The Right Time To Have The Big Talks In Your Relationship

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If honesty is the best policy, is there an optimal time to divulge your most personal information?

Even at the best of times, “The Talk” can be a touchy subject. Maybe you want to date exclusively. Maybe you have wedding bells on the brain. Maybe you're just ready to disclose a weird hobby or an annoying habit.

Whatever talk you're ready to have, it's a sensitive situation and tricky to get the timing right. To shed some light on the murky topic, online dating site Zoosk polled more than 5,000 users to get their thoughts on having uncomfortable relationship conversations.

The big question on most daters' minds is this: when is it ok to define the relationship as exclusive or nonexclusive? According to Zoosk's survey, almost half of men believe it's important to define the relationship within the first few dates. Only a third of women agreed. Forty-nine percent of female users wanted to wait until after the first few months of dating to discuss exclusivity.

As far bigger commitments go, 56% of men and 54% of women consider six months an appropriate time to talk about marriage. Note: the marriage talk in question isn't about marrying each other or picking out color schemes. This conversation is just about whether you aspire to get married at all.

Zoosk also asked users about disclosures earlier in the dating process. Their research found that response rates to the first online dating message increase if the following words are used: vegan, pets, allergies. On the other hand, response rates decrease with the appearance of these words: vegetarian, virgin, rich.

In that initial communication, more men (32%) than women (28%) say they would disclose if there was something unusual about them sexually. However, the majority of men (52%) and a significant number of women (41%) say they would prefer to remain in the dark about their date's number of past sexual partners.

On or immediately following the first date, 70% of men say they would be upfront if they are seeing other people. Sixty-two percent of women say they would do the same. Past partners, on the other hand, are a subject better saved for later dates. Nearly half of men and women say they do want to discuss former relationships and recent breakups, but only after a few weeks of dating.

For more about this dating service please read our review of Zoosk.