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4 reasons to be honest about what you want in a relationship from the start

By Maya Khamala

Guess what? No matter what you want, whether it’s a friend with benefits, an open relationship, a long-term monogamous thing, a baby daddy, or a boy toy with no strings attached, it's important to be upfront and honest about your desires. Why, you may ask? Why, pray tell, can’t I just play it cool? Because! What the world needs now, is truth, sweet truth. Being yourself and nobody else in a relationship is good for everyone involved, and innocent passers-by may even benefit too.

The fact is, being upfront and centre about who you are and what your desire dictates can be a bloody challenge these days. No blame, no shame. “Modern dating” is hard enough—most of us have, by now, experienced the likes of Tinder. Most of us have experienced the epidemic of detachment that at times seems to plague our love and sex lives. I think The Weekend said it best in the lyrics for his song Real Life: “They told me not to fall in love, that shit is pointless.” 

But technology and modern times aside, here’s another factoid for you: regardless of these conditions we’re living in, when you alter your behaviour to appear "cool" or carefree, or you go along with someone who clearly wants to marry you when they still barely know you, or you lie about anything at all pertaining to your romantic or sexual desires (no faking!), you’re setting yourself and your counterpart up for unnecessarily difficult (and unsatisfying) times.

Consider the following four reasons to simply do what you feel.

1. You deserve to get what you want 

Identifying your desire based on the fickle, impersonal basis of public opinion ain’t a very smart idea. It’s simply not reliable, not consistent, and not, well, personal. To get what you want, you have to be able to rely on yourself, even if that means blocking out the voices of millions of internet-goers you’ve never met before. Easy enough, right? Well, it should be. You may worry about being too clingy, as so many women are socialized to do, but here’s a news flash: when you actually tell a partner that you’re looking for something more (or for something monogamous) (or anything else you want), no matter how unfashionable or "uncool" it may feel, they will respect you more. Even if they're not on the same page. You also may surprise yourself and get exactly what you want from them—sometimes two people both play it cool and miss out! Worst case: you both save time and energy for someone else more in line with your path.

2. The other person deserves to get what they want 

The person in question. They might not want something serious. So if you do, telling them you don’t (and hoping they'll change their mind) does you both a disservice. Or maybe you’re the heartbreaker and they're totally in love with you. Don’t lead the poor QT on if all you want is some casual sex. Desire is ultimately transparent, after all. You can only cover it up for so long before it shines through in your words, your actions, your energy, the sex…I mean, let’s be real. You can’t fake passion—on any level. Regardless of what form of relationship or non-relationship you’re looking for, wouldn’t you prefer to be in one where you’re on the same page as the person in question, rather than knowing you’re cock-blocking yourself or the other person, and ultimately stopping them from getting what they want?

3. It’s easier than lying 

We’ve all heard the old saying, “it takes fewer muscles to frown than to smile.” Well, similarly, it’s easier and a lot less emotionally draining to be honest than to keep up some kind of charade, no matter how low-level, or minor, or subtle it may seem. For one thing, honesty doesn’t require any flourishes to come off as real. Be real, and you’ll find you sleep better, you breathe better, you look hotter, and any relationship you find yourself in is a lot less likely to be a drain on your inner resources. Life is too short, really, not to be keen, serene, and joyfully obscene.

4. The truth will come out anyway 

If you think you can fake being into something or not being into something—long-term, you’re fooling yourself. And anyway, why would you want to? Know any old couples who have been together 40 years and happen to hate each other? Do you envy them? People who do somehow manage to pull off lying to themselves and others for decades have many reasons for doing so, some of them practical and understandable, and others complete bullshit. Either way, chances are both parties know about any and all lies and have simply chosen to settle. Our generation is now being confronted with the same pressures to “settle” as our parents’ generations were. And really, the truth usually comes out before then, anyway.

The bottom line is this: if are you faking something about who you are in a relationship, no matter how early on it is, or no matter what you’re telling yourself to justify it, chances are it’s based on a fear of some kind that you're worried about confronting. 

My advice: Don’t worry. Instead, choose to be happy. Anyone not into the real you (and all the things you want) is not worth your time.

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