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Experts Explain the Things You Do and Don't Need to Know About Your Partner While Dating

These relationship pros break down the details you need to talk about.

Contributing Writer
mini moon couple having picnic
Photography by: Liz Banfield

You can learn a lot about a person while you're dating—everything from their favorite movies and music to their silly quirks and habits become apparent. While sharing a life together and spending the majority of your waking (and sleeping) seconds side by side is a wonderful thing, there's also some beauty left in the unknown. That's why relationship experts break down the information that you need to know about your partner while you're dating and what you definitely don't.

 

Related: Important Questions to Ask During Your First Year of Dating

 

You Should Know: About his relationships with friends and family.

These are the people who molded your partner into the person he is today. What are they like? Are they on good terms with him? Are they involved in his life? All of this may eventually play a role in your relationship with each other. "Ask about his parents and how they treated each other and the relationship they had with your partner," suggests Dawn Michael, Ph.D., a relationship expert. "Ask how he feels about his parents and what were some good and bad time about growing up."

 

You Shouldn't Know: How much money your partner spends each day.

Once you get married, finances are something the two of you will have to discuss in more detail since you'll likely be fusing bank accounts. But even then, you shouldn't have to know every single one of his expenses. "Your partner can give you an idea of how he spends or saves his money, but there's no need to get into the actual details," says Dr. Michael.

 

You Should Know: If he's on good terms with his exes.

This is certainly not a conversation you're likely itching to bring up, but understanding the basics of what went down in his past relationships—especially how they ended—can teach you a lot about him. "If your partner is friends with his exes, it shows he's skilled in conflict resolution, which is a nice feature in a partner," explains Claudia Six, Ph.D., a relationship coach. "If he has loose ends with past lovers, of the kind that might have him running back to the ex and leaving you feeling rejected, this is something you should know as well."

 

You Shouldn't Know: Every single detail about their past relationships and flings.

While thinking about your partner with another person may keep you up at night, the past is the past and it should stay there. But, as Dr. Michael points out, asking your partner to disclose the excruciating details of his previous relationships is only opening a can of worms—namely, those filled with jealousy and disdain. "If he wants to tell you, that's fine, but it's not something he needs to do or should feel pressured to do."

 

You Should Know: If you have a connection.

As Dr. Six points out, it's important to find a partner you connect with on more than just an emotional level (although that's important, too). This might be a topic that unravels naturally—i.e. physically—but it may require some digging around and even straight-up inquiring. "This is a topic to be broached gently. Not too soon, but not too late," she says.

 

You Shouldn't Know: The background story of all his social media followers.

It may sound silly, but his social media following—especially if it's sizeable—could become a point of contention, according to the pros. That's why it's important to avoid assuming that he knows everyone on a personal level or that he's friending or following them for the wrong reasons. Just as you see folks on your newsfeed that you don't know on a friend-to-friend basis, his situation is likely the same. If you have reason to suspect that he's messaging girls behind your back, however, that's a different story and you should address it with him directly.