Private vs Public: What Personal Details To Share With Your Partner


Karen Phillip

Relationships Expert

What should we share, what do we keep private? This is the old age question many couples struggle with.

Most of us have had experiences and past relationships before we finally meet that special person we want to share our life with forever. What do they need to know about our past and what do I need to discover about them?

Is the question one of curiosity or relevance? The answer can be both.

private-vs-publicimage via pinterest

It is always a good idea to ascertain your partners

– Past in regards to the number of relationships and reason for their dissolution
– If your new partner has lost a couple of past relationships due to their own cheating, this is a huge red flag
– If they blame their past partners for everything including the demise of the relationship, this is another reason to run away fast.
– You may need to also disclose these types of relevant details to allow your new partner to determine if this relationship is safe for them as well.

It is also wise after a while to discover their

– work ethics and values
– ability with money
– spending patterns
– goals for the future
– family and how they get along as this may provide some interesting information you need to know

When you have both decided this is the relationship right for you both, the question then is what details of your life and relationship should be shared and what needs to be kept private between the two of you. When we share, we create a bond with that person who learns more about us, the way we think and who we are.

Should we disclose everything? If it is not relevant to your life now, then perhaps not, unless of course you wish to share. It is imperative to understand the reason you may wish to share details. Is it to relieve yourself of something, to share these deepest parts of you with them to create a bond or to disclose an event you want them to understand. All these reasons are valid. We do need then to ask ourself if this information is helpful to the relationship or is it just unloading. If unload is what you need please consider a therapeutic session with a Counsellor to disclose rather than using your partner for this.

We also know most women like to share. Many like to obtain other people’s perspective to any situation to determine if they are making the right choice or if something is ‘normal’.

We enter into a committed relationship as a Me, and then become a We. This means that anything that happens to either of you has an effect on the other partner. Whatever you do or don’t do, say or don’t say, the way you act and speak all has an effect on your partner.

It is wise to determine early on in your relationship the type of discussions permitted with others. Is it acceptable to talk to your parents, sibling, best friend or does this place uncomfortable pressure on your partner? Should the two of you discuss and work things out together or with a therapist in a confidential session?

It is important that both partners understand how each other think and feel about this. Then of course the discussion on sharing publically, especially on social media.

How many times have we witnessed an argument between a couple unfold on social media. Do you divulge your annoyances with your partner to your friends on Facebook? Do you write about your partner’s sexual failings? Do you tweet about your fights, inciting friends to pick a side? Not a virtuous way to manage a relationship. Sharing issues publically either on social media, with friends or in the workplace is never wise. Others never know your real relationship.

A relationship is intimate and there are certain things that only the couple should share. This is part of protecting your relationship.

Should we share passwords with our partner? This depends if you are in ‘ We’. When you have become a ‘We’ transparency and openness is essential. It does not mean you can’t remain individual but it does mean you are committed and jointly affected by everything from the other person. Sharing passwords, is not an issue if there is no reason for it to be one. If you have a suspicious partner the reason is asked as to why? Did they have a problem previously by someone else being secretive and now feel uncomfortable if their new partner is also secretive. Many discussions that need to be had to ensure you both have a clear expectation of what your relationship should look like.

A relationship must be able to count on each other’s confidences as this provides essential trust within the relationship.


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