It sounds cliché at this point, but it isn’t new age therapy mumbo-jumbo to point out that honesty, empathy, and love will keep you and a partner together for longer than anything else. It will also your life, having somebody so close to you and committed to you that they will listen to any problem or regret, you have.

There are all kinds of things we feel exempt us from that pact of honesty, sometimes it’s an issue or source of stress they can’t practically help with, so the secrecy is for their protection. Sometimes, you make a serious mistake and hide it out of shame or embarrassment. Regardless of how daunting, you owe it to your partner to be honest about these aspects of your life.

Your employment status

You don’t have to be dating Sherlock Holmes or Columbo for a lie surrounding your employment to be easily dismantled. You might have lied early on about your qualifications or details of your position to impress somebody and catch their attention, which is wrong, or the fact you’ve been fired or made redundant, which is also wrong.

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The longer your relationship goes on, the more entwined your finances and your day-to-day life become. That means you owe them an explanation as an equal partner in your life, but also because their well-being is now tied to yours, and any dramatic change in circumstances is something they have to deal with too.

Your mental or physical health

It can be hard to open up about the things that weigh on your mind, or even divulge what’s happening inside your body, to another person. There is always the fear of worrying your partner, adding stress to their already stressful lives, and of course that they won’t react positively or empathetically to your situation.

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If that is the case, then your instincts were right and sadly, your partner isn’t right for you. Anybody who can not put themselves aside, even temporarily, to be there for you in your time of need is not somebody you need in your life. Relationships are optional, you choose to be together and should expect the other to hold space for you.

Things that make you feel guilty

The human mind is an incredibly complex, monumentally stupid supercomputer. We feel guilt for all sorts of things, including stuff we haven’t even done, and in those instances, it can feel ridiculous to give it the time of day. It’s still a powerful and essential emotion to feel, and you should feel comfortable telling your partner what you have on your conscious.

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That includes the ultimate “you should confess” action, cheating on your spouse. Regardless of the veracity or impact, you acting guilty and trying to deflect is just going to draw more attention, and it only becomes harder to admit the truth as time goes on. Face the consequences, no matter how small, and you will grow as a person and partner.

Your plans for the future

Presumably, you’re in a relationship to build a future, or at least have some idea of what you want out of life. It’s essential to be on the same page, or at least the same book, as your partner about life plans. Even if you’re not a spectacular planner, your partner having pretty normal expectations from life may seem like an obstacle that’s impossible to climb.

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Communicate regularly with them about where you are and where you’re going. That can sound tedious and stressful, and it may well be for you, but your life isn’t just you once you enter a relationship and you should be growing for each other’s sake as well as your own. Put a pot of coffee on and make an evening out of it.

Your dating history

Some people find that being interrogated on their past relationships and the reasons they ended is a little abrasive. That’s an understandable feeling, and to be fair it should be handled with more tact than what the CIA is capable of, and used to. It’s important to know what kind of partner you’re getting yourself involved with.

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Be honest about why those relationships ended, because it’s important to your future ones! You have to learn something when things go wrong, or you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes over again. Self-reflection is an essential life skill, and that’s what you show by being able to talk openly about your relationships.