16 Lies People Tell and the Benefits of Honesty In A Relationship

benefits of honesty

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

There are many things that need to happen to make a relationship healthy and happy. Among these things is honesty from both partners. The benefits of honesty in a relationship cannot be expressed enough, especially when it comes to relationships after divorce. Without it, no other elements in the relationship can truly work.

Think about it. You can laugh together, have great sex, find each other interesting, be on the same page, and like each other. But without the benefits of honesty, forget it. It will never work.

Dishonesty in a relationship bothers me so much. Let’s start with an example. Let’s say a person isn’t happy in a relationship and wants out. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of him or her saying, “I just don’t know what I want right now,” they would say what they really mean, which is probably, “I really like you but I want to see if there is someone else I might like better.” Or, how about the girl who tells a guy, “I’m getting back together with my boyfriend” instead of just saying, “I really like you but I don’t see a future with you.”


The downside to not being truthful is that you are holding yourself back, AND you are holding back the other person, who in this example might say to himself, “She’s getting back with her boyfriend? Okay then. I’ll just wait until she breaks up with the guy again.”


It's time to find the money - Divorce Money Guide



Here are some benefits of honesty in a relationship:

1. You will like yourself more. I mean, who likes themselves when they lie?
2. You are respecting your partner, i.e. being honest is benefitting the other person.
3. Your relationship, whatever it turns out to be, is authentic and real and more meaningful.
4. You will respect yourself more.
5. You won’t get a reputation as a liar.
6. You will be a happier person.

The thing about it is, the benefits of honesty in a relationship bleed into overall happiness. I mean, don’t you like who you are and the life you are living better when you tell the truth? When you’re authentic and real, it’s very empowering and self-love provoking.


Miller Law Group - Changing the way people divorce


The best way to show the benefits of honesty in a relationship are to talk about dishonesty. So,

Here are 16 dishonest things people say in relationships, and what I WISH the person would say instead.


1. I just don’t want a girlfriend right now.

Honest version: I don’t want YOU to be my girlfriend. It’s nothing personal. You’re a really good person, but this just doesn’t feel right for me. I’m so sorry. I don’t want to hurt you.


2. I’m sort of seeing someone right now.

Honest version: I have a girlfriend but I’m not sure she’s the one. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone out with you in the first place. Going out with you made me realize I want to be with him/her. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.


3. It’s not you, it’s me.

Honest version: It’s you. I just don’t see this going anywhere. I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt you.


Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys


4. I want to date other people.

Honest version: I want to see if I can meet someone I like better because I’m not sure about this relationship, but I don’t want to risk losing you.


5. I just want to have fun.

Honest version: I don’t want to be exclusive because I’m not sure you are the one yet. I am also enjoying the sex.


6. This really isn’t working out.

Honest version: I’m breaking up with you.


Feig Mediation Group


7. You’re a great guy. I don’t deserve you.

Honest version: I don’t want to be with you anymore and I feel guilty because you’re a really good person.


8. What are you doing right now? (over the phone)

Honest version: Want me to come over and have sex with you?


9. I don’t like myself right now.

Honest version:  If I saw a future with you, I would make changes and be my best self because I would never want to lose you.


10. You’re going to make some guy really, really happy.

Honest version: You’re not making me happy.


11. I don’t want to fight anymore.

Honest version: I wish we could go back to the first 6 months of our relationship when we were on our best behavior, because we both know this is going downhill fast.


Alyssa Dineen -
Online Dating Coach and Stylist


12. Sorry I haven’t called. I’ve been so busy with work.

Honest version:  I met someone else and dated her for a couple weeks and it just ended. OR, I wasn’t really into you and then I changed my mind.


13. I’m just happy with the way things are.

Honest version:  I don’t want to marry you.


14. I’m going out of town. I’ll call you when I get back.

Honest version: I’m not into you, because if I was, it doesn’t matter where I am. I’d call or even text or email or snapchat. This is 2022.


15. I don’t have time for a relationship right now.

Honest version:  I don’t want to be in a relationship with you.


16. I’m really confused. I don’t know what I want.

Honest version: I might be confused, but I’m not confused about the fact that I know I don’t want to be with you.


Joanne Litman - Eagle Strategies LLC - Financial Solutions for Women


Here’s the thing.  Brutal honesty might really really hurt. It might break your heart. It might make you cry. But wouldn’t you rather know the truth than cling onto hope that the person might change their mind in a few days or weeks? That is the benefit of honesty in a relationship. Don’t we all deserve honesty? Hearing the truth, despite the pain it causes, helps people move on.

Also, being honest with someone will hurt them, but there is a nice way to say everything. You can still be honest and be kind.

So next time someone asks you out and you aren’t interested, don’t say “I have a boyfriend,” instead try something like, “I really like you, it’s nothing personal, but I just don’t have those feelings for you. I’m sorry. I hope you’re not offended.” See what happens.

Like this article? Check out, “Dating After Divorce: Advice, Tips and Why This is an Exciting Time”

Listen to the Divorced Girl Smiling podcast View the DGS trusted divorce professionals! Divorced Girl Smiling is now offering a private, no-cost, one-on-one phone consult

Sign up for the Divorced Girl Smiling newsletter to get articles on divorce and dating.

Sign up


    Divorced Girl Smiling welcome video
    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    6 Responses to “16 Lies People Tell and the Benefits of Honesty In A Relationship”

    1. Carol Balawyder

      This is a terrific post.

      I recently dated a guy (one date) who after the date wrote me that he had a great time and hoped that we would do it again. I wrote back and said that I didn’t feel the connection I’m looking for and wished him luck. He wrote back saying that he felt the same way.
      I don’t know if he said that to make me feel better or what???

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        I think it’s really nice that you had the guts to just be honest with him. If you would have gotten his response first, would you have felt really badly about it? probably not. I”m telling you, honesty is the way to go. Why do we need silly teenage games? We don’t. Just because you didn’t feel a connection, that doesn’t mean the guy is a bad guy, right? It just means he isn’t right for you. It’s hard not to take that stuff personally, but this is what dating is all about.

    2. Autumn

      He only said that because he probably felt rejected. The fact of the matter is you were very honest (which is great) and he wanted to make you think he felt the same way so it didn’t look like his feelings were hurt.

    3. Di

      Well… yes and no. I’ve said many of those things and MEANT exactly those words and nothing else. Part of the problem with this list is that it assumes the person is ultimately looking to marry/commit to someone and that they beat around the bush a lot. What if they aren’t/don’t?

      I’ve been nothing but completely honest post divorce with men – when my head was completely unscrewed from the raw pain and suffering still, I told them. “I can’t possibly know what I want right now.” And I couldn’t. No decision or deep connection to other people was remotely possible. It had no bearing on who the person was or how dateable they were.

      I’ve said “I’m sorry I haven’t called, I’ve been caught up at work” and it has been 100% true. One thing I have learned is that I have to throw myself into my current career direction or I will be running out of time. That means I work a lot, time flies, and dating takes a back burner.

      “I just want to have fun”. I have said this while having no interest in seeing other people, I just wanted to keep things light. I had no reason to see ANYONE and I like being solitary, so the only reason at the time for me to make the effort was if it was fun and not a burden.

      “I like things the way they are”. I do. I tell anyone I date that I am never going to marry again, ever, ever. I am happy alone and the only way I will date anyone is if I get to live in my own house and we visit. That will never change, and it’s not because I’m holding out for ‘the real thing’. This is the way the real thing is for me. I have found the way of life that makes me really happy and it requires not living intimately with someone else.

      I’ve had men assume I’ve meant all those other things other than what I was actually saying, which is intensely frustrating. There’s the assumption that when I say “We aren’t going to marry, I can’t live that way” that I am saying I am holding out for some other man. I’m not. I’m holding out for me and me alone, and I know what I want. A shame when it’s so hard for people to believe the things I say.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *