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When Is It TMI (Too Much Information) Too Soon? And When Is It Time For “Full-Disclosure?”

We all know it’s not good to share too much too soon on a first date.

TMI (Too Much Information) can scare off anyone.  But when does it become a problem to KEEP something from your partner?

Last weekend my boyfriend started rattling off a bunch of silly stuff that he thought I should know about him in the interests of “full-disclosure.”It was funny at the time. But later on, I realized, there was something I needed to share with him.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t anything serious, at least not to me.  But, what’s no-big-deal to you can sometimes be a big deal for him.  And, I did know he wasn’t going to like it (which was probably why I hadn’t shared it in the first place).

Anyway, I needed to let him know that I bathe my little (and very cute) dog in the kitchen sink.  (Right now, some of you are saying, “ugh… gross!” and some of you are saying, “so what?”  See what I mean … no big deal to some, a very big deal to others.) Now, in my defense, I did THINK about telling him last summer … after he made me separate the dog dishes from the people dishes… which involved buying new sponges for each … and requires washing the dog dishes by hand (since they are no longer allowed in the dishwasher.)

Anyway, I thought if he doesn’t want the dog dishes near the people dishes, then he probably wouldn’t want the whole dog in the kitchen sink.  (Now, if you are not a dog-person, I’m sure this is obvious to you.  But I have surveyed my dog-friends and believe me. I’m not the worst!)

But, since I couldn’t think of another way to wash my dog (my bathroom shower and sink wouldn’t work, for reasons I won’t go into).  AND I had to bathe the dog a lot, since my boyfriend is also allergic to fleas.  ANYWAY, since I couldn’t come up with a solution, I guess I just decided to “forget” to mention it to him.

Well, needless to see, he wasn’t happy when I finally told him.  But, what also upset him was that I’d been “keeping it” from him. Now to his credit, he got over it pretty quickly, and THANK GOD he loves my dog.  So, we’re coming up with other solutions that we can both live with.   But, it was still pretty hard to tell him.

Puppy Love

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Denise Valencia

    I think that TMI too soon is relative. It depends on the couple involved and what kind of relationship they have (serious or casual). If it’s something that has to eventually be discussed, why hide it or postpone it… it gets you into trouble in the end, like the whole dog-bathing-in-the-sink situation. I understand that certain situations may not be important to some people, but how important do you KNOW the situation is to your partner (that’s the key). If it’s something that you think is of importance to them, then it’s something you should talk about, no matter how soon you think it may be.

  • Jairo de leon

    On a first date, real personal information should not be the main focus, what should be is the basic information for getting to know each other not to investigate each other. Giving too much information too soon may ruin something special. At a later time it would be healthy to disclose some real personl information.
    I learned that there are events in our lives that are meant to be in the past. Yet, if its an event that hurts the present then some consideration should be taken into account. For instance, if a relationship has been hurt by trust from the past and it is affecting the present relationship, then in order to build a trusting new relationship there needs to be some disclosure of the past. So that the new partner may know about it and not provoke something that may cause its partner to not trust.
    Overall, I believe that we all have our past and some of it needs to be left in the past. So that no extra bagage is brought into a new healthy relationship.

  • Vanessa

    I think it is important to take relationships slow and become friends first. Let things come out naturally. When you do start to get serious, disclosure helps establish trust and intimacy.
    I share:
    1) Things I would want to know.
    2) Things I feel are important to him.
    3) Topics relevant to the relationship (as stated above)
    4) When the topic comes up, I don’t try to hide something.
    Lastly, I think it is important to be honest with yourself about why you are NOT sharing something. This can help you decide if you need to speak up.

  • Vanessa

    P.S. Your pup is soooooo cute. I have given my dog a bath in the sink too haha

  • Amy Gisi

    Hi Dr. Lozano. I can appreciate this topic as a newlywed. I would like to think that my husband and I share everything with each other…but I have also learned that harmless things that might aggravate or annoy the other may not need to be discussed. This article got me thinking…! By the way your dog is adorable!!!

  • Vondie Lozano

    Thank-You Everyone For Your Comments! It’s been great to hear your stories and thoughts about when something is TMI and when it’s time for “full-disclosure!”
    Vondie :)
    my boyfriend and I have been keeping score of your comments about the dog-bathing-in-the-sink. I say its Vondie,2; boyfriend,1!

  • Gina Curasi

    Overall, I find that disclosure is important. However, meaningful and pertinent disclosure is more important than complete disclosure to me. Some things can be better left unsaid if they are detrimental. In short, I believe that disclosure involves a delicate balance and should be handled with great care and thought.

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