How "Honest" should you be in a Relationship?

How
I always wonder about this because, like most things, what you have to be honest about changes from person to person. I've been told in some relationships that I'm either too honest or not honest enough. I seldom meet a happy middle ground on the issue. What do you think? How honest do your relationships need to be?
  • Absolutely Honest! (No secrets)
    Vote A
  • Emotionally Honest (How you view and feel about things)
    Vote B
  • Actionably Honest (Admiting and taking responsiblity for any actions you carry out)
    Vote C
  • Personally Honest (All that stuff you mainly keep to yourself)
    Vote D
  • Selectively Honest (Honest only when asked)
    Vote E
  • Other/Results
    Vote F
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Girls

  • As honest as possible. Of course you shouldn't feel like you have to share EVERYTHING with partner, ranging from what you had for lunch today to your deepest, darkest secrets. But definitely tell them about things that concern them and affect them, and not just when asked. I still like to keep my privacy, like I don't share any passwords with my partner and I'd prefer it if he didn't read my conversations between my friends, my family and I unless it concerns him. Otherwise I'm upfront about pretty much everything; how I feel, what I expect, what I want to do, what I like/dislike etc, and I expect the same level of honesty from him. Like an open flow of constructive communication. No passive-aggressiveness, no mind reading or hint dropping, no explosive arguments.

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  • Be honest as you can but in a filtered and understandable way. Know the time and place and who your audience is. If you know the person is argumentative or sensitive, tailor what you have to say to get what you need to say across in the best way. And always let them know that you are constantly evolving as time goes so you may change your mind on things and they should be understanding to this because they will grow and change too, especially as they grow more comfortable with you , the relationship and in life. But in terms of being honest about you’re past, I would say only if it would actually have an impact on the relationship , than share it. Otherwise no need to lay all the horrible wrongs you’ve down out because (im assuming) you’ve changed and grown. If they ask, be honest , and if they can’t accept that the past is the past, let them go

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Most Helpful Guys

  • If one of the biggest fundamentals to a healthy and successful relationship is "trust"; that means honesty is a key policy here. If someone isn't able to handle the truth about you as a person, your past history and such, they are not ready to handle a relationship with you. When starting out in a relationship, it's perfectly normal to feel uneasy about commitment issues, losing interest and cheating, especially if you have little to no background history of your partner/significant other. If you were to always be honest from the start and followed that rule all throughout your relationship, it'll become stable much sooner!

    Some people will say being too honest from the start is considered unattractive. If you can't handle what they throw at you, how can you expect to handle anything that'll happen in the future with them? We all have problems and weird things about ourselves that make us who we are today! It's important to realize that if we can't be ourselves in the relationship, we'll feel trapped in our own minds when we want to be as free and comfortable around our partner/significant other as possible!

    With that said, complete honesty from the start in my opinion is an absolute "must"! That doesn't necessarily mean you have to blurt out every little detail about yourself; only when you're partner wants to talk about it. Honesty is so healthy in a relationship as it clears up conflict quickly and gives both of you peace in mind. The moment you start to build up lies is when the relationship starts to go downhill when you don't feel completely comfortable with them and can't openly tell them the truth...

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  • This is a really really complex question. I don't think anyone completely shares everything all the time (nor do I think anyone actually wants a relationship with someone who said every single thing that comes into that person's head). It depends so much on knowing your partner and the sorts of things you really should share with them and the things you should bite your tongue on.

    The easiest guideline is don't be deceitful, thus you shouldn't ever actually lie, and you shouldn't keep something from your partner that you know they would want to know, and strive for sincerety at all times. Most partners will accept a sincere "sorry, I actually didn't even think to tell you that," on a subject... once at least, but when you find yourself having to say that to someone you need to pay attention and ensure you share information like that from now on with your partner without fail.

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    • It's not really a complex situation/question at all.
      Here is my reasoning.

      No you don't have to say everything that comes to your mind but you should be 100% honest with the person that you are with because without fail if something slips and they find out you were lying the consequences could be bad for doing such. As most couples like 100% truth between them.

    • @xButterflyKisses87x I would generally agree with you, but I have learned from experience that I shouldn't throw out everything I'm feeling with my SO, especially when I'm in a bad mood.

      For instance she's not too fond of hearing, "Baby, I don't care, alright? I'm tired and annoyed and I really am not interested in hearing about your day or every single conversation you had, okay?" So I bite my tongue and try to just listen until she's done in such cases. She knows I do this and she appreciates that I listen even if she figures out I was in a bad mood and didn't want to listen. It's about knowing your partner. It's not lying to her, even though I'm definitely hiding feelings, she sees it as civility and putting her first. Another woman might see this differently as she wouldn't want a man to be sitting there "pretending to care" when they talk and would rather him say something. It all depends on knowing who your SO is, in my opinion, and that's where I see some complexity.

    • Can agree there, I wasn't saying to say that though but I agree because saying something like "baby, i don't care alright?" will upset her, i get you there.. but I am talking on other issues

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Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 45

  • I think the only things you should keep to yourself is things that could be hurtful. Like if your wife is 8 months pregnant and she reminds you of the good year blimp, you should probably not tell her that. There's a right time and place to say things. Otherwise be as honest as possible.

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  • I dont think anyone can achieve 100% honestly. Because most people aren’t even 100% honest with themselves.

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  • Im a very private person, i let my significant other know if they need to know. If its something i don't want to talk about or i don't want to worry them then i don't think they should know. But i would not lie to them if they ask then i probably tell them if im ready

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  • If we 're talking about bonding with another person, you'd need to be absolutely honest, definitely more honest than you'd be towards your friends and your parents, on the things that matter to you and your partner. Future plans, dreams, goals, what bothers you, what you want, what you need, things that happened to you, how was your day

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  • Personally I think the only subjects that your honesty level could vary are a womens appearance (if she asks how she looks you say you look beautiful despite what would be honest) bathroom habits/bodily functions that could cause your partner to view you in a gross way, her belief systems in that you shouldn't criticize her values and beliefs, her opinions on situations which do not relate to you such as her friends family career goals because your opinion on those could cause her dismay.

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  • I think you should he honest about everything. I tend to not be for little things only bc I dont want to hurt my fiances feelings.. But he's super honest with me and even if its something that I really dont like (example: him talking about how attractive a family member of mine is), I thank him in the end bc id prefer him to be open about everything rather than keeping things from me.

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  • I like having deep conversations so I chose B because it actually really helps me connect with people. Of course I only wanna talk about it if the other person's open to talking about emotional stuff, if I feel like I can trust them and if they're interested.

    Otherwise for me respect is more important than brutal honesty and only disclose as much of your past or yourself as you want to.

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  • It really depends and varies from people to relationships, i want someone to be absolutely honest with me, but i know some people who demand that but get offended or upset whenever the other person says something "too honest" i mean i thought thats what you asked?
    It always depends on the situation, for example someone who has cheated it is important that the person be honest about it but they'd be pushing it if they expected some sort of forgivness because they were"honest" about it.

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  • 100% honest.
    Past, present, future. Nothing has to be undiscussed.
    To those who say "you don't have to consider what a person has been in the past but what they are now" I say "Fuck off".

    What if someone who is now clean had some debt left with drug dealer?
    What they come from a bad family situation?

    Those are things that I need to know. If you don't, I'm sorry for your not being selective enough.

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  • Brutally honest.
    Keeping in mind... if it's a new relationship, I understand you aren't going to indulge everything and anything. However when asked, fess up. I SUGAR coat nothing. He loves me for me.. all my flaws and imperfections, if he hates anything about me... its my honesty. How is that for a whole bunch of FUCKED up? Im damned if I do... and still damned if I don't. So screw it... be honest. Keeping up dishonesty... is too exhausting.

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  • I won't tell them anything that is point lessly going to hurt them. Not every time a guy hits on me and I going to tell him.

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  • I feel like honesty is key. You should always be honest, without honesty, a relationship cannot survive. Sure some of the things you say truthfully may hurt, but its better than hiding it and having them be hurt even more later when they find out

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  • Should be able to be completely honest with your so or else just stay single, like seriously to this question lol.

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  • I think hiding something could hurt more than any blunt truth. Plus, I had wasting my time or beating around the bush so I I’m really straightforward & expect the same

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  • My lies, even the ones I told becuz I thought I wus protecting him destroyed my relationship and huet the man I love more than anything, or anyone. It took me a long time to learn that even lies told with good intentions are still lies and can kill a relationship. I actually had a taste of my own medicine, and even tho he did it to protect me, lik I had done all those times, I wus destroyed. Lies are nothing but delayed pain, deceit and mistrust. In the end the truth is the only thing that gets you anywhere good. My only regret in my lifetime, and believe me I've seen, done, experienced a lot, is that lying took away my soulmate, my best friend, and my happiness.

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  • I guess it depends on the person many prefer blissful ignorance to ugly truths but I’ve been hurt by lies so do my best to be honest

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  • As honest as possible. Right now my ex is accusing me of lying when I simply changed my mind on certain big issues.

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  • I voted A, and what that means to me is that you volunteer information about anything that might affect me, you give me your views and opinions on anything we need to decide on together as a couple, and let me know if something is not okay with you IE you're sick or in a bad mood.

    I always want to know how my man is feeling, so that I can either help him feel better, stay out of his way if he needs space, or not ask things of him that night prolong or exacerbate his suffering.

    I need to know if his income or employment changes, so that I know how much of the bills to cover.

    Everyone makes mistakes. Knowing that you can admit to them and be honest when asked, gives me emotional security, in knowing that you'll come to me for help if you need it before a problem gets to be too much, and that you're willing to work with me to solve problems, rather than letting things pile up, or prime all the stress if blame onto me or others.

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  • Emotionally honest, and also actively too. To be able to trust each other you both need to be on the same page with how you view and feel about certain things, otherwise someone is bound to hurt you simply because they didn’t know you found it wrong. But you also need to be able to admit when you are wrong and take responsibility for that, that goes for everything in life. You don’t have to tell your partner every single thing about you and your past, but you need to be able to be open as honest about anything that comes up and trusting the other person to be the same. You need to be open about personal boundaries and what crosses that line of what’s acceptable in a relationship.

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  • If you can't be 100% honest 100% of the time why bother.

    If you have to lie about even the smallest of things "to protect someone's wittle feewings," as many like to use as an excuse, how can you stay honest any other time?

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What Guys Said 47

  • All relationships are built on trust. Whether it's a romantic relationship, platonic, or business. In general when 2 people meet they have a lower trust level until they learn about each other and build that trust. A key component to trust is honesty. Obviously one of the quickest ways to see someone as untrustworthy is to catch them in a lie. So it's always best to be as honest as possible.
    In the beginning of a relationship you are still building trust and as such still being cautiously honest. This doesn't mean you are lying, but when certain topics come up you don't have to share as deeply as you may later on in the relationship. Most of us have baggage and we have an underlying fear that part of that baggage out of context may chase someone off, so we can still share some details while keeping others under wraps. As we build that trust and open up more with someone, especially as feelings develop, we choose to share more deeply.
    I feel the goal in any successful relationship is a place where you can be 100% bluntly and unfiltered honest with your SO and not have any fear those words will cause a negative backlash. Being in love and knowing your SO has your back and has context when you are being honest with them creates a safe place where trust is displayed and reinforced daily. That not only feels safe but creates such a high sense of intimacy that it feels like the top of the mountain. We all want a successful relationship when it comes with those positive attributes.

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  • I think close to absolutely honest is best. There is no reason to share every single thought as soon as it comes into your head. Maybe your BF/GF is looking a bit worse for wear one day. There is no reason to tell them this. It would just ruin their day.

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  • It's a very good question. One can either be truthful or they can be entirely honest with their partner. I mean there is a small difference in being honest and being truthful.

    Either way they will not be lying to their partner. Hence they can do either.

    Since mine is a different answer, I have voted F.

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  • Well that is a very good question. This may seem like common sense or common courtesy, ... but my own personal experience can realistically debate with that.

    I did at one time was completely honest to an ex-fiancee during that time period. I had that state of mind that "I don't want to lie to her at all nor do I want to hide anything from her. She should know the honest truth about everything". ... nope. That apparently backfired & didn't work.

    Keep in mind I didn't cheat on this girl at all nor did I do anything to cause an offense nor anything like that. I loved this girl way too much to do anything like that to her. I was going through some issues during that time period, minor of those issues were my fault but most of them were not my fault at all,... but I still had to deal with those issues.

    I told her what was happening,.. my issues were weighing her down, she couldn't be strong nor could she take it anymore & BAM... e-mailed me a 'Dear John' letter & that was it.

    That break up hit me pretty hard.

    Years later I had read online about the whole 'seeking women' topic & when it came to complete honesty,.. especially if you are not extremely close to a girl of your personal interest,... if you have any problems,... don't expose those problems. You don't need to share those personal issues. Especially if you come from a messed up family,... again she doesn't need to know right now, If you do need to expose any of those types of information to the one you're interested in,... be sure you are very personally close to that person of your interest & prepare to expose that information when the time is right, especially when you both are ready.

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  • In general i think be as open as possible. Certainly don't lie about anything. As a relationship grows any lies will be exposed and erode trust.
    I'm just starting a new relationship. I'm trying to be as honest as possible. there's only one topic i dont intend on talking about, unless it becomes topical at some point in the future, some things are best left in your past

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  • Completely Honest but don't flood the person with information immediately.
    I was in abusive marriage. My ex openly cheated on me too.
    I told my girlfriend about it in pieces.
    Also don't be so blunt you hurt their feelings.
    Eg. Tell a woman (without her asking you) that she's got really small breasts or a huge butt.

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  • Either you. are honest or not...
    Something that is red and blue is neither call red or blue but another color.
    Simple as that

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  • Absolute honesty but explaining previous lives and relationships before you met is voluntary. None of each other's business unless both want to talk about them.

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  • If you wish to have a true and long lasting relationship, you should ALWAYS be 100% honest with your partner.

    The more secrets you keep from them, the more likely they find out and when they find out it makes you look horrible

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  • 100%. Why is this even a question? If you can't be honest with the person you are in a relationship, then you shouldn't be in a relationship with them.

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  • One of my favorite quotes on this comes from Klaus from the show The Originals: "It's not love on which the strongest foundations are built; it's the decency of merciful lies."

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  • I look at it like this.
    1. No lies
    2. Emotionally Honest
    3. Actionably Honest as you put it.
    4. Secrets within reason

    Like I don't need to know 100% of everything in her past before me, but I do need to know that she will be honest with me if I ask. That's what I mean about "secrets" within reason. It's not being hidden, just not something brought up and it doesn't matter. I know there are some things from my past I'm not proud of, but I would talk about it if requested. At the same time I'm not going to just bring up dark times from my past.

    As for "brutal" honesty, that is just stupid. Because it requires being emotionally ignorant with your partner. Honesty in a relationship comes with the caveat of being said with love and respect. You don't take cheapshots, just because you're mad and felt it in the moment.

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  • I think there is a VERY big difference between being honest and telling everything you know. I don't think there is ever a valid excuse to TELL a lie to your partner about anything. If you WRONG them then YES you should ALWAYS own up to it whether or not they know about it. However, that doesn't mean all of your secrets and hers need to be out in the open. If you're in a relationship where you love and trust your partner then I don't see any real reason you'd WANT to keep a secret from them (assuming of course it was only YOUR secret and not one you were keeping for someone else).

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  • Hmmmm
    Close to absolutely honest at least
    You might not want to explain every little thing in excruciating detail but in a more general sense be open and honest yes

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  • Be honest as far as it will help the relationship and not harm it.

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  • Tie between actionably and selective honesty. You don't have to go around saying everything just for the sake of it. Not needed.

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  • So long as you treat, say her mother, with love and respect, does it really matter if you can't stand her? If you think she was a horrible mother to your wife, and you wish she'd die in a ditch?

    But you treat her well and loan her money when she needs it, because your wife still treats her well because of an accident of birth?

    Do you REALLY have to upset your wife by saying you think her mother is a manipulative evil bitch?

    Personally, I say no. I think some emotions and thoughts you can keep to yourself, especially if you know they are just going to hurt her.

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  • say... 90% honest. There may be some things that you can keep to yourself, but yeah. Overall, you gotta spit it all out.

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  • I mean im always honest anyway except with parents cause my mom doesn't listen to me anyway? (Other)

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  • Honest enough to tell her how you feel but not enough to tell her when you hook up with her sister and best friend in the same week.

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