When I talk to my girlfriends, one of the biggest complaints they have about dating is seeking honesty. It seems like such a simple thing. We talk. You ask me a question, I give an honest answer. I ask you a question, you give an honest answer. But somewhere in the realm of relationships, we develop this fear of letting that person see who we are. We color our personalities, avoid mentioning certain frailties or failings, and avoid angering that person like the plague. And that’s not real life.
Fear of revealing the same frailties and failings is why we lie. We ALL do it. Being honest about our shortcomings requires a certain vulnerability that we aren’t always comfortable revealing. It takes a lot to admit to anyone, and especially someone we love and respect, that we totally fucked up. I hate admitting it.
I’ve learned that in dating, most people are going to tell a few of what my friend Melissa calls “baby lies,” lies that you know they shouldn’t tell, but it’s not that big of a deal. They’re frustrating because when they’re over something so small, you wonder why they bothered to lie in the first place. Sometimes, people tell baby lies about things that they think won’t come up again, and it’s done just to keep peace. On the occasions that things don’t go according to plan (as is often the case), that baby lie morphs into hydra of deception. That’s hard to own up to. But the point of this post isn’t really to examine why people lie. I’d much rather tell you why you should tell the truth.
I can deal with absolutely anything a person has to tell me, if they shoot from the hip. It might hurt and I may not skip off into a meadow, but it makes the situation easier for everyone involved. There’s no dark karmic cloud hanging over you. That’s really the worst that can happen. You don’t owe that person anything else after you’ve offered honesty. If they constantly hang it over your head, or throw it in your face, well take that as your cue to leave them alone.
But as for me, I just want the truth. As I mentioned, honesty is an aphrodisiac. There is nothing like being brave enough to lay all your shit on the table, because I thrive on trust. A lack of fear in showing me your seedy underbelly tells me that you trust me enough to handle the heavy shit. I don’t want to see the knight in shining armor. I want to see the bruises, scars and ultimately, the soft underbelly. I’m flawed, bruised and scarred my damn self, and my soft spots are plentiful. Throwing down the honesty gauntlet at me lets me know that I can do the same to you. And that’s bigger and more important than any mistake. Be imperfect with me. Turn me on by giving me your personality in panoramic view. That’s sexier than any façade.