Dear Dr. Neder:
I just recently became involved with a fellow six years my senior. He is everything I have ever dreamt of; there is just one problem….Me!
I have always avoided the relationship scene because, frankly, I have no idea how to handle a relationship. I didn’t actually date until I was 18 and didn’t have intercourse until my third semester of college. I was sheltered most of my life so school and family was all I really knew. He and I met online and decided to become “partners” for a while. And then he let me in on his thoughts; to him… I was his girlfriend.
Even though we had no such discussion, I was happy that he liked me enough to be his girlfriend. But still, the fact that I don’t know how to keep both he and myself happy at the same time is weighing heavily on my mind. I grew up taking care of kids, elderly and I had lots of friends but honestly I wasn’t very social and didn’t have a female figure to teach me how to act around men. I was raised in an old fashion way really; proper, polite and feminine. And everything I have done is for other people. My whole life has been revolving around making others happy, even people I don’t know. I have been what most call the “goodie two shoes, on everyone’s side, no enemies, too nice even to mean people.” But now I have him, I want to keep him; I want to make him happy and be happy with him. But I’m afraid to loose him because I don’t know how to keep his eyes on me, to keep him interested and to keep myself from being too giving or not giving enough. To be forthright, I haven’t had too much sex in my twenty years of life, so I don’t know too much about it and I am afraid if I give into his wants and desires too much I might loose him. Then again I don’t want to hold back and leave him wanting. I don’t know if I am paranoid or if I have just cause to worry but I need a little advice. I was hoping you could help me?!
Recently he started talking about three ways. And I know its bad to spy, but he has been on the site that we met on lately, even before the talk of three-ways. He is a very giving man, the only person I have met that wants to make me happy and protect me…but could he have ulterior motives to being so sweet and nice to me? Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with me physically. People just assume that I am still a virgin because of how innocent and naive I seem, not to mention that I look innocent in certain facial features. I just don’t want to end up giving 110% all the time and getting 100% until he is bored or done. And if he is honest and does like me for who I am how do I keep him? How do I keep the relationship alive? What can I do to make ME a better person? I don’t flirt well, I’m not one of those “bible thumpers” as they call them, I’m not nice to make people like me….I just treat others how I want to be treated…but lately I don’t know who I am or what I am all about. I have no idea why I am the way I am. I just need some good advice. And I apologize if my letter is all over the place. I didn’t mean to jump from place to place. I would really appreciate your thoughts. ^_^
Thank you - take care
You, my dear, are fucking awesome for even asking this question! Do you know how many women simply assume they know what a man wants and go about giving him that - and nothing that he REALLY wants? He is very lucky, and I'm going to show you how to make his head spin all the way around - happily.
Your background and history and lack of education have little to do with where you're going here. You're focused on the right things and that alone is going to help you in ways you can't even yet imagine. Most of the girls I talk to complain that they aren't getting what they want; never even considering their partner's needs. Instead, you realize that by giving him what he wants (and needs) you're going to get what you want and need - and you will!
Let me start with this: Your belief that giving into his "wants and desires" will cause you to lose him is simply wrong. Think about this: when he's not with you, he's out in the world of OTHER women! Do you really want him out there with his trigger cocked and ready to fire? That's not a very good plan. Instead, you want to send him out into that world completely satisfied with NO interest in anyone else. I've never seen a truly satisfied man stray from his partner.
That's lesson #1: satisfied men don't stray. More on this in a minute.
Let's talk about your fears here for a moment: all relationships (well, at least all WORTHWHILE relationships) involve the risk of being hurt. If your goal in writing to me is to prevent being hurt, I'm afraid I simply can't help you there. I'd never help you get into a relationship that was so dull and lacked risk that it wasn't worthy of your time!
You're going to have to realize that as you invest yourself in this relationship (wisely of course - you invest at the rate the relationship returns what you need, recognizing that all of them have "market fluctuations" - up and down and you ride those out) your goal can't be to avoid risk. It has to be to MANAGE the risk by helping your partner get what he wants in order to give you what you want. It really is a dance of sorts. You give to get. He gives to get. etc. You can't negotiate away that risk but the risk itself becomes part of the dance. Neither of you wants to be hurt and that is part of the key that keeps you together and moving forward.
Lesson #2: all worthwhile relationships involve risk and you simply manage it together as a team.
Regarding your "innocence": that's a fine thing and obviously something that he's attracted to. One of the downsides to being a virgin (and frankly, there are many downsides) is the lack of education in yourself. For men, sex comes somewhat naturally. Nobody is a "good love" right out of the box, but it's easier for men than it is for women. You have to learn all the things that we are pre-wired to do. One example of this is your orgasm. Women usually have to learn how to bring this about themselves before they can teach their lovers how to do it.
I hope that during your years of virginity, you were a fantastic masturbator! That's where things start for most women. Once you know what makes you pop, you can then let your partner in on the tricks you've discovered. He's not likely to know these things without you telling him. This is the value of having a rich, open, communicative sex life! Nothing should be left on the table. You both should be able to talk about everything comfortably in order to not only tell him what you want, but to discover what he wants as well.
Lesson #3: women are far more complicated sexually than men are.
With regards to the three-way; you have to start considering this first from your own perspective. There are two types of three-ways between couples: two women, one man and two men, one woman. What are your own thoughts/interests about being with another person? What about someone of your own gender? Again, this is where your own masturbation comes into play. By exploring your own fantasies on these things in a safe, open, non-judgmental way, you can begin to discover what range you bring to your relationship.
Likewise, it's just as "valid" to not have any interests here as it is to have them! Let's say that (at this time) you aren't interested in a threesome. That's fine and doesn't leave you without a way to satisfy your partner's interests. If your sex is open and healthy, you can fantasize together about these things. Porn is yet another avenue to explore this safely and without having to affect your core relationship.
I will say this about threesomes: the relationship you have (the "core relationship") has to be very solid in order to explore this lifestyle. I'd never suggest that you jump into such a thing without lots of discussion and understanding between you two.
Lesson #4: it's almost always possible to give your partner exactly what they need without having to risk your relationship to do it.
So, what do YOU want? What do YOU need? Do you even know? That's the first place to start in all of this. While it hasn't been your history to look at your own needs first, any quality relationship requires it. Until you know what you need, you can't express it to your partner openly and comfortably.
Realize that this is a step along the way to having a long, healthy and happy relationship. I say "begin with the end in mind". In other words, know your goals. Know what you want long-term and then start at the beginning to put all the pieces in place to get there.
The second step by the way is to discover what your partner wants. You're starting there instead and I suggest you go back to the beginning first. Once that's done, all you need is to spend some real time getting to know what he needs in order to have the exact relationship he wants.
The final step in the process is to simply become that woman to him. Do this, and you'll have everything you could possibly want - much of which you don't even know you want yet!