You have been dating for three months and everything thus far has been smooth sailing. Then comes the revelation that your new love should have told you before, but didn't. They were worried, scared, and thought they wouldn't have a chance if they shared their news right out of the gate. Maybe they were right. But now you have to decide what to do with this new information. At Relationup (an app that provides live relationship advice via chat), 16 percent of our users who are dating find out about some significant revelation three to six months into their relationship.
Here are 4 tips to help you cope when a secret is shared by your partner early on in your new relationship.
Understand that this is a blow to your feeling of safety in the relationship
It makes perfect sense for people not to reveal their history before they know you're serious but, from your perspective, you just found out that your partner isn't who you thought. Like a social media relationship status update, now "it's complicated." You may feel betrayed, hurt and angry, or perhaps, confused and disappointed. The foundation of your relationship feels shaky and it's hard to trust that other secrets aren't lurking below the surface.
Gather information about what's been shared with you
Are you learning that your new love has been married, has a child, suffers from a medical condition, or is a recovering alcoholic? It's important that you take the time to understand all the details and time frames of what is being shared as it relates to your partner's life. Do some research, ask questions and make sure you get them all answered.
Discover how this information impacts your relationship and your future together
You might find yourself in the role of a stepmother dealing with an ex, supporting a partner with a mental illness, or living a life seeped in recovery from an addiction. You may need to meet children and ex-spouses, or talk to people who are partners of others suffering from conditions in order to gain a deeper understanding of what's in store. Do your homework and some introspection to determine if this is a situation you want to be involved in moving forward.
Impress upon your partner that now is the time to come clean about anything else they might be hesitant to share. How many big surprises can you take? It's hard to recover from one unexpected revelation, let alone a succession of them. Explain to your partner that now is the time to reveal all their baggage so the foundation of your relationship can be built on stable ground.
The landscape of your relationship will be forever changed with this revelation. So, take some time to see how the new information impacts you and your relationship. You just may find that this new circumstance brings you both a level of depth and connection that you hadn't imagined. This "game changer" could actually move the game in your favor.