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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.