7 Things You Don't Have To Be Entirely Honest About Early On In A Relationship
When you first start falling for someone, it’s natural to open up more. However, while a new partner obviously needs to get to know you on a deeper level, timing is so important. If you’re revealing too much too fast, it can negatively impact your relationship in the long-term.
“If you share a piece of information, there is a possibility that the other person is going to make judgments and assumptions about it without checking it out,” Anita Chlipala, relationship coach and therapist, tells Bustle.
In the beginning of a relationship, both parties are usually on the lookout for red flags. Spilling the intimate details of your life on the first few dates can give people a reason to pause.
“I'm not saying you have to over-analyze everything that you're sharing,” Chlipala says. “But also understand that people can take one piece of information and blow it up in their mind to be a bigger deal than it is.”
In addition to avoiding oversharing, some things are so personal that you shouldn’t feel obligated to share them until you feel ready.
It’s not always easy to tell what you should or shouldn’t tell a partner early on. Here are some things, according to experts, that you might not want to tell your partner early in the relationship.
1. Your Exes
Talking a lot about your ex can be a sign you haven’t gotten closure and can rub your date the wrong way. Additionally, it can prevent you from forming a romantic connection with your new partner.
“You don't want to enter the friend-zone with this person you're on a date with,” Dr. Danielle Forshee, LLC, tells Bustle. “And you don't want this to be a therapy session.”
2. Your Entire Childhood
Of course, there’s a difference between a few childhood stories and telling them everything.
“It's fine to describe your childhood,” Joshua Klapow, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. “But you don't need to get into all of the nuances of your family dynamics.”
Dr. Klapow stresses that the details of your family can be revealed over time. There’s no need to overwhelm a new partner with all the information at once.
3. Your Political Views
Politics are known to be divisive. Dr. Forshee says that, unless you have a career in politics, it's probably a topic that should be avoided in the beginning. You’ll probably express your political views to your partner at some point, but it’s a good idea to let them get to know you first, and vice versa.
4. Your Religious Views
Like politics, religion can be a contentious topic. Holding off on these hot button issues allows you and your partner to build trust before you enter those conversations. However, depending on how big of a role it plays in your life, you may feel differently.
“If it's such a deeply rooted part of who they are and their values system and they require it ... [then] you're going to want to bring it up on the first date and let them know your stance on it,” Dr. Forshee says.
5. Your Health
Whether it’s your physical or mental health, you don’t need to tell your partner about any health issues right away. Dr. Kaplow stresses that bringing up your health can elicit “challenging” conversations, so you need to be prepared. It’s important your partner knows eventually, Dr. Klaplow says, but unless it’s immediately impacting the relationship, you should wait until you're ready.
6. Any History of Trauma
Down the road, your partner is often someone that you want to tell about your past. However, sometimes it’s a good idea to establish trust before you discuss these heavier issues, especially if it makes you feel more comfortable.
“[A history of trauma] may not be healthy for you to talk about with someone that you don't have an emotional safety with yet,” Dr. Forshee says.
It’s ideal to have a secure relationship with your partner before you delve into those difficult subjects, so that you feel safe sharing these details.
7. Your Sexual History
Past sexual experiences is a topic you should approach very carefully. Chlipala says that bringing this up too early can potentially cause problems. No one should be judgmental about someone’s sexual history, but bringing it up early on can make your partner uncomfortable, and vice versa. It’s best saved for down the road after you’ve built more intimacy, if you want to talk about it at all.
Most of these topics will come up naturally over the course of a relationship, and they’re important conversations that will help build intimacy. However, they’re tricky topics to navigate, and should probably be saved until after you’ve grown to know your partner.
Editor's Note: If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.