While I’ve always had a tendency to speak my mind, the truth is that lying is a crucial part of social interaction.
Whether or not it should be is certainly up for debate, but there is an argument to be made that lying even to those you love has its benefits.
In fact, it’s lying to those we love that especially plays a crucial role. It’s all about etiquette, about what you should or should not say in order to be polite and respectful. We lie to conceal the truth and to avoid hurting the feelings of those closest to us.
But this isn’t the only time we lie or deceive for acceptable reasons. We also manage to manipulate and filter truths -- not enough to be called out on them, but enough to keep our reasons behind holding back said information a secret. We like our little secrets.
Sometimes we don’t let anyone know our intentions because we’re being cautious. We don’t want someone's direct line of questioning to reveal the truth.
So we beat around the bush. We gain bits and pieces of information that we stick together to answer the questions we really want answered.
Is that morally acceptable? Is it wrong? It depends on who you ask. If you ask me, lying is not only acceptable in many situations, but it’s often unavoidable.
Obviously, when telling the truth is the right thing to do, then it’s the right thing to do. The issue is about where that line of morality is drawn.
Nevertheless, when it comes to relationships, it’s sometimes better for your partner not to know what you’re getting at. Sometimes you want to surprise your love with a birthday or holiday present.
And sometimes you want to gauge where someone's head is at without scaring him or her off.
Let’s be honest: We men aren’t usually good with these sorts of conversations -- ones about the state of the relationship. You know where you hope it’s going, but you want to be sure you’re not living a delusion.
Yet having “the talk” isn’t something that anyone really wants to do -- especially not guys. It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward.
Sometimes we’re just so nervous that we can’t get ourselves to answer. Or, for that matter, we can’t figure out how to answer these questions without lying and/or hurting the woman we’re with.
But I want women to know this is okay. There are other ways of getting the answers you’re after without literally asking those questions.
Will it involve a tad bit of deception? Sure. But none to worry yourself over. None that will jeopardize the relationship or even possibly hurt the one you care for. These questions will let you know if your man is in it for the long haul without scaring him away. Win-win.
1. What are you doing for the holidays?
With the timing of this article, it’s likely you already spoke to your boyfriend about your plans for the holidays and New Year's Eve.
If not, it’s never too late.
The trick is to bring it up casually, so you need to wait for an opening. You don’t want him to think that you’re inviting yourself for Christmas or Hanukkah or what-have-you.
If he feels like it’s too early to introduce you to the parents, then he won’t mention having you in the festivities in any way, and you have your answer.
But maybe he’ll invite you out for some drinks with friends he has in the area. If not, nothing to worry about -- unless, of course, you feel that it’s time you meet the parents. If that’s the case, then you’re going to have to decide if you can wait for him to be ready or not.
2. Do you think you may want to go away together in the next X months?
Depending on how long you’ve been together, where you believe the relationship is, and where you believe it ought to go in the next X months, you’ll ask to either go away for a weekend or maybe for a few weeks.
If you want to know how a man feels about you, then you need to know what his plans are for the future -- or, rather, what plans he’s willing to make for the future that directly involve you.
If you’ve been together for six months, a weekend away together should be acceptable. For a year or two, maybe a longer getaway is what you ought to aim for.
Of course, just because someone agrees for a trip four months in advance doesn’t mean that you'll be together then. Plenty can happen in that time.
However, a man won’t agree to a trip that he has no intention of ever taking. So at least that’s something.
3. Did you ever think about moving for your career?
Make sure you don’t say this in a way that could make him think you’re trying to gauge if he’d be willing to move for your career. That is where his mind may very well go, which would defeat the purpose of this intentional delicacy.
Still, it’s nice to know whether or not your man still plans on traveling the world and going on adventures. And depending on what these adventures are, you’ll likely get a good idea of whether or not he wants you to be his backpacking partner.
He may be a bit shy and not straight-out tell you that he’d love you to go, but he’s likely to leave hints. If he’s cold to the topic and tries to guide the conversation away, you have your answer.
4. I know that it’s a bit out of your way and slightly inconvenient for you, but do you think you could help me ______?
Let’s be honest, ladies. You’re going to ask for inconvenient favors no matter what. That’s what people do when they’re in a relationship -- mostly because they either expect such favors or know that they can get away with them.
If your man is always willing to help, then you know he cares for you and is in it for the long haul. The more inconvenient and out of the way it is for him, the more he has to give up to help you, which means the more he cares about you.
However -- and make sure to read this closely -- you can go too far with this. And if you do, it will blow up in your face, and you’ll likely scare away a great guy for the wrong reasons.
If you’re intentionally making him struggle to see how much he’s willing to struggle to make things work, then I promise you that you will find out exactly how much he can take before he calls it quits.
But once he does call it quits, good luck getting him back.