I'm ready to commit for life to my girlfriend, but she's the only person with whom I've had sex

Originally Published: April 4, 2003 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: June 15, 2007
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Alice,

My girlfriend and I have been together for 14 months and the relationship is amazing in every way. We communicate openly and effectively, we love each other deeply, we melt into each other during love-making, and we plan to marry in the upcoming years. There's that "sameness" and deep-rooted bond, only capable between certain people. We both want to be w/ one another for the rest of our lives, and, while I know I love her and do not want any other relationship, the thing is that she is the only woman I've had sex with. She, on the other hand, has had sex with numerous other partners prior to our relationship. (We're both 22.) How do I know I want my life to be with her? Because I have dated other women in the past and know I am most comfortable with her...but, my question, seeing how I know that this relationship is "the one," is it in my interest for the long term to sleep with at least one or two other women so that down the line I won't feel regret for not doing so when I was young, single, and capable? - this is in a purely physical sense, and has nothing to do with love or emotions. I'm not even interested in sleeping with anyone else, just a bit curious as to what it would feel like and do not want to have any problems down the road in that respect.

Dear Reader,

You expressed a lot of concerns, focusing on a common issue, so let's re-cap for a second: You write about being in a relationship that's "amazing in every way" with your girlfriend, someone you love and care for deeply, share a special bond with, have passion for, and even consider to be "the one" with whom you will share your life. Yet, you write about one reservation on your part: your sexual experience (do you mean sexual intercourse?) is limited to your girlfriend only, and that you might want to know what it feels like to be sexual or have sexual intercourse with at least one other woman later in life. Your curiosity is valid, natural, and shared by others. The question is, what do you choose to do with your curiosity that could impact — positively, negatively, or not at all — what is in store for your current relationship with your girlfriend?

One way to get some answers is by asking yourself a number of questions; maybe you and your girlfriend could do this together:

  • What kind of relationship do you have with your girlfriend? Is it an open or monogamous one?
  • Since you write that communication is open and effective between the two of you, would you be upfront with your girlfriend about your desire to have sex with other women, or not?
  • You state that your consideration has "nothing to do with love or emotions;" perhaps not on your part, but what about your girlfriend? How do you think she would respond and feel knowing how you feel?
  • Would anything change in your relationship? What could you gain and/or lose by following through on your sexual desires?
  • Also, why does it appear to matter to you that your girlfriend has had more sexual partners than you have? And, how many do you mean by "numerous" — 20? Three? Five hundred? What does this mean to you? What about the quality and length of her past relationships and/or sexual experiences? Did she love her sexual partners? It doesn't sound as though your girlfriend is like this, but does she brag about her past sexual experiences? Is she being hurtful toward you?

The answers to these questions could be helpful to you in determining your priorities — yours, your girlfriend's, and your relationship's.

For many, sex is an essential aspect of an intimate relationship, but it isn't the only aspect. There are tenderness, safety, comfort, support, connection, and humor, among other things. And people are capable of enjoying sexual intimacy throughout their lifetime.

The kind of relationship you describe as having is the kind most aspire to have. Would the regret of not having had other sexual partners outweigh the risk of possible loss of this relationship? If jeopardizing the state of your currently amazing relationship, even risking its loss, are not acceptable options to you, then you have your answer.

You are both young. No one knows what the future will hold. Whatever feelings or concerns that may come up in the future can be dealt with if/when the time comes.

Alice

May 31, 2007

21243

Dear Alice,

In contrast to the responses above, I applaud you for not having sex with anyone else. I have met many, many couples who were in this situation, and the person who did have...

Dear Alice,

In contrast to the responses above, I applaud you for not having sex with anyone else. I have met many, many couples who were in this situation, and the person who did have multiple sexual experiences really regretted it in the end — not because they met other people and learned more about who they were, but because having multiple experiences with others robbed from the experience they had with their spouse (not to mention STDs and children from one-night stands.) In other words, you don't need to have sex to get to know other people. There's absolutely no need. You can take a break from your girlfriend, or just make more friends of all sexes, but having sex is not the only way to experience others. Besides, there are tons of couples out there who really only have sex as their common interest, and they're very dysfunctional because they don't actually know each other (I've also known several of these first-hand.)

April 25, 2007

21200

Dear Alice,

My boyfriend and I are in this situation. I have had multiple intercourse partners, but he has only been with me. He is interested in sex with other women, and I would like to...

Dear Alice,

My boyfriend and I are in this situation. I have had multiple intercourse partners, but he has only been with me. He is interested in sex with other women, and I would like to think I am open to it. Well, in almost every way, I am, but I am terrified he will fall in love with another woman just from sleeping with her. I know this is the smallest of possibilities, but this is my only worry, besides STDs. I know he would be smart about that though.

I know in the long run he would be happier having experienced this, which is why I am open to it. I do not want to hold him back in any way. However, he is uneasy about doing anything with anyone besides me since he thinks it will harm our relationship. We have tried to compromise on this issue and decided to bring in another female. Maybe for anyone else in this situation a threesome could be in order. That way the both of you can share in the experience.

March 6, 2007

21198

Hello,

My boyfriend and I are currently going through this exact situation, and it is exceptionally stressful and heart-breaking. We have been together for 6 years (since we were 16) and...

Hello,

My boyfriend and I are currently going through this exact situation, and it is exceptionally stressful and heart-breaking. We have been together for 6 years (since we were 16) and our relationship has reached a point where we should not stay together if we don't plan on making a serious commitment. We can't just wait and see how things go, which is what we were doing until now. We have never had other relationships or sexual partners and feel that if we stay together now (although we definitely want to — we are made for one another) we're worried we might regret it in the future. (My boyfriend is especially worried about this.)

Coming across this post has given me hope that if we do decide to take this break, we could still end up together, and in fact, be better off. But there is always that fear that we will regret taking this break, or worse, one of us will regret it and want to get back together while the other will have moved on. I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

August 15, 2005

20948
Dear Alice,

I have been in the same situation, and me and my boyfriend, after four years together, were upfront about our concerns. We decided we should be with others. It was not an easy...

Dear Alice,

I have been in the same situation, and me and my boyfriend, after four years together, were upfront about our concerns. We decided we should be with others. It was not an easy decision; however, we found that when we took individual trips overseas alone, we found there was the freedom to be with others. It is a natural concern; particularly in this day and age of divorces and break ups because of affairs.

Put it this way: it will break your heart to some degree, but you need to go and be with others at some point in order to do some growing up for yourselves. If you survive it, you will have a very strong relationship on your hands... like me!

May 9, 2004

20699
Alice, I went through the exact same situation with my boyfriend. We were each other's firsts for everything other than kissing and had been dating semi-long distance throughout college. We are very...
Alice, I went through the exact same situation with my boyfriend. We were each other's firsts for everything other than kissing and had been dating semi-long distance throughout college. We are very much in love and I could tell that if we just stayed together we would get married. I decided to take a break from the relationship to see other people because I knew that I would regret not having done so. I dated and slept with other men while we were separated and while it was difficult not being together, I do not regret this time away at all. It allowed me to see the wonderful aspects of our relationship and showed me that I am happier with him in the long run. We were on a break for about nine months, and have been back together for about four. My boyfriend did not date anyone else because he did not want to. It was somewhat uncomfortable to share my experiences (in minimal detail) with him, but I did and he has been very accepting of my choices. Do what you need to do to be happy and to know you're happy. If your relationship is meant to be, it will be. Just be open and honest or your desires may come out in more negative ways, like resentment or even cheating. I put ours through the test and we are much better off for it. Good luck!

April 18, 2003

20478
Alice, My partner and I came up against this very same issue approximately one year ago. When we married (he was 27, I was 23), he never had sexual intercourse or much intimacy with any other woman...
Alice, My partner and I came up against this very same issue approximately one year ago. When we married (he was 27, I was 23), he never had sexual intercourse or much intimacy with any other woman. I, on the other hand, did have a few other sexual partners prior to our relationship. At the time, it wasn't an issue for him. Our relationship was and still is fabulous. One of our strengths is our high level of open and honest communication. As our relationship progressed, he became increasingly confused about it. He said he regretted not having a sexual experience with another woman. After much distress and soul searching on both his and my behalf, he decided that our relationship was much more important than risking it to chance of what would happen if he had sex with another woman. He did make a resolution though that if we have any children, that he will not strongly influence their choice about whether to have pre-marital sex or not as his parents did (they were VERY anti pre-marital sex or even talking about sex and relationships at all). I guess the most important lesson that we learned is that our high level of communication was our life support for the very difficult time that we endured. Good Luck and enjoy your fabulous relationship!