The Things We Stop Talking About When We Grow Up

little_girlsDo you remember how you used to tell everything to your BFF when you were little? She knew all your secrets and you knew everything about her. Even when you were a teenager there were those girlfriends you told about how disappointing your first sexual encounters were. Then something happens around the time we get into a committed relationship and some things we used to talk openly about become taboos. What are those things, why does it happen and is it necessarily a negative process?

First of all, money becomes a thing. Sure, there are some people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth but most of us lack money to some extent. As kids we dream about buying more bubble gum and sweets than our pocket money (and reason) allows us too. As teenagers we moan about not being able to buy cigarettes and booze. As students we never have enough money to experience everything we would like to and as young professionals we usually stand on our two feet for the first time and we learn that EVERYTHING costs money and more than we would like. As we have a common ground of complaining with our peers, there’s no shame in telling someone that we’re broke and we can’t do this or that. We also openly complain about how little we earn and we know exactly how much that “little” means for our friends.

As we grow in experience and our salaries get bigger, however, the money taboo appears. Somehow, it’s not okay anymore to ask your friend how much they earn and even if you do they may get cagey about the question. Sometimes some vague estimates are given publicly and you can see the other members of the party having fumes coming out of their ears, trying to count exactly how much does that mean and whether it’s more or less than themselves. Perhaps with age we become more competitive, jealous and full of ourselves? Who knows. The fact is that apart from my husband only my sister-in-law knows how much I earn and that’s because she has no boundaries. I honestly feel quite comfortable not knowing what people earn, as I know it’d eat me up to know that someone less educated and more importantly lazier than me earns more than I do.

Another thing that’s affected by the lost of sincerity is a sex life. I used to have girlfriends with whom I would share everything. We knew with whom, when and how many times. Especially those who didn’t have long-term boyfriends were open about their sexplorations. Even the more settled ones, however, would often tell me more than I wanted to know, which made it difficult for me to look at their partner in the same way. Generally, the rule seems to be: the more serious and committed the relationship, the less you will hear people commenting on their sexual lives. It makes sense then, why in our youth we are more sexually verbal. When we get older and we have more respectful relationships we naturally tend to keep certain things between ourselves and our partner.

As little as we talk about sex when we settle down, there is an exception to this rule, namely procreative sex. Especially when you’re married, everyone and their dog feels entitled to ask you whether you’re trying for a baby yet (=are you fucking without using contraception) and about your plans in this respect (=when are you planning to fuck without using contraception). People will share their news about being pregnant over a meal (gross guys, I’m eating and I don’t want to be thinking about you two fornicating!) and even tell you about their trouble with conceiving (I AM LITERALLY PUKING IN MY MOUTH HERE). The reason for that is that society (Team God, in particular) has been trying to separate the two issues of procreation and sex as if they were entirely unrelated. “You wouldn’t like your child to know you had too much fun making you, now, would you?” they seem to say. Well, I don’t know. Personally I hope my mom had a multiple orgasm in the process.

With age it becomes also more and more difficult to share both happiness and unhappiness with people. I have written about the latter here so I won’t repeat myself and focus in this post on the difficulty with sharing happiness. Perhaps this particular taboo has to do with similar reasons as the money one. The truth is, even if we like our friends we don’t like to see them more successful than we are. If ,on other hand, we are the successful ones we don’t want to rub our “better-offness” in. People both feel uncomfortable sharing their happiness (=showing off) as being on the receiving end of such behavior (=feeling inferior).

As kids we don’t really judge ourselves according to a strong superiority/inferiority metric. Perhaps, a kid gets mocked sometimes because it wears a cap on their head in – 20 degrees winter (true reason of mockery in cold countries – cool kids are always cold) but it takes a while before we develop our insecurity to the point that it really bothers us. Hell, I remember being proud that I had friends who were smarter/prettier/more fashionable or cooler in any other way than I was. Look at adults, though. Have you ever noticed what happens if one of your friends at work becomes a manager? All of a sudden, people stop being friendly with him or her (especially her!) and start gossiping about how they’re full of themselves or whatever else bullshit is being said about them. In reality their promotion is no mystery because they did just work so much harder than everyone else.  And yet, people prefer to label them as lucky because if the new manager is better at their job than they themselves are than they are worse. And that bloody hurts. Let me hold my horses, here, though. Our lovely #englishrosiee has written already about the difference between being lazy AF and unlucky in the context of love.

I do believe that we have the right to be happy about being happy and we shouldn’t stop ourselves in most cases. A good example of when we should stop ourselves is, for instance, when someone’s cat died. This is really not a good moment to tell them how happy you are about your new puppy or even a raise. Otherwise, we should grow our appreciation and gratitude for life rather than the skills of moaning and complaining.

To sum up, as we grow up we stop talking about certain things with our friends and basically anyone who isn’t our partner. Part of this tendency, is jealousy and insecurity and a part of it is just closeness to our partners. As much as our friends may do without the details of our marital coitus we should try being more open with them and allow the relationships to grow. Perhaps, learning that a friend earns much more than we do, will initially make us feel bad but then may inspire us to take some steps towards a career change.

Hello, Dear Rinsers! Do you talk about money with your friends? You sex life? Do you agree that the things we talk about with our friends change as we grow up or am I being a lunatic?










  1. I disagree; I talk with my friends (both male and female) about anything and everything. They are more important and supportive then my ‘blood family’. In the past, I have been way more open and intimate with friends than with partners, which I’m not saying is a good thing. Perhaps it’s more about personality types? maybe you are more introverted, and like the intimacy of just one on one?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve never been very open with my “blood family” and always treated my friends as the main source of support. In the past, I also would tell my friends more than my partners but that was because I didn’t really feel my partners were my friends at the first place, which wasn’t a good thing. I’m not sure whether it’s about personality types. I think I’m more of an introvert than extrovert so perhaps you’re right. On the other hand, my friends seems to feel similar way about what I’ve written in my post but as they’re my friends they may be all introverts too 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think as we get older maybe experience also teaches us that it’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to friendships. I mean, what happens when you and your BFF spend 24/7 together and talk about EVERYTHING and EVERYONE and then one day you just happen to speak to another human and BANG she goes all SWF on you. You are left destitute with 4 days to find a new place to live. So, I think as we grow we have different friends to talk about different things with.

    People you party with and have nice, light, fluffy conversations. Those that you spend hours with having a bitching and moaning session with.The ones you go to for good advice. The ones you listen to because listening to their sad stories makes your life seem less bleak. Your guy friends who offer different perspectives on an issue. People who have done pretty much every immoral thing known to man so you know you can go to them and there’ll be no judgement. Then there are the friends that will come running, wipe away your tears and feed you copious amounts of gin even when you’ve screwed up for the millionth time.

    I don’t know whether I agree that as we get older there are things that we don’t share with anyone but our partner. While I don’t think it’s good to have secrets in a relationship I also think it’s a bit much to put everything on your partner. Naturally, the person you spend most time with is going to know a lot about you, your day to day issues, problems, etc but this could also become a bit overwhelming for them and put strain on the relationship. So I think it’s also healthy for a relationship when you go out and vent a bit to your friends who may be a little bit more removed from the situation. Then what about when people have relationship problems – it won’t always be appropriate to smack talk at the other party in the relationship. So if you go vent to a friend then they can a) put things into perspective for you and give you alternative ways to solve your issues b) and because they are a somewhat neutral party they can listen without being offended.

    But basically, I think as we get older we are a bit apprehensive about revealing all to any single person because we’ve all been burnt in both friendships/relationships so we know not to give too much away, especially things that can come back to haunt you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the epic comment.

      True but I guess the shift from having one BFF to having many close friends happens quite early, still when we’re teenagers. I don’t think super close friendships with the vibe you and I against the world can survive in adulthood. Maybe for a bit when someone is in a bad space but in general I agree it isn’t healthy.

      I think sharing certain secrets just with one another is the basic of a good partnership, intimacy and trust. I don’t think it’s healthy to talk only to your partner about things close to your heart but there are things which no one else has business in knowing. I believe your partner should be your “bestest” friend but you still should have other best friends. Your partner is there to support you and you’re there to support them. If you get cancer or get into any sort of trouble, they’ll be the ones to be mostly affected by it. I also don’t really think it’s appropriate to badmouth your partner with your friends. If there’s a problem address it with them, if it’s not helping, perhaps it’s just something you’ll have to deal with it or leave if you can’t deal with it. I’ve spent a lot of my life bitching and moaning about my exes when they weren’t yet my exes and I don’t feel like I ever got anything out of it apart from growing resentment. Your friends reactions basically go in two groups: comforting = telling you it’s all good, it’s not a big deal and you shouldn’t worry (which you’ll know somewhere in your heart isn’t true when the issue is big) and those who will tell you the truth even if it’s harsh, which is usually what you know deep in your heart is the truth but you’re not ready to truly accept and act accordingly. Especially, if you end up staying with a partner long term you’ll have to deal with the fact that your friends know all you’ve ever told them about the partner. I had this friend who always complained about her boyfriend being a weak performer in bed and generally a boring person she didn’t love. She never stopped complaining but 5 years into the relationship they got married. Now, how could I be genuinely happy for her?


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