We all have secret corners of our minds, where our bitchy thoughts, jealousy and secret fetishes (well, the list is endless!) lurk. And even though 60% of us consider loyalty and honesty to be the most important characteristics in a partner, ‘we’re probably all guilty of censoring ourselves in a new relationship to show our best side’, says sex and relationship therapist Rosalind Hewitt. Here’s how to unveil your hidden side for an honest but happy bond.
‘Honey, I hate your CD collection’
You don’t have to tell him about your Take That poster addiction right off the bat, but don’t totally edit yourself either – be truthful if you have no interest in his beloved rugby or mountain biking, for example. ‘It’s damage limitation for the future and it’s not like you’re saying you don’t like him – just that you don’t share his tastes and hobbies,’ says Hewitt.
‘OK, I’m jealous’
There comes a point when it’s alright to drop the Miss Laid-Back act and be candid about what turns you green-eyed. ‘For instance, if his best girl "friend" triggers it, approach it humorously, perhaps jokingly asking, if he’s seeing his "girlfriend" this week. By laughing about it, he’ll be more susceptible to the message – serious heart-to-¬hearts will only unnerve him.’
‘Sometimes I can be selfish’
It’s normal to have ‘poor me’ days, where you feel ugly and want to veg out and cry; you’ve probably avoided your man when this happens. Don’t – it’s important to show him that you’re not sunny and fabulous 24/7. ‘Otherwise he’s buying into an unrealistic fairy tale of who you are,’ says Hewitt. So instead of keeping your distance, invite him to veg with you – but just don’t do it all the time.
‘I cheated on my ex’
‘Once you’ve said "I love you", you should feel comfortable discussing your long-term hopes for the relationship,’ says Hewitt. Don’t be afraid of talking about past mistakes; they make you who you are and you can learn from them. Be honest about what you want: if you’re a commitment¬-phobe but he’s thinking about 2.4 children, it’s best to know before either of you gets hurt.