Relationship Bases: How Baseball and Sex Are Connected

Relationship Rules
09 May 2023
11 min read

Baseball is a never-ending source of analogies and metaphors. “Not even getting to first base,” for example, came to refer to lots of things today – a failed business deal, sale, or job interview – generally referred to failures to get something accomplished. Over time, young people also began to use the baseball analogies for the level of physical connection they had in a relationship with a dating partner. That’s how relationship bases as concepts appeared.

These concepts are actually decades old but are still used by some people to describe how far they have gotten with their latest relationships from a physical standpoint. So, it’s time to unpack what these bases are all about, both in sexual and romantic terms, in a dating relationship.

Relationship bases and physical intimacy: Baseball metaphors

Getting Through the Love and Romance Bases in a Relationship

When it comes to relationships, the meaning of their bases changes. Since sexual intimacy is just one thing, you cannot rely on it solely. People can have it all day long without any emotional or romantic commitment; and they may get to the home base pretty quickly.

But long-term love and romance are usually slower in developing and, again, will progress at different rates. So, let’s try to apply those bases in a relationship of romantic love for most people.

Related reading: Dating vs Relationship – What Are the Main Differences Between Them?

First Base

You have that first date, and things have gone well. You have enjoyed each other’s company and gotten to know a little bit about one another. You’re both interested. And so, you arrange a second date and then a third or more. You are getting to know each other better with each date, phone call, and maybe a few texts. By this time, you have probably had a few kisses, maybe even some intense ones.

Relationship bases for romantic love: Second base

Second Base

Second base involves dating which is more than just the standard going out in the evening kinds of things. By now, you know one another’s interests and hobbies and arrange to share those with each other. At this stage, you probably engage in social events with friends and possibly some family members. Your dating has become more serious, and you may very well be at second base sexually, if not a bit further.

Third Base

Now, your emotional and romantic attachment has gotten to the point that you are ready for a commitment to one another. You have most certainly had sex, and now you want to be exclusive partners and are willing to include your SO in family events. So, you make the decision that you will be exclusive and monogamous.

Fourth Base

You are now in a position where you are either going to get married or move in together. Either way, you have hit the home run in the romance department, and it’s a great thing. You have the whole thing – wonderful sex and a healthy, solid relationship.

Important to Note: There is no timeline for relationship bases that move into a serious relationship. There isn’t for sexual bases either. But, in general, there will be a connection between the two.

Things to Keep in Mind About Sexual and Romantic Relationship Bases

You are in charge of your own dating and love life and how you move through relationship bases – sexual and romantic. Here are some “rules” you should follow:

  • Don’t ever feel compelled to move to the next base if you are not comfortable. You should never do something just to please someone else. If a partner does not respect your decision, walk away permanently.
  • Make sure you understand what you really want. Are you moving through this progression because you want a long-term connection or are you in it just for current enjoyment? If your squeeze is not in it for the same reason, walk away.
  • Always be mindful of safety and hygiene. If your sexual partner is not, just don’t move forward.
  • If you are not ready for the home run, don’t talk into it. Your body is your real estate and no one else’s.
  • You have the right to refuse to move forward without any explanation. Just say no.

How “Current” Is the Relationship Bases Metaphor?

Young people today have lots of terms for types of physical intimacy. And if they know of the analogy to baseball, most probably find it interesting but humorous.

We live in a time when physical intimacy does not carry the weight it did with older generations. We have gone from a time when “no sex before marriage” was the societal norm as recently as 60 years ago, to an age in which it’s much more casual and without any need for commitment.

According to the 2020 US census, marriage rates have declined over that 10-year period. Divorce rates declined proportionately too. And other studies show that young people are delaying marriage for a variety of reasons. Given that young people have pretty strong libidos, the thought of refraining from sex is just out of the question.

So, relationship bases have pretty much lost their meaning today. And they do bring some humor and levity to what can otherwise be a serious subject. Going along with that humor, here are a few terms that relate to the relationship base analogy.

Let’s Just Be Light Hearted

Having a fun conversation about sex makes this usually awkward subject feel comfortable for both you. Especially if you’re discussing the relationship bases in terms of a favorite American sport. So, don’t be shy, this talk with you partner can remove some of the stress both of you may be feeling! Just be yourself and have fun.

Dating Tips Author
Shelly Standford
After a devastating relationship breakup, I threw myself into the dating scene by registering on Hily. I had over 100 dates - some absolute disasters, some pretty average, and some that were actually great. So many stories to tell and insights to share with you guys!
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