While there are several relationship mistakes people often make, there is ONE that nearly all people make every single day. It erodes our relationships on a much deeper level than we ever could imagine.
In this video and article, I talk about what that monster of all relationship mistakes is, as well as how you can avoid it in your next relationship.
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So What’s the Biggest of All Relationship Mistakes?
So I know you’re dying to hear what this behemoth of all relationship mistakes is. Before I tell you, let me just say: it’s pervasive in all of our relationships, both romantic and platonic. And it’s the cause for the end of the vast majority of relationships.
Ready for it?
Lying to your partner.
Before you start arguing that you don’t ever lie to your partner, let’s look at the definition of lying.
The definition of lying is…ready for it?
not telling the truth.
That’s simple, right? As we’ll soon see, it’s not as simple as you’d think to identify a lie.
I think most people would agree that honesty is critical in relationships, but most people don’t really know what real honesty means. To me, honesty simply means never lying and holding yourself to an absolute ethical standard in everything you do.
Now, when most people think of a liar, they think of a bad person who purposefully tries to manipulate or deceive others, but actually, most of the lying we do is much more subtle and unconscious.
What Lying Looks Like
You might be surprised to realize that you’re guilty of some of the following types of lies! Don’t feel bad; we all are, and most of us may not even realize when we’re lying.
When you omit a sensitive detail here or there…you’re lying a little.
Let’s say your boyfriend would get jealous if he knew your ex was at a party, so you didn’t mention that you saw him…but you did. You just omitted that seemingly insignificant detail because you didn’t want to start an argument with your guy.
But what would telling the truth look like? He might get upset to know that not only did you see your ex at the party, but you also talked to him. Is telling him this more difficult than lying about it? In the short term yes, but being honest with him about this is critical to living a code of radical truth. It could come out later that your ex was there, and then you look like you were trying to hide something by not telling him. If the ex is a nonfactor, your boyfriend will feel better if you are open with him about running into him.
When you tell a “little white lie” to make your partner feel better…you’re lying.
Your boyfriend hasn’t been eating well and he’s gained weight. He even has trouble buttoning his pants. When he asks how he looks, you say, “you look as handsome as the day we met!”
He smiles and feels good about himself.
If you’re honest with yourself, you know he’s packing on the pounds, whether or not you care or not. A better response would be:
“You know I think you’re so sexy, but you don’t seem to be as healthy lately. Maybe we can cook at home together more.”
Is this easy information to deliver? No. Is it easy to receive? Heck no! But isn’t he better off knowing the truth about his weight gain than going around thinking his lifestyle of eating Oreos for breakfast is OK? By framing your response as kind of “we’re in this together,” it softens the blow.
Lying is that little augmentation of the truth you use in order to get what you want.
The guy you’re dating asks if you’re seeing other people. You say “no” because you don’t want him to judge you…but in fact, you have been out with a few guys over the past six months.
You may be so worried about how he’ll see you if he knows you’re dating other people, but realize it’s all in how you respond (and hey, are you so sure he’s not dating other people?). A better answer might be:
“I’ve been open to other dates when guys ask me, but I’m most interested in seeing where this goes with you.”
If you haven’t had the conversation about being exclusive, this response will make him realize he needs to lock it down with you. Maybe he assumed he was the only one for you, but since he never told you he wanted to be exclusive, he can’t blame you for dating other people.
If you notice, none of these lies are the big ones that we think of when we think of lies. They’re actually all quite gray area lies…but it’s in the gray area where our lives get complicated.
I challenge you to be aware of the lies you tell in your relationships and try to dedicate your life to honoring the truth. By doing so, you’ll attract people who do the same, which is great because let’s face it: we all want to surround ourselves with straight shooters who will always be honest with us.
I will say though, that the moment you remove all lies from your personal human operating system, you’ll suddenly be free of many of the complications that arise when you get caught in a lie. You’ll never again have to struggle to keep your lies straight in your head (a full-time job in and of itself). If you’re always honest, you know you’re living life with integrity and being a great partner.
An Example to Illustrate
I was once on a date many years ago, and we grabbed a drink on a Friday night. Her friend called her, asking her what she was up to, and because she wanted to spend some alone time with me, she told her friend, “Adam and I are just staying in tonight.”
It was a small lie, to be sure, and she did it with good intention, but I would argue that lies like this are actually incredibly harmful: not only are you vulnerable to being caught by this lie if, let’s say, I posted a picture of us out at night on Facebook, but also, I witnessed her lie myself.
If she was so willing to lie about something so small, what else is she lying about?
All she had to say was, “Sorry, I can’t hang out tonight. Adam and I are having a date night.”
Nothing wrong with being honest!
Now, this is a micro example of things we lie about constantly throughout our lives, but it illustrates that lies don’t need to be large or harmful…yet even the smallest fibs do chip away at the trust in a relationship.
I just urge you to always go with the truth, even if it won’t necessarily get you what you want in the moment. Keep the big picture in mind, because a foundation of honesty is essential for a long-lasting relationship.
So, lying is one of the biggest relationship mistakes that most — scratch that: ALL — people make. Why? Because one lie can lead to more. Because sometimes you can talk yourself out of believing that you’re really lying. Because it gets hard to keep up with what you’ve lied about. Because no relationship ever thrived on a foundation of lies.
Look, I’ll be honest: living by a code of radical truth is not easy, and sometimes it doesn’t serve you directly in the short term. But I’d argue that if you can make an intention to live by this code in your relationships and look for people who have an equally strong sense of ethics, you’ll not only avoid this relationship mistake, but you’ll also find yourself in a loving and trusting relationship.
So talk to me in the comments below. Have you personally experienced how this relationship mistake of lying can destroy something between you and a man? Please share your story with us!
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