Emily Platt December 17, at 2: Now, there's just one problem: What will this mismatch mean for your relationship? Will your partner be disappointed when they find out? Will sex be super awk? Fear not, collegiette, we've got you covered. Whether you're a relationship newbie or a sexual novice , there's nothing to fear.
Here's what you can expect upon entering your new relationship, straight from the lips of those who've been there, done that.
Be prepared for your partner to ask potentially awkward questions. Whether we like it or not, inexperience can come with a stigma. Anyone who's gone through middle school has heard the word "prude" thrown around as a taunt, and unfortunately, some partners may make judgments based on your lack of relationships or sexual encounters.
If you've never been in a relationship before, don't assume your partner thinks something is wrong with you—if they did, why would they be dating you? They may, however, think you have unusually high standards, which could or could not be the case.
If it is, comfort them by letting them know that your standards don't mean you're constantly waiting for them to mess up! And if that's not the reason behind your relationship virginity, stand up for yourself and let them know what's really going on.
Whatever your reason, state it with confidence and make it clear that you aren't ashamed and shouldn't be shamed. A good match will validate your experience, whatever the reason behind it is—a lack of time to date, a subpar dating pool to choose from or just not feeling ready. As for sexual inexperience, the same advice stands. Religion, upbringing, personal values or just a lack of opportunity can all contribute to holding off on sex or even just first, second or third base.
Be open and honest, and ask to be understood. Why keep score if there's no competition? When it comes to a mismatch in experience, comparing stats may do more harm than good. Think of it this way: If your significant other demands a detailed description of your past, they probably aren't the one.
And if they take to comparing you to past conquests, they definitely aren't the one—yuck. Relationships are a give and take. The good news about being less experienced? You can give up the sexual reigns until you feel confident enough to take charge.
If you're feeling overpowered by your partner's extra experience, speak up. In most cases, the extra effort on their end is probably out of courtesy, and chances are they'll be more than willing to step back and let you give it a go. If not, you may need to reevaluate the relationship. Unless an unequal power dynamic is what you've consented to, a dominating partner personality could be a warning sign of disrespect.
Feeling uneasy about your uneven histories is normal. Feeling awkward at the start of a new relationship is completely normal, no matter the circumstances.
Throw in the nerves associated with being inexperienced, and stomach butterflies are basically a given. But it's perfectly okay to be open about these emotions with your SO. Holding tension in can lead to misunderstandings later on, so airing out concerns immediately may improve the prospects of your relationship. It's also okay to not want to hear about every single detail of your partner's previous sex or love life—when you're really digging someone, you probably don't want to imagine their hand holding someone else's!
Again, it's important to let your partner know if a conversation about their past is making you feel uncomfortable. Just explain to them why, and ask if they would mind cutting back on similar conversations in the future. Okay, okay, but what about nerves in the bedroom? As it turns out, almost everyone has an awkward sex story to share, whether they were a newbie at the time or not. Sex in itself is an awkward process, and nothing like the movies trust us.
If you make a mistake or just don't know what to do , let out a giggle and ask for help or try again—we promise, it's cute. If your SO laughs with you, they're adorbs. If they laugh at you, send them out the door! Being butterfly-filled with new-relationship nerves is one thing. But if a healthy discussion of your partner's past stirs up a strong sense of jealousy or judgment, you might need to reevaluate how you're approaching the relationship.
A new partner can't reverse the relationship decisions they made in the past, and honestly, they shouldn't feel the need to. Chances are, they aren't too happy about their exes either—otherwise, they wouldn't be exes! And even if things with previous hook-ups or dates ended amicably, they're with you now, which is all that matters. You should never judge your partner's experience, just as you expect them to not judge your lack of experience. Humans learn from experience, so an SO might unintentionally make generalizations about all relationships based on their specific experiences in past relationships.
Who can blame them? These expectations can exist in all aspects of a relationship, sexual or otherwise. Let's say Sarah and Sasha are dating, and Sasha's old girlfriend was a huge proponent of hanging out together all the time. Sasha may expect Sarah to be just as social, while Sarah may require more personal space than Sasha's ex.
Is their relationship destined to fail? Expectations aren't synonymous with wants, and any experienced SO is going to have to adapt to different types of partners—that's what dating is all about.
Laying out what each party needs in an SO from the onset is a surefire way to set boundaries, but we understand that serious talks aren't always practical in new or un-defined relationships. In that case, just drop clear hints as you go along—don't expect to be dating a mind-reader! Sexual boundaries are immensely important. For a happy and healthy sex life, both parties should always be consenting and never pressured into anything they're uncomfortable with.
There's no need to feel guilty about saying no to sex or oral, or even excessive cuddling if you aren't feeling into it, and don't let your partner convince you otherwise. If they're mean to you about "missing out," they can go back to their ex! Of course, going back to the give-and-take, validate how your partner's feeling and work on coming to an un-coerced compromise. He's my first boyfriend, and [the] first guy I've done anything with, so I told him that I wanted to take it slow, and he's done just that.
But having experience isn't a must. Your new relationship is about you and your partner, and no amount of previous experience can automatically generate chemistry between you two! So all in all, don't sweat it if you're feeling inexperienced. There's nothing more rewarding than learning together in a relationship, and as long as neither of you get muddled up in the past, it probably won't have any effect on your success at all!
To her, it was a revelation. So hold your head high, and flaunt your experience or lack-thereof with pride. Being inexperienced is a-okay, and besides, you have more important things to worry about like where to go for your next adorable date.