Are You Oversharing About Your Relationship?

Got the gossip bug when it comes to your relationship? Here’s how to tell and how to stop oversharing in its tracks.


Got the gossip bug when it comes to your relationship? Here’s how to tell and how to stop oversharing in its tracks.
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Meeting up with your girlfriends to dish about your latest relationship drama has certainly been romanticized (hello, Sex and the City), but can airing out the dirty laundry between you and your partner with a friend or family member ever be helpful? Well, it's complicated.

According to Andrea Cornell, a New York City-based marriage and family therapist, wanting to discuss your relationship with someone other than your partner is normal. “We like to hear other people's input," she says. “If you think about it, a wedding is the biggest example of that. When you do something in front of a lot of people who are important to you, it's how you create this big meaning and showing your commitment."

On the other hand, relying too much on a close friend or family member for advice or approval is a big no. “When you're talking to a friend about something private, you're betraying your partner," explains Rachel Sussman, a New York City-based therapist. She says to be wary of gossiping about your partner, since trust is the cornerstone of a successful relationship. “As a rule of thumb, always speak in a respectful way when talking about your partner with others," she says.

[post_ads]Before you enter a committed relationship, your friends act as advice-givers, so it's normal to want to fill them in on what's new with your beau. But once you and your partner are serious, you need to be mindful that roles change and tough relationship conversations should be reserved for your and your partner. Sussman says if you catch yourself constantly spilling the beans to your friends about arguments or problems, ask yourself why you aren't going to your partner first. Are you scared or nervous? “These feelings are okay, but try to overcome them," Sussman says. “Address your partner directly or go to a counselor because in the end, you'll feel proud of yourself." Cornell suggests finding a time and place that's conducive to being calm, then approach the conversation. “Oftentimes, we have this unnecessary fear in our heads, and once we test that fear, we realize it wasn't a problem," she says.

But what if you're sharing is always of a positive nature? If you catch yourself always bragging about your significant other's latest accomplishments or just how sweet he is to you, there can still be a negative side. “It can be a drain for some friends, especially ones on totally different boat where they're single or going through a breakup," says Cornell. Be considerate of your friends' feelings and ask yourself if you're constantly sharing cute stories as a way to receive constant validation that your relationship is going well (that's often the case, according to Cornell). While approval from your friends is comforting, it's not all important. “The truth is, those things are meaningful and joyful and fulfilling because you and your boyfriend have that, not because a certain amount of people like it or tell you how great it is," explains Cornell.
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However, bringing up your partner over brunch of coffee with the girls isn't totally off limits. Storytelling is a normal way to connect; it's just how and how often you choose to do it, says Sussman. “It's nice to say those things publicly, but don't do it every day," she says. “It can be good to share something self-deprecating too, to show you're human." Idealized relationships are boring anyway, right?
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Love Magazine: Are You Oversharing About Your Relationship?
Are You Oversharing About Your Relationship?
Got the gossip bug when it comes to your relationship? Here’s how to tell and how to stop oversharing in its tracks.
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