I went for a run with friends yesterday.  They wanted to do two lakes and I wanted three (stress). So, we bid goodbye after 7 miles and I set out to complete my run.  As I rounded the first 1/4 mile I heard someone call my name.  I looked back to see a former “friend.”  I hadn’t seen him for a couple of years and he was out for a last jaunt before the marathon.  We caught up on kids, work, and then we somehow turned to the topic of trust (it’s amazing what you can discuss on a run!). Here’s the gist of our conversation (I had to make some serious mental notes!):

While we all talk about the importance of love – love is nothing without trust.  And, you can’t have trust without honesty. For some people, honesty is just a word to which they pay lip service.  And, as a result, it’s one of the first things to go in a crisis.  Yet, honesty in a relationship must be the critical value.  In fact, I would argue that the health of any relationship depends on it.

Actually, the reason for being honest in a relationship is that it leads to trust and, without trust, any relationship will fall apart. Why?  Because if we can’t trust those closest to us, we can’t rely on them in times of need – when we need them to be there for us … and that it leaves us filled with doubt, rather than confidence, about the relationship.  That doubt will gradually eat away at the relationship until it’s destroyed.

What are the words you read most often in dating sites? (Yeah, ok, I’ll answer that) – “Looking for an honest man/woman who will accept me the way I am.”  This is the universal law of relationships … being honest and acceptance of flaws.

Why are we afraid to be honest?  Because we fear that if we are, our partner/friend will leave … will not accept us.  So, we tell ourselves and our partners unintended white lies to avoid that fear.  Yet, those little mistruths, as innocent as they are, damage us and the relationship.

Honesty is absolutely necessary when expressing feelings.  Sometimes you know when your partner is feeling a certain way (angry, sad, etc.), yet, when you ask you get, “I’m fine.”  Usually this is because the person wants to avoid a potential argument or “issue.”  But, that’s not true honesty and the more the partner denies, the less honesty there is and the trust begins to erode.  In a love relationship, you should be able to share your feelings and have them acted upon, even when it’s contrary to their own needs and visa versa.  Try it sometime and see if that rings true for you.

This was a pretty deep conversation for 3 miles and as we said good-bye, I told him it was a great coincidence running into him.  He said, “Jess, there’s no such thing as a chance encounter.”   Maybe he’s right.

Have a wonderful start to your week!