London: Couples who have sex before marriage are less likely to have long and happy relationships, a study has found.
Researchers from New York's Cornell University say it is better to abstain early on in a courtship or build up a gradual sexual relationship, according to the Daily Mail.
The study looked at the effects of sex before marriage, and found that early sexual satisfaction stunts the development of key ingredients of a healthy relationship, including caring and understanding.
The study asked 600 couples, all with the woman under the age of 45, about their relationships, including commitment, intimacy, sexual satisfaction, communication and conflict, the daily said.
The results were much higher for women when sex was delayed for one month, while scores for the men followed a similar trend.
"Precocious, premarital sexual activities may have lasting effects on relationship quality," the study said.
"Courtship is a time for exploration and decision-making about the relationship, when partners assess compatibility, make commitments and building on emotional and physical intimacy."
"The postponement of sexual involvement is associated with higher levels of relationship quality," the study said.
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Updated Date: Sep 03, 2012 11:10:35 IST