Thursday, April 18, 2013

GUEST BLOG: The Importance of Honesty

Seth Fargher is a writer and speaker with a passion for seeing people experience life to its fullest. You can find out more about Seth here: http://www.sethfargher.com


Honesty in relationships is crucial. Without honesty there is very little trust and when trust is an issue, relationships have little chance of success. Still, honesty can also hurt. When someone tells you they are no long interested in dating you, it stings. What they’re saying is that for some reason or another, they are no longer interested enough in you to be committed to you alone.

Honesty can also hurt long before a relationship reaches that “official” stage. Every day, on college campuses, in singles groups and in bars, clubs and restaurants around the world, people are going on first dates. For some it’s a legitimate date, for others it’s merely a casual get together for two people to learn more about each other.

Very often, one person is interested in getting together again, and the other person not so much. What is the “not so much” person to do? Tell them “Thanks, maybe I’ll see you around” and hope that they get the hint? I’ve never actually witnessed that tactic work.

But what happens if they’re honest and tell the person “Hey thanks, I had a nice time but I’m probably not interested in spending time one on one again?”

In most cases they would be crucified. I was. A couple instances in college come to mind where I met someone and while I thought it’d be nice to get to know more than their first and last name, I offered no such indication of commitment and was later told I had repeatedly lead them to believe I was interested in a relationship.

When I cleared that up I was hung out to dry. I had a young lady tell me I was a jerk for leading her friend to believe I was interested in a relationship when clearly I wasn’t. I found that remarkable since we spent one evening chatting at my house. That was it.

In the event someone “goes out” with another individual once, twice or even a handful of times, and then decides this person really isn’t what they’re looking, should they not simply be up front and honest? Isn’t honesty a quality we are all looking for in a person?

Unfortunately we’ve reached a point in the dating world, yes even in the church, where we have to tip toe around or make up excuses if we become un-interested with pursuing a relationship further so as to avoid stepping on toes. Sure it hurts to have someone say they aren’t interested in you. Even more so if you’ve really come to like that person. But would it not hurt even more if they were to put up a fa├žade and allow you to become even more attached only to break the news to you later?

If honesty is something we all seek in relationships then we should all accept and encourage honesty from the get go should we not? Even if it stings a little bit because someone isn’t as interested in us as we are in them, at least they were honest and didn’t lead us on.

A great way to combat this, especially in the early stages of getting to know someone is to have few expectations. I realize this is difficult, especially if you’ve been single for a while. A kind person can be such a breath of fresh air. But try to view the situation for what it is, someone expressing their casual, intention of getting to know you a little bit.

They’re not proposing marriage. They’re not asking you for a commitment. They just want to spend some time with you to get to know more than your first and last name.

Yes many guys need a kick in the pants even to get them to this point but I can’t help but argue that many of them may just be afraid of the potential fall out. I know I reached a point where I wouldn’t ask a girl out because I didn’t want to deal with the headache that would follow if after a few dates she was still interested and I wasn’t.

When it comes to dating, we all need to learn to be ladies and gentleman. As a gentleman that involves being forward enough to ask a girl out and, after a while, express your intentions. You don’t have to spill your guts on the first date but chances are she’s been wondering, and probably conferring with her roommates, about that since the first time you met. The best way to keep a girl from assuming you’re more interested than you are is to be honest with her from the get go.

Gals that also means that you need to be respectful of a guy that’s trying to be honest and not hurt you. Don’t belittle him for trying to be open and share his intentions. People blow the whole defining the relationship thing up like it’s a bad thing when in reality, it’s just communication. Even if he’s not as interested in you as you are in him, at least he’s not putting up a front. Also, don’t pressure him into making a decision or committing if you’ve only hung out a few times. I can promise you nothing will drive him away faster.

Open communication and honesty from both parties is the best way to combat hurt feelings. Dating involves vulnerability and the potential for getting your feelings hurt. You can’t ask someone else to throw their feelings out their if you’re not willing to do the same and assume a little risk yourself.

Relationships are tricky and most people are running around with some level of relationship baggage. Not all of it’s bad but it’s usually something they’d rather not replicate. No matter what “stage” of a relationship you find yourself in, take care to be honest with the other person and communicate where you’re at and what you want out of your interactions, be it just a friendship or something more long term. And be careful about over reacting if someone decides they’re just not that into you. It’s not going to kill you and if you blow up or bad mouth them just for being honest, it will only reinforce in
their mind that they made the right decision.

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