My Girlfriend Wants To Have Sex, But I Don’t Think I’m Ready For That
Dear Collage, My girlfriend wants to have sex, but I don’t think I’m ready for that. I know it’s supposed to be the other way around. Everyone thinks that guys always want sex and that we’re the ones pressuring girls into it. But I don’t want to have sex yet. And my girlfriend thinks something’s wrong with me. Probably everyone thinks something’s wrong with me. What guy doesn’t want sex if it’s being offered to him. Right? What can I do? Is something wrong with me? How can I tell my girlfriend ‘no’ without feeling less of a man?
First, there’s nothing wrong with you. People of any gender and any age can feel like they aren’t ready for sex. Even if you have the opportunity. Even if it’s a person you really, really are attracted to. Even if it’s a person you really, really want to have sex with.
Next, good for you for knowing yourself and your own boundaries. Good for you for knowing that you aren’t ready and respecting yourself enough to honor that.
Whether or not you want to have sex or feel ready to have sex is a personal decision. Nobody else can know when you’re ready. And nobody should pressure you into having sex. You’re in charge of your own body, and you get to decide when you’re ready.
So how can you tell your girlfriend without hurting her feelings or without feeling like less of a man?
Know why you aren’t ready. Spend some time thinking through your reasons. Be able to own and explain those reasons. And don’t worry about whether your reason will sound silly — you get to choose this for yourself. Some possible reasons you might want to wait: *you aren’t ready to think about having a baby, so you want to avoid sex to prevent pregnancy *your religious beliefs don’t permit sex outside of marriage *you don’t want to risk being blamed for sexual assault *you aren’t even sure if it’s legal for the two of you to have sex *you’re worried about getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) *you want more time to build trust or more of a connection *you want to be sure you’re in a committed relationship first *you really want to wait until you’re married *you want your first time to be very special, and you just aren’t there yet *you just don’t think you’re ready
Be honest. It’s important that you talk honestly with your girlfriend about sex. Talk about your reasons for waiting. Your girlfriend can’t read your mind. And she won’t understand your boundaries unless you clearly explain them to her. She’s also less likely to have hurt feelings or feel personally rejected if you explain your reasons to her.
Pay attention to her reaction. This hard conversation can either make your relationship stronger – by helping you understand each other and respect each other and form a stronger emotional bond. Or the conversation can end your relationship. You deserve to have your boundaries respected and your choice honored. If your girlfriend mocks you or tries to manipulate you into having sex, then that’s probably not a healthy relationship for you to be in.
Show love in other ways. If the hard conversation goes well and your girlfriend respects your choice and honors your boundaries, then you can show love in ways other than sex. You can find other ways to make her feel attractive and like you want to be with her. Compliment her, spend time with her, buy her small gifts, write her love notes, take her out on dates. Physical intimacy – or sex – isn’t the only way to show love.
You have your whole life to have sex. There’s no hurry. Take your time and enjoy your relationship. As we said, there are lots of ways to show love and feel close and enjoy each other without having sex. You can build emotional intimacy and have a good time together. Building a healthy relationship can make your girlfriend feel respected and desired and loved.
As for whether or not you feel like less of a man — it takes a real man to know himself and respect himself and insist on the kind of healthy relationship he knows he deserves. And it takes a real man to respect his girlfriend enough to wait until he’s really ready before he has sex with her.