Having open communication in a relationship is one way couples develop trust, which eventually leads to a strong, lasting bond. Eventually, your partner comes to know you better than anyone else, but that still doesn’t mean your significant other is entitled to know everything about you.
While there are plenty of questions you should ask your significant other over the course of your relationship, all parties involved have the right to keep mum on certain topics, regardless of how long you’ve been together.
This isn’t to condone keeping secrets in a relationship.
Intentionally misleading the person you’re dating is never a cool thing to do. However, setting boundaries with your S.O. is important, and that includes opening up about matters that may make them feel uncomfortable or cause the dynamics of your relationship to shift.
Even if you swear by the mantra “sharing is caring,” there are still some things your S.O. doesn’t have to know about you, no matter how long you’ve been together.
1Explicit details about your sexual past.
Because this tends to be one of those things your partner will judge you about (whether they mean to or not), you’re better off keeping quiet about all the sordid details about what you did and with whom and how often it happened. Besides, this type of info has a way of implanting itself in the other person’s subconscious and rearing its ugly head at the most unexpected moment.
Ideally, you want your partner to feel comfortable expressing themselves sexually with you, but describing yourself in an intimate situation with a previous lover probably won’t help much with that.
2Number of sexual partners.
The fact is, the number of sexual partners you’ve had should have no bearing on your current relationship. Period. As long as both of you have been tested for sexually transmitted infections, your S.O. shouldn’t feel entitled to know how many people you’ve slept with.
3Who you have a crush on.
Just because you squirm at the sight of your celebrity crush doesn’t mean your S.O. has to know anything about this person’s existence or the fact that you secretly lust over them.
A crush is simply that — it doesn’t mean that you have any intention of acting on these superficial feelings, so there’s absolutely no need to give your partner a play-by-play of everything you find attractive about this person. In this situation, feel free to exercise your right to remain silent or run the risk of making your partner feel insecure or jealous.
4Sexual fantasies about another person.
Srsly, just keep this to yourself. Just like with a crush, you know this steamy love situation is only a figment of your imagination, but sharing your fantasies with your S.O. — specifically ones that don’t involve them — might pose a problem IRL.
As psychologist Susan Bartell tells Brit + Co.,
“Although fantasies are perfectly normal, it can make your partner feel inadequate, threatened, or insecure about the relationship.”
5All the incredibly reckless stuff you did for love.
Let’s face it: We’ve all done some spectacularly dumb stuff in the name of love. Honestly, we cannot stop cringing when we think back on those most unflattering lovesick moments. But now that you’re with someone great, there’s no need to revisit that time you sliced your ex’s tires out of jealousy or spent all your free time lurking on their social media profiles to compare yourself to their new partner.
6Where you are every waking moment of your life.
Regardless of whether you’ve been with your S.O. for six months or six years, they are absolutely not entitled to know what you did with every second of your day. In relationships where trust flows both ways, it’s totally unnecessary, plus having a mutual respect for each other’s space can lead to a stronger, more fulfilling partnership.
As much as you love your partner and think you want to learn everything about them there is to know, your relationship will be better off if some things are left unsaid.