Everyone’s doing it, right? Many people spend time thinking about and/or searching for how to attract a partner — then once the attraction happens, what next? A great deal of our culture screams that sex is the natural outcome when you like someone — but is it really that simple? If you dig a little deeper, you might be surprised at what you learn: sex is definitely not without risks.

So, why not jump into a sexual relationship? Here’s a few reasons to consider:

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s): New data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that STD’s are at an all-time high in the United States, with about half of the cases being in young people under the age of 25. Some of the symptoms of STD’s include: painful blisters, warts, some types of cancer, difficulty getting pregnant later, or even death — and while some STD’s are treatable, for some there are no cure.

Unplanned Pregnancy: It’s very much a fact, sex can result in pregnancy. There are significant amounts of life changing factors that need to be considered in the event of an unplanned pregnancy, all of which are totally avoidable if a person chooses to abstain from sexual activity.

Emotional Distress: Because of the brain chemicals released during sexual activity, there is an emotional impact involved in sex. These hormones can cause people to feel intense emotional bonds that, if broken, can lead to depression, anger, guilt, anxiety, and more. Studies show that most people report regretting the choice of rushing into a sexual relationship because of various emotional factors.

Waiting for sex allows you to build healthy relationships that are not based on just a physical relationship. You won’t be plagued by concerns of contracting an STD or the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy. If you save your sexual activity for the one you will spend the rest of your life with, you can first learn how to love and respect yourself. You’ll be healthy both emotionally and physically when that someone comes along who you know loves you, and you won’t have the complications and concerns that come with premature sexual activity. It’s worth the wait.