7 Secrets You Don't Have To Tell Your Partner If You Don't Want To
When it comes to sharing the truth, it's important to be honest and open, especially with romantic relationships. However, you don't have to share everything, and there are actually a few instances where you might want to keep things to yourself. There are few secrets you should't tell your partner if you don't feel comfortable, especially if they may only serve to hurt your partner, or if it doesn't make a difference to your relationship long-term.
As a certified health coach I work with clients on improving their relationships, both platonic and romantic. With any good relationship, it takes a lot of work, as well as a mutual understanding and trust. And, communicating your thoughts, desires, and stories should also be done with care, patience, and awareness of how the other may respond to this information. For instance, if it will make you or your partner uncomfortable, or if it dredges up old issues, you might want to hit the breaks, or choose to move on to a different topic. Or, there are some things that you simply don't have to share, because they are personal to you. Here are eight secrets experts say you may not want to share with your partner, as you're not obligated to, unless you feel like opening up.
1. Your "Number"
Sharing too much about your sexual exploits and partners before you met 'The One' could spark jealousy and frustration from your current significant other, Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, Psychotherapist, Relationship Coach, and Divorce Mediator, tells Bustle. "Only if these are important due to an STD or related concern," should they be brought up, Coleman says. With a secure partner, the number of people you've had sex with shouldn't matter, and if you find they are expressing jealousy over your past experiences, it may be time to have a talk.
2. Sex Dreams Involving Other People
Unless it's your partner who was starring in your sexual fantasies, it's probably not necessary to bring it up. "The secrets you should not share are those that would have no benefit in sharing and would only result in hurt, confusion, doubt, or insecurity," says Coleman, and "erotic dreams about an ex lover," or anyone for the matter, could definitely make your partner feel hurt or angry. Many sex dreams have little significance to your waking life anyway, so why open a can of worms when it's not necessary?
3. That Your Partner Isn't Your "Best" In Bed
"You are not obligated to tell your partner that they are not the best sexual partner you've ever had," relationship expert Stef Safran, tells Bustle. "If someone else is better than them, you don't need to share that. Instead, focus on finding things that they are better at than anyone else at." For instance, compliment them in ways they do bring you pleasure, both in and outside the bedroom. Or, have an open discussion about some of the things you're interested in pursuing, and make sure you're both on the same page about trying them.
4. Uncomfortable Things From Your Past
"Relationships don't always equal mutual sharing of all past hurts," says Safran. "If you aren't ready to share this with a best friend, you don't have to share it with a romantic partner either. Relationships are about trust and understanding. Not everything is best shared with someone who you are still getting to know." So, if you've had past trauma that you're not ready to open up about, do not feel like you have to.
5. Little Pet Peeves
"If you harbor any negativity towards things your partner cannot change about themselves, I strongly suggest you keep it to yourself," Shlomo Zalman Bregman, a rabbi and matchmaker, tells Bustle. This could mean small pet peeves like chewing loudly or snoring. If it's something that isn't a big life matter that impacts your relationship, you shouldn't feel the need to share, because it may be hurtful to your partner. But it may be a good idea to take notice if these things are dealbreakers for you.
6. Your Text Messages
"A healthy relationship is based upon trust and honesty," says Bregman. "If your partner is constantly being nosy and asking you who you're texting, and what it's about — or even worse, they want to look through your phone and verify it themselves — this is proof-positive that the trust in your relationship is...lacking," says Bregman. If your partner insists on seeing all of your text exchanges, this could be a red flag and you may want to talk with them.
7. That You Think About Your Ex Sometimes
"[I]f you sometimes think about an ex, and it's chiefly because your current relationship serves as a counterpoint that helps you learn from past mistakes and appreciate what you have now, then it may not be something you need to share with your current significant other" says Bregman. There is nothing wrong with remembering previous experiences or former mistakes, thinking about your past relationship, or making tiny comparisons to see what you've learned from your time with your ex. But telling your current partner that you do so may be taken the wrong way so it's probably best not to mention it. If you catch yourself having romantic feelings for an ex or you realize you realize you're not really over them, then that would be the time to be honest with your partner.
All relationships are different, but be sure to share things with your partner when you feel comfortable. Having some mystery between the two of you can be healthy, as long as it doesn't affect your partner or relationship directly.