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Should You Tell Your Partner Everything?

by Megan Sheckells

Like many people, I found one of the greater joys in a relationship is having someone who I can trust with all sorts of things about me. Having someone to confide in and share whatever random details of my life that I wanted to – without fear of judgment – is one of the things that makes relationships beautiful.

However, there does come a big question with this: should you tell your partner everything? If you have things you don’t feel like sharing with them, is that problematic? There is a lot of nuance in the answer because while trust is vital to a healthy relationship, that doesn’t mean you must sacrifice all privacy to obtain that level of trust.

Psychologist Tatyana Dyachenko, spoke to She’s SINGLE to offer some advice on the topic. Dyachenko is a relationship and sex expert at She stated, “I don’t believe you have to tell your partner everything but communication is the key to any successful relationship. The more you can share with your partner the closer you can become.”

So while we don’t need to be making sure we tell our partner everything and in extreme detail, it might be worth considering the importance of the information to your relationship. Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of many books, including “A Short Guide to A Happy Marriage”, offered some additional insight.

She stated, “Generally, I would say that it is a sign of a healthy relationship when partners want to share. It suggests that the couple can trust each other with information and that they can give and take in healthy dialogue, and are interested in their partner and wish to understand them as best as possible.”

While it’s important to share things about yourself and your life with your partner, it’s still absolutely okay to have boundaries on the issue of privacy. Sometimes, whether knowingly or unintentionally, partners can cross the line in expectation or questions. The end result here is feeling an invasion of privacy, which is likely to harm the level of trust or communication between partners.

Dyachenko states, “If you feel your partner is invading your privacy then you need to talk to them about it. Bottling things up will only lead to an argument down the line.” Once again, it comes down to some form of communication. If you don’t tell your partner that what they're doing or asking about feels like an invasion, they’ll never know.

I can relate to this struggle of what to tell a partner. I tend to be a pretty private person, so finding the balance between letting a partner get to know me and keeping to myself can be a struggle. This is especially the case for new relationships. You don’t become partners and automatically pass over the entire manuscript of your life for your newly-found partner to peruse at their leisure. Instead, it looks a little more like a series of things over time.

“In a new relationship you may not want to share everything about yourself or your past, but as time goes on you may want to open up more,” said Dyachenko. It’s important to understand there is a process to a lot of relationship milestones, and you can share when you feel ready.

Dyachenko continued, “Some people never want to talk about their past with their partners and that is also fine. However, it may leave your partner feeling that they don’t really know you that well which is something you need to consider.” This is important to note. At the end of the day, communication is vital for every relationship.

If you don’t plan to let your partner in on your life then they’re likely to be aware that you’re leaving them out of important things. Also, it’s important to note that if it’s something that could impact the health of the relationship you need to be discussing that. Privacy is fine on many topics, but keeping secrets that could harm the relationship isn’t going to do either of you any good.

Overall, the answer is no. We don’t need to tell our partners everything. However, holding out on communication with them too frequently or on the wrong topics isn’t going to do you any favors. So, ask yourself why it is that you don’t want to tell your partner about that specific thing. Is it going to impact your ability to grow in your relationship?

If you’re feeling uncertain, talk to your partner about their thoughts on these boundaries. Either way, you’ll be communicating, (maybe not on everything) on the things that matter.

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Dyachenko, Tatyana. Personal Interview, 7 Sep. 2021.

O’Neill, Sharon. Personal Interview, 7 Sep. 2021.


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