When Is The Best Time To Share Secrets With Your Partner?
When your skeletons are tired of hanging out in the closet.
We all have our fair share of secrets – hell, some of us have so much baggage we'd easily out-do an Airbus A380. But what happens when you've found someone you really connect with – someone you can see a future with? You can only ride the exciting rush of finding someone who actually gets you (on face value, at least) for so long before having to inevitably face the daunting reality of opening up about your secrets: the things they'll have to know if you want to seriously progress any further with the relationship.
Perhaps that “thing” is that you don't want children, perhaps you're a die-hard dominatrix, maybe you turn into a werewolf every full moon – who knows? But the question burns worse than an ambitiously sized forkful of molten lasagna to the tongue: “Will this person still like me if I tell them that?” And if you are brave enough to take the risk and give your new love the key to your inner sanctum, the next question is, is there actually any “right” time to do it?
Frustratingly, according to the experts, it seems that there is not. “Every relationship hits milestones at different times,” says Jane Greer, PhD, New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship to Refinery29. “For many people, quality of time is very different than the actual length of time you're with a person.” So basically, if you're already feeling incredibly intimate and inseparable with your partner, the right time could be as little as two weeks; for others, it could be more like two months. Of course, if you're harboring an STI and sex looks like it's on the cards by date three, unless there is no longer a risk of infection, you're probably gonna have to disclose that info.
Kinks can also be quite tricky to negotiate. “If you met your partner in a more 'vanilla' context, it may be inappropriate to start unloading your kinks over the first cup of coffee,” says columnist and relationship expert Dan Savage. You're gonna have to get to know each other sexually first and slowly bring it to the table.
The most important thing to remember about choosing the “right time” is that you should never feel the pressure to share anything before you're ready. Some issues are more sensitive than others – perhaps you're opening up about mental illness or a past trauma – and there really is no need to rush into all the details until you feel 100 percent comfortable about doing so. “It's all about trusting your gut, and trusting your judgment that this person is someone worthy of sharing those secrets with,” Dr. Greer says. “So if you're moving toward exclusivity, and you're becoming more woven into each other's lives, the 'right' time will just present itself...You want to ensure your partner's values match up with yours.”
Ultimately, the right person for you is somebody that is willing to accept – even celebrate – the hidden parts of you. Because fuck being in any relationship where you can't be yourself. Let go of the “right time” and trust your instinct when the time comes. Chances are your new partner has his fair share of skeletons in the closet too.