If you have to wonder whether or not you should tell the new guy you’re dating something about yourself/your life, odds are you should. Just in case, here are things we don’t want you to hide from us early in the relationship.
If you have kids
For some guys, having kids is a deal breaker. It’s nothing personal—some of us just aren’t about that lifestyle. Even if you’re afraid of scaring a guy off by telling him you have kids, it’s far worse to not tell him. If a guy doesn’t want you because you have kids, you’re probably better off without him. What you don’t want to do is scare a guy off because you conveniently forgot to mention that you have kids and he starts to worry what else you’re hiding from him.
If you’ve been married
We don’t need to know your whole dating history—in fact, the less we know, the better—but the major exception to this rule is if you’ve been married before. Remember that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie got upset at Big because he didn’t tell her he was married? Well, that’s a two-way street, ladies. If you start dating someone, he should probably know about the time you decided to exchange life-altering vows to another guy. It’s probably something that will come up eventually anyway, so best to get it out in the open.
Any addictions you may have
Let’s preface this by saying that not all addictions are bad. But even if it’s something like coffee, online shopping, or your favorite TV show, let us know so we can learn more about what makes you tick. Of course, if you have a more serious addiction, the jerks will flee right away; the good guys might be willing to stay and help you through it, so it’s best to let us know early on.
If you’re dying to get married
We understand that most (but not all) women will want to get married someday, but you should go ahead and assume that most of us aren’t in a rush. If you’re feeling pressure to settle down and have kids within the next couple of years, that’s probably information we should know about before either of us gets too invested. Again, if this makes a guy run away, he’s not worth it in the first place. We don’t want you getting mad when you’re not wearing a ring after six months of dating.
Notable medical conditions
Sharing information about an STD is definitely essential before, you know, things go to that next level, but really any medical condition is important to disclose. Even if it’s something like lupus (whatever that is), depression, or an allergy to strawberries, we’ll probably be cool with it as long as you let us know. The last thing we want is to be going through your purse looking for a mint and discover a bottle of pills you never mentioned before. That conversation is going to be awkward for a few reasons, so just let us know what’s up. I mean, we won’t show you our athlete’s foot, but we’ll let you know it’s there.
If you really love Jesus (or Buddha, or Allah, or any other deity)
Unless you meet a guy while physically standing in a church or on a religion-specific dating website, you can’t assume you have the same religious views. Obviously religious harmony eludes the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make our relationship work. That being said, we don’t want to meet your parents and have them ask us to say grace before dinner if that’s not what we’re about. Share your faith (or your lack of it) with us ASAP.
What you want in a partner
If you have a specific idea about what you want in a romantic partner, by all means, let us know. We’re both here because we want this relationship to work out, but not if we’re all wrong for each other. If we’re not what you’re looking for, we’ll probably take it personally and things may get a little awkward, but in the long run, we’ll all be better off if you just let us know right away if we fit the bill.
Any skeletons in your closet
If it’s a family secret like ties to the Russian mob or the fact that you’re $50,000 in debt after dropping out of grad school, it’s best to get it out in the open rather than it coming out later when it’ll feel like you were hiding something on purpose. Maybe you were hurt in a past relationship and it scarred you for life. If so, just let us know so that we can remain sensitive to it and understand where you’re coming from a lot better.
Your true self
Above all else, never be afraid to show your true self to a guy early in the relationship. Be yourself and not who you think we want you to be. Share all of your likes, dislikes, future aspirations, and how you like to spend your time. We want to get to know the real you even if we don’t seem to have much in common. The last thing we want to do is fall for a woman only to find out she wasn’t being real with us. If you’re upfront and honest about who you really are, things will eventually work out for the best.
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