Honesty in relationships is important -- but so is honesty with yourself.
by Nikki Metzgar for HowAboutWe
Of course I should be honest with the people I'm dating. No cheating, no misleading -- that is pretty basic stuff. That isn't even so difficult until the truth is "I don't like you," and the hard part is really being on the wrong end of that one.
What I'm starting to realize, though, is how important it is to be honest with myself and how it's really a lot tougher than being honest with others. When I met that cute guy a few weeks ago, the first one to make me laugh in a really long time, I told myself, "Well, that's enough to be satisfied with. Now I know I can have feelings for someone else again. Mission accomplished. He doesn't even have to like me back!" Yeah, right.
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Sure, it felt good to acknowledge that I can feel again [cue dramatic music], but let's be real here. Of course I want him to like me back. Avoiding that reality will not help me seal the deal with him or any future deals. But usually facing the truth is a lot harder than admitting I would like to date someone.
A few months ago, during my dreary rebound period, I started talking to an old closet skeleton again. I call him that because he's not an ex; we never dated. We just "hung out." After about nine months of no contact, we ran into each other and starting good old fashioned "hanging out" again and he kept saying that he didn't know what he wanted as far as relationships but would love to "see where things go." I thought (honestly, still think) he was cute and interesting, but I was (truthfully) still in love with my actual and most recent ex so I wasn't that torn up about him not wanting to be my BF forever. So I told myself spending time with the skeleton would be a fun and harmless distraction from my real sorrows.
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What a terrible lie. If a friend told me some guy had said that to her, I would have warned her to get away fast. Unsurprisingly, our interactions mostly consisted of him texting me when he was bored and me wondering if it would annoy him if I suggested meeting up. It was fun up to 0% of the time. One night at a bar, I suddenly told him that he was not very nice to me. "Well, I'm not like, nice to my friends. I wouldn't say I'm a nice person," he said. I guess that's an acceptable excuse now.
So then I kicked him in the junk (just kidding, that only ever happens in my mind) and swore to myself that I would never be so delusional again. And now, maybe two months after that incident, I'm seriously considering meeting up with my ex-boyfriend for beers because supposedly we're going to be friends. Honestly? That would probably break my heart all over again. And honestly being honest with myself sucks.
See also: "I Really Like You, You're Great, But..." The Danger of Wafflers