This is a question that is a response to ‘My Girlfriend Wants to Get More Sexual “Experience” Before Getting Engaged. What Should I Do?’ My question is coming from the standpoint as the girlfriend. I am 24 and my boyfriend is 28. We have been together for 8 months and he has told me over and over how much he loves me and knows I am the one for him. I feel very much the same about him. We get along great and love each other very much. Recently, he decided to tell me how many people he had sex with before me. I did not ask the question, as I think it’s best not to know. It’s none of my business and I didn’t want to risk getting hurt. This is because I had only been with one person before him (he knew this) and I knew he had been with at least 2 times more people than I. Well, he has been with 15 women. I do not think 15 is an outrageous number by any means. However, this number made me very jealous. Not that he has been with other women before me, because there is a reason they are in his past. But that I realized I have not been able to get out there and live and experience different sexual partners. I have already told him how I feel about this. We have a very honest relationship and I cannot let a problem fester inside me because then it will just blow up at a bad time.
What if it was you who had slept with 15 guys and your boyfriend didn’t have any sexual experience?
We talked about different solutions. One was taking a break. This would work in the sense that I would not be cheating, but I don’t want to break up! Also, I would die at the thought of him sleeping with other women, so I don’t want to do that to him. I also fear he wouldn’t take me back, and I wouldn’t blame him. Oh man! Second was being in an open relationship. Well that just does not work for me, I don’t roll that way. Third, was getting in a time machine and going back to when I was 20 and single and getting my fill of experience before meeting him. I need a DeLorean ASAP! So, obviously the third one will not work. I feel that since we are only 8 months into the relationship it’s best to decide what to do now, than wait however many years (if we even stay together that long) and risk even bigger heartbreak. Let me tell you though, this thought of needing more experience would never lead to me cheating on him. I do not cheat. I am very confused by my thoughts. I really want to be with him yet I want the experience. I cannot explain why I have these feelings. Any advice would be great! Thanks! P.S. Sorry this is so long!
You know what you sound like, Brenda? A guy. Which isn’t a bad thing.
Jealousy is normal. Envy is normal. Insecurity is normal. Confusion is normal.
Your dilemma is what to do with all of these conflicting emotions.
You outlined all of your options clearly – take a break, have an open relationship, or break up (I’m not counting the time machine thing, although I agree it’s your best bet.)
And yet none of these options are appealing to you, because they mean driving a stake through an otherwise perfect relationship.
So let’s flip things over for a sec. What if it was you who had slept with 15 guys and your boyfriend didn’t have any sexual experience? What would you advise him?
Suddenly, the decision’s a lot easier, isn’t it?
“You don’t break up with me to fool around with some other women, you idiot!”
The more I read and the more I coach, the more convinced I am that the main thing keeping us unhappy is our expectations about how things “should” be.
If I spent my time worrying that I don’t have my own Dr. Phil-sized TV show, I’d be really unhappy.
…both of us wish we could have a piece of what the other guy’s got…without giving up what we’ve already got.
If I spent my time envying the Hugh Hefners of the world, I’d be really unhappy.
If I spent my time wishing that I were leading someone else’s life, I’d be really unhappy.
And yes, sometimes I do wonder what it would be like to be married to a 29-year-old woman instead of a 40-year-old woman. And what it would be like to get syndication fees for reaching millions of women instead of thousands of them. The grass is always going to be greener. But that doesn’t mean that your grass isn’t pretty darn green.
I’m reminded of a friend who met a woman when he was in his early 30’s. Three years into the relationship, he wasn’t positive he was ready for marriage, but he had no real compelling reason to break up with the woman he loved, who was in her mid-30’s. They got married and, now, at age 38, he has two healthy gorgeous kids.
Do you know how envious I am? I might not be able to even have 1 biological child.
By the same token, my buddy would always beg me to tell him my crazy online dating stories. In fact, this reminds me of an old Lavalife ad campaign that said: “Lavalife: Make Your Married Friends Jealous.” So true. No matter what decision you make, there are always tradeoffs.
I got to mess around with a lot of women before finding my incredible wife. My friend found his incredible wife at a younger age and missed out on sowing his oats. Who’s to say which is better – except that both of us wish we could have a piece of what the other guy’s got…without giving up what we’ve already got.
Alas, Brenda, that’s not how life works. You’ve already acknowledged that to get your sexual experience, you would have to damage the relationship severely. You can’t just manage to sleep with 10 guys and run back to your devoted boyfriend and say, “I’m done now! Let’s get married!”
So I want to encourage you to look at what you DO have, instead of what you DON’T have. If you’ve been reading this blog, you are aware that there are many women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who seem to have trouble believing that there are any good men out there who will tell you they love you and declare that you’re the one.
If you’re 24 and you think you’ve found Mr. Right, I’d say to hold on to him. If, in fact, he doesn’t prove to be Mr. Right, you can always get some more sexual experience.
And if he does turn out to be “The One”, congratulations, you found the most important thing that life has to offer. Well done.