Making the jump from dating to starting a new relationship is exciting. It’s also a big deal. Not just a big deal because you’re taking your relationship to the next level, but because things are about to get serious, and seriousness involves having a talk about specifics.
Although there are definitely things that you should know about someone before you date them, since you’re not perfect, there are things you need to share as well. Fair is fair after all. And, more importantly and perhaps even more obvious, is the fact that being up front and honest in the beginning is better than surprising your partner later on in the relationship.
While I strongly feel that you don’t have to share your sexual past or anything else that’s definitely not your partner’s business, there are still some things that they deserve to know. Just like you deserve to know some specifics about them. So before you cozy into a new relationship, take a moment to think about addressing these
Here are 11 things you should tell someone before you get into a relationship. But first, check out the latest episode of Bustle's Sex and Relationships podcast:
1. Your Political Views
Considering 47 percent of Millennials wouldn't date someone who doesn't share their politics, if you haven’t covered this yet, then it’s a must. You don’t want to get into a relationship with someone then realize, after the fact, that they’re anti-choice, anti-same-sex marriage, and think that “making America great again” via Donald Trump is a good idea — unless you’re on the same page with all this. If you’re not, then there could be problems.
2. Your Relationships With Your Exes
First of all, you’re under no obligation to maintain relationships with any of your exes. In fact, many people don't stay friends with exes, so it’s not likely that your new partner will judge you for it. But let’s say it ended badly and resulted in restraining orders or other legal issues, then it might be something you want to share — just as much as you want to share the fact that you’re besties with all your exes. Because that’s something your new partner deserves to have a heads up about, too.
3. Your Relationship With Money
Even if you’re not getting married or moving in together, your soon-to-be partner should know your thoughts on money. Money is a sensitive subject. People who spend a lot have a hard time understanding people who are frugal and vice versa. This isn’t to suggest it’s a dealbreaker, but it’s important to be aware how you both feel about money. If it does evolve into living together, it would be nice to already have that out of the way.
4. Your Plans For The Future
I’m not talking long-term here, but you should definitely share your short-term plans. If you have every intention of joining the Peace Corps in the next six months, this is definitely something you tell someone before you get into a relationship with them. It’s unfair to you both if you start something, it’s great, you’re both in love, then you’re being shipped off for a two-year stint in a country a world away.
5. Your Employment Status
If you’re currently unemployed or even between jobs, this is something you should definitely share. There’s nothing wrong with being unemployed, but if this person you’re about to be in a relationship with is going to be paying for the bulk of things until you find employment again, they need to know.
6. Your Relationship With Your Family
No family is without its drama. But if you have one of those families where things are always crazy and you’re getting sucked into it while picking the pieces of a sibling’s most recent escapades, then you should consider letting your partner know. If there’s a part of your life that can occasionally interfere with your relationship, you can’t keep it to yourself. Think of Sarah in Love Actually — the fact that she has to answer her brother’s phone calls 100 times a day is something that one should share before getting into a relationship.
7. Your Expectations
I feel like when we make the jump for “just dating” to “relationship official,” we often leave out what our expectations are for the relationship and our partner. As someone who has made this mistake, I have two words for you: Bad idea. You can’t go blindly into a relationship, hoping for the best, without letting your partner know what you want for yourself, for them, and for the relationship as a whole. To not cover this, will just lead to disappointment.
8. Your Need (Or Not) For Alone Time
While there are those who need ample alone time, there are those who simply don't. Whether you value independence or togetherness is something to discuss, if they don't already know. That's not to say that independent people and dependent people can't succeed in a relationship — but it may be something you need to work out.
9. Your Level Of Jealousy
Although a bit of jealousy is OK, because hey, you’re only human. Obsessive jealousy, on the other hand, is not and it leads to a whole slew of arguments. While you may be in denial about just how jealous you can get, you need to dig deep and try to come up with the truth. If you’re going to get jealous every time your partner goes out with their friends, or anyone else for that matter, they need to know.
10. Your Need For Privacy
Some people when they get into relationships suddenly hand over their password to their email, Twitter, Facebook, phone — you name it. While others enjoy keeping things very private and wouldn’t have it any other way. Just because you’re in a relationship with someone, it doesn’t mean your need for privacy goes out the window. So this is something to make clear.
11. Your Views On Monogamy
If you think your partner liking an ex's Facebook photo is cheating — and some people do — and your partner doesn’t see the harm, then arguments are bound to happen. Just like what constitutes cheating can vary from person to person, so can how you view relationships. Are you monogamous? Non-monogamous? If you're in an open relationship, what types of sexual behaviors are permissible? What aren't? There are a ton of possibilities when it comes to relationship styles. Cover this topic before you get into a relationship so you know you're on the same page with what's cool and what isn't.
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