You and bae have seen better days. At best, you’re driving each other crazy, and at worst, you’re arguing for hours on end. You’re not ready to call it quits, but you do need an outlet for your feelings. Instinctively, you grab your phone to text your BFF or call your mom, i.e., the people who know you best, and whose advice you trust. Not so fast, though! Sharing all the dirty details of your relationship isn’t always a good idea — especially if you want to stay in that relationship longer-term. Keep scrolling to read about the factors you might want to consider before you start your next vent sesh.

Shot of a young woman looking upset after a fight with her husband in the background

1. Are you putting your partner down? “Maybe you think they are too lazy progressing in their career or perhaps there is something in their behavior that bothers you. It is easy to disclose these things to friends when you’re upset, but you shouldn’t,” says dating and relationship expert Sonya Schwartz of the Her Aspiration blog. “This will only invite others to judge your relationship, which is not healthy for either of you.” Opinions from your friends and family here will likely do nothing but add fuel to your fire, and that’s definitely not what you’re going for.

2. Is what you’re sharing going to make your partner look bad? It’s one thing to share the general idea of an argument that you and your boo are currently in the thick of, but it’s another to get into the nitty-gritty details of a situation that can only make your other half look like the villain. “They wouldn’t tell such a story themselves, and nobody gives you the right to do it for them,” relationship coach and founder of ThePowerMoves Lucio Buffalmano says. Also, how awkward will it be next time your friend or family member sees your S.O. — after you’ve made up! — if you’ve aired that dirty laundry?

3. Are you talking to a mutual friend? Buffalmano recommends that you take extra care when discussing the relationship with a person that you and your partner share in common. “The closer the friends are to your partner, the more off-limits they become,” he says.

4. Is there a secret in the mix? You are likely one of the only people in the world who knows some of your partner’s secrets, and no matter how challenging things get within the relationship, it’s important that you respect this as the very big deal that it is. Relationship expert and Grapevine Gossip writer Amanda Raimondi says this is critical: “We all have things in our past that we don’t want our partner’s friends knowing about,” she says. “You’re in a relationship with this person and they trust you to keep those secrets. Once you lose someone’s trust, it’s hard to get back.”

5. Are you talking about your sex life? If the answer to this question is “yes,” then it’s time to backpedal, per relationship expert and founder of the Road to Solidity blog Jack Vitel. “If you reveal certain intimate things to your friends about your partner, it can lead them to see them differently, to look down on them, to have inappropriate feelings about them, and so on,” Vitel tells us. What happens in the bedroom between you and your S.O. should stay in the bedroom with you and your S.O.

6. Is there a financial issue at play? Money is another subject that should be a big “no” in terms of sharing with friends and family. “Money issues from the relationship are never to be discussed with someone outside of your partner,” chief communications director for PeopleLooker Justin Lavelle tells us. “Your family and friends should never know how much your partner earns or who pays for what and under which circumstances. Many people find money to be a sensitive and personal issue. It’s best to keep the information private so as to avoid crossing a line with your partner and causing friction in the relationship.”

7. Have you had the same conversation with your S.O.? Therapist Jor-El Caraballo, co-creator of Viva Wellness, notes that these decisions often must be made on a case-by-case, couple-by-couple basis, but reminds all the frustrated lovebirds out there to be sure that they’re not having conversations outside of the relationship that they haven’t already had within the relationship. “Be sure that you’re communicating with your partner any concerns,” Caraballo says. “If you often find yourself sharing things with others that you won’t or can’t share with your partner, then that’s a red flag that the relationship is in serious trouble.”

Do you often find yourself talking about your partner with friends and family? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)