Often, in the beginning of a relationship we strive to be the best we can be, naturally, because we want to make the best possible impression on a potential partner. Richard*, a man who visits Conscious Intimacy, was discussing his new love interest with whom he had been on two dates. He relayed that the first date had gone splendidly – conversation flowed, similarities and interests were congruent, a shared sense of humour existed and he felt much chemistry and sparks between him and this new woman. In fact, the date went so well that only a few nights later they met for their second date. It was during this date that he was asked a question that made him feel slightly uncomfortable, but he answered honestly. His impression of her response was that she seemed unsettled by his answer. And more than that, he wished he had answered dishonestly instead.
Often relationships start off with declarations of wealth, status, power, or ability; only for partners to realise after commitment that these were lures into the relationship based on little truth. What happens when the truth finally prevails? Couples may become disappointed in one another because the person they met is hardly the person with whom they are now in a committed relationship. Eventually, if not addressed, such misguided introductions may lead to the dissolution of the relationship.
So, how can this disillusionment be avoided? Even though Richard chose the honest route, he still regretted his decision for fear of his new love interest losing interest before anything had even started. However, the alternative would render any deepening of the relationship more difficult. Lies beget lies, unfortunately, as once a mistruth has been told, there will surely be times thereafter where the subject might arise again. And it is during those times where the conundrum of lying presents itself – to continue with the lie negates any intimacy development, but changing the story exposes the fact that one has lied – perhaps leading to mistrust or scepticism further down the line.
The simple answer is to remain honest from the outset – this does not mean revealing every deepest and darkest secret that we may foster, though it does mean being congruent in what we present to the other. Sometimes we might want to take time before we reveal ourselves completely to a relative stranger, and it is okay to request a rain check on giving any definitive answers for the time being. This way, any misguided statements that might arise initially can be avoided. Finally, as I said to Richard, perhaps hearing the truth is something new for some people, especially during the initial dating period. If she is truly interested in you as a person, then she might appreciate your honesty in the long run, because there is little more attractive to many heterosexual women than a man with integrity.
Contact Conscious Intimacy today to learn more about dating with integrity!
* NAMES CHANGED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT.