In a perfect world, 24/7 honesty and openness in relationships would be a reality. But we’re not perfect and neither is the world—and there’s nothing wrong with keeping a few secrets from your significant other. (Some have even argued it’s a necessity in good relationships.) Let’s be clear: We’re not saying it’s ever OK to outright lie, and little white lies aren’t even something you should be doing on a daily basis. But keeping part of your life and thoughts private is healthy and important.
For instance, does your S.O. really need to know that his or her mom is an annoying chatterbox after one glass of wine? Or find out that in your senior year of college you slept with 75 percent of your total number? Definitely not. Here are 10 subjects that experts confirm are totally fine to keep to yourself when you’re in a relationship.
Your partner doesn’t need to know about the eye candy in your daily life, whether it’s the sexy guy in the Armani suit you always notice on the F train or the cute woman with the music note tattoo who’s always in your favorite coffee shop. “Telling your partner about people you have casual, essentially meaningless crushes on won’t make them feel any better about themselves and could actually sow some serious seeds of discontent,” says Rita Delgado, a sex educator and owner of Shades of Love, an adult toy store in San Antonio, TX. As long as things aren’t going any further than you thinking he or she is good-looking, then it’s no harm, no foul.
If you feel comfortable getting into the nitty-gritty details of your grooming routine, go ahead, but if it’s something you’d rather not reveal everything about, you’re not alone—and it’s completely OK. “Your partner doesn’t need to know about the Botox, laser hair removal, or other body treatments you use to stay looking and feeling good,” says adult advice columnist Sarah Merrill, founder of @bigkidproblems. The exception: Major surgery, like liposuction, in which case it’s a health issue and you should share the decision with your S.O.
There’s no need for your lover to know when, where, and how you pleasure yourself. “If you’re articulating when and where you’re masturbating, it could be seen by your partner as a sign that you’re not sexually satisfied, as well,” says Delgado. Leave this to his or her imagination, which can also be hot.
Unless you’re partnered for life, how you spend your money is your business. Once you get to a certain point of seriousness in a relationship, you should disregard this point, because talking about finances and budget is super-important, but until then, your debit card balance or credit card debt is between you and AmEx. That goes for savings accounts, too, says attorney Corri Fetman. “Every guy and girl should have a rainy day fund for emergencies—or just finally pulling the trigger on those Louboutins you’ve always wanted,” she says. Either way, the money stuff can get tricky, so if you’re not sure whether or not you should share something with your partner, it might be time to have the money talk.
That thing some people say about how telling your partner secrets about other people “doesn’t count”? That’s totally false. “If you swore to one of your girlfriends that you’d never divulge the details of her sex life or work drama, then it should NEVER be revealed to anyone—including your partner,” says Fetman. It doesn’t matter how close you are or how much you trust your S.O.: you’ve been sworn to secrecy, which is a non-negotiable. Don’t sacrifice the integrity of one relationship for another.
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