When it comes to dating, there are a lot of rules: Don't text him first. Don't seem too eager. Don't kiss on the first date. Make him wait. And if you're a fan of Hollywood romcoms, then you've most likely heard of the No Sex Until The Third Date rule. There are also some people don't believe in sex before marriage (your body, your rules, by the way).

But is there truly a "right" time to have sex? Does it really matter when? Sexologist Dr. Nikki Goldstein told Elite Daily, "The biggest issues will be where you see the situation going and how much you think this person respects you." She suggests thinking about how the guy might be talking about you behind your back. And if it's just casual, then "it doesn't matter when you really sleep with the person. Casual might just mean easy come, easy go, so if they are not sticking around after you have done the deed, then you will easily find someone else who can fill those shoes."

Don't disregard your gut instinct, though. If something feels off, there's nothing wrong with pausing and rethinking your decision to have sex with the guy you're seeing. Dr. Goldstein insists that we learn to trust ourselves and listen to the voice in our head.

If you don't want to just rely on your gut, however, "the best way to ensure you don't have sex too soon is knowing your sexual boundaries. For some people, sex on the first date or early on is fine, and they are comfortable with it. For others, they need to feel connected, intimate, and safe with someone before they jump into bed...Instead of looking at a specific number, explore what you require for sex, so you are able to recognize when it's there" and when it's totally missing from the equation, so you can get up and walk away unscathed.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

*Minor edits have been made by FemaleNetwork.com editors.

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