When it comes to romantic relationships, it’s better to put in the extra effort to be completely transparent, even if it causes discomfort.
Some lies appear to be little and are known to be “white lies.” Is it ever okay? ‘Well, it depends on the situation,’ you might say.
In most situations, white lies, contrary to popular opinion, are usually permissible. In these situations, it is widely agreed that lying is appropriate to:
- avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.
- boost a person’s self-esteem.
- lastly, avoid a fight about something irrelevant.
Perhaps this advice is best for people you don’t know well, but when it comes to romantic relationships, it’s better to put in the extra effort to be completely transparent, even if it causes discomfort.
A STORY ABOUT A DATE NIGHT FULL OF LIES
I was driving through the streets of Accra with my fiance when I mentioned I was hungry for junk food. His eyes lit up as he said he wanted to show me one of his favorite pizza parlors.
We went to the place he bragged about. It looked great. I mean, there were so many people that we couldn’t even find a place to sit. Somehow, this got me excited because I always lived by a philosophy that, “the nicer the food, the larger the crowd”.
We were both on cloud nine, thrilled and in love. The waitress finally took our order and in about 20 mins, our pizza was ready. It looked appetizing. I wished I could say that the taste was as great as the pizza looked. “This is what my baby thought was so great?” I wondered. I looked up only to see him having the time of his life with the pizza.
“Babe, see I told you?” he said, with his mouth full. It’s great isn’t it?”
But what do you think I said?
“Wow, this is amazing,” I lied.
So I gushed about how good the pizza was. I ate it not to be polite but feigned to love it. We were having the best time ever. Everything seemed perfect. I didn’t want to spoil it by saying, the pizza wasn’t tasty.
I was following the age-old “it depends” advice. To be polite, I convinced myself that feigning to love the pizza was fine.
Fast forward a week.
“Surprise! Remember the night at the pizza parlor? I picked up a box for us!” He handed me the box of pizza with a bottle of soda.
I was tempted to lie again. However, I knew that if I didn’t fess up, I’d be subjected to these “surprise” treats.
I finally told the truth and we laughed over it. That didn’t hurt his feelings. He was ecstatic to have the box to himself.
There may have been times when you didn’t want to ruin a pleasant moment. Maybe you didn’t want to spoil the mood by being rude or unappreciative.
It’s true that pretending to love the pizza had no negative consequences. However, in relationships transparency is key. This isn’t an ethical debate of right or wrong.
REASONS TO TELL THE TRUTH, EVEN IF IT CAUSES SOME DISCOMFORT
1. Truth strengthens bonds.
A healthy relationship is built on a foundation of knowing each other well. Studies show that couples who ask each other questions and answer them honestly are more likely to be happy together than those who don’t.
2. It improves conflict management.
It’s easy to avoid minor squabbles by convincing yourself that there’s no need to speak up when the topic appears to be harmless. This is risky. Minor irritants can quickly escalate into resentments if they are not handled. It’s like removing a small stone from your shoe so you can continue walking comfortably.
3. It builds trust.
Transparency is well-known as a way for couples to build trust. When most people think of what breaks trust, they usually think of things like hiding financial information. It’s usually much less dramatic than that. Every time you say something, even if it’s a little controversial, you’re building trust.
Kindness and honesty do not have to be mutually exclusive. Both values can be embraced at the same time. However, finding the right words will take some time. Some examples are as follows:
“I’m having a great time with you and don’t want this date to end, but pizza isn’t my thing.” “Are you a fan of hamburgers?”
“You look stunning! Since you asked for my opinion on the dress, it’s not my favorite of all your clothes, but you look gorgeous in anything you wear.”
One good step for you to consider is starting a conversation with your partner about white lies. Inquire about the conventional wisdom, “It depends on the situation, ” and see what they have to say.
Hopefully, it will spark a lively and intriguing discussion!
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