Every relationship has its secrets.
There are the secrets about your relationship you dare not tell others — weird sexual proclivities, unfortunate hangups and deep-rooted insecurities that tie two people together with awkward strings of trust.
Then there are the secrets you keep from one another. Middle names, at first, cleared venereal infections and various lewd fetishes later. But at what point in a relationship should the walls come down? When does trust turn into over sharing? When can you tell your boyfriend about your recurring nightmare about Santa Claus and Donkey Kong?
Don’t worry, I’ve mapped out a handy timeline so you know when it’s cool to divulge certain stories from your seedy past — or your needy body. Just remember: Secrets, secrets are no fun. But some secrets are probably worth keeping.
The first date: You can tell him about your suspicions about your roommate’s alcoholism. Better to say this before you knock back your fourth or fifth cocktail. Of course you have a high tolerance — you’ve been living with a drunk for the last two years! Why else would your apartment look so messy? It’s not you! It’s the intoxicated train wreck in the back bedroom! God. Don’t you wish someone could just take you away from all that?
The third date: You can admit you lied on your profile and no, you never read Infinite Jest — but you did read half of that lobster essay and that was really, really life-changing. What’s that? Oh, yeah. You still eat lobster. It’s delicious. Please.
The fifth date: Thirty-one. No, that’s not how old you actually are, haha. You’d never lie about something as silly as age! You’ve slept with thirty-one people. Yes, counting him. Oh, he’s only slept with five women? Well, that’s very sweet. That’s just so freaking sweet it makes you want to do him again. But this time with less of that baby talk, okay?
Exclusivity: You’re actually thirty-three. Sorry. Anyway, age ain’t nothing but a number. And you rounded down.
Officially boyfriend/girlfriend: Yes, okay, one time you had the clap in college but come on you went to a party school and everyone got it at one point or another! It was going around the dorms like wildfire and, come to think of it, it kind of felt like wildfire when you peed. But it’s gone now. I don’t even know why you wanted me to say it, but doesn’t it feel so great to be honest? This could really work. This feels really special.
Six months: You admit that you slept with your high school English teacher. It was an AP class and no, it wasn’t for extra credit. Very funny. What did he look like? Who? The teacher? Oh, tall… rugged… kind of like your boyfriend’s older brother. Yeah, you always had a thing for his brother, but you would never act on it. You’re totally in love and would never even think about crossing that line.
One year: That? That’s a wart. Everyone who ever had sex has HPV. How does he know where it came from anyway? You could have very well gotten it from him. You’ve never seen it before! In fact, how do you know he didn’t cheat on you and give you warts? If you were him, you’d shut up about that wart already. And yes, you will call the gynecologist. She just has to burn it off. No, you haven’t been through this before; you’ve just heard that’s what happens.
Moving in: You still have your baby blanket. It looks like it was sucked on, chewed on, tread on and burned. But you love it. After a year shoved in a box under the bed, you’ve exhumed it for bad days and severe PMS. Your favorite stuffed animal, a pink walrus named Mookie, now sits on your pillow.
Engaged: You don’t just lock yourself in the bathroom to fart and pop zits. You’re plucking stray hairs from your eyebrows. And your chin. And your nipples. So fuck off.
Married: Sometimes you still dream about your ex-boyfriend. Sometimes, you close your eyes when you’re making love and pretend its him between your legs. You’re not trying to threaten him or make him jealous. You just wish he knew what he was doing with his tongue.
Pregnant: You dare him to look at you down there. One big glance below the belt. One vulva shot so he can know how it feels to carry around a freaking bag of potatoes above your bladder. It’s not pretty down there. Ha, see? You make him look and now he’s grossed out but he won’t admit it and he’s the worst husband ever. Also: he has a small dick.
Divorced: You slept with his brother. It’s not even his baby. And you’re taking the house.