The 5 Secrets to Dating Somebody Who’s Had Sex BeforeMay 5th, 2010 by Mike
Unless you’re taking BarlowGirl’s stance on waiting till marriage (no dating until marriage), you’re probably going to date several people for various periods of time before you get married. Depending on how picky you are, some of those people you date may not be waiting till marriage like you are. This can become a source of conflict. Here are 5 tips on getting the most out of a relationship with somebody who’s had sex before.
#5 – Don’t Torture Them About Their Sexual History
How you feel
Sometimes the more you want a person, the more their sexual past bothers you. As the one who’s waiting for sex (doing the noble thing), the fact that your girlfriend/boyfriend has had sex before with one or more people may start to really piss you off. In a way, it feels like they cheated on you (and you can’t get it out of your head). Unfortunately for them, they didn’t cheat on you, but they get treated as if they did.
If you let all of your hurt, anger, and sense of injustice build up inside of you, you’re going to take it out on them whether you intend to or not. You’ll get moody when you start thinking about it. You’ll get irritable and won’t tell them what’s wrong. And maybe one day you’ll snap and call them a whore or accuse them of not taking sex seriously, etc.
Secretly, your anger won’t be satisfied until you’ve brought them around to your way of thinking and shamed them for the times they stepped away from it.
Why this poisons your relationship
They can’t help their past. In fact, they already feel self-conscious about it next to you. And beating them up about it will only have one of two results: they will either start defending their past, or your plan will work and they will feel really horrible about it. Neither of those are happy outcomes.
If they start defending their past, it’s going to push the two of you farther apart. Their sudden righteous anger will turn your virginity into something that you’re holding over their head; they’ll stop valuing it and respecting you for it as much.
On the other hand, if they start feeling guilty about their past, then they didn’t deserve the beating you gave them. They’re a person who really wants to make you happy and to be with you, and you will feel bad for hurting them over something they can’t control now.
How to defuse your anger
Say these words to them: “I’m sorry, the more I like you it just gets hard for me to think about your sexual past. It’s just been bothering me lately, but I’m working through it. I’m sorry for being so snippy.”
Approach the discussion as if this was completely your problem, not theirs…because it is. It’s something that you’re dealing with that is really no fault of their own. Keep that attitude and they’ll be able to help you through it and probably ease a lot of your concerns.
Keep them off the defensive. Give them a chance to help you through this. Afterall, they were probably expecting to have this conversation with you at some point.
#4 – Don’t Torture Yourself About Their Sexual History
What this feels like
Their sexual past is killing you. It’s like a million, torturous images keep flashing through your head, and your own imagination keeps inventing all new horrors for you. You keep picturing your girlfriend/boyfriend having sex with some other person — doing all of the things you’ve waited to do for so long with somebody else, as if it’s nothing — and it’s like knives through your heart. Jealousy, hurt, anger, wounded pride, injustice…all of those feelings are going to tear at you.
How to get over it
Think about breaking up with them. You’re broken up. They’re not around anymore. They’ve moved on and started dating somebody else. And now you’ve got only a faceless sea of everyone else to potentially date. Now, compared to the sexual history of everybody else, maybe theirs wasn’t so bad at all. But so much for that, because now they’re gone, and you’re faced with the prospect of dating somebody who was nowhere near as good as them and has a sexual history that is five times as bad.
That’s not what you want. After all, their past only bothers you because you want them. Next to them being gone from your life entirely, this stuff about their past isn’t really a big deal. Remember that.
Note that this point will become instantly and painfully clear when/if you actually do break up.
#3 – Don’t be Blind to Their Other Good Qualities
To some people who are waiting till marriage, the virginity-factor can be all-consuming when picking a boyfriend/girlfriend. Especially in the early stages of waiting till marriage, finding another virgin can be so important to you that once you compromise on it (i.e., by dating somebody who’s a non-virgin), it can become all you can see. You don’t see the person as a whole…you see the perfect wedding night/pure marriage you’ll never be able to have if you stay with them.
Try to see them apart from their history. How they treat you, who they are, and how much you enjoy them should be hugely important factors. Disregard them at your own peril. Some of those other qualities can be even more rare than virginity.
#2 – Be Grateful for Sexual Balance Factors (If Applicable)
What is a sexual balance factor?
OK, so your boyfriend/girlfriend is not a virgin. But given that the rest of the world is full of one night stands, casual sex, and “hook up culture”, maybe the fact that your girlfriend/boyfriend has only had sex with one other person in the context of a long term relationship (or whatever) isn’t so bad.
Next to you (the virgin), he/she is a complete whore. But next to the rest of the world, he/she is practically a virgin. Appreciate that. Appreciate that in the grand scheme of things, your girlfriend/boyfriend may be much closer to your sincere, genuine idea of sexuality than he/she is to those “other” people’s warped and soulless view of sex.
Maybe they had sex before with one person but only a couple of times. Maybe they have slept with a couple of people but only in committed relationships. Maybe they waited for a while but recently started having sex. Whatever it is, notice it and be grateful for it.
What to do if there are no sexual balance factors
Sexual balance factors aren’t always there. If you’re a virgin who regularly dates non-virgins, then you’re going to date people who have all kinds of sexual histories. Some may have balance factors, and some may be completely unbalanced with you (read: lots of torrid sexual history, compared to you).
Ultimately, you may be happiest with somebody who has a sexual history that is at least a little on the conservative side. But there are exceptions. There is such a thing as other factors out-weighing the sexual history factor (like the fact that they’re crazy about you and complete you in every other way…that does happen).
#1 – Stay Realistic About the Future
You can throw everything else on this list away if you don’t marry the person. It was all wasted worry. The sole purpose of pre-marriage relationships are personal growth and companionship. And very often, they are fun. Don’t blow what may end up just being some good fun by trying to take it too seriously too fast.
As a somebody who is waiting till marriage, you’ve got a lot of pressure on you to find “the one”, so you’re going to have a tendency to try to push every relationship that way. That’s when issues like those mentioned above are going to come into play.
If you keep your head cool and look at this relationship calmly and rationally, you will see that it may not last forever, even though you may want it to. One day, it will probably end. And then all of this stuff about sexual histories will seem kind of silly in retrospect. Or, on the other hand, you may see that this relationship is going to last (in all likelihood), in which case it becomes important for you to work through your concerns with your partner.
BONUS: Give them credit for waiting on you
If you’re dating somebody who’s accustomed to having sex in relationships, don’t forget the sacrifice they’re making to wait for you. That is not a small thing. They’re giving up something that they are extremely accustomed to because they like you so much. Don’t forget that.