She’s only had 1 relationship. Can you help me understand her?

stumblemuffin asks: 

She is super cool, funny, smart, independent, gorgeous, everything I look for in a woman. Plus, she says she likes me! Excellent! The thing is, she is 27 and I think only had her 1 BF for 7 of those years. She said “I’ve always just had a boyfriend” as we were sitting on the beach talking. We have kissed and touched on top of clothes, but nothing physical beyond that.

I want to take her out for more dinners and other fun stuff, but I don’t want to bombard her, you know? Does anyone have experience in this type of situation? Or ARE YOU this type of woman who has only been with 1 or 2 men and now you’re back into dating? I’d love to get the perspective. I’m guessing the main thing is patience (which I sometimes lack), right? She’s a teacher at the elementary school, so I know she is busy all day and lesson plans at night.

How slow do we need to move but still keep both parties interested


Demetrius says:

Alright, here’s your deal. You’re a 30-year-old guy, dating a 27-year-old woman who has had one boyfriend for the majority of her dating life. Assuming that when you say she’s had one boyfriend, you also mean that she’s inexperienced when it comes to dating. I don’t want to start this off on the wrong foot but…I’m not seeing what the real issue is. She doesn’t seem all that hard to understand really. I think you’re turning two separate issues, her inexperience and patience, into one big issues that doesn’t actually exist.

You’re dealing with someone who is inexperienced with dating, but I’m pretty sure she’s fairly experienced with just about everything else when it comes to adult relationships. If she is this smart funny independent woman you described, she’s definitely grown and changed in her 7 year relationship and at 27 years old she probably has a good idea of what she is and is not looking for and what sort of speed she likes to date at. Of course, I could be wrong and she could be rebounding, but I’m thinking that’s not the case here. She just seems to want to take things slow, and maybe you’re not used to that pace because you’ve dated a whole lot more. The pace of dating has changed in the last 20 years, so maybe you’re a bit more used to the speed of modern dating/hookup culture and it’s jarring for you.

In case you’re still confused, I’ll be as plain as possible. The one thing you need to understand about the woman you’re dating: She’s in no rush. That’s it. If you keep that in mind, you’ll find that suddenly she’s a whole lot easier to understand. The reason she has only kissed you and let you give her some over the clothes action (Welcome back to middle school, btw) is because she really is in no rush to sleep with you. Why would she be? It’s true she hasn’t dated all the guys ever, but I think it’s safe to assume she knows when and how she wants to get physically affectionate with you (or anybody).

Since you asked, yes, I’ve dated a version or two of this woman. Whether it was someone recently out of their first and only long-term commitment, someone who never really dated, and someone who had only kissed one man, or a woman who had a ton of experience…but none of that experience was with men. Needless to say, I did the exact same thing to deal with  and understand dating them that I’m going to suggest you do. I was patient. It’s true that it’s easy for me to be patient because of the whole indifferent thing, but anyone can be patient if they put their mind to it. So put your mind to it. If she’s as great as you make her sound, she’s worth the wait. It sounds like she’s into you, just not in a rush, and that’s okay. Let her dictate the pace and you should be fine.

Don’t worry too much about her and focus on yourself. Work on your patience. Ask her on dates, don’t expect sex all that soon, and just take things as they come. She’ll let you know what she’s ready for, and when she’s ready for it. You just have to try a little tenderness patience.

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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