Relationship experts weigh in on debated dating etiquette questions

Relationship experts weigh in on debated dating etiquette questions

Dating 101! Relationship experts reveal the answers to your most burning romance questions – from who should REALLY pay on a first date to when is the ideal time to get intimate

  • Dating coaches Perri Schneider, Julie Spira, and Megan Weks spoke exclusively to DailyMail.com
  • They answered common questions about the start of a new relationship
  • The relationship experts addressed topics like who should pay on a first date
  • They also spoke out about how much you should share about your past relationships with a new love interest
  • In addition, they dished on how you will know that it’s time to make things official

How much about your past relationships are you supposed to reveal to a new partner? Is it OK to lie about small things or use edited photos on dating apps in an attempt to impress someone? And why isn’t your potential new love interest replying quickly to your text messages? 

All of these are common questions that people ask when they’re beginning a new relationship. 

Starting a romance is certainly never an easy feat. It’s hard to know how much you should share about yourself, how open and honest you should be, and how early on you should discuss controversial topics like political stance or religious beliefs.

And while there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer to these inquiries – a series of relationship experts have weighed in on the most-debated dating etiquette questions exclusively to DailyMail.com.

A series of relationship experts have weighed in on the most-debated dating etiquette questions exclusively to DailyMail.com (stock image)

They dished on everything from why you should wait to spill the intimate details about your previous romances to a new love interest to how you will know that it’s time to make things official.

In addition, they addressed the common question of who would pay for the bill on a first date, and revealed the rare times that ghosting is acceptable in a relationship. 

From what you should put on your online dating profile to why you should never assume you’re exclusive with someone – here are the answers to all of your burning love questions, according to a series of certified dating coaches.

How much about your past relationships are you supposed to reveal to a new love interest?

When starting a new relationship, many people are left wondering how much they are supposed to share about their past romances with their new partner. 

Online dating coach Perri Schneider explained that while ‘honesty is always the best policy’ and ‘communication is key’ during the start of a relationship, she suggested ‘waiting to spill all the details’ about your exes until you know your new relationship is serious.

‘This is definitely a conversation that can wait until you are in an exclusive relationship, not necessarily something you need to share immediately,’ she said.

Dating expert Julie Spira reiterated this sentiment, stating that ‘talking about an ex on a date’ can be a total ‘buzz-kill.’ 

‘Most dates that go south involve comparing notes about an ex, which is not romantic,’ she said. ‘No one wants to be the rebound or transition person.’

Perri added that once the time is right, however, it is good to share some information about your previous love life to ‘give insight’ to your new significant other about ‘what you’ve experienced and how it has shaped you to be the partner you are today.’

‘You should share what you feel is integral to you in this current relationship and if there are things that are hard to express, I would be open with your partner about that too,’ she explained.


Dating coach Perri Schneider (left) said that while ‘honesty is always the best policy,’ you should ‘wait to spill all the details’ about exes while Julie Epira (right) said talking about an ex on a date ‘can be a total buzz-kill’

Julie added to avoid ‘ex-bashing’ or sharing too many ‘gory details’ when you do open up about your past.

Certified relationship expert Megan Weks called what you share and what you withhold a ‘fine line,’ explaining, ‘You do not need to share everything about your past relationships upfront but you do need to share enough about your past where it doesn’t look like you’re withholding information.’

And if you’re asked a difficult question about something from your past that you’re not comfortable sharing, she said you should be honest with your feelings. 

She told DailyMail.com: ‘If you’re not ready to disclose information it’s important that you share that truth, that you’re simply not ready to disclose.

‘The best thing you can do is say, “I don’t feel ready yet to talk about that topic right now. When we know each other better, I’m happy to share in a deeper way.” 

‘If you do this with warmth, softness, and grace, your significant other should accept that you’re not ready to talk about it’

When should you tell your partner you have a child from a previous relationship?

A woman on Reddit recently went viral after she revealed that she found out her boyfriend-of-two-years had a secret child from a previous relationship – and it left many people wondering, when is the acceptable time to tell your new partner about your kids?

Certified relationship expert Megan Weks (pictured) told DailyMail.com that you should ‘never keep it a secret’ that you have children from a potential love interest

According to Perri, you should be ‘upfront about this immediately’ because a healthy relationship strives on ‘authenticity.’ 

‘I think it is a really bad look to keep any secret from your partner, especially one as big as having a child,’ she added.

Megan agreed, telling DailyMail.com, ‘With children, you never want to keep it a secret.’

She said being honest from the beginning about your children will ‘attract’ someone who is ‘family-oriented,’ which is likely what you want if you’re a parent.

But she added that you don’t want to make your little ones the entire topic of conversation on a first date. 

‘We want the connection to be based on you and the new prospect. Friends, family, children, all of that is a distraction in the early days of dating,’ she explained.

‘You want to be able to sit across from the individual and get to know one another and each other’s values before these distractions. But it’s absolutely unacceptable to keep children a secret at first.’

How early on should you discuss controversial topics like political stance or religious beliefs?

Some people shy away from bringing up controversial topics like their political stance or religious beliefs when starting a new relationship – because they don’t want to get into a disagreement with a prospective new partner.

But Perri explained that the subjects should be discussed ‘early on in getting to know someone’ so that you guys understand each other from the start and don’t waste any time if you’re not ‘compatible.’

‘While these topics are controversial, they do play a big factor in the compatibility of two people,’ she said.

Megan added that if you have a ‘strong preference’ about politics, you should make it known from the start – and she even suggested putting your stance on your dating profile.

‘If it’s important to you, especially if you’re only looking for someone who [has the same beliefs], that’s when it’s important to put it on your profile upfront,’ she shared.

‘With everything going on now, it saves time if you put a hint of [your beliefs] on your profile. You could say, “Here’s my stances but I’m open to people with other beliefs.”‘

Some people shy away from bringing up controversial topics like their political stance or religious beliefs when starting a new relationship (stock image)

Is it OK to lie about little things to impress someone or use edited photos on dating apps? How honest and upfront should you be?

Some people tend to tell little white lies or hide certain things about themselves when first getting to know someone, or they may use edited photos on dating apps in an attempt to impress potential suitors.

But Perri warned against ‘misleading someone about who you are,’ explaining that it ‘rarely ever results in a good experience.’

‘Authenticity is attractive,’ she said. ‘While you might think lying will give you a better chance at meeting someone, it is only going to end poorly.’ 

Megan agreed, stating that she is ‘all about transparency in the dating process’ and added that it’s ‘not OK to lie about anything.’

‘Lying to impress someone is only gonna hold you back and make you seem insecure when they find out your truth. You want someone to love you for you,’ she continued. 

But on the other hand, she advised that you shouldn’t be too honest at first – especially on online dating profiles. 

She said people ‘want to see you put together and looking your best,’ and warned against using photos that show you makeup-free or lounging around in pajamas on dating apps.

‘Oftentimes, people want to be really forthcoming and true on dating apps, but I think honesty goes a little too far sometimes and it holds people back,’ she said. ‘If you’re putting your best foot forward, that’s all that you need to do.’

Is ghosting an acceptable method if you lose interest in a potential new partner?

The act of ghosting – when you cut off communication without an explanation – has become a popular method of ending a relationship for those who lose interest in a partner (stock image)

The act of ghosting – when you cut off communication without an explanation – has become a popular method of ending a relationship for those who lose interest in a potential partner.

But Perri called it ‘bad karma,’ explaining, ‘If you’re mature enough to date, you’re mature enough to send a simple text to someone expressing that you’re no longer interested in dating them.’

Julie said that it’s important to have ‘closure’ in a relationship, especially if you’ve been with them for some time.

‘[Your ex] deserves the respect to discuss why your relationship is ending,’ she stated. 

‘Think about how you felt when you were ghosted in the past. Take the time to decide whether being a ghoster is how you want your dating legacy to be remembered.’

While Megan agreed that it’s ‘important’ to let people that you formed a connection with ‘know that you’re not interested anymore,’ she admitted that there are times in the ‘dating process where ghosting is more gracious than sending someone a breakup note’ – like if you’re still in the messaging phase and haven’t met in person yet.

Once you’ve gotten to know someone and you’ve gone out on a couple dates and they’re still pursuing you, it’s important that you let them know that you’re not interested anymore,’ she explained. 

‘However, if you’re just messaging on the apps and you haven’t met in person yet, it actually feels worse when someone goes out of their way to say, “Hey sorry I’m not feeling like I want to get together.”

‘That’s more painful than you just falling off. There’s a tremendous amount of falling off on these dating apps.’

Who should pay on a first date? When and how should you approach the topic of money in a new relationship?

The question of who should pay on a first date – the man or the woman – has been widely debated in recent years.

While Perri said there’s no right or wrong answer to this, she explained that she believes ‘whoever is doing the asking and planning of the date should be paying.’

However, she added that it’s ‘only fair’ for the other person to offer to pay or split the tab after a few dates.

In addition, she said you should have a discussion about money as soon as you enter a committed relationship, even though it can be a ‘tricky subject.’ 

‘Once you’re in a committed relationship, you should definitely be honest about both of your incomes and decide how its best for you to share the finances of your dates,’ she told DailyMail.com. 

‘If one person makes more than the other, you can come to an agreement about how you divvy things up so that it is fair to both partners.’

When should you make things official and do you need to have a conversation about being exclusive or will it just happen naturally?

Another common question when starting a new relationship is – how long should you date before you make things official? (stock image)

Another common question when starting a new relationship is – how long should you date before you make things official? And do you need to have a conversation about it or will it happen naturally?

According to Perri, there’s ‘no set number of dates that a couple should reach in order to establish themselves as exclusive,’ but instead, she said it’ll be a ‘feeling’ that both partners have.

Julie agreed that every relationship is different, and explained that you’ll likely know it’s time to have the ‘What are we?’ conversation when the ‘quantity and quality of time together continues to increase.’

‘Going from casually dating to making your relationship official can take time and effort,’ she said.

‘For some, it can be a matter of dating for a few weeks, and for others, it might take a few months if the relationship starts as casual.’

Megan added that you should never ‘just assume that exclusivity has taken place because people have varying ideas of when and what that will look like,’ so it’s important to ‘communicate.’

Before deciding it’s time to make things official, she recommended asking yourself questions like, ‘Does this person want what I want? Does this person want this with me? Does this person have a similar timeline to me? And does it feel good?’

‘You always want to check in with yourself to ensure things are still feeling good to you and that you’re feeling safe as you move forward,’ she said.

While it can be hard to start the conversation, Perri suggested beginning it by ‘expressing how you feel with that person and what you would like and hope from the future with them.’

Julie added that you should never ‘demand’ to be exclusive, but instead, let your partner know how you’re feeling and ask if they feel the same.

‘Then take a deep breath and listen,’ she continued. ‘Your partner might agree with you immediately or say they’re feeling similar but aren’t ready to become official. 

‘Hopefully, it’s their goal to catch up. If your partner says they don’t feel the same and aren’t interested in being exclusive, respect their decision and wait a few weeks to see if anything changes. If not, you should also start dating others to find a long-term partner.’

Megan also said that you never want to ‘rush into it,’ and stressed the importance of ‘getting to know’ your partner before entering into an official relationship.

‘Take time qualifying before jumping in because of the chemical attraction,’ she suggested. 

‘You don’t want to rush into it because becoming exclusive is an extremely important decision. 

‘Once you’re attached, your heart’s real estate and your time is taken up by that person.’

What do I do if my partner takes a long time to respond to texts? Does that mean they’re not interested?

People often overthink things during the beginning stages of a relationship – especially when it comes to texting and how fast your potential suitor is responding to you (stock image)

The beginning stages of a relationship can certainly be confusing and hard. People often overthink things – especially when it comes to texting and how fast your potential suitor is responding to you.

But Perri reminded DailyMail.com readers that ‘not everyone will have the same style of communication that you do.’

She added that if it’s something that ‘is really bothersome’ to you then it’s important to voice it to your partner in a respectful way.

‘You need to be upfront with your partner. You can say, “When you don’t text me back, the story I tell myself is that you’re not interested,”’ she explained.

‘This is a great way to broach the topic without blaming one person about not caring for the other.’

In addition, she pointed out that everyone ‘has their phones near them’ pretty much at all times, so if someone ‘can’t prioritize you’ and respond after a few hours then ‘they might not be a worthwhile person to date.’

Megan said new couples don’t have to ‘talk constantly,’ explaining, ‘Early, intense communication is more problematic than having spacious time between communication’

‘I would say a few hours is an understandable amount of time if not sooner, longer than that is not cool,’ she stated.

Megan suggested taking some time to analyze yourself if you notice that you’ve become especially sensitive about this. 

‘Is my angst about them not getting back to me within a few hours – is that more about me needing reassurance?’ she said to ask yourself.

‘Maybe you’re on your phone too much or maybe you have too many expectations about this new person and you need to take a step back, take a breath and gain some perspective about your own desires.’

She added that new couples don’t have to ‘talk constantly,’ explaining: ‘Oftentimes people that act like boyfriend/girlfriend from day one have wounds they haven’t worked through yet – that are coming out in this constant need for validation or reassurance. Or they’re just filling a void.

‘Early, intense communication is more problematic than having spacious time between communication.’

When should I get physically intimate with my partner?

When starting a new relationship, it’s hard to know when the right time to get physically intimate is (stock image)

When starting a new relationship, it’s hard to know when the right time to get physically intimate is.

Perri explained that there is no ‘right or wrong’ time to have sex, and that if you ‘feel comfortable, safe, and ready on the first date,’ then you should ‘go for it.’

But if you ‘feel like you need more time to establish those feelings then take your time,’ she added.

Julie said that ‘sex is integral to every relationship,’ but agreed that ‘there’s no one-size-fits-all timetable for becoming intimate.’

More importantly, she explained that whenever you decide to do it, you should be open and honest about your intentions. 

‘Regardless if you wait for two or 10 dates, it’s essential to have the “safe sex” talk before your clothes end up on the floor,’ she suggested.

‘Talking about safe sex is about respecting your emotional and physical health. Offer to get tested together for STDs before having sex to show you’re responsible when it comes to romance both in and out of the bedroom. 

Julie said that ‘sex is integral to every relationship,’ but explained that ‘there’s no one-size-fits-all timetable for becoming intimate’

Megan agreed that when you get intimate is a ‘personal choice,’ but she recommended waiting a few months to make sure that you and your partner are a good fit before having sex

‘If you know you’ll be uncomfortable seeing your partner log into their dating app the morning after first-time sex, then ask them if they’re ready to take down their profile beforehand, and explain that you’re wildly attracted to them but won’t be comfortable getting naked while they have an active dating profile. 

‘Having the conversation about sex in a fun and flirty way lets your partner know that you’re attracted to them and want your relationship to include sex at the right time.’

Megan agreed that when you get intimate is a ‘personal choice,’ but she recommended waiting a few months to make sure that you and your partner are a good fit before having sex.

She pointed out that sleeping with someone often results in you feeling a stronger connection to them, so it could ‘cloud’ your judgment and lead to you ‘spending more time trying to make it work with someone who doesn’t work.’

‘Make decisions based on values and mutual vulnerability and allow respect to grow before sleeping with one another,’ she said. 

‘Those attraction hormones can really cloud you with determining if someone is right for you.

‘There’s a lot of fun stuff about waiting too. It’s romantic, it’s sexy, that tension is nice. 

‘Once you cross over there’s no going back so why not enjoy getting to know his person with your clothes on for a while? If this is gonna be your partner forever, what’s a few months in a lifetime?’

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