The ladies in my Master the Mystery of Meeting Men telecourse have been talking about S-E-X. When is it okay to have it? How do you decide? This is such an important conversation! You may think "I'm not even dating yet...who cares!" But the decision may be closer than you think, and I want you to be prepared. Sex can be a glorious part of a relationship. But for women, it can also wreak havoc on your emotional state. Having sex too soon can also mess up an otherwise budding relationship.

Getting this right is about clearly defining the boundary and behavior you will follow under all circumstances. This is key to maintaining your dignity and confidence, not falling for the wrong guy and keeping safe. Here's some advice:

1. Know what you want and keep your eyes on the prize

Are you looking for frolic with a great orgasm or for a loving, decent man to spend your life with? Figure it out and always head toward that goal. (Just like you do in the other aspects of your life.) And be sure you're not headed there alone. Before you sleep with him, have "that talk." What are his intentions and relationship goals? How does he feel about you? Is he willing to give what you need? Don't guess these, ladies; you have to have the talk.

2. Don't drink.

There's a lot of emotion and body chemistry flying around when man meets woman. Do everything you can to keep your wits about you. Alcohol is actually a stimulant and doesn't make you more charming. (Except to another drunk person.) If you must, savor one nice glass of wine. But until you decide it's a good time to be intimate, lay off the booze.

3. Answer the question "Is he just hot or is he a hubby?"

If you're looking for your husband or life companion, you have to approach dating with as much maturity and objectivity as you can muster. Muster it, girlfriend, and decide if he's just charming and makes you tingle or if he has real depth and relationship potential. If he's all tingle and no substance, I say slow the heck down or even run for the hills. If you have sex with this man, odds are you will fall for him...because that's what we do. And then you're hooked. I'd rather you wait and get hooked after you decide a man is good, kind and interested.

You can find my step-by-step "Merely Hot or Maybe Husband? step-by-step process in my newsletter: http://bit.ly/44zE68. (It's the Featured Article.)

4. Follow the Dalai Lama.

In his book The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, the Dalai Lama talks about pleasure versus happiness. His advice: always ask yourself "Will this bring me happiness?" I try to follow this in my life in general; it's a powerful guide to making good decisions. It's especially handy when you're considering getting physical with a man. Stop and ask yourself: will this make me feel good AND make me happy? Because you know from your many experiences that something that feels good now will not necessarily bring you happiness. (You know what I'm talkin' about.)

5. If you can't talk about it, don't do it!

If you can't sit down with him and have an adult conversation about safe sex and about your relationship...do NOT sleep with him! That's all I need to say on this point.

I'm all for having fun and enjoying some amazing sexual intimacy. But if you've got love on your mind, follow these tips. I assure you that they will limit your disappointment and help you find the happiness you so deserve.

Author's Bio: 

Bobbi Palmer is The Dating and Relationship Coach for Women over 40. She is not just a dating coach; she's a dating success story! Bobbi married for the first time at age 47 and enjoys a loving and fun relationship with her spectacular husband. Now she gives her expert advice and real compassion to help other women do what she did, using her proven and powerful 6-Step Find Hope and then Find Him program. Bobbi invites you to take her free eCourse, "The 7 Major Dating Mistakes Women over 40 Make in their Search for Love," at www.DateLikeaGrownup.com/over40.