My Girlfriend Wants to Get More Sexual “Experience” Before Getting Engaged. What Should I Do?

I’ve been dating this girl for two and a half years now – not just dating, but living with, I think that makes it all the more serious.  We were good friends for a year before all this, which is why we were comfortable with starting dating and living together at the same time…  The problem, I think, is that while I was her first, I had prior sexual experience with former girlfriends.  Maybe it’s my fault, for wanting to broaden her mind, but now she’s assured me she’s going to have sex with another man, no one in particular, but just because she wants to have a certain level of experience before she commits. 

Last summer, we had a “break”, some time apart, and I know she’s been with another guy, though just oral sex.  Even though this devastated me, I agreed to get back together – she says she’s glad to have had time to figure things out, and in a sense, so am I.  But now I’ve become more insecure about all this, and certainly this jealousy is putting a strain on our relationship.  My problem is, she’s sure she’s going to sleep with another man, and that she doesn’t want to commit until she’s had “adequate” experience with sex and men; on the other hand at the moment we really are in love, and really enjoy being together – we can both imagine a long-term future together. Am I just avoiding future heart-break by not finishing it with her right now?  Are we too young to marry (we’re both in early early twenties)?

I feel silly writing to an “internet dating expert” (don’t take this personally!) but I don’t know who else to turn to. 

Love is complicated.

Thanks,

Chris

Love is complicated, Chris, and I’m sad to report that it just gets more complicated. The more you know, the more baggage, the more responsibilities, the more you realize you don’t know.

The more you know, the more baggage, the more responsibilities, the more you realize you don’t know.

So just be glad that you have many years to get burdened with the weight of life experience. In the meantime, to answer your questions in reverse order:

Yes, you’re silly for writing to an “internet dating expert”. As you know, everyone who dates online is a loser who couldn’t succeed with the opposite sex in real life. And when you account for the fact that I’m a 35-year-old single guy who has never had a relationship over a year – well, let’s just say you should be very embarrassed for even talking to me. I’m sure my clients, girlfriend, and mom all feel the same way.

Next: Yes, you are too young to marry. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule – my girlfriend just introduced me to her friend who got pregnant and married before she was 20 and they’re still together at 38. But this is beyond exceptional. Today’s generation – and even my generation – Gen X – can’t compare ourselves to our parents. The world has changed too much and everything seems to have been delayed ten years. I am of the full belief that 30 is the new 20, 40 the new 30, 50 the new 40, and so on. It takes longer to choose and establish a career; we have infinitely more dating choices; and gender roles and needs have morphed considerably. So while it would be nice and nostalgic to return to a time where 22 year olds had kids and grew up with them, like my parents did, it’s highly unusual. People simply change too much in their 20’s and 30’s….

If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who is five years older than you what they knew at age 27 vs. 22. Then try the same trick with 32 year olds. And 37 year olds. It is SHOCKING how little I knew five years ago when I first started this business. I had never been in love. I had never had my heart broken. I had never contemplated a future with anyone. But what I had done, Chris, is sleep with plenty of people. Which is a surprisingly important thing when you’re contemplating not sleeping with anyone else ever again. Your girlfriend has not had this experience.

For years, young kids got married so that they COULD sleep with each other. They’d get pregnant and since divorce was frowned upon, live a long, unhappy, responsible life with their large families.

Now that we’ve been able to separate sex and marriage, things are different. Women are more highly educated and are expected to develop their own careers. And while there’s still plenty of evidence of a sexual double standard, women are no longer under the illusion that their virginity should be saved for one man after holy matrimony. This is a double edged sword if you’re a guy. Because you should want someone experienced, you should want someone who knows what she likes and doesn’t, and you should want someone who doesn’t wonder what else is out there. Unfortunately, since you’re in such a serious relationship at such a young age, it would be impossible for your girlfriend to have that wisdom.

Because you should want someone experienced, you should want someone who knows what she likes and doesn’t, and you should want someone who doesn’t wonder what else is out there.

So you’ve got a real dilemma on your hands, my young friend. Because I would never tell you to dump a woman you loved to spare yourself the heartbreak. And yet I’d be irresponsible if I said that I thought you were going to have a happy ending.

If she’s determined to sleep with other men, you pretty much have two choices:

Break up with her and hope she comes back after some experimenting

Or allow her to fool around without telling you the details, and hope she hates it.

I think the first one will be hard to do, and the second one will be harder. But no matter what happens, remember, there are a lot of women out there – and you may just find that your girlfriend has done you a great favor by breaking up with you.

 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Amy

    As someone who married her ‘first’ and realized later it was a disadvantage, I think you should let her go sow her oats. What you both have going for you is honesty. She told you she needed to experiment a little. Better she says that now than after you were married. And let’s face it, generally when someone feels that way after marriage, it rarely comes with such an honest disclosure. Perhaps discuss both of you being ‘open’ in terms of sexual experiences, but put a time frame down. At the end of that time you both can re-evaluate where you stand. And of course, promise safe sex in the meantime, and perhaps being tested when the oat sowing is done.

  2. 2
    Damie

    I dunno. Maybe it’s because I did my fair share of “sowing” before I finally committed to the man I plan on spending the rest of my life with. But for me, I cannot even fathom being sexual with another man because of my love for my future husband. I agree that she needs to go explore if that’s what she really wants to do. I just wouldn’t worry too much about waiting around for her while she does it.

  3. 3
    Markus

    Chris,

    I’m not trying to be an ass but, you are painting a bulls-eye on your head. If she loved you she would not want to be with anyone else, period. Put her shit on the lawn and set it on fire. Change the locks. Best of luck.

  4. 4
    Paul

    Boy it seems to me that if she really loved you, then why would she be thinking of having sex with other men? People who are truely in love with a person don’t think that way. I agree with Damie, that she shouldn’t even be thinking in those terms. I think you are too young to be considering marriage in the first place, but I also think that a women wanting sex from other guys while claiming to be “in love” with you, isn’t mature enough to understand true love – committment, sacrifice, etc. What you most probably have then is just ‘heat’ and not compatibility, which in the end is a lot more important (even than sex). Remember, every divorced couple had great chemistry at first. I also think it says something about a female that wants to go out and have sex with a bunch of guys in the first place – probably not the highest quality person…so the question then becomes is that the kind of person you really want as your future wife?

  5. 5
    verbosity

    to Chris,

    “Look at actions, not words,” is a phrase I’ve found helpful. Here, at least she’s telling you what her actions are going to be. In effect, she’s telling you she wants to go bang other men. OK, that sounds crass, but go with it.

    If monogamy is important to you, then you really have 2 options – (1) Part company now, or (2) part company later, once she’s already been unfaithful. Either one hurts. Guess which one heals faster & better?

    Lastly, you also have to consider this – if she’s already telling you she wants to have sex with other guys now, how do you know she hasn’t? As they say, you’d be the last to know. If this option were true I concur with Markus’ sentiments, absent the arson.

    In the end your choices are all the same….

  6. 6
    Jennifer

    I think you are in a rough position Chris. I think your girlfriend’s position is understandable, and its a testament to her character that she is being completely honest and upfront with you. I don’t have the feeling she wants to go out and bang the whole town, but she’d like to be with at least ONE other man. I may be in the minority, but I don’t think it means she doesn’t love you.

    It may mean, though, that she doesn’t love you enough, or the way you want her to. Life is about trade-offs. She’ll have to decide what’s most important to her: gaining experience or risking ruining her relationship with you. I can understand her dilemma, as you can too or you wouldn’t be writing to Evan. I think it’s a tough situation with no easy answer: you just have to learn what you are and aren’t willing to accept and go with that.

  7. 7
    Selena

    She’s telling you she wants to be with other men, to get “experience”, but she doesn’t as yet have anyone in mind? She’s in effect telling you she’s with you until someone else she’s attracted to comes along–she wants to keep you around meanwhile, and perhaps if things don’t work out with the new guy.

    Chris, people who are really in love don’t think this way. They certainly don’t PLAN this way. Either breakup with her now, knowing this about her, or wait until she DOES find the new guy and sleeps with him–up to you.

  8. 8
    Jill/Twipply Skwood

    “If this option were true I concur with Markus sentiments, absent the arson.”

    Well I partially concur with Markus’s sentiments, sort of. I think. But I say DEFINITELY go for the arson!!!

    KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m definitely kidding!!!!! I think you sort of leave out WHY she wants to be with other men. Have you talked to her about why it’s so important to her? I think it would make a difference if it was because she wanted to be more experienced so things could be better between the two of you (in which case, I believe they make instructional books for that purpose…) or whether she wanted make sure she you measured up (so to speak) or what…

  9. 9
    verbosity

    I agree with Selena, particularly the 2nd paragraph. :-)

  10. 10
    Zach

    I think the main question you need to ask yourself is: When will she decide she’s had enough “experience” to be completely confident and comfortable with getting married? Also, will the answer she gives you be satisfactory (or low) enough for you to still be comfortable with being with her?

    There is no other jealousy in the world like the one that will surface when you begin to think of your wife being sexually intimate with another man. If you think oral sex has you in flames, wait until you imagine her and her new lover.

    If you are not the jealous type, then by all means keep her around, but understand this: by doing so your basically permitting her to cheat on you. If she was completely in love with you and ready for a permanent commitment her mind wouldn’t be wandering.

    It has actually made me a little sick thinking that you would consider keeping her around after she made such a statement, but hey, that’s just my 2 cents.

    Zach

  11. 11
    Marc

    If her blowing some guy devastated you, what do you think her having intercourse with 5, 6, or maybe 50 or 60 guys (or whatever number qualifies as “adequate experience”) will do to you? Dump her!

  12. 12
    Ron

    OK, here’s the solution:

    Tell her that you will allow her to experience other men, as long as you can supervise.

    Sounds to me like this gal wants to have her cake and eat it too (no pun intended). She’s not ready for marriage. You cannot just turn off the spigot like that after you’ve spoken the vows.

    I’d dump her like driftwood.

  13. 13
    Ron

    I will say this in defense of the young woman – she probably doesn’t like the thought that Chris has slept with other women. Not that this can be held against Chris, since he did so before he went with her.

    But, still, there’s an imbalance there and she might feel a little disadvantaged, perhaps even jealous that she has not had the same experiences.

    I don’t want to make the gal out to be a demon or anything. Timing is everything, and it just sounds to me like she needs more time to be single and Chris probably needs to move on.

    BTW, it is possible to deeply love someone and allow and even welcome them to have sex with other partners. It’s called an open marriage. I’m personally not in favor of it, but there are some people that can separate sex and love. There are couples that invite strangers into their bedrooms for a threesome (or moresome).

    And there are undoubtedly thousands (if not millions) of wives that look the other way when they know their husbands are fooling around on long business trips.

    But, I’d advise Chris to move on. Doubt means don’t. Don’t in this case is referring to walking the aisle with the little missy.

  14. 14
    Selena

    Ron,
    Maybe she is a bit jealous, or resentful that he has had previous partners and she hasn’t. But I don’t know of anyone who was in love who felt they should go out and get laid to “catch up” before getting married.

    I suspect the girl just isn’t ready to marry Chris and the desire for more “experience” is just a cover for any number of reasons. Like not really being in love with him for example.

  15. 15
    Ron

    I will say this about this blog site. Not only does Evan provide good advice, but the contributing commentors here do as well. They are usually spot on.

    For all those thinking about writing in their questions, look upon it as free therapy…with a whole panel of therapists. And who says there ain’t no free lunch…

  16. 16
    Markus

    Chris,

    Make sure to make a trail with the gasoline and then light the trail. You don’t want her pile of crap to singe your hair or burn your eyebrows off or anything. Peace.

  17. 17
    Lance

    Evan, I really liked your take on this. Everyone else, esp. the guys, you’re missing the really important stuff.

    I totally respect and agree with her decision to get more experience. For her to self-actualize herself as a woman and as a sexual being, I think dating and having several partners is REQUIRED. I not only agree with her decision, but I deeply admire her for opening her eyes and embracing this at a young age. Young men are typically not able to get to this point.

    The reason you’re feeling so much jealousy and negative emotion is because you have too much of a sense of OWNERSHIP over her. You don’t own her, just like she doesn’t own you. You don’t own her sexuality or her right to emotions. Release your ownership and allow her to explore what she needs to become a fully realized person. Sex and blowjobs are no big deal. Her giving a blowjob doesn’t make you a lesser man. You should be secure enough in your manhood and your position in life that this shouldn’t affect you. If you’re not, get to that point.

    Your best solution, if you’ve got the stones, is for both of you to enter a dating phase where you BOTH see other people…this includes sex. My guess is you could use the experience too. At the same time you would also be cool with each other and see each other. It’s possible after a certain length of time that you’ll get back together and get married, although it might very well not happen. You’ll have to release all feelings of ownership and jealousy for this to be possible.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her wanting what she wants; in fact I think it’s quite normal. I think it’s YOU who needs to sort out his inner game issues. If it’s true love, then you’ll be capable of getting past the sex thing and see each other on the other side. My recommendation is that you both sleep with 10 other partners and then in a year see where you stand. Always use protection and get tested regularly.

  18. 18
    verbosity

    Markus,

    Don’t you mean kerosene? Lower ignition temperature… ;-)

  19. 19
    Honey

    I agree with Lance, in a way. I don’t think it’s possible to truly commit to another person unless you’re a) self-actualized and b) know exactly what you want in/from another person. Personally, I don’t think that in your early 20’s you are capable of either of those things. Like Evan says, they are gained through time and experience.

    The phenomenon of ownership that Lance talks about is what I call the “pee effect.” As in, when you take your dog on a walk he pees on things to mark them as his territory. If you’re into water sports that’s great–it’s the *metaphorical* pee that I have a HUGE problem with. It doesn’t make the girlfriend a slut to want to have more experience with men; it just makes her young. It doesn’t make the boyfriend “not enough” that she doesn’t want to be exclusive; his interpretation that it does makes HIM young.

    Dude, you are not a dog, and she is NOT your territory. Do NOT metaphorically pee on her. If she is not willing/able to give you what you need to be happy in a relationship, then she is *almost* what you want, not what you *actually* want. The difference between almost and actually is, all too often, divorce. Like Lance says, both of you should absolutely date other people. Keep dating each other only if you think it will add more happiness to your life than it will detract from it. Otherwise, decide that almost isn’t enough and move on.

  20. 20
    Steve

    It would be interesting to hear how some of the people who write in for help eventually resolve their problems.

  21. 21
    Selena

    Lance–
    What if they didn’t find 10 people they wanted to sleep with in one year? (Or wanted to sleep with them?) I never have. If I did, seems like it would be a rather unhappy year. And what about the feelings of these 10-20 ‘conquests’? You think they’d all feel okay about being just a check off on someone’s list of “getting experience”?

    Not to mention if you really wanted to be safe, that would mean going for STD testing at least 10 times in that year. Ugh.

  22. 22
    Markus

    “Self-actualization”. Give me a freaking break. I guess it’s a good thing my parents and grand parents and every other goddamned generation before them were self actualized. She wants out and she’s trying to do it without the risk.

  23. 23
    downtowngal

    Sounds like she’s not ready. Either that or she wants to have her cake and eat it too.

    Yeah, it’s nice that she’s being honest but don’t make excuses for her. Chris, your feelings are real, it’s not about having a sense of ‘owenership, it’s having a sense of commitment and feeling hurt.

    If the tables were turned and my fiancee said, ‘I love you but I really want to experience being with other women before I commit” I would tell him to take a hike. And I’m sure everyone else on this board would feel the same.

    She very well could love you. I suggest breaking up….if it’s meant to be then get back together after a year or two. But until then it doesn’t make sense to have a relationship where one party is dating/sleeping/blowing other people.

  24. 24
    Lance

    Reply for Selena…

    10 partners was an exaggeration, but even 2-3 would probably do them a world of good. I happen to agree with some of the other comments, she’s lost/losing attraction for him but I ALSO think she needs the experience. That’s legit.

    For Chris, if he also dates and has sex with other women, it’ll help him get over his gf and ALSO create a jealousy affect with his ex, with might actually bring her back. I’ve seen this happen plenty of times.

  25. 25
    Selena

    Lance-
    I don’t see it as about getting sexual “experience” per se, but rather, “seeing who else is out there” before settling down to marriage. Not an unreasonable thing to do in your early 20’s–as long as you’re not stringing someone who loves you along in the process. Which is what I think this chick is doing to our guy Chris.

  26. 26
    Lance

    Selena: I agree with you. I’d really like to see Chris (or anyone who is in Chris’s position) date around if the gf is going to date around, and I’d really like to see him not be devastated by the fact that she’s looking for another experience. He’ll only do that by “getting back in the saddle,” which we all know means additional partners/relationships, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Incidentally, I do believe that you can desire more sexual experience AND be in love with your current partner. IMO those two items can exist at the same time, although you have to be a very mature pair of individuals to handle the relationship permutations that come from it.

  27. 27
    Kim

    The one thing I have not heard anyone say to or ask Chris is WHY does she want more experience? Is Chris lame in bed? Has she had a really good orgasm, or several in a row yet? Does the gf have unresolved fantasies that need to be explored? If any of the above are the case, I would suggest couples therapy and a good book on how to really please your woman. I think one of the reasons most women break up with guys after being with them for a while, even if they have strong feelings for them, is that the sex sucks. Let’s face it, men are going to orgasm pretty much every time, but if the woman isn’t being “self-actualized” (to borrow Lance’s phrase) sexually, and many women cannot orgasm unless there is both clitoral and vaginal stimulation, then she IS going to look elsewhere. The key to keeping a woman happy is to make her feel like a queen, both in and out of bed, and that means satisfying her. If you do that Chris, she will be with you forever, and won’t care about any other guys. Indulge her fantasies, get out the massage oil and blindfolds, and give her the orgasm of her life. Trust me … she won’t be able to keep her hands off of you and the other guys will be a distant musing.

  28. 28
    Lance

    Kim, that’s an awesome comment, and something we all sorta skirted around. I was sorta hinting at it with my self-realization thing, but I should have said it straight. Chris, are you mediocre in the bedroom? If your gf isn’t getting off, you’re done for. Hey, most early 20’s guys suck in the sack. They just haven’t been taught what to do.

    I have a great ebook recommendation for you that changed my entire perspective about sex. I can’t rave about it enough, and no I’m not a paid affiliate or anything like that. Try Daniel Rose’s Sex God Method. It’s excellent, and will increase your bedroom game tenfold: http://www.sexgodmethod.com/

    ebook costs $39, but if you poke around you can download for nothing.

  29. 29
    Steve

    It may be heartbreaking now, but dump the bitch. She sounds like a slut and you are worth being with someone much better than her. Someone who you can trust.

    Get rid of her and don’t look back.

  30. 30
    verbosity

    Run, Forest! Run!

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