Relationships For Dummies
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To form a healthy relationship with someone and become emotionally intimate, you need to share experiences and secrets with your partner that you don’t share with anyone else. That kind of intense, intimate, highly private interchange requires both parties to be honest with one another. Honesty involves giving accurate information about events that are known or have already occurred.

Honesty is telling the truth as you know it about factual events that have already occurred. Honest partners in a healthy relationship do not knowingly give misinformation. However, being honest doesn’t mean being rude, unkind, or aggressive. It doesn’t mean sharing things to hurt your partner or “spilling your guts.” Discretion — using good judgment about what to reveal and what not to reveal — is important in any healthy relationship.

So it’s usually best not to attack your boyfriend’s new clothing or make remarks about another woman’s “hotness.” It isn’t necessary to share these feelings, and doing so may hurt your partner.

If you’re going to leave your girlfriend for that “hot” female, you will need to tell your mate that you want to break up. However, you still don’t have to tell her that she “isn’t hot enough.” There are far kinder ways to end your relationship.

In addition, you don’t have to reveal everything you think and feel to anyone, including your partner. You can always opt to keep something confidential because you’ve promised someone that you would, because you don’t feel comfortable sharing the information, or just because you want to keep it to yourself.

You also have the right to be vague if you don’t want to respond to someone’s detailed questions. But don’t lie about an issue. If it relates to a secret someone else has told you, you can say, “That information was given to me in confidence, so it cannot be shared.” It’s much better to hold back information than to give inaccurate information.

It’s also OK to talk about your goals and intentions in good faith, then not be able to follow through all the time. That’s not lying. However, if you’re unable to keep your word for any reason, discuss that with your partner as soon as you realize it, and try to find an acceptable solution that also protects your partner’s best interests and respects your relationship.

People generally trust that someone is being honest with them until/unless they find out differently. After someone violates the code, however, there’s no way to know when that person will cross the line again. That’s why cheating is so destructive to a relationship and why trust is so difficult to repair. For partners to remain strong in a relationship, they must remain bonded to one another in honesty and good will.

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Dr. Kate Wachs is America's only Psychologist-Matchmaker. She runs The Relationship Center™ in Chicago, the only full-service introduction and counseling center of its kind. She has helped millions of people through matchmaking, counseling, and her media appearances.

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