When you first start dating someone, it can feel like you want to tell each other everything. Whether you’re out on a date or lying in bed texting until 2 a.m., the convo never seems to die down as you ask questions and tell stories. But eventually, there will be things you should tell your new partner that don’t come out as easily and aren’t as much fun to talk about.
While it’s totally OK to keep some parts of your life private, there are certain things you’ll need to share, especially if you see this relationship going somewhere. You don’t have to delve super deep during your first date, or even during your first few months together. But eventually, you should consider telling each other about the tough stuff, like health problems and family issues.
It can be tricky at first, especially if you’re worried about your significant other’s reaction. But the more open you can be, the better your relationship will be. “Your partner should be a means of support,” NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells Bustle. And being honest with each other is the best place to start.
You’ll also want to know, though, if there’s something they won’t be able to handle. “It’s important to say things early on because if your partner isn’t accepting or supportive, it’s better to know now so you can move on from the relationship,” Hershenson says. With all that in mind, here are a few things you should consider talking about, when and if you’re comfortable, in your new relationship.
1.Your Hard And Fast Goals For The Future
If your goals don’t totally line up with your partner’s, that’s OK. In most cases, there’s plenty of room for compromise. But when it comes to major, life-changing goals for the future — like having kids, or getting married — it’s not always easy to meet each other halfway.
And the sooner you can figure them out, the better. Speaking about having kids, life coach Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle, “It’s not a desire you can just shelve and expect it to go away.” Getting ahead of whether or not you differ on dealbreakers now will prevent a lot of aggravation and potential disappointment in the future.
2.What You Like (And Don’t Like) During Sex
The beginning of your relationship is the perfect time to lay the course for your sex life. So, as you get more comfortable together, don’t be afraid to speak up about what you like and what you don’t like. “Choose your moments carefully, be delicate and sensitive, but definitely bring it up,” Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. “It can take a lot of time for things to come out otherwise, and some people spend a great amount of time in a sexually-repressed state, while their partner is totally oblivious.” And where’s the fun in that?
3.Any Addictions You’ve Had (Or Have)
It may be difficult to open up about, but if you see your relationship going somewhere, definitely find the right time to talk about your past or current addictions you ma have. “Issues with addictive behaviors such as spending, substance use, disordered eating, or gambling can destroy a relationship if it is hidden from your partner,” says Hershenson. “Addiction can make you feel you are leading a double life and once your ‘secret’ is out, you can use your partner for support.” And if any old issues come back again, they’ll be better able to help.
4.The Mental Health Issues You May Be Struggling With
Another things that’s tough to admit? Mental health issues. There’s a lot of stigma surrounding them, so it can be difficult to share what you’ve been through, especially if you’re worried your significant other might freak out or leave. But if they’re a good partner, and an understanding person, telling them will only make your relationship stronger.
“Mental health issues interfere with your ability to be present and find enjoyment in life,” Hershenson says. Once you tell your partner, they might be more understanding when mental health issues may be causing the interference, and may even help see you through.