(Health.com) -- Dating someone new means learning about each other's quirky behaviors, emotional baggage, and the experiences that have shaped both of your lives.
But what if this involves a health or medical secret you're hesitant to talk about?
"How you handle this is not something your partner is likely to forget." Laurie Davis, an online dating expert based in New York and Boston, suggests asking a friend what sounds most intimidating about your condition and getting his or her advice on how to smooth it over.
Getting a second opinion can help you decide how much to say (and when and where to say it), and running through your script a few times can make you more comfortable sharing your story.
Health.com: 10 tips for dating with depression "You don't want to overwhelm your partner but you want to be sure to give him or her all of the important facts," Davis says.
"You should definitely practice before you tell your match, or you'll most likely fumble through the conversation uncomfortably." Mark Snyder, a 33-year-old writer from New York City, used to dread telling a new boyfriend that he was a recovering alcoholic.
"But I've had people ask and I'm always honest with them.
"It's never an easy thing to come clean with." Health.com: Do pregnancy and bipolar disorder mix?
Not every relationship hides a secret like this one, but plenty of people face similar decisions about how much they should tell a new companion.
"I realize my blurting-it-out style was my own insecurities about sobriety. Never tell on a first date "Never tell someone on a first date," Davis says.
"The results will never be favorable." Robbins seconds that, especially if you're worried that your health secret "is likely to define you before the person has gotten a chance to know you at all." Health.com: 28 days to a healthier relationship That doesn't mean you should lie -- just let your partner get to know you first.
Be casual yet confident So exactly how does one reveal a secret without just blurting it out?