs and expectations.
What Happens If You Have Too Many Sleepovers Too Soon?
Spending too much time together during the honeymoon phase can sometimes result in burnout. “It is certainly true that you can fall too hard, too fast and become attached at the hip long before you actually know if the two of you are truly compatible,” says Dr. Brown. “It’s fine to be romantically involved, so long as your judgment is not being clouded by incredible chemistry.”
Stef Safran, the dating expert and matchmaker behind the Chicago-based dating service Stef and the City, agrees. “If you start hot and heavy, then once you get out of the honeymoon stage, pulling back can have the relationship fizzle out quickly,” Safran tells Elite Daily. “Think about your long-term goals with this new person.” Instead of spending every night together right off the bat, Safran suggests prioritizing activities that are conducive to getting to know each other better. Go on dates, have conversations about your values and beliefs, hang out with your friends, and really think about whether or not you have long-term potential. “Great sexual chemistry is nice, but it doesn't let you know if you are compatible,” says Safran. “Spending too much time together can have you neglect your friendships, work, and your hobbies.”
Juarez adds that if a relationship moves too fast, the attachments run the risk of growing unevenly. She says that when one person attaches more quickly than the other, it can change the way the other person originally saw them and even alter their initial attraction to the person. “Going slower in a new relationship allows you to manage your own energy better so you don’t get overtaken by your own attachments,” Juarez says. “And once two people sleep together, it might raise a bunch of new questions like, ‘What if they’re sleeping with other people? What is our title?’” For the smoothest sailing, Juarez suggests keeping the commitment low in the beginning, which includes holding off on too many sleepovers.
How Can You Set Boundaries With A Partner Who Sleeps Over Too Often?
It’s safe to say no one wants to neglect the things that are important to them because of a new partner. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re organizing your schedule in a way that feels right for you. “The easiest way to deal with things is set up boundaries from the beginning,” says Safran, recommending you might want to limit the amount of nights you spend at a new person’s place to one or two nights a week, “until a longer and more exclusive relationship is established.” This is, of course, ultimately your call. Just make sure that whatever choice you make is one that makes the most sense for you.
Ultimately, it’s all too easy to get excited about a new lover and want to spend every waking moment together. But don’t forget to think about how this attachment could be affecting other areas of your life. “There’s an old saying that says ‘Follow your heart,’” says Dr. Brown. “I would modify that to read, ‘Follow you heart, and bring your brain with you.’” Amen to that.
Additional reporting by Veronica Lopez.
Dr. Gary Brown, licensed marriage and family therapist
Stef Safran, dating expert and matchmaker
Natalia Juarez, breakup and dating coach
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