I’ve heard girlfriends say love and honesty must go hand in hand in order to have a meaningful, or successful relationship. The question immediately comes to my mind – what brand of honesty are we talking about? “Darling, I want you to be absolutely honest with me”… yeah right! The truth is, in the day to day flow of life, as we strive to do our best to be great partners, friends and whatever else we have energy for, we actually don’t want honesty, we want love. Honesty can be an incredibly constructive, guiding and empathetic force, a healthy and often direct dose of which we all need from time to time. But love is what helps us get through the day in one piece.
But what is love?
Love is a crutch of sorts. It’s having a shoulder to lean on, that unspoken assurance that no matter how cranky, tired or existentially flawed we feel, we have a friend, someone who is just there for us. We’re not talking about a spiritual guide, nor a judge to keep us honest but just a presence, a companion, someone that shows us what at the end of the day is plain old kindness, love. The unconditional kind.
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When is lying for love and not deception?
When honesty enters this equation however, they are not always the best of bed fellows. Love is often about lying. Knowing when to lie, whether the depth of the lie is acceptable or if its borderline. Fortunately, even though we practice it every day, we know when the lie is actually deception. Deception is a no no. Its the flip side of love, its where the real damage occurs. Love makes allowances for little lies, its in the budget. Telling the right lie in the right context at the right time is more often than not for a good reason. When a question is fired at us which is loaded to the gunnels, the equivalent of “does my bum look big in this?”, the answer does not require hard-core honesty to any degree. What’s really being asked is “am I acceptable?”, and from a loved one, the answer is always the same.
Relationships are difficult things at the best of times and honesty can get you into trouble, but at the end of the day we are in them for good things only, to give beyond ourselves, be part of the life of another that holds you in a most inexplicable fascination.