When entering or living in a committed relationship it is extremely important to be honest.
Honesty. A definition I found gave the best definition of honesty as the quality or state of being honest; probity; fairness and straightforwardness of conduct, speech, etc.; integrity; sincerity; truthfulness; freedom from fraud or guile. We look for honest partners. Partners that we can trust to be truthful to us in words and action. But before seeking out that honest partner, you must be that honest partner.
Honesty in relationships must begin within YOU. It must start at your own core and being. Your ability to be honest with yourself, about who you are, what you want, and why. It is easy to get swept away by romance, society’s ideals, and outside pressure. It’s easy and common to put aside your personal preferences in those early stages of dating to set the right impression and not scare off Mr. or Ms. Right. But what good will it do you to make it through those first six months or even two years when the hormones in your brain are on overdrive and things look rose perfect even, when the rose is drooping and the petals are falling off?
Self integrity in preparation for a real relationship says that you need to be who you really are, and accept yourself for your strengths and flaws, before expecting anyone else to. Even more, you must accept yourself and be honest about yourself before you can expect that you will find someone who will be honest (with him or herself and with you).
If you have found yourself feeling disillusioned, trapped, or misunderstood after the initial stages of your romance, ask yourself if you’ve been keeping back aspects of who you are and simply not being yourself? Are you the jeans and flip-flops type and are conforming to a partner who prefers button downs and dress shoes? Or do you love sci-fi but never mention it because your partner seems to only enjoy suspense? Do you act completely differently when you are around his or her friends? Everyone acts a bit differently than in the comfort of their own home, when they are out; but are you completely a different person?
If you think your personal level of honesty towards yourself isn’t where it should be and that you may be sacrificing some of your wishes, interests, and qualities to appear more desirable to your partner have a little ‘talk’ with yourself to get to the heart of it.
The same applies to couples who may be married and find themselves disillusioned because they have grown over time, but perhaps they don’t feel they have grown together. Growth and change in a long-term relationship is natural. How we handle it can make or break your relationship.
Ask yourself these questions. Honestly.
1. How would I describe the person I was when I was 17?
2. How would I describe the person I am now?
3. How would I describe the person I am when I am with my partner?
4. What do I love most about myself?
5. What quality does my partner love most about me?
6. What impact does my partner have on my lifestyle, activities, and friends?
7. What impact does my partner have on my appearance and presentation?
8. Why is it important for me to be true to myself?
After answering these questions, what are your initial thoughts and feelings? Go through each question and jot down a sentence about what you are thinking about your response AND how you feel about your response.
This exercise can help you start to realize areas where you are and are not being authentic and honest to yourself. Additional work may be helpful in overcoming barriers you have to reaching your true and honest self. If you are in a relationship, share this exercise with your partner and talk about your responses. If having this conversation is too difficult, it may be a sign that you are not able to be who you are in your relationship or that you may need additional assistance in communicating with your partner.
And always remember: "To thine own self, be true."
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