In my years of dating, being in relationships and coaching/counselling a ton of others who have been in a pickle, one thing I’ve found that sets so many people in their love lives, is how dishonest they can be. To themselves and to the people they are trying to form a relationship with.
It seems like people are so afraid, in dates or when they are ensconced in a relationship to be just upfront about their intentions, thoughts or feelings. This is why you hear quite often from married couples or couples that have been together for awhile – that their partner has changed.
Nobody actually really changed, they just weren’t honest enough to reveal that side of themselves to you early on in the relationship.
So many people prefer to hide or repress their true selves…
Because they fear that the person wouldn’t like them. They fear that they would lose the person’s love or attention if they were to show up as their real, unfiltered, authentic selves.
But most of us aren’t great at hiding or repressing our true selves for too long, it comes out at some point. And when it does come out, it may come as a surprise or shock to your partner.
I think it’s because of how prevalent hiding our true selves are on dates and how everyone just plays along with it, impression managing with their guards up, that makes dating so draining for so many people.
It’s because we are collectively trying to be someone we are not just to get the other person to like us. And we are trying to use this false version of ourselves to make someone fall for us. That’s so anxiety-inducing!
And apparently, this isn’t an incredibly new thing…
Have you got dating all figured out? Find out in this quiz below!
Sociologists have found that people are lying more and more each day
In All About Love written by bell hooks, she mentions how sociologists and psychologists documenting in several different works, how lying has become accepted and commonplace in our daily interactions. Both men and women fake, pretend and manipulate as a way to please others.
Often when information is with-held by certain partners, protection of privacy is the justification. I regularly see advice on women-centred forums, encouraging others to be dishonest about their history, sexual partners etc, “because your partner doesn’t need to know”.
However, privacy is confused with secrecy. bell hooks says, “Open, honesty, truth-telling (and I’d argue, healthy) individuals value privacy – spaces where they can be by themselves in healthy psychological autonomy and can choose to share when they want to.” Secrecy though? Is usually about power, hiding and concealing information.
While privacy strengthens all bonds, secrecy weakens and damages connection. Secrecy involves lying usually and lying is always the setting for potential betrayal and violation of trust. Lerner points out that we do not usually “know the emotional costs of keeping a secret” until the truth is disclosed.all about love, bell hooks
hooks expresses the view that as a society, we need to renew a commitment to truth telling but such a commitment is difficult when it has been deemd more acceptable than telling the truth.
Sad, but I do agree.
The dishonesty is blocking you from building a genuine meaningful connection
When this habit of lying and dishonesty trickles into your dating life, ou are dishonest in dating, you are missing out on communicating alot of things with your potential partner. Because when you are busy hiding information, you also may not be comfortable bringing up said topic for discussion.
This is how people become misaligned on key things like relationship values, expectations and needs, and “alienates you from your true feelings, leading to depression and loss of self awareness”…Dance of Deception, Harriet Lerner
There’s just so much fear of being ourselves, of not being accepted, of communicating what we need and want, of rejection that we hide parts of ourselves and as the relationship progresses, we don’t feel like ourselves. We may feel like a fraud and when you are being intentionally dishonest, and it most certainly won’t help to build intimacy and closeness with your partner.
Instead of worrying and fearing what your partner (or anyone else really!) is thinking about you, just remind yourself of the amazing feeling when you realise the person you are with really loves you for you and you don’t have to pretend in order to feel validated and accepted by them.
The person that you choose to spend your life with should be someone you feel comfortable being honest with, from your behaviour to your values. Relationships are already hard enough, you don’t have to make it harder for yourself by selecting partners who don’t seem to accept parts of yourself.
Get familiar with the perspective and the habit of only being around and dating people you can be yourself with. If someone is not liking parts of you and is being disapproving of it all, then perhaps you guys aren’t compatiable.
We won’t like everyone we meet but in order to meet people we like, we gotta start putting our honest foot forward.
Ask yourself why you are being dishonest
If you feel that you can’t be honest around your partner, you really gotta ask yourself why. Is it something in the dynamic or something your subconscious is picking up on that is making you not want to be open?
Why do you feel like you cannot be yourself completely, have they said or done something that made it seem like they’d be unable to accept you totally.
Is there something within you that is blocking you from honest communication? Is it a childhood wound that makes you get your guard up the minute someone is trying to get close to you and get to know you intimately?
Are you afraid of what sharing honestly about yourself may bring in terms of consequences?
These are all important considerations and it is helpful to dig deep to better understand where the motivation to hide information or certain parts of yourself is coming from.
How much do you love yourself? Find out in the quiz below!
Start working on yourself and familiarising honesty and self-acceptance
All changes and shifts starts from within you. If you’ve been a long-time follower of my work, you will know how big I am on working on our selves first because you will then see how your entire world shifts to respond to that.
If you are committed to seeing shifts in our dating and love life, you’ve been wanting to meet someone you can build a genuine, honest, intimate connection with. Then it’s time to get honest and raw with yourself and to start finding small ways of accepting the different parts of yourself.
This may involve soothing yourself with affirmations, journalling, observing and being acutely aware and sensitive of your emotions and triggers, getting comfy with your own skin and expressing your thoughts and needs to others etc.
Do any or all of that and see where it leads you, and what meaningful connections you start to find who are eager to know you for you, who love and appreciate all the things you expressed about yourself.
Those people do exist. Go forth, be honest and they will come to you! Let me finish off with another fire quote from bell hooks:
To know love, we have to tell the truth to ourselves and to others. Creating a false self to mask fears and insecurities has become so common that many of us forget who we are and what ew feel underneath the pretense. Breaking through this denial is always the first step in uncovering our longing to be honest and clear. Lies and secrets burden us and cause stress. When an individual has always lied, he has no awareness that truth telling can take away this heavy burden. To know this he must let the lies go.all above love, bell hooks