A healthy partnership is, more often than not, about compromise. But how much compromise is too much compromise? While we all strive to meet our partners in the middle and remain equal in our relationships — romantic or otherwise — there are some things our partners simply are not obligated to. In other words, you don't owe your partner every part of your life, every inch of your body and even every answer to their potential questions.
Sure, communication is an important part of any relationship and keeping the channels clear so that you and your partner can talk to one another openly, honestly, and without judgement, is vital. However, a healthy amount of communication does not mean constant communication. You don't have to constantly speak with your partner, answer their questions, and allow them all-access to every facet of your life. Just because you're a partner in a romantic relationship doesn't mean that you've ceased being your own, individual person who is entitled to their own space and their own sense of freedom.
Do you make sacrifices when you're in a relationship? Sure. But there are some sacrifices you shouldn't make, or be asked to make; not for the sake of your partner, not for the sake of their peace of mind, and not for the sake of your continued relationship. So, with that in mind, here are eight questions you might get from your partner that you should never feel obligated to answer (although obviously you can).
"How Many People Have You Slept With?"
You're under no obligations to disclose your sexual history. Not to your partner, your friends, your family members, or anyone else. In fact, the only individual you should discuss your "number" with is your medical practitioner, and only because it keeps you and those you're involved with safe. You don't owe your partner a piece of your past, especially when it's a past they weren't part of.
"How Much Money Is In Your Bank Account?"
Financial freedom isn't only vital, it's essential in maintaining a healthy relationship. When you let your partner control your finances, you could be putting yourself in a position that could keep you from staying safe and, if necessary, leaving the relationship altogether. When you're building a life with your partner, it's rather common to combine finances and talk about money regularly, but make no mistake, you're never obligated to disclose your finances to your partner. If your partner insists on controlling your finances, you may be the victim of financial abuse, a stepping stone to domestic violence and something no one should have to endure.
"What Are You Thinking About?"
Your partner isn't owed access to every thought that may or may not come across your mind. While communication is key in any relationship, constant, unending and otherwise intrusive communication isn't owed to your partner. At the end of any day, you get to decide what you do or do not share with your partner. Your thoughts are yours: yours to sort through, own, share if you want, obsess over, or dismiss. Someone constantly asking for you to share everything you think is essentially telling you that they believe they have the right to your person, your inner-most thoughts and that they should control you, instead of you controlling yourself.
"Why Don't You Want To Have Sex?"
You don't have to give anyone a reason why you don't want to be intimate with them. Not the ~dude brah bro man~ who was upset when you turned him down at the bar, and not your partner of however-many years. Just because you've had sex with your partner once or twice or a hundred times, doesn't mean the next time is guaranteed, and under no circumstances do you owe them a bullet-pointed list of reasons why you're just not into it.
"Where Are You And Your Friends Going?"
You don't have to tell your partner where you're going and whom you're going with. You're not a child, and they're not your parent. No, you're an adult who makes their own decisions, decisions that don't have to be explained to anyone else. Do many partners decide to tell their significant other where they're going and who's tagging along? Sure, and that is definitely a decision anyone is more than entitled to make. However, you should tell someone where you are and who you're with because you want to, not because you feel like you have to, and certainly not because you're afraid that if you don't, your partner will get angry.
"What's Going On With Your Family/Friends?"
Other people's secrets are not yours to share, even with your partner. You shouldn't feel obligated to tell anyone about the issues plaguing your family, or what your best friend is going through at the moment. If it's not your story, it's not yours to tell, and your partner should respect your decision to keep other people's secrets to yourself, as that means you would undoubtably pay them the same respect.
"Who Are You Talking To?"
If your partner is constantly insisting that he or she know whom you're speaking with, you might have a controlling partner. Or even just a partner who has an incorrect sense of what they are entitled to from you and their involvement in your life. You don't owe your partner an extravagant explanation and/or play-by-play of your interactions, who you're talking to and what you're talking about. Again, communication is important in any relationship, but a relationship is not an excuse for being essentially beholden to someone else.
"Why Did You Buy That?"
You're an adult, and as such, you don't owe someone an explanation as to why you purchased something. Not if it's with your own money and especially if it isn't extravagant, like some over-sized yacht or a massive house. Should substantial purchases be discussed with your partner? Probably. Then again, Jim bought Pam a house without telling her — or going into massive detail about his many reasons why — and things turned out alright for those two.
"Why Don't You Want To Talk About It?"
If you don't want to talk about something, you just don't want to talk about something, and your partner isn't owed an explanation as to why. You have the right to complete autonomy over your body, and that includes what you say and when you say it. You shouldn't be forced into a conversation with someone, and you most certainly shouldn't be force to explain why you don't want to have a conversation with someone. Everyone deserves times and space. Yes, even when you're in a relationship.