As sex therapist and host of my personal favorite sex/relationship advice podcast Dan Savage once wrote, “Relationships aren’t depositions, we’re not under oath, we can hold some stuff back and still be good partners.” He went on to further add, “We have to hold some stuff back to be good partners.”
If you maintain your share absolutely everything with your partner and vice versa, then more power to y’all. Although I’d be willing to bet both parties are still keeping something from one another. Not necessarily something big, but something nonetheless. Because, after all, being a part of a healthy relationship inherently means maintaining your independence.
If you were to openly discuss every person you found attractive or break down that dirty dream you had featuring your SO’s best friend, harmony would be impossible. We keep things to ourselves in order to protect the ones we love. That being said, many things must absolutely be shared with your partner. Your plans for the future, your status in terms of sexual health, whether or not you are sleeping with other people, etc.
But the following things just don’t.
1. How Many Sex Partners You’ve Had
This, quite frankly, is nobody’s business but your own. Some people don’t mind discussing the specifics of past hookups, but more often than not this type of oversharing strikes unnecessary comparison and discord. Numbers without context are irrelevant, and risking an argument in order to gain absolutely nothing except embarrassment or possible shaming just seems unnecessary.
2. The Little Things They Do That Piss You Off
Everyone has bad habits, you included. Pointing out you hate the way your partner yawns (ugh, I feel you on this one though, nothing worse than a loud yawner) or chews or slurps their coffee is a slippery slope leading to resentment and an inevitable breakup. Unless you find yourself irritated by everything your partner stands for and you generally no longer find him/her attractive, stop being a brat and learn to pick your battles.
3. The Details Of Your Past Relationships
We all have exes. The past makes us who we are, but the intimate details of our past relationships should reflect the intimacy of our current ones. Many people don’t mind hearing about our partner’s exes, given they are uglier and stupider than us. Many start drawing comparisons, an annoying yet universal human reaction. Marriage and family therapist Toby Salter says, “Openness, honesty, and the freedom to reveal yourself is what love is all about.” If your partner doesn’t want to hear your stories, then respect that. And if they do, tell them what you’re comfortable having them know.
4. Every GD Time You Get Jealous
You don’t need to reveal every single time you get jealous, if in fact you know you are the jealous type. Some jealousy in a relationship is normal, but constant jealousy is a sign of severe insecurity and deep-rooted trust issues. Your partner has chosen to be with you now. Do you trust them?
5. The Details Of Your Infidelity
You stepped out on your partner, the truth came out, and you both decided to try to forgive, forget, and move forward with the relationship. Without a doubt your partner has every right to want to talk about it. However it is important for both parties to know that discussing sexual details will destroy any chance of reconciliation.
Dr. Harville Hendrix explains: “The person who really wants to know all the details is least capable of handling it. And the more they get about the details, they’re more visual and emotionally incapable of handling that kind of information.”