Tips for a new relationship
October 4, 2005 10:23 PM   Subscribe

Got myself a brand new boyfriend!

I'm 22, female, straight and recently started dating another 22 year old. He is my very first boyfriend (well, since Kindergarden...). He is only the second guy I have ever kissed. He is also more experienced dating-wise than I am...but I am trying not to let on about my own inexperience.

My parents are religious fundamentalists, and due to their restrictions and my own insecurities, I never really got involved in the dating scene very much until recently. Being someone's girlfriend for the first time has been an interesting experience...sometimes hard but new, beautiful, and profoundly rewarding as well.

I feel like I should have had these experiences at 16 instead of now, but I'm determined to make the most out of this...

Couple questions...
1)What makes a "good" girlfriend?
2)What are tell-tale signs of relationship inexperience that I can avoid showing?
3)What do you think makes a good kisser versus a bad one?
4)Any other advice for me?

posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
1) lots of things, but one that's easy to identify is tending to his sexual needs with love and energy. I don't know how serious you are or how heavy things are sexually, but pleasing someone on a physical level really endears you to them and can be a fun, very intimate way to spend time. If heavy sex is not in the picture, consider things like nice backrubs or running your fingers through his hair when you're relaxing.

2) if you are inexperienced, you will probably soon start to encounter the parts of him that don't match up with the things you always expected from a partner. Be prepared to be caught off guard by his habits, his goals, his opinions. And reserve some empty space in your mind for those things you never wanted in a guy but which make him who he is nonetheless. No one is perfect and no one will perfectly meet all your expectations. Experienced lovers know how to pick their battles and how to compromise their way through them.

3) enjoying it, being able to sense and respond to different moods, being submissive sometimes and teasingly aloof other times, keeping good hygeine, and doing things besides simple lipwork, like touching his face, his hair, his ears, his chest, his crotch. Make sounds when you kiss if that's possible and appropriate. Move your body with the kissing. Tell him how you like to be kissed and make him be passive and still sometimes so you get a chance to explore him with kisses, try things, change the pace, move at a speed of your own choosing. This last part is like practicing and will make you more confident and expand your repertoire of things you know how to do while kissing.

4) Don't lose yourself in it. He was originally attracted to the way you were when he met. Keep growing as an individual and he will stay interested. Lose focus on yourself and look to him and the relationship at every juncture to see "what's next" for you and your life and he may lose interest.
posted by scarabic at 10:52 PM on October 4, 2005 [5 favorites]

1. Pretty much what makes a good friend. Have fun. Give and take--be sensitive to balance. Avoid being demanding or materialistic.

2. Don't regret not having these experiences earlier.
Inexperience is a turn-on. Don't hide this.

3. Kissing, loving, etc., comes from inside. Avoid recipes. Try to feel everything as honestly and deeply as you can.

4. Spaces, time for yourselves, silence, pauses etc. are as important as contact--they increase desire and heighten the experience.

5. You sound wonderful.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:03 PM on October 4, 2005 [3 favorites]

I'm just going to address the second part of your question...

I'd say a tell-tale sign of relationship inexperience is not wanting to reveal your relationship inexperience. That's not to say you need to keep reminding him that you're his first... *everything* but it does mean that hiding it does you no good and results in starting things off in a slightly dishonest way. Just be upfront about it. It's no big deal. It'll help him understand you much better. Later in my dating career, I went out with a woman who hadn't yet had sex, although she was older than most virgins. Had I not known early on, I would've been too confused by her reactions to ever spend more time on the relationship and get through those first few odd months. So don't hide your relationship inexperience, for your sake and his.
posted by incessant at 11:07 PM on October 4, 2005

1) You don't have to worry about this part at all, just continue to be yourself. The qualities that make you a good girlfriend you already possess... else he wouldn't be dating you.

2) Inexperience is not a big issue except at which point it makes you feel insecure. Chances are, your inexperience will affect you more than it will affect him.

3) Kissing is highly overrated and hyped up like crazy to the uninitiated. Kissing different people feels different, and it may take you a while to start to get used to the way a new person feels when they kiss you. The best advice is try to keep your lips where his are. People have different mouth shapes and sizes, not to mention different styles of kissing, so keep that in mind. If your lips are touching all of his, you won't be slobbering all over him and he won't be slobbering all over you. Then focus on the rhythm. This can be aided by touching his face or the back of his neck, or anywhere else while you kiss him. Again, don't worry about inexperience... you will get better everytime you kiss him.

4) To sum up, be yourself, do what you can to feel more secure and confident. Do not focus on being inexperienced. Not only do many guys find it attractive, but if you have the confidence, it isn't even noticeable, and once you get comfortable with him, which will happen within a period of weeks, you'll realize it doesn't matter and you won't care anymore.

5) What wgp said.
posted by banished at 11:08 PM on October 4, 2005

You're not the same "anonymous" who posted about analingus, are you?


Seriously, here's my $.02:

1) Honesty. (Followed closesly by wit, beauty, warmth, compassion, loyalty, etc. etc. etc.) Lay it all out, hold nothing back. If he's worth having, he'll respect you for it and like you more because of it.

2) Worrying about inexperience. :) Which goes back to (1) - if he's worth having, he won't be concerned about a lack of "experience." And that goes double-triple-quadruple for sexual experience.

3) Phew. That's hard to describe - the girlfriend whose deep kisses I liked least always left a large pocket of air between her mouth and mine. Not very aesthetically pleasing (didn't feel good) or emotionally satisfying (didn't feel intimate.) But I'm quite quite quite sure that everyone has their own pet peeves; you'll probably just have to explore a little and find out what you (plural) like. And this goes back to (1) - if you like what he does, tell him. If you don't, don't chalk it up to "inexperience," grin, and bear it - tell him. Encourage him to tell you what he likes and doesn't.

4) Boiling down the jibber-jabber: open, honest communication is paramount. (see all of above) This serves you in many different ways - it will enable you to deepen and strengthen a valuable relationship, or it will enable you to discover incompatibilities early, when you have less time / effort / emotional capital invested in the relationship.

Oh, and congratulations. And have fun! And lordy lordy lordy, I'm assuming since you post here you know all about birth control and safe sex, but just in case: Planned Parenthood and the Coalition for Positive Sexuality (NSFW) have some good info.
posted by ZakDaddy at 11:11 PM on October 4, 2005

From a guy's perspective here.

1. Try not to make everything about you or about your relationship. This is sometimes extremely hard to understand, and even harder to practice. If he goes out drinking with his friends, it isn't because he doesn't love you, or because he doesn't take your relationship serious. Part of any relationship is knowing that you are still two individuals.

Be willing to try new things. The things that you like will differ from the things he likes. If you can't experience the things he likes, it will be a rough time.

Don't force yourself on his friends, but try to become friends with his friends. Being able to hang out with his friends removes a lot of tension. If he has female friends, don't be jealous. If he wanted to be with his female friends, he wouldn't be dating you.

2. Don't constantly bring up his past relationships, and ask questions like "What did she do?", etc.

3. Lots of lips and tongues, but not too much. Be sure to kiss his neck, earlobes, and more.

4. Don't listen to advice on the internet. :-) It's rarely correct.
posted by stovenator at 11:12 PM on October 4, 2005

1. She's present. She means it.
2. Clingy. Insecure. Jealous. Your significant other IS your entire life rather than being a part of it.
3. Be present. Mean it.
4. Be present. Mean it.
posted by dobbs at 11:14 PM on October 4, 2005

1) Ask your boyfriend. Seriously, every guy has his own idea about what a good partner will be like.

2) Hiding your inexperience will only make things more difficult. Furthermore, and this is very important, if he is a decent guy at all, he will want to make your first experiences as positive as possible. He can't do this if you're hiding your inexperience.

3) Ask your boyfriend. Seriously, every guy has his own idea about what a good kisser will be like.

4) #3 was a copy of #1 for a reason. You should talk to him not about him.

5) Enjoy yourself.
posted by oddman at 11:48 PM on October 4, 2005

Well I'll just repeat what others have said.

1) a sense of humour and an ability to not take it all too seriously would be handy in many situations. It's awesome and it's fun, but it's not the only thing in the world, don't be too clingy and needy. He obviously likes you, be yourself. Don't obsess, about him or the relationship. If he doesn't call you every night, that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't like you. But hey, if he does, that's fun.

2) ignore inexperience. Almost entirely irrelevant. The times you're going to express it (ew, boys do/think that?!?) can't be faked, and all the other ways are just bad habits.

3) there are no kissing recipes. Do it with passion. Apparently Angelina Jolie is a dud kisser (though I'd like to prove that).

4) have fun. Remember, he may be the first, but he may very well not be the last. If you fall in love, you'll know it.

Me personally, I'd introduce sex pretty quickly into the relationship, but you, you'll do what you feel comfortable with.
posted by wilful at 12:27 AM on October 5, 2005

1)What makes a "good" girlfriend?

That all depends on your boyfriend. Does he like independent women? Dependent women? Shy women? Women who are high-maintenence? Is he sexually adventurous? Are you? There's no direct answer to your question.

2)What are tell-tale signs of relationship inexperience that I can avoid showing?

Don't worry about it. Seriously. You sound like you're wanting to cross that bridge before you come to it, which we all know is impossible. Is your boyfriend "experienced" himself? Maybe he likes that about you, maybe the world-weary type turns him off. If you've given a false impression or (gasp!) lied about your (lack of) experience, then you might think about coming clean. Just be honest with yourself and with him, which is much easier said than done, which is true for everyone.

3)What do you think makes a good kisser versus a bad one?

Focus on using the lips. To me, a bad kisser just sticks out her tounge and licks the inside of my mouth. Not hot. Tounges are nice, but should be a suppliment, a side order if you will. Lips are where it's at.

4)Any other advice for me?

Don't worry about your "inexperience". I've had lots of girlfriends over the years and I still feel "inexperienced" at times. It's a form of navel-gazing, and that can be damaging. Just enjoy each other's company. And I don't want to pop your bubble, but after time you may find that you're not happy with him. I think it's very healthy to date a number of people before "settling down". I dated my first girlfriend in college for much longer than I should have, in part because I felt that comfort of being with someone. But it's also important to know that sometimes, sometimes it's better to be single. Then again, for all I know this could be your soul mate. Good luck in any event!
posted by zardoz at 12:36 AM on October 5, 2005

What a fun and sexy time for you!

1) someone who gives her b/f the gift of herself, as opposed to trying to "create" what she believes he wants (or even what he says he wants)

2) Be honest about your relationship experience. It sounds like this question comes from fear - please try not to be afraid! You are who you are and your boyfriend loves you for that. If not? (Warning: heavy buzzkill pragmatism ahead) Well, you wouldn't be the first person in the world to end your first relationship and move on to a second.

3) Speaking as your boyfriend, which I'm not, I must say that I am not looking forward to intimate contact with the MeFi crowd by proxy. Ask me! Ask me!

4) You're 22. That seems old to you but it's very young. Putting pressure on yourselves by imagining This Is It will not enhance the experience. Enjoy the moment!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:33 AM on October 5, 2005

I have just ONE tip to give you. You'll find this annoying, but I'll say it anyways, because it is the one thing that has consistenly annoyed me in my girls.

When the breakup comes, or if it comes, do not use the phrase:

"But I love you so much!"

Because you see, I or rather he, does not care how much YOU love him, he cares how much HE loves YOU. The depth of your feeling is in no way related to the depth of his feeling, so do not equate them.
posted by markesh at 6:32 AM on October 5, 2005

My small advice. Be confident and be yourself. In any relationship there will be give and take, so you have to operate from a position of self awareness, or else you enter the give and take aspect from a false position and end up making decisions built on nonresistant values.
Being "yourself" also means that as you have boyfriends you will be able to find the person that meshes best with you on a long term basis without having to go through different stages of "no wait THIS is what I believe".

(I have also heard that confidence can be very attractive)
good luck have fun
posted by edgeways at 7:31 AM on October 5, 2005

For general advice: Other people have touched on it with the "no obsessing," but I've found that guys, in general, say what they mean much more so than women. Don't always look for hidden meaning in what he's saying. Take him at face value.

The worst that will happen is that he'll have to clarify what he meant because you didn't magically divine it, so it generally keeps things from getting passive-aggressive on either side.
posted by occhiblu at 8:01 AM on October 5, 2005

but I am trying not to let on about my own inexperience

So the goal is for your boyfriend and this fabricated personality to grow a strong and happy relationship together? Just be honest.
posted by phearlez at 8:35 AM on October 5, 2005

I was a late bloomer. My first time, I didn't let on that I was a virgin. It was a great time for both of us, but obviously it was secretly even more special for me. Later on we broke up, I didn't talk to him for a long time. Years later, he calls me up, had heard from a mutal friend that at the time I was really a virgin, and he wanted to know if that was true. I fessed up, explained that I just didn't think it needed to be told at the time (mainly I was just embarrased about it). He was rather bummed. Said that if he would have known he would have taken the time to make it much better for me. I told them that it already was really special... but still... he felt bad that he didn't get the chance to know and make my first time really something spectacular. He said it would have also been a more special experience for him to know that he was deflowering a virgin.

Not sure if you are still a virgin or not, but that is something to consider, even if it's not your first. Seems like there are many men who would be very excited to know that they would get to have sex with a virgin, to be her first time, and who... if they are caring and considerate, will take the time to make the experience extra-special for you, and in turn, heighten the whole adventure for themselves as well.

I would be honest about your inexperience. A partner who you trust armed with that information can be a great teacher for you in those circumstances... and in retrospect, I kinda of feel now like I should have told him.
posted by RoseovSharon at 1:55 PM on October 5, 2005

Don't try to change him

Identify things he likes to do (fishing? movies? whatever), identify things YOU like to do, identify things he likes that you like, things he likes you're willing to try, things you like HE'S willing to try, and do those things as much as is reasonable. Doing stuff together is what makes relationships strong.

If sex is in the picture identify what your sex drive is and his as well (frequency). If his sex drive outstrips yours, explore ways to pleasure him without intercourse. Do your best to never have a "headache".

As others have said, have fun and be honest.

Flipside: if he is belittling, cruel, possessive, etc BAIL (see #1). Check out his family, esp. his relationship w/ his Mom.
posted by lrivers at 2:30 PM on October 5, 2005 [1 favorite]

"but I've found that guys, in general, say what they mean much more so than women. Don't always look for hidden meaning in what he's saying. Take him at face value."

Excellent advice. Thanks occhiblu.
posted by fake at 4:39 PM on October 5, 2005

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