There’s A Difference Between Being Honest & Spilling Your Guts

There’s A Difference Between Being Honest & Spilling Your Guts ©iStock/svetikd

Sadly, we live in a society that seems to pride itself on oversharing. From endless selfies on Instagram to detailed Facebook status updates about what we’re having for dinner or how tired we are this morning, there’s no end to what we won’t share about our boring lives — and this is especially true for relationships. While you shouldn’t leave guys in the dark about major dealbreakers, there’s a fine line between being honest about what you can bring to the table and offering them a nice, big ol’ helping of TMI. Not sure where the line is? Here are some pointers:

  1. If what you’re saying doesn’t affect or enrich your future relationship prospects, it’s oversharing. Does he really need to know all your recent relationship drama? Probably not — it’s not relevant. All you’re doing by telling other people this stuff is making yourself look bad, unstable, and weird.
  2. That being said, you shouldn’t gloss over certain things about yourself and your past. If you have a kid, he needs to know. If you have a unique family tradition during the holidays, he should probably be aware of it. Either way, certain conversations have to be aired eventually.
  3. Timing can make the difference between honesty and spewing your guts out. With some issues, it may only be spilling your guts out if you haven’t known him for a long time. Generally speaking, if you’d be creeped out by hearing someone you just met say something like that to you, you’d be better off just getting to know him for a couple months before you mouth off.
  4. Unless you’re about to have sex, anything to do with your genitalia or butt is TMI. While we’re on this topic, can we please have someone send a memo to guys that explains to them why penis pics are a visual version of oversharing?
  5. Note: Your friend/boyfriend is not your therapist. If it seems like you’re basically venting out a million little horrible memories on them, you’re probably spilling your guts. Trust me, it’s a major attraction killer, and it can bury your relationships relatively quickly.
  6. Honesty leaves a little to the imagination; spilling your guts out leaves nothing left to wonder about. Honesty when flirting would be something along the lines of, “I was fantasizing about you last week…” Spilling your guts out when flirting is basically what you find on OKStupid and other dating sites filled with creeps who think they’re erotica writers. See the difference?
  7. Spilling your guts is a cry for help. You can be honest about your past and not make it sound like you’re begging for help. Even if you’ve dealt with some terrible stuff, you can still present yourself as a functional, stable person who’s stronger and better for it. When you literally flood people with confessions, TMI, and gruesome details, it’s a cry for help. There’s no way you can overshare without making people think that there’s something seriously wrong with you. How they react to that cry can vary, but invariably, they will see it as a cry for help.
  8. Honesty is owning up to your past. Everyone has baggage and issues, but by being honest and telling the truth about what you’ve been through, you’re showing that you’ve grown. By not being dramatic when bad things happen, you’re ensuring that you’ll overcome the obstacle without issue.

It’s OK to be honest when you’re going through things. As long as you use a filter and common sense, you can communicate your past without scaring people away.

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.