If you're starting to see someone you like, your dating history (or lack thereof) may cause you to start to worry. Knowing whether or not you should tell her can certainly be stressful. Here's the truth:
You should tell her you've never had a girlfriend before. The potential downside of lying is greater than the supposed benefits of her believing a fake dating history. There is nothing wrong with having no dating history. While you don't have to bring it up right away, honesty is the best route forward.
We'll dig deeper into why you should tell her, whether to include you're a virgin (if you are), and more on what to be honest about.
Suppose you've built up an image with her that you're some cool, experienced guy. It's understandable that you would want to uphold that.
However, it's likely at some point she'll find out the truth about you anyway (and that's a good thing).
There's nothing wrong with playing it cool, but there's a line in the sand for when you're being dishonest.
It's unlikely the girl you're after will stop liking you if you've never had a girlfriend.
Here are the main reasons why you should tell her:
Qualities like having integrity, knowing yourself well, and being comfortable with yourself are attractive to women. These aren't talked about nearly enough, but they're important traits that can outweigh many personal "downsides."
Women like it when a man puts himself out there and owns who he is (despite social pressures or expectations). Confidence can overcome many of these "shortcomings."
If she believes it's not an issue for you, then I doubt it will be an issue for her.
When or how you tell her you've never dated is mainly up to you.
While you want to be confident with telling them, it doesn't mean you should advertise it on your dating profile or anything. It's not something they need or should necessarily know right away. So, don't feel guilty about not disclosing it from the start.
It will likely be brought up naturally at some point, though. Typically the topic of ex's will come up, which is as good a time as any to let her know. If she instead asks you very early on, you should still tell her.
If you're struggling to own up to it and be completely open, at least just say how you:
"just never met anyone you liked enough/really connected with."
It's not ideal, as dishonesty can backfire, but it's better than making up some fake story about past relationships.
If you're a virgin, you may feel anxious or uncertain about whether or not you should tell this to a girl you like.
The truth is you should tell her you're a virgin (just like you should tell her if you never had a girlfriend). You should be truthful and straightforward with it, as she'll likely find out if she's experienced enough.
However- it's okay if you never bring it up yourself.
While being truthful is always the best route long-term, the topic of virginity is a lot more sensitive. It's at least more understanding why if you don't tell her, but you should still anyway (especially if she asks).
Depending on your age, there's a reasonable chance she's a virgin, too. According to National Health Statistics, nearly 30% of women 15 - 24 haven't had sex (PDF link).
Even if she isn't (and you're around that age bracket) there's a strong chance she's only done it once or twice.
The difference between never having had sex versus doing it a few times isn't that big.
You may think she's had all the experience, but she's virtually as new to it as you.
If your age and situation are relevant, check out the Easy Guide to Losing Your Virginity in Your 20s.
Being honest in your relationships is easier and better for the health of it (whether it's about your dating history or not). Not doing so almost always guarantees you'll be worse off in the long run, regardless of your situation.
Any fabricated bits of information you've told her could blow up in your face as time passes. It's challenging to keep track of, and any slip ups are clues for her to find out.
Being straightforward with who you are from the beginning means no question can throw you off. Nothing she says will have to be analyzed to fit your "story." This will end up being better for both of you.
You want to be comfortable in your own skin, even if you may worry about what she'll think.
This is worthwhile for just about everything (outside of dating too). It's an essential part of life and personal growth. Sam Harris's book called Lying has an interesting deeper look into the psychology behind it.
It's understandable to be unsure about telling her you've never dated before. However, it won't likely matter at all in the long run.
It's best to own who you are, "flaws" and all. Who cares if you're a late bloomer- we're all on different paths. Just make sure the path you're on is open and honest with any women who come along.