Well, this is a lesson I wish I would have learned long ago. I have broken hearts and ruined relationships, and I am the sole reason why a few women I've dated have trust issues. Don't get me wrong; I've never cheated, but I was not always honest about my intentions, behavior or feelings.
There comes a turning point when you've been so used to lying that you start to believe your own lies, and the line between fact and fiction gets maddeningly blurry. I reached that point multiple times over the course of my life, and only now am I realizing the true damage that I have done, not only to others, but to myself.
See, guys, the problem isn't always in our behavior. The problem is we lie about our actions or incidents we don't feel like arguing about.
Sure, these are usually things that will cause a fight with your significant other and might even lead you to sleeping on the couch for a night. Unless you're out f*cking other people, running a human trafficking ring or spending your rent check on enough cocaine to put Charlie Sheen in rehab, chances are, they'll get over it.
Most of the sh*t we do is not a deal breaker for most women. What is a deal breaker is whether or not we own up to our mistakes. I would lie about how much I drank when I was out, if I hit a joint, if any women flirted with me (or if I flirted with them), how much money I spent, etc.
None of these things would have caused more than a petty argument or small fight. Yet, these are the things that led to our inevitable split. It wasn't because I did these things, but because I lied about doing them, and I lied consistently.
It reached a point where I got so used to just saying what I thought would get me out of an argument that my own reality started to reach a confusing state. Stories became jumbled, lies and truth blended together, and I was the sole reason for the impending implosion.
It's over now, and I'm single (and enjoying it). I could write about the benefits of being single versus the benefits of being in a relationship, at least for those of us with drunken, gregarious personalities who advocate debauchery and being promiscuous.
But for now, just heed these words. I have learned from these mistakes and will not lie about my behavior, but I will not apologize for past mistakes. It's done. As they say, there is no sense beating a dead horse.
The best way to go through life is by marching to your own drumbeat, but do it in a way that isn't hurtful to others. Embrace who you are and what you want, and you'll find that life works out much easier for you. Also, keep in mind that a reputation can follow you.
To be forever branded as a liar or a dishonest piece of sh*t will certainly hinder your love life and friendships. Just be unabashedly honest with no regard to how people will perceive it. If they can't handle it, f*ck 'em.
I write these words not to clear my conscience or to come across as a changed man who now has the right to judge others and impart wisdom on them. F*ck no. I'm still a f*ckup, I'm still making mistakes and I'm still finding them to be my greatest teachers.
I'm writing these admissions in the hopes that people out there will read this and change themselves. Maybe they'll get one of those "oh sh*t" moments of enlightenment.
After all, isn't that why most writers write? To purge our consciousness while trying to reach others? I believe so because that is why I write.
If you're the type who likes to get drunk, flirt, smoke and just let loose when you go out, then by all means, do it. Just don't lie about it.
Embrace your own personality. You will get much more respect in the long run.