Can You Be Intimate After The Fourth Date?

Updated March 27, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

If you’ve recently started dating someone new, you might be wondering when it will be time for the relationship to progress intimately. There are many things you may want to consider before planning to become physically intimate with someone. Some people might be perfectly comfortable with the idea of intimacy after the fourth date, while others will want to wait or do it sooner. It can be beneficial to have a conversation with the person you are out with to figure out their expectations and see if you are on the same page. Deciding if it is the right time for you to take the next step in your relationship ultimately depends on personal expectations, desires, and what feels right between you and the person you’re dating. Every relationship is different, and what may seem like the right time for one couple may not suit another. However, there may be some ways to tell whether you’re ready to take your relationship into the bedroom.

Stages in a relationship are different for everybody

Can you be intimate after the fourth date?

You can be intimate after the fourth date, or after any other number of dates, so long as you and your partner are on the same page. Some people are more comfortable with waiting, while others would like to become intimate sooner rather than later. What works for one couple may not be ideal for another. Having an open, honest conversation with the person you’re dating can help you figure out whether it may be time to be intimate with one another. There’s no right answer, except for the one that allows you both to feel satisfied, safe, and comfortable with the progression of the relationship.

How much physical affection do you show each other?

Before you think about progressing your relationship intimately, it may be helpful to consider how much physical affection you have been showing each other. If you’re expecting things to be intimate when you haven’t yet held hands, that may be a sign that you’re not ready. However, some couples are comfortable progressing to a sexual relationship without hitting certain relationship milestones first. If you're wondering whether you are both ready to be physically intimate, it may help to be aware of how much physical affection you show each other when hanging out and how often these signs of affection occur.

If you regularly kiss one another or regularly give each other physical affection, it could be a sign that you are developing greater physical intimacy. Every relationship moves at its own pace. It can be imperative that progressing to physical intimacy feels natural and is consensual. Not everyone wants to jump into a sexual relationship fast; so, taking things slow and talking about it may be helpful when you and/or the person you’re dating need time.


While some couples may feel completely comfortable being physically intimate on the first date, others may not. Every individual and relationship are different. If you’ve been on four dates with someone and are wondering whether it is time to become physically intimate, it can be helpful to have an open and honest conversation with the person you’re dating.

There are a lot of topics that can be important to cover when it comes to having a sexual relationship with a new partner. You may want to discuss birth control, sexual history, sexually transmitted diseases, or your expectations of the relationship. If you’re looking for a long-lasting relationship, it may help to talk to your partner about these topics so you both feel comfortable and stay on the same page about what you want from the partnership. Some individuals might want to have a casual, short-term relationship, while others may be looking for something more serious.

Remember, you can’t force sex to happen

Sex should always be consensual. Pressuring your partner to have sex can be an abusive and unhealthy way of approaching an intimate relationship, and this type of behavior can have serious effects. Respect your partner’s wishes and wait until they are ready.

Intimacy is an important aspect of many relationships. If you and your partner are on different pages regarding intimacy, it is okay if you decide to move forward as friends or break things off completely. If one of you simply wants to move more slowly, you may decide it is worth it to wait. By choosing to wait to have a sexual relationship, you may be able to build a stronger bond between the two of you that doesn’t revolve only around sex.

No matter what, ensuring you’re both comfortable with where the relationship is going sexually as well as emotionally can be crucial. Communicating your thoughts and feelings on the matter can help foster healthy intimacy going forward.

Stages in a relationship are different for everybody

Online counseling with Regain

If you're unsure where your relationship is headed, or you’re facing challenges with intimacy, a relationship therapist may be able to help. Regain is an online therapy platform that specializes in couples counseling. A licensed therapist can help you determine how to move forward while addressing issues that might be holding one or both of you back. You and your partner may be nervous about meeting with a therapist about sensitive topics like sex, but the online interface of Regain may help each of you feel more comfortable. Without ever having to leave your home, you and your partner can begin to get the assistance you need whenever you’re ready to make improvements. 

The efficacy of online counseling 

A lack of intimacy can be a common complaint in many relationships. Couples experiencing problems in this area could benefit from couples counseling. In one study, researchers found that a web-based couples therapy program improved relationship satisfaction and decreased relationship distress. Couples felt more comfortable addressing the problems in their relationship and taking steps to solve them. 


While physical intimacy may not be necessary for a relationship to grow, many individuals believe it is an important part of a romantic relationship. All couples move at different speeds, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to when you should or shouldn’t bring sex into the picture. If the timing feels right and both partners feel comfortable and give consent, being intimate may be appropriate. Relationships can be complex, and it might be helpful to speak with a professional should you run into any issues or have concerns. With a therapist’s help, you can work on developing an intimate bond in a safe manner while developing tools and strategies to work through problems in your relationship. Reaching out to an online therapist can be simple and convenient — take the first step when you’re ready.

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