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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?

'" When directing her advice on dating rules to a male audience, Mc Clary puts things a little differently.

"The risks of STDS have got to be discussed and prevented from spreading," Allen tells Web MD.

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"Make sure your brain, heart, and penis are in conjunction -- they should all be in a straight line before you have sex," she says.

Mc Clary believes all daters should invest the same amount of time conducting these 'self' conversations about personal dating rules as they do primping before a big date.

"You might find that you don't even like the person," Allen tells Web MD.

Other experts agree that sex too-soon can lead to undesirable consequences.

"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.

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.

With Americans staying single longer than ever and singles outnumbering their married counterparts, there really is no norm nowadays when it comes to the timing of sleeping with new partners.

According to Pew Research Center, as of 2007, only 38% of adult Americans believed premarital sex was wrong, a number that’s likely only gotten smaller in recent years.

Whether you're new to the dating scene, a regular player, or jumping back into the game after a long hiatus, the same questions about dating rules apply: How soon do you lean over for that first kiss? And last -- but by no means least -- how do you know when the time is right for sex?

"There's really no formula that I've encountered," says 28-year-old Andrew Reymer, a single resident of Baltimore, Maryland.

While a dating partner may not welcome this news, it at least can minimize later disappointments.