How can the virgin get over not being the first for her partner?
posted by sunogenous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I've been with my (lesbian) partner for a year and half. Our life is great together, but we have been arguing the topic of past and sex for about a year.
My partner and I come from very different backgrounds. We're both in our early 30s. This is my first (serious) relationship ever.
Her history: She comes from a very dysfunctional family and started having sex in her early teens. Those early years, until she was 17 or so, she had been with males. Many of them even lived with her in her parent's house. She then came out as gay and had her first girlfriend. After that she had a long-term relationship with another female, which lasted several years. Then, even though she labeled herself gay, she had a one-year relationship with a male. After that, she had another long-term relationship with a female, whom she married when it was legal. All this, strung together with one-night stands.
My history: I grew up like an only child, with my siblings being much older than myself and moved out, with a single mother. I was I was shy, but came out of my shell living abroad for a year after college. I never dated in high school or college; I was happy enough doing my own thing, and didn't even really think about dating. I never got lonely and, to this day, still like/need a lot of alone time. It was during my mid-twenties that I started dating both men and women. I thought of myself has bisexual when I was in my mid-teens. Although I was pretty sure I was gay, and have never been ashamed of my sexual orientation. But until this relationship, I was a virgin. I really wanted to be in a relationship before I had sex with someone. And I wanted that someone to be one I cared for deeply.
I had liked a lot of the women I dated, and even wanted relationships with them, but many times I was shrugged off and treated inappropriately. As a romantic and sensitive person, I took these heartbreaks very hard, even though they didn't "go anywhere" in most people's eyes.
Now, my partner is the type of person is very anecdotal. She used to tell many stories concerning her past. Initially, I didn't have any problems with this. But over time, it really started to bother me. The fact that she was lived with a male, especially after being with women and saying she knew she was gay, was a red flag for me, but all of her qualities, I thought, trumped this fact.
It seems her speaking about her past relationships kind of dug a little insecure hole in me. I wondered why I didn't have any luck in relationships, why it seemed so hard for me to be loved when I put myself on the line and never got anything back. At times, I think that I may be jealous that she got to experience the good and bad in relationships, and even though I tried, I didn't get to experience that. That she got to experience really good things with other people, and she has all of my "firsts".
And since not having experienced sex before her, and now knowing what it's like, I've had trouble not letting my imagination get the best of me about her past relationships. I've had horrible images of all the sex she's had with men, and it bothers me so much. If she slept with a guy three times and figured out it wasn't for her, then that's okay. But 10 guys who were 2 to 6 month "relationships"... That is a lot of sex. It's not so much the number, but the fact that she kept doing it and saying in retrospect that she wasn't really into them. I can't even watch porn anymore because I see women who look similar to her in compromising positions, and it makes my stomach turn.
I also think maybe I have trouble with her past choices, and her values on sex and relationships. (I don't think I'm judging her necessarily because I have friends with similar histories, and I'm fine with them.) She's told me her values have changed, and she wouldn't even have casual sex because she's put herself through some bad things in the past, and she says she has a higher self-esteem and self-respect now. But just two months prior to meeting her, she had a summer fling with someone. How can I trust that her values have changed so drastically in that short amount of time?
Admittedly, most of our issues stem from me not fully trusting her. Our fights generally surround the topic of sex, and has made our once-great sex (she says I'm the best she's ever experienced) life now a little wobbly.
I think she is an amazing person. When we first met, our date lasted for hours and we talked about everything. I accept her past as fact, but these images are disturbing. Will they ever go away? Can love actually solve our disputes?