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21 clear signs a guy has never had a girlfriend

If you’ve met a guy that you’re into but he’s acting oddly in some ways there can be a simple explanation:

You’re his first girlfriend.

It might sound unlikely but not everyone has past relationship experience.

The reason it matters is simple:

A guy who’s never had a partner before is going to behave quite differently from an experienced guy.

And if you know these 21 signs a guy has never had a girlfriend then you’ll be able to understand more about why he acts how he does and how to respond effectively.

Here we go…

The top 21 signs a guy has never had a girlfriend

1) He’s intensely into you from the very start

Many guys who have not yet had a girlfriend are clingy.

They will text you constantly and be very intense with their affection.

If he’s intensely into you from the very start and fantasizing about all sorts of future plans before he even knows you, then chances are he hasn’t had a serious girlfriend before.

Why do I say that?

Because if he’d had a long relationship in the past, he’d know to take it slow and hold his horses before he falls for you completely in the first week you’re together.

2) He’s bad at talking about your relationship

Granted, this is far from only being an issue with guys who’ve never had a girlfriend. But it’s especially common in guys who haven’t.

And it’s one of the biggest signs a guy has never had a girlfriend:

He simply doesn’t know how to communicate well with you about his feelings, your feelings, the relationship, or how to deal with difficulties that come up.

He also will generally be unsure about what you want and get very confused by simple situations like when you want more attention, want some space, or have an issue you want to talk about.

Try to be patient and go slow, he’ll learn.

As this article in Glamour says, “How do you feel about us?” strikes fear into his heart. In fact, asking how he feels about anything makes him want to curl up into a little ball on the couch with his pal Xbox.”

3) He gets overly dramatic easily

Despite the stereotypes that are out there about women and their ever-changing emotions, one of the top offenders in this category is actually a guy who has never had a girlfriend.

Because he’ll tend to be unsure how to pace his feelings for you and approach the relationship in a measured way, he will frequently react in overly dramatic ways to ordinary things.

For example, if you cancel a date because you need to study for an exam, he may start over analyzing and believe he did something wrong, or go into a real sulk.

Think of a guy who’s never had a relationship like someone setting out on a honeymoon:

He’s ready for great times and pure romance that lives up to his teenage fantasies, and he can go a bit crazy when real life and ordinary disappointments start intruding.

4) He responds off-key in jarring ways

Some women make the mistake of thinking a guy is being a player or toying with them when in fact he’s just extremely inexperienced.

One of the top signs a guy has never had a girlfriend is that he responds in off-key ways that confuse you.

For example, he may joke during a serious talk in ways that you find bizarre or disrespectful, or he may get very serious and moody during things which are fairly standard for those who’ve been in a relationship, like discussing your feelings for each other.

This can also come across in texting where he may write back overly rapidly, overuse emojis, joke at awkward times or communicate poorly about basic things.

He’s not a douche, he’s just new at this.

5) He’s all-or-nothing on commitment

A guy who’s never had a girlfriend sees romance sort of like in the movies.

It’s either all panoramic kisses and life-changing interactions or it’s just a more humdrum life as usual.

He doesn’t have much room in his mind for nuance, because he’s only ever really heard about and experienced relationships vicariously.

For this reason, one of the clearest signs a guy has never had a girlfriend is when he’s too eager or too scared to commit.

In other words, he either wants it all right now or he’s scared to get serious at all because it’s all uncharted territory for him.

Finding true love and intimacy is all about learning to get past this all-or-nothing mindset and discover the reality of having a successful relationship is far different than many of us have been taught to believe.

6) He’s not secure in himself

None of us are these picture-perfect Instagram people who never doubt ourselves. But some of us definitely have built up more self-confidence and inner strength than others.

When it comes to relationships, they will drag out every insecurity and issue you have and shine a torchlight on them like the best detective at a messy crime scene.

You can’t hide. And that scares a guy who’s never had a girlfriend because his vulnerabilities and insecurities are starting to come to light.

You’ll quickly notice various ways in which his insecurities around your dating start to show.

Try not to joke about it too much or be insensitive, as this can be a really difficult process for a guy who’s new to relationships to open himself up.

There are a lot of common insecurities that many men have but it’s important that they face them.

Counselor Todd Byrd explains that there are many reasons many have insecurities:

“Sometimes it’s connected to a secretive, shameful behavior or past, and sometimes it’s connected to family of origin patterns when a man grew up in a place where emotions were not acknowledged or expressed,” Byrd says.

7) He’s a bit of an over-planner

A fellow who hasn’t had a girlfriend before is often an over-planner. He will start laying out charts and schedules for all kinds of things in the future.

Like I said, he’s not going to be very skilled at setting up dates or understanding the finer points of romance.

But don’t be surprised if he goes all computer engineer on you and makes a flowchart of your favorite activities or your next six months together.

In a normal relationship, this might seem borderline creepy or really embarrassing but keep in mind that this is all new to him and he’s just trying to make sense of the attraction he’s feeling for you and the bond you’re building.

8) He gets the jitters like a newlywed

One of the most telling signs a guy has never had a girlfriend is when he gets the jitters all the time around you.

If you’re his first girlfriend then things which seem fairly easygoing to you are going to be an epic struggle for him.

Should he lean in and kiss you or play it cool? Does he ask how your day went or let you have some space? Should he dress up a bit or go with the casual look? Is he thinking too much or is there something big he’s missing that could be the key to keeping you?

For this reason and many more, he’s often going to be jittery around you.

It’s not that he doesn’t know how he feels about you, it’s that he’s insecure about how to express it!

Mike Hedrick admits the truth at Bolde, noting that:

“In the ritual of dating, there are certain things each gender is supposed to do. There are so many tiny considerations that go into these things that we can usually just about drive ourselves crazy thinking about the best way present ourselves and not mess it all up. We may seem confident and funny, but if we do something wrong, you can bet your ass we’re dying inside.”

9) He’s not considerate of your time

This can be the sign of guys who are players and jerks too, but it can also be one of the top signs a guy has never had a girlfriend.

He just doesn’t know how much is too much and how much is too little.

He either wants to be your shadow 24/7 and watch you brush your teeth or he’s semi-ghosting you every few days for no apparent reason.

Why?

Because he’s used to doing what he wants when he wants.

That means if you’re on his mind a lot — particularly in the early flowering of your relationship — then he’s going to be around constantly, but if he’s also got lots of other stuff going on he’s going to pursue it without thinking much about the fact that you may feel quite neglected.

Try not to take it personally, he’s still being housetrained.

10) He’s the mayor of Friendzone Heights

A guy who has never had a girlfriend before is not necessarily “bad” with girls.

He may have personal issues and insecurities or have focused on other things in his no-girlfriend years, but there’s also a good chance he’s simply had a lot of women in his life as friends.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with men and women being friends, but being “friend-zoned” is different. That’s when a guy wants to date a girl but she rejects him and turns him into her pal instead.

Whether or not it’s mature or even logical, many guys even into their 30s, find being “friend-zoned” to be an emasculating experience.

One of the top signs a guy has never had a girlfriend is that he has many female friends but they always seem to think of him like a brother or good buddy, not in any romantic sense.

The connection you have is new to him, that’s for sure.

Relationship expert April Masini explains:

“Once you’re fully entrenched in the friend zone, you probably won’t be able to leverage a friendship into a romantic relationship. A lot of men are afraid of rejection, so to stave off that sting they simply don’t ask her out and instead become a buddy — a miserable, anxious buddy.”

11) He’s an Awkward Andy

Whether or not his name is Andy — and odds are it’s probably not — this guy is an Awkward Andy, which means he stumbles over his words, physically stumbles, blushes a lot, and just seems out of sorts constantly when he’s with you.

It can get a bit annoying, and that’s understandable.

You probably didn’t sign up to clean Orange Crush off your boyfriend’s shirt next to a drive-through after he backhands a cup by mistake while reaching to touch you, and you probably never expected to be explaining to your best friend why your boyfriend parallel parked his car into her car.

But really…

You should be flattered. He’s just into you and it’s turning him into a hot mess.

13) He’s over-invested in small things

A guy who’s never had a girlfriend is generally missing any sense of scale.

He will react in ways you might find odd and often become over-invested in small things. This includes that any distancing or space on your part can result in him becoming visibly worried, over-texting, and wondering aloud what’s wrong.

It can get tiring having to reassure him over and over and this is one of the big reasons that guys who are insecure and haven’t had a girlfriend often blow it in the first few weeks of meeting someone.

14) He’s full of faux pas dating mistakes

When he hasn’t had a girlfriend before he does things you may find funny, like offering you beer or whiskey instead of wine when you’re out.

Or he may ask about your last relationship on the first date or get into his deep passion for painting Warhammer miniatures without realizing that this will put many new mates off for good.

He’s not exactly dumb, it’s just that he doesn’t know much about what’s acceptable on a date or not.

Josh Chesler writes:

“Guys do some really dumb stuff, particularly when around a woman they like. Making too many stupid mistakes while still in the courting process can end a relationship before it had time to get off the ground. And that happens all too often in today’s world.”

Forgive him, he knows not what he does.

15) He’s a yes man

Have you ever seen the 2008 comedy Yes Man starring Jim Carrey? It’s pretty funny.

What’s not as funny is when your new boyfriend is a yes man. He just agrees with anything you say or suggest and it starts to feel like you’re just shouting into a void.

Any choices he defers to you, any questions he tends to answer in as few words as possible, or says “yeah, sure.”

What’s happening here is that this guy is scared of losing you because he’s further down the path to romance than he’s ever been.

So he just says yes to everything. Let him know that it’s not working and encourage him to be a little more forthright.

16) He’s not a master chef

In fact, he’s not even able to whip up a bit of macaroni and cheese. Has this guy ever even cooked for himself?

You may be wondering. And rightly so.

One of the top signs of a guy who’s never been in a serious relationship is that he may have very basic or nonexistent cooking skills.

This is where the fun starts:

Give him a list of ingredients and tell him you’re looking forward to his master creation on Friday night.

17) He’s all about guy stuff

It’s great that he has interests and hobbies of his own, but if he’s totally cocooned in guy-oriented activities you can bet that he’s a newbie to the girlfriend game.

If he spends most of his time hunting and fishing then there’s less chance he’s running across available women.

Obviously some gals like activities like that as well, but chances are if he’s very into “guy stuff” then it’s one of the reasons he hasn’t really branched out and met someone special yet.

18) Your hints go way over his head

Whether you’re trying to hint to him that you’re in the mood or give him a sign that you want to leave a party, he’s about as clueless as humanly possible.

He misses hints you may feel are obvious. But they’re not obvious to him.

His user manual for a girlfriend basically amounts to: be nice, tell her she’s pretty, kiss.

You need to update his software and let him know that the modern relationship has a little more to it than that.

19) He loves video games

There’s nothing wrong with a good video game and a cup of wine.

Trying to beat the same level over and over can get exhausting but it also brings its own special feeling of triumph when you get past!

But being a video game whiz is also one of the main signs a guy has never had a girlfriend.

It can be frustrating and communication is key.

As Joanne Orlando notes:

“More balance can only be achieved by talking with men to understand the social and entertainment value they gain from them. And men and boys need to reflect on how their interests impact on their non-gamer loved ones. This is the starting point for developing win-win outcomes.”

20) He’s very focused on himself

There’s a difference between an egotist and a first-timer. The egotist chooses to always put himself first and downplay the validity and experiences of those around him.

The first-timer barely realizes he’s doing it because he’s never known different.

You may wonder why he didn’t learn to be more considerate or focused on others growing up, in school, or while playing on sports teams.

That’s a valid question.

But the fact remains that being very into himself and unused to considering the perspectives and feelings of others above his own is one of the biggest signs a guy has never had a girlfriend.

21) He has unrealistic or vague ideas about the future

As I wrote, guys who haven’t had a girlfriend before tend to be all-or-nothing on commitment and the future. They also tend to have fairly unrealistic or unclear ideas about the future.

They may say “I don’t know” when asked what they envision one day with a partner or something wishy-washy like “a happy family and wife, I guess, kinda.”

Yikes.

Don’t take this to heart or get discouraged, however, it’s just his inexperience and insecurity talking.

What to do if you’re his first girlfriend

First, don’t panic! This can be a beautiful thing if you let it develop naturally and move slow.

Everyone has a first time and it can be a wonderful experience where you will grow as well.

Even if you’ve had a few boyfriends in the past, this guy’s innocence and lack of dating experience can actually be a plus.

Because while he’s a little insecure and hard to gauge, he’s also not out here like a jaded player who’s toying with your heart.

As you show him that you care about and love him in a relaxed setting that allows him to open up, your first-timer guy will become more confident and begin to behave more consistently.

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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