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Stay Away From The Person With Zero Relationship Experience

Does it matter how many relationships you've had in the past?

By Ellen "Jelly" McRaePublished about a year ago 7 min read
Dating magic? Or disaster? | Image created on Canva

We all have to start our relationships somewhere, right?

We were all relationship newbies at some point, too, right?

But somewhere along the line, we've moved on. We're no longer exploring the dating world, seeing what it has to offer. We want a relationship. One that is meaningful and possibly long-lasting with someone who is at the same stage as us.

When you're hunting for someone to make that next step with, who is on your level, here's my warning. 

Don't go for someone with zero relationship experience.

Because, in my experience, you will come to regret it. 

Here's why.

1. The person with no experience hasn't made all those mistakes yet

All those initial relationships, the first one or two serious or not serious partners, are where you stuff it all up. 

In my first relationship, when I was young and dumb, I stuffed up the following things:

  • How to be in a relationship (versus being single) - I messed up adjusting my life to accommodate another person. I was good at it sometimes, but other times I totally forgot he existed. Even when it counted. I had spent more years being alone than with someone, it was only normal.
  • How to communicate and care for someone else in a romantic setting - I had never had a relationship with a romantic partner. I stuffed up many times, resulting in fights because I didn't say what I felt. And I didn't articulate my feelings.
  • How much I could trust someone - Or not, as the case was. I trusted him way too much and didn't know the signs he was cheating on me.
  • How to convey my love language - I hadn't needed a love language before. I didn't know what mine was, so I messed up many times experimenting with it.
  • How to be intimate with someone - I'm not talking about learning how to have sex. I'm talking about intimacy in a relationship. How often, where, when, and what it meant to my relationship.

This is my personal shortlist. If you asked my ex, I'm sure he would add to the list of things I stuffed up which lead him to cheat. 

And dump me. 

On our two-year anniversary.

So what does this mean for you?

The person with no dating experience is likely to make significant relationship stuff-ups with you.

They will make all those inexperienced dating errors. It's all those things by this point you hope and expect won't happen in a relationship. And, considering how much experience you've had, these mistakes become intolerable fast.

You also become the victim of a tester relationship. They are testing the waters, to see if they can get it right with you.

2. They haven't figured out what they want from a relationship yet

You learn what you want from a relationship from having them.

I remember being a teen and putting together a list of what I wanted in a partner. It was a serious, written list I would use to make sure the next guy who came into my life was right for me. 

My deal breakers. 

This list included some rational desires, like:

  • Someone I found good looking
  • Someone who was nice
  • Someone who could make me laugh or had a good sense of humour
  • Someone who took me out and treated me to dates and made me feel special
  • Someone who shared my same ambition for a life and career

And then it included some immature, unexperienced requests (that those with experience know don't really matter as you move through relationships):

  • Be on the same phone network as me for cheap calls (I was a teen - ok!)
  • Work the same job hours as me so our schedules would align
  • Be on the same train or bus route as me
  • Someone who liked AC/DC the same way I did
  • Someone who didn't wear baggy jeans

Now I know someone older without relationship experience might not have such a juvenile list.

But it doesn't mean what they do have on their list is logical, thought out or what they really want yet.

So what does that mean for you?

Do you really want your partner to discover their relationship deal breakers when you're married? 

Or when you're engaged? 

Or when you've made a significant financial commitment to them?

It's not pleasant being on the end of a break-up with someone who doesn't know what they want. It's this - it's not you, it's me - excuse. 

And, in my experience, it sucks worse when it's true.

3. They haven't learned what a good relationship is yet

It's important to note an inexperienced dater hasn't figured out what makes a healthy, happy relationship.

Their knowledge of a healthy relationship is from what they see from afar. They have no experience of their own to know if what they see is true.

Most people learn what a good relationship is the hard way. From first-hand experience.

Take my first boyfriend. My relationship with him had me believe:

  • It was normal for a partner to lie to you - About where he was, who he was with, what happened when I wasn't around.
  • It was normal for a partner to keep you hidden - I rarely met any of his friends, because he thought they wouldn't approve of me. I thought all partners would be this hesitant.
  • It was normal for a partner to cheat without remorse - That one speaks for itself.
  • It was normal for one person to get their way - My ex taught me that what he wanted, he got. What I wanted always came second. It wasn't until the second, third, and fourth relationships I learned this wasn't the case.

So what does this mean for you?

In a way, it means you can expect more mistakes you would hope not to have to deal with. 

But on a deeper level, you become the educator. You become the one who has to teach them all about healthy relationships, what they look and feel like, and how to have one.

Sure, there are people who you feel you have to do that with despite their lengthy relationship experience. But someone without experience is guaranteed not to know. 

Or they harbour a fairy tale version they've learned from Hollywood and the experiences of other people in their life. Which, as we all know, isn't always accurate.

4. They haven't regret proofed their dating life yet

How do you know someone is the one?

So often we try to convince ourselves we know who by all the things they are. They are good to us, they care about us, they love us, and they make us happy. 

But in reality, it's equally about what they aren't.

A person knows they have found the one because:

  • They don't have the same qualities as an ex who hurt us
  • They don't have the same quirks that annoyed us in our last relationships
  • The connection you have with them feels different to other relationships that didn't last
  • The way you are with them is better and more enjoyable than in other relationships
  • The pieces of your relationship line up better than that with any other person before

Someone with no experience can't address this list. They can in vain, by looking into other relationships. Or relying on what other people tell them. 

But they don't know from their experience.

I knew I found the one with my husband because I had experience. We often talk about finding each other at the right time. 

Had we met each other ten years earlier, would we have known the other person was the one? No. 

We had to break some hearts, get our hearts broken and kiss some metaphorical frogs to figure it out.

I also knew that when I walked down the aisle, I didn't have any regrets. I knew what was out there, what types of relationships I was "missing out on" and I was fine with it. 

I also knew that I wouldn't say 'I do' and wonder whether there was someone better out there. 

Or, more to the point, whether my husband was right for me or not.

So what does this mean for you?

Your relationship has a time limit. The regret will kick in eventually. It always does.

In your heart of hearts, you don't want to commit to someone who doesn't fully understand or appreciate regret. Because you know it's going to end. 

You can predict the relationship will crumble at some point.

Is dating someone with no experience guaranteed to be a disaster?

Let's make this clear; to anyone who thinks their lack of experience is a bad thing, it's not. Or I'm passing judgement on first-time daters. I'm not at all.

What I'm talking about is aligning relationships.

Those with no experience don't align with the values, expectations and experience of a seasoned dater.

It's about being different and what that difference can cause in a relationship.

This isn't a competition. There are no winners.

But there can be losers.

And of course, there are no laws or rules to say someone with zero relationship experience won't be the one. And that you won't grow and learn things together. 

I'm sure I could find just as many reasons why dating someone with no experience is better than someone with too much experience.

But we increase our chances of being the loser when we date people with conflicting experiences.

Sure, sometimes love endures any amount of difference between you. When that happens, however, you're the exception. 

Not the rule.


About the Creator

Ellen "Jelly" McRae

I’m here to use my wins and losses in #relationships as your cautionary tale | Writes 1LD; Cautionary tale #romance fiction |

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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