Deal in the Currency of Truth
OK, so we’ve all seen those romantic comedies where the essential tension of the story is created by the inability of one or both individuals falling in love to tell the truth. And many times it’s pretty funny to watch.
Unless you’re only looking to establish a dating life that people can laugh about, determine to deal in the currency of truth.
Of course, I’m not encouraging you to tell your date every thought that runs through your mind like:
- “Have you ever actually listened to yourself?”
- “If you lost about 30 pounds you’d probably look a lot better!”
- “No seriously, something smells like a baby’s diaper. Was that you?”
- “I often hear voices in my head, but sometimes it’s comforting as if I’m never alone.”
- “I’ve really got a problem controlling my temper, so try not to hack me off.”
- “I have a rash. Would you like to see it?”
What I DO want to encourage is the following:
- Be yourself – not who you think your date wants you to be and not who you wish you were. Here’s the deal. God made you the way you are knowing you’d be a blessing to some and less than a blessing to others. God did not make any one person to be loved and understood by everyone. (This reality is hard for me to accept, but it’s true.) If your date isn’t blessed by who you are, move on! And even though it’s tempting to present yourself the way you wish you were it’s still lying – and that’s not the way you want to be. If it’s appropriate you can share with your date something you’re trying to change about yourself.
- Don’t lead your date astray – neither purposefully nor accidentally. If you can tell your date misinterpreted something you said in a way that gives them a different picture of you than is entirely accurate, correct that picture.
- Give your date permission to tell the truth – don’t lead them to agree with you and don’t shut them down if they disagree with you. If they bring up an opposing point of view, instead of trying to defend yours, ask them to explain their own – not like you’re putting them on the stand, but like you really want to understand. In seeking to understand them you encourage truth-telling, giving both of you more accurate information on which to base your relationship and judge whether you’re a good match.
- Be honest about your beliefs. Your date does not have to believe everything you do, but they should be aware of what you believe about important issues like religion, politics, morality, spirituality. And if you find out that, even though your date is hot-as-fire, funny-as-all-get-out and charming-as-a-fairy-tale, they also differ with you on important issues, you need to do some soul-searching before your next date. If there is a next date.
- Be honest about your feelings. Feelings aren’t necessarily right or wrong, but they are as much a part of who you are than what you think or believe. If your date wants to go some place or engage in some activity with which you are uncomfortable you should most certainly say so! And you should expect your date to respect your feelings whether they understand them or not. Same thing for you with them, by the way.
And lastly, don’t forget you can decline to answer a question. Even in a court of law where you are supposed to tell the truth – the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God – you can still plead the 5th amendment against self-incrimination. If your date asks you about something you simply don’t feel comfortable answering a really good response is: “I don’t feel comfortable answering that question.” (Creative answer, I know. I’m a professional communicator.)
Deal in the currency of truth. It’s hard, but worth it. It might not lead to as many funny situations as a sitcom, but it could lead to meaningful relationships that last.
Any other tips you’d like to share along the lines of honesty? Don’t be shy.
Disagree with something I’ve said? Be honest!
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!