ON the surface it may seem perfect. Being in a meaningful relationship usually indicates closeness and the desire to share all kinds of secrets. But while disclosure with your true love is generally advised, relationship counsellor Wayne Powell warns that some things are better kept in the dark if they have no bearing on the relationship.
“The rule of thumb is this: If you're withholding personal information that is going to negatively impact the relationship, then disclosure is recommended. On the other hand, if the personal information will not affect the relationship in any way, then keep it to yourself,” Powell advised.
Powell shares a list of DOs and DON'Ts below:
If, for example, one of the partners has a child before or during the relationship, such information would best be disclosed as early as possible, as this could cause relational conflict later.
An abortion or multiple abortions could cause problems in conceiving later, so such information should be disclosed early in the relationship. On the other hand, if there's proof that there has been no effect on your fertility, then you may choose not to share it.
A generational history of mental illness or any such medical issue
If there are mental illnesses or other genetic illnesses that may have been passed on to you or that could be passed on to your offspring, then this should be disclosed as well.
If details of your past could affect your partner, then you need to come clean. For example, if your partner holds a position of influence, then you should share details of your life that could hurt him or her. Allow your partner to choose whether or not to continue the relationship.
Number of partners
“The disclosure of how many partners one has had in the past will be specific to the couples involved. This has no relevance for some, while it might be important for others,” Powell said. Since this doesn't affect your chemistry with the person, the real question is, would such a statistic help or hinder the relationship?
Your cheating history
If you want to start with a clean slate and you are ready to move on and be committed, if you have received counselling and feel that you are ready to offer your best self in your relationship, then you should not boast about how good you were at cheating. Describing visual scenes for your partner is mean and unnecessary. Indulging in this behaviour will immediately indicate a red flag and will arouse suspicion.
Your family secrets/drama
Once this does not affect your partner in any way, keep your family secrets private.
Details about the relationship with your ex
Some partners like to know details of your sexual past, but you are not obliged to share such private information.
STIs treated in the past
Obviously, if all your STIs have been properly treated, then your partner will not be exposed to any sexually transmitted diseases, and disclosure about them would be unnecessary. If, however, your fertility has been affected, then you may need to disclose this to your partner.