Honesty: The Basis For A Good Relationship


One evening, a sinister phone call proved me right about the way I run my relationships.

I was doing a year of social service in a hospital. A girl did an internship with us: she stayed for a couple of weeks and we got along pretty well.

When she left, I asked her for her phone number. We had some common interests and I thought it would be nice to stay in touch. I actually called her a couple of days later, too, to shoot the breeze.

While this was going on, I had no idea another phone call was happening behind my back.

It was placed to my girlfriend.

“You’re dating Matt, right?” a female voice asked.

“Yeah,” my girlfriend said.

“You may want to know that your boyfriend is flirting up another girl,” the voice said and hung up.

When I went to hang out with my girlfriend that night, I found her furious.

But not for the reasons you’d expect.


Assuming Everybody’s Rotten.

She was raging against that unknown girl who presumed to know anything about our relationship.

She was my first girlfriend ever, and you bet she knew about that girl from the hospital. She knew I was getting along with her, she knew I was taking her number. It was all cool.

What was not cool was other people making completely unfounded assumptions about relationships they had no business in.

They had no idea whether we were honest and open with each other or not, but they chose to assume we weren’t.

What a Sad Life.

What a sad life you must have if you think the world is full of liars, cheaters and backstabbers!

I find life looks much better if you see good hearts, honesty and respect in people. I do. Sure, I may set my self up for disappointments, but imagine if I assumed everybody was a potential enemy!

All that stress, anger, negativity and heartburn. All the mistrust and vigilance I’d approach people with.

I’d be such a grump.

No, guys. That’s not me.
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Realizing You’re Doing it Right.

That day, I learned how cool it really was to be honest with yourself and those around you. It’s not just a way to manage your life and relationships: with honesty, you can also shine a light against paranoia, fear and anger in the world.

My first girlfriend and I had it woven tightly into the fabric of our relationship, and that day, we realized we were doing things damn right.

Honesty and your Life.

Mind you, I’ve been dishonest more times than I can count – and it’s always been for selfish, egocentric reasons. Hey, it’s part of being human. You fess up, face yourself and do it better next time.

If you can accept your flaws and pursue honesty in spite of them, in spite of what the rest of the world does, simply because you believe it’s worth it, you can open doors you never even knew existed.

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Do you want a bisexual girlfriend to have threesomes with?

Do you want an open relationship?

Do you want a long-term partner, but no children?

Are you too afraid to say these things out loud, because you fear rejection?

Tell you what. Whatever personal desires you carry, no matter how outlandish they may seem, the sooner you accept them and get ready to display them without shame, apologies or disguise, the better your life will be.

More on that later.

Honesty and Attraction.

Experience has shown me over and over that unfiltered honesty when it comes to your feelings and desires is the best key to attraction. It’s based on the insight that however weird we may think we are, weirdness is actually an inherent feature of the human condition and others have their own messed-up quirks.

Let’s take the sexual component away for a moment. Let me ask you: will you hold back your true thoughts in front of your best friend?

We all know the best friends are those who know us completely, inside and out, the shiny and the rotten. And we know them the same way. Both parties are always ready to tell the other even the uncomfortable truths about themselves. And that’s why we love our best friends. They won’t bullshit us around. They’ll be there through the good and the bad times because they know and love us completely, just the way we are.

Truth is, if you’ve ever talked to people who ended up sleeping with longtime friends, they’ll tell you it was because in the moment, between them and those friends, there was complete, utter, unconditional trust.

By the way, that means nobody was pathetically trying to hide their attraction like your classic emotionally insecure, subservient Mr. Friendzone does. Oh boy, friendzoned nice guys. Another topic for another article.

Anyway! Recap number one: we’re usually not sexually attracted to our friends of the same gender, but there’s something about trust that sparks sexual attraction when your sexuality allows.

When you show a woman your true self, even at the risk of getting hurt, she knows she can be her unfiltered self with you in return. A guy willing to open up some pretty damn personal feelings to her will surely honor if she does the same towards him.

She can be naked with you without fearing ridicule or exposure. That’s a turn-on.

The Honest Pickup.

Challenge: for one day, shut off the filter for your desires. When they arise, blurt them out. See a beautiful girl in the supermarket line-up?

“Wow, you look great!”

From the brain to the lips.

Because, hand on heart: when you see that beautiful girl, don’t you feel the urge to talk to her? Isn’t that what you want?

No filter for a day. “So… I don’t want to look in the mirror tonight and see a guy that didn’t talk to a beautiful girl when he had the chance. My name’s xyz.”

Yeah, she may reject you. But if she does, she’ll have a real reason – no nonsense made-up boyfriend or “I’m lesbian”. She’ll love your honesty and in return, she’ll be honest with you.

Or, you know, she may be all over you like a fat kid on ice cream.

I remember walking up to a girl in a café and telling her I thought she was lovely and I had to talk to her. She was shy, but visibly taken by my approach.

“Are you single?” I then asked her.

Yeah, she was. And yeah, I was nervous as hell, but you best believe I got the date. No flaking, no delaying. Smooth sailing!

Because seriously, did I give a crap about where she was from and what she was doing?

You’re not talking to that beautiful girl to assemble a professional experience profile. You’re talking to her because you want to find out if you can be with her. Ask her what you really want to know.

If she’s down, you’ll find out the name of her hometown and her everyday activities soon enough.

What About Casual Sex?

“But Matt”, you may say, “all this honesty is good and nice, but what if I tell a girl how much I am attracted to her, and how beautiful she is, and it makes her fall madly in love with me? And in reality, I just want to screw her?”

“Well”, I might then reply, “run.”

But between us, that’s not a very common thing to happen. If you think women are emotionally fragile flowers bending in every breeze of romance that blows their way, have a reality check. More likely, the woman in front of you will take your approach – flattering and attractive though it is – with a “let’s take this slow and see” attitude.

For most women, just like men, sex alone has nothing to do with commitment. She wants to know you’re cool, on her wavelength and trustworthy so she can let out her sexual fantasies and you’ll keep them confidential.

She may well sleep with you several times before even considering an emotional attachment past friendly and trusting. She’ll be happy to have a guy in her life that is cool, likes her and handles her sexual desires. If she senses that you know and understand this, and are on the same page, the more likely she’ll be to stick with you.

She needs to know she can have fun with you without drama.

So take it easy, have fun and take it one step at a time.

What if Somebody abuses your Trust?

What if a girl cheats on you, uses you, lies, walks all over your feelings? What if you see women do it a lot? Why would you be honest if this is how others handle you?

There are two things I would like say to you.

  1. If people do this to you a lot, perhaps it’s because you let them.
  2. If you really value honesty, don’t betray it because somebody does it first.

As for the first, remember there were two kinds of teachers back in school?

One was all nice and weak, and you would just do whatever the hell you felt like. They wouldn’t do anything to stop you, and you knew it. And then, there was the badass type: the teacher that simply walked into the room and you instinctively knew they’d rain hellfire down on your ass if you messed with them.

If you exhibit a washcloth kind of behaviour, don’t be surprised when people wipe the floor with you. Part of being completely honest is making your personal boundaries clear. The kind that don’t need any justification. You run your life your way, and people either respect that or they’re not worth being in your life.

Now, for the second point. Don’t justify dickishness with “others do it, too.” Far too many people have that philosophy:

“The world’s full of crooks. Being honest doesn’t get me anywhere, so I lie, cheat and backstab. They had it coming.”

Seriously?! Don’t be that person. It’s cynical and brings no benefit to the world.

You don’t run around murdering people just because others do it, either. If you truly value honesty, you remain an honest person even after you see somebody else being dishonest. Especially then. Your values are your values. Stick to them.
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Starting a Relationship.

Now, back to honesty and relationships. Let’s say you and that girl you picked up with your honesty are really into each other. Let’s say a couple of months have passed.

You’ve played things well. You’ve had lots of cool conversations exchanging your views on life, love and the world. You’ve communicated about what you want in a partner, your dreams and – yes – your sexual desires and fantasies. You’re neither hiding nor holding back.

I remember this is how it went with my first girlfriend. By the time we went steady, we had grown a strong, solid foundation. We were clear about how we wanted to run our lives. We were also ready to accept change in the other person.

And, knowing we were human, we were ready to forgive mistakes and learn. Why? Because we knew the spirit was right.

And last but not least, we were clear about this question:

To be Honest or to be Nice?

I mentioned this above. For you, honesty must mean you’re ready to piss your partner off. I actually think that you’re on the right track if you display that willingness as early as your first time meeting a girl.

Does she say or do something you don’t agree with? Have the balls to disagree and be ready to walk away. This is, in part, the principle of the much-reviled “neg” Pickup Artists use: your blunt honesty serves to disqualify you as a suitor. Now, the ball’s in her court: if she wants to be with you, she will adjust her behaviour.

That may mean backtracking. If you’re dealing with a strong, mature woman unwilling to change her position, she may insist on her point but signal she respects you anyway. Good! See eye to eye. Proceed.

You’ll be so much more in touch with yourself if you stop hiding. Yes, it may mean pissing somebody off. It may mean going against what they believe is good and right. But as long as your personal goals, dreams and desires don’t involve causing harm to others – and this is important – you’ll be surprised how people react when you push them through.

They’ll respect you as the mature grown-up you are.

What are your experiences with honesty? How much of your true intentions and convictions do you reveal to a girl, and how soon? Have you been cheated on and lied to? What did you learn? Do you remember a time you acted dishonestly? How did you bounce back? Let us know in the comments. I can’t wait to discuss!

Frequently Asked Questions
What's a very good sign that a relationship won't last long?

When you're walking on eggshells half the time.

How can we have a good working relationship?

When I was in the marines... my master Sargent who was 2 years older than dirt from east Texas. (I now feel bad because I'm only about 10 years younger than he was when I was in). Any way. He hand added everything on a calculator and was always checking my math because I did it to fast.

I coded formulas into excel. After about 6 months I went into his office and said . Top, for while now you've been back checking everything I did because you felt I did it to fast. Can I show you how I do it to make you feel more comfortable.

He gave me permission. For the next month I was teaching him how to code formulas into excel (not a difficult thing but it was something new and exciting for him.

Mayhap your boss would enjoy learning something new.

It's all about how you approach things.

Tell him they came out with a new trick in the last few editions you want to show him.

Can a couple have a good relationship without sex?

>Can a couple, either a married one, a boyfriend and girlfriend, or any sort of committed relationship, be good, fulfilling or rewarding, for both parties, without sex?

A hypothetical couple with no sex drives, yes.

A real world couple with actual desires and no mental conditions or medical prescriptions that inhibit/suppress both libidos (clinical depression and its treatments come to mind), highly unlikely.

Does anyone else feel like they aren't good enough for a relationship?

I feel sometimes like I have so many flaws and problems that I wouldn't want to burden myself on a gf. Like If they knew all the problems you had straight away would you be in a relationship with them at all? But at the same Time I'm desperate for someone who cares and I car really talk to truthfully, but from experience i end up regretting it. Ffs

What sounds like good relationship advice but isn't?

Asking the internet for relationship advice.