When you’re in the blissful early getting-to-know-you stages of dating, you more than likely enjoy keeping things fun and casual without getting too deep. After all, when you’ve been dating someone for a matter of days, weeks, or even a few months, you might feel weird being brutally real. After all, being honest at the beginning of a new relationship brings with it fear of what the other person might think if they knew the true you.
But even if it seems scary, there are some things that you should be honest about in the first months of dating to keep a truly open line of communication between you and your new partner.
Of course, you don’t have to walk into a first date and start discussing why your last relationship ended, but it’s good to address certain issues early on. This way, it’ll be easier to suss out if the person wants to get to know you for you, or if you’re both just on completely different wavelengths altogether. These are the things most people aren’t honest about when dating, but really should be.
1Your health history.
OK, so you don’t really have to announce on your third date that you had knee surgery when you were 12 or are having your wisdom teeth pulled later this year, but it is important to be upfront about certain health issues in the early stages of dating, especially when it comes to sexually transmitted infections. If you are sexually active with a person, you should be having these honest conversations well before things heat up between the sheets. Your partner deserves full honesty about your medical history in order to fully protect themselves, and vice versa. If they’re even a halfway decent person, they’ll like you more for your honesty.
2Your thoughts about marriage and kids.
So nothing seems like it would scare someone off on a date quicker than asking if they want to get married and have kids someday, but hear us out: Getting a general idea of how the person you’re dating views major life events like marriage and children is a good way to see early on if you’re compatible. If they are adamant that they do not want children or never want to get married, and you know that both of those things are important to you, you may want to reconsider entering a serious relationship with this person.
While we’re at it, you should absolutely reveal if you’ve been married in the past or already have children. Hiding that info would be shady as hell.
3If you’re dating anyone else.
It’s totally cool if you’re seeing multiple people at the same time, but you should be honest with the people you’re dating about that fact. If they’re looking for something ~exclusive~, it’s really only fair to be perfectly honest if that’s not in your game plan at the moment.
4If you’re looking for something casual or long-term.
Similarly, if you’re a person who wants an exclusive, long-term relationship, you should be open about that from the get-go, even if it means having a slightly awkward conversation early on in the dating game. You’ll feel better knowing if you’re both on the same page about the possibility of a LTR.
5Your political and religious views.
We know, we know: Discussing religion and politics on a date seems like a one-way ticket to Disasterville, but hear us out. You don’t need to get in a heated political debate, but if your faith and your political beliefs are very important to you, you may want to get a feel for where your new boo stands on these things. Try and understand his or her point of view, and realize that we’re all entitled to our opinions, especially when it comes to such personal stuff.
6Your relationship history, at least in general terms.
Bringing up the ex that broke your heart months ago or The One Who Got Away in college may seem like a bad idea, but knowing about a person’s past romances can give you a good framework for what they might be like in a future relationship. If someone tells you they have never been in a serious relationship, and that is what you’re ultimately looking for, you will definitely want to know the truth from them directly.
7Your hobbies and interests.
You may not want to tell someone you’ve just started dating that you’re part of a major Game of Thrones online fandom or that you dress up in Disney cosplay on the weekends, but you kinda should. For starters, it may seem easier to try and hide any quirky hobbies or passions you have, but if you start seriously dating someone, they will eventually find out, so you should let them know the real you early on. Any person worth dating won’t judge you based on what you love to do, and if they’re a jerk about it, you’re better off knowing that sooner rather than later.
8Whether you want to see them again.
Picture it: The end of the night, and you decided you just didn’t feel any sparks, even though they seemed perfectly nice and wonderful. But you still give them your number, or say “Let’s do this again sometime!” or even make plans for another date. We *all* do this from time to time, and it’s such a bad idea.
There are ways to be honest about a lack of interest without hurting the person’s feelings. If you can’t do it on the spot, it’s OK to call or let them know in the days following that you just don’t see it going anywhere. But you should be respectfully honest as soon as you realize this isn’t someone you actually want to continue dating. Even though it may hurt at first, they’ll likely appreciate your honesty. Just remember to always be gentle — a little kindness goes a long way with most things in life, but especially when it comes to dating.