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 texting till the early hours, the conversation never seems to stop. There will, however, come a time when you will have to talk about things that aren’t as enjoyable or easy to discuss with your new partner.
There are times when it’s OK to keep certain aspects of your life private. But, there are certain things you’ll need to share, especially if you see this relationship going somewhere. You don’t have to delve deep during your first date or even during your first few months together. Eventually, though, 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 concerned about your partner’s reaction. But the more open you can be, the better your relationship will be. And being honest with each other is the best place to start.
You’ll also want to know if there’s anything they can’t handle. It’s important to be honest from the get-go because if the other person is not accepting or supportive, you will know sooner rather than later, enabling you to move on from the relationship. With all that in mind, here are a few things you should consider talking about if and when you’re comfortable in your new relationship.
01. YOUR GOALS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Discussing your goals and plans for the future is one of the things you ought to discuss early in your relationship with your partner. Your values may not be 100 per cent in line with your partner’s, but that’s OK. There should still be plenty of room to 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. Finding out if you have any dealbreakers now will prevent a lot of potential disappointment in the future. After all, the desire to have kids one day isn’t something you can shelve and expect to go away. It’s one topic you’ll most definitely want to talk about early on.
02. WHAT YOU LIKE (AND DISLIKE) 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. If you don’t, it might take a long time to come out. Some people spend many years in a sexually-repressed state, while their partner is totally unaware. And where’s the fun in that!?
It’s also a good idea to discuss the contraception methods that you prefer at this stage to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
03. ANY ADDICTIONS THAT YOU HAVE (OR HAVE HAD)
While it can be somewhat difficult to open up about this topic, if you see your relationship going somewhere, you may want to let your partner know about any past or current addictions.
Hiding issues with addictive behaviours such as gambling, overspending, eating disorders, or substance abuse can destroy relationships. Being open and honest with your partner about your addictions will bring you closer together and help them understand you better. They’ll also know how to help if the situation arises again.
04. ANY MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES YOU MAY BE STRUGGLING WITH
Another thing that’s tough to admit? Mental health issues. And that’s all thanks to the stigma that surrounds them. It can be difficult to talk about the things you’ve been through, especially if you’re worried that your other half won’t understand, freak out, and leave. But if they’re a good partner, telling them will only strengthen your relationship.
Ultimately, mental health issues interfere with your ability to enjoy life and be present in the moment. Once you explain the situation to your partner, they may be more understanding when mental health issues are causing this interference, and may even be able to help you through it.
Family plays a huge role in your life, whether you’re close to them or not. And let’s face it, they will always have an opinion on your relationships. This could cause some friction between your new partner and your family, so it’s essential to chat with them about what to expect.
Talk about the relationship you have with your family and the role they play in your life. This way, your partner can understand your sensitivities and respect them.
06. HOW GOOD (OR BAD) YOU ARE WITH MONEY
Money tends to make or break a relationship, so try to get yourselves on the same page regarding things like debt and spending habits as soon as possible.
Just like sex, talking about our relationship with money can also be very overwhelming. While you don’t have to hash out your financial history on the first date, you can start talking about money openly. Then, as the relationship progresses, you can be more open about things like debt and your financial goals for the future.
07. HEALTH ISSUES THAT IMPACT YOUR LIFE
If you have a chronic illness, it may be tempting to hide it or put on a brave face for the sake of your partner. But if you want or need support, they should know.
Diseases that affect your day-to-day life are something you may want to bring up, should the situation present itself. In any event, don’t try to cover it up. If you are serious in your desire to pursue a meaningful connection, your partner will find out anyway, so it might as well be on your terms and in your own words. Talking about it can also help give your partner any information they need to help you, if and when they need to.
08. ANY SITUATION WITH AN EX THAT MAY STILL AFFECT YOU
And, finally, if you’re coming into this relationship with some baggage from the past, it might be worthwhile to let your partner know (when the time is right.) Not only will this type of conversation help you learn more about each other, but shedding some light on past relationships will help your partner better understand what does and doesn’t work for you.
You could, for instance, discuss why a former relationship turned toxic. Sharing the lessons that you learned from past relationships will also open up a discussion about your own relationship challenges and hopefully ensure that your new partner doesn’t make the same mistakes your old one(s) did!
It’s also important to let your partner know if you’re still friends with your ex, especially if you hang out together. Being honest and upfront about this at the beginning of your relationship will prevent any awkward misunderstandings later on. Trust me, you don’t want that to happen!
New relationships are beautiful and exciting. Having the hard conversations at the early stages can help to keep it on the right track. Good luck!