4 Private Things You Should Tell Your Partner About Yourself & 3 Things You Shouldn’t
If you want to create a healthy relationship, there will likely be a few seemingly gross and embarrassing things to share with your partner, as well as a few things you may want to keep secret — for that very reason. Whether they just don't need to know, or you just don't want to tell, it's OK to be discerning when it comes to what you share and what you don't.
"Sharing personal things with a partner is up to each individual," Emily Lyons, CEO of the matchmaking service Lyons Elite, tells Bustle. "Don't feel forced to share things too early if you aren't comfortable doing so, unless of course it is going to come out anyway." If the truth will come out eventually, or if it's something that'll affect your partner, it's important to be honest and upfront.
Along those lines are your sexual health history, illnesses, etc. Those are things you both have to share, if you're going to be together. But for everything else, it's up to you. "Its absolutely OK to keep things that are personal to you to yourself," Lyons says. "Again, so long as it isn't going to hurt the other person." Here, a few "gross" and "embarrassing" things you should consider opening up about, as well as a few things you may want to keep secret.
1. Do Tell Them: Your Sexiest Thoughts & Fantasies
While there's nothing gross or embarrassing about having sexy thoughts or fantasies, it can certainly feel that way as you gather up the courage to talk about them with your partner. But the thing is, if you want to be open and honest — and have a fulfilling sex life — this is something you'll have to overcome.
To make it easier on yourself, "bring it up in a quiet, comfortable place where it's just you and your partner," Bethany Ricciardi, sex educator and relationship expert at Too Timid, tells Bustle. "The more open you are to discussing your sex life with one another, the happier and healthier your relationship will be in and out of the bedroom!"
2. Do Tell Them: Embarrassing Stories From Your Past
It's up to you to decide how much detail you're willing to share regarding your past, but know that it can be helpful to open up about "embarrassing" stories that are still haunting you to do this day — all in the name of getting them off your chest.
"This will help [your partner] understand you better and feel closer to you," Ricciardi says. "If you’re struggling with ... any embarrassing moments that are still impacting you from back then, you should talk to your partner about it." It'll also help your partner get on the same page, and be more supportive if it ever were to happen again.
3. Do Tell Them: Your Sexual Health History
One thing that can be hard to admit is a history of STIs. But this is something your partner pretty much needs to know. "If you're in a relationship, then you should share anything that might affect your partner or someone you're dating," Celeste Headlee, a conversation expert at Plenty of Fish, tells Bustle. "That includes health issues (an STD), in addition to whether or not you've been tested recently." By talking about it openly, you can both stay healthy.
4. Do Tell Them: About Your Body's One Quirk
Do you sweat a lot? Get horrible gas? Or have extra smelly feet? If so, your partner is likely going to find out at some point, so you might as well go ahead and make light of it now.
Besides, "sharing things like [this] can strengthen the relationship, as it creates a sense of intimacy and trust," Headlee says. "Showing that you trust the other person with embarrassing information can tighten your bond."
5. Don't Tell Them: Super Personal Family Stories
Unless you really want to, there's no need to delve into your family's history — especially if the stories are hard to discuss. "Many people hesitate to share personal details about their families, and I think it's OK to keep that private until the partner becomes a member of the family," Headlee says. "Before that time, it can be reasonably argued that your family will not affect your partner. Some people find it important to know whether their partner is on good terms with their parents, so if asked, it's best to be honest. However, you don't have to go into detail unless you want to." Save those stories for Thanksgiving two years down the line.
6. Don't Tell Them: Intimate Details About Your Ex
Unless your partner really wants to know, it's often best to avoid sharing intimate details about exes and past hookups. "Save yourselves the awkward agony," Ricciardi says. "It’s a part of your history that no longer lingers, and there’s no need to bring it back up."
7. Don't Tell Them: About Your Bathroom Habits
While you will likely pee with the bathroom door open at some point in your relationship, it doesn't have to go much further than that, if you don't want it to.
"Many people say that your relationship has reached a new level when you start going to the bathroom in front of each other," Ricciardi says. "However, you're no less in love than another couple if you don't talk about your stinky business." It's all about what works best for your relationship, and deciding what's "need to know" and what isn't.
Basically, if it's going to affect your partner, go ahead and share. But if it's something that's extra gross and they don't need to know, keep in mind — there is something to be said for protecting your own privacy, as well as keeping that mystery alive.