When you’re not as experienced as him, it can feel like you need to catch up or move faster than you normally would, but you don’t.
If you’re dating a guy, it can feel intimidating when you’re not as experienced as him. Whether he has been in more serious relationships than you or has more sexual experiences than you, it can feel like you don’t measure up.
We always want to feel good enough for the guy we’re with. We want to know that we are not only living up to his expectations but also exceeding them.
That mindset can make you feel like you have something to prove. It can make you do things you might not be comfortable with in order to measure up. The thing is, when you’re not as experienced as him, it isn’t the end of the world.
Before you sort out how to work on your confidence or comfort levels when it comes to your lack of experience, think about how your experiences differ.
Have you had one serious boyfriend while your partner has casually dated more people? Has he slept with more people than you? Has he been closer to getting married than you?
These things all make up your emotional intelligence as a couple, but they don’t define you.
All of your past relationships and even dates help you reach your current point. Whether you are confident or not and experienced or not, your dating history helps you make better choices moving forward.
With that, you can help each other. If he has lived with a girl before but you’ve never lived with a guy, his experience can help you when you’re ready to move in together. You don’t have to have the same past to be comfortable moving forward together.
You might think it would be easier if it was both of your first times having a certain relationship milestone, but when he has more experience than you, it can actually better your relationship.
Why you’re not as experienced as him
Your past does not define you and neither does his. Just because he has more experience than you in one way or the other doesn’t mean he necessarily knows more or should take the lead in your relationship.
Are you not as experienced as him because you’ve always been focused on school or work? Are you not as experienced sexually because of your religion, your comfort level, or just because you haven’t felt like it? Is he more experienced because he is older? Or doesn’t put as much emphasis on sex?
Trust me, you would much rather work your way through an awkward conversation than force yourself to do something you’re not ready for. That can be moving in together, meeting the parents or having sex.
Talking about these things, no matter how uncomfortable, is much better than going along with something you’re not ready for. Discussing with your partner not just that you have different levels of experience, but also why, is vital to understanding each other.
What to do when you’re not as experienced as him
The uncertainty and fear you have when you’re not as experienced as him can be daunting. There is a stigma that comes with being less versed in dating. Even if you’ve spoken to your boyfriend about your lack of experience, and he seems to understand, you still worry.
Will he think you’re too naive or innocent? Will you be able to please him? Are you mature enough?
I’ve dated guys that are more experienced than me, and I’ve dated guys that are less experienced than me. And those differences have only helped us grow closer and understand each other better.
If you’re still struggling to come to terms with the fact that you’re not as experienced as him, there are some steps you can take to feel more confident and comfortable in your relationship.
#1 Remember it’s not a competition. You and your partner do not need to have had the same number of partners for a happy and healthy relationship. You don’t need to have been in a more serious relationship than them either.
#2 Most of this is a social construct. Whether you are less experienced than your partner sexually or not, almost all dating milestones are a social construct. They mean more to society than they do to your relationship.
#3 It’s about you and him. When you’re not as experienced as him, you can focus a lot on what you think he wants. You may assume he wants you to know as much as he does. But, this isn’t just about him. It is about both of you, and what makes you both comfortable.
You cannot assume you know what he wants or expects of you. You both must decide where your relationship will go.
#4 If you can’t talk about it, you shouldn’t do it. I always think this is a good rule of thumb. If you are going to have sex, you should be able to talk about it. If you are going to be in a committed relationship, you must be able to discuss your feelings.
#5 Lean on him for guidance. Take his experience as a blessing. The fact that he has been around the block can actually help you. He can pull from his experiences and guide you to be more comfortable.
Now, he shouldn’t be in charge or tell you what to do, but his experience can make your experiences better.
#6 Don’t be jealous of his past or ashamed of yours. Yes, your past matters. Yes, your past is what has made you who you are today. But, don’t put too much weight on it. His past may mean he is more experienced than you, but it doesn’t mean he prefers that to you. It doesn’t mean you can judge him.
#7 At some point, everyone is less experienced. Remember that everyone goes through this and you are not alone. Chances are that when you talk to him about this, he will have had a similar experience in the past.
That experience can help you feel like you aren’t nuts for feeling insecure. Everyone has doubts and worries when it comes to sex and dating. It is completely normal, but you can work through it together.
#8 He is probably nervous too. Experience does not cancel out nerves. Even if he has more experience than you twice over, he is likely just as nervous as you. Sex and relationships vary so much with each person.
#10 Keep talking. Even if you have already talked to him about your lack of experience and your fears about your differences, it doesn’t mean you are all set. If you are still wary about moving too fast or your inadequacy, bring it up again.
If you need reassurance or for him to be patient, continue to talk about it. You’d be surprised how much just talking can help you feel safe and secure with taking steps you’ve never taken before.