There’s an episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel give Chandler some relationship advice. One of these is that whenever a woman asks if she looks fat, he must immediately answer “NO,” avoiding any hesitation, weird stare, or taking more than a single second to reply. White lies, benign secrets, and hidden pasts are some of the things couples tend to hide in order to avoid –sometimes necessary– confrontations.
Actually, lying is a double-edged sword, because even the most shielded secrets find a way of coming out after years of being in a relationship. Even couples that share everything and fully trust each other are likely to hide something from the other. Face it, your partner is no exception.
Who has given you the best love advice? Your friends who you know have more issues than you? Maybe after listening to them you realize that maybe you’re not so bad after all. Do you really think someone who writes on the Internet has the answer you’re looking for? Of course not!
So, maybe you should listen to the characters of your favorite series and movies.
Number of sexual partners? Is there such a thing as a Golden Number?
This goes both ways. A clear example is the “Rule of 3” from the American Pie movies. Guys will always say they’ve had sex with a big number of partners; the rule states that you must divide that number by 3, so you get the real answer. Contrary to that, according to the film, the number of sex partners women say they’ve been with must be multiplied by 3.
Twenty years ago this was conceived differently, but nowadays, in movies like 500 Days of Summer or series such as How I Met Your Mother characters are quite open when talking about their sex partners; however, the tension that’s caused by this topic is difficult to just ignore. So, it’s up to you if you want to share this information and the amount of trust you have bestowed on the other person.
Keeping tokens of love from past relationships
When we break up with someone, we throw away everything that reminds us of them, but with the passing of time, we might keep some of the things that are still useful. A book or an album are difficult objects to discard, and when the pain fades away, they become regular objects with no feelings attached, but your new partner won’t think the same. If by any chance they ask you where did you get something, you’ll probably come up with something else to avoid confrontation or making them think you still have feelings for that person. Besides, if that happens, you might start hating that object just because of the conflict it created.
That they feel intimidated by their In-Laws
Meet the Fockers anyone?
Your partner might admit to not liking your friends very much but they’ll never openly admit they don’t like your parents or if they feel intimidated by them.
In many cultures, moms are untouchable, and they know that even the slightest complaint about your mom can start a war between the two of you. So if you want to shoot yourself in the foot we dare you to say “Your mom is so…(fill in the blanks as you wish.)
When they feel attracted to someone else or even like them…
This is common sense. Telling your partner you find someone attractive is normal and you might even say you like them in a superficial way, but admitting you have feelings for them is another matter entirely. It’s just easier to bury those feelings and distance yourself from that person and pretend nothing is going on.
The places they used to visit with their exes
They probably think those places are meaningless, but they’ll obviously avoid mentioning where they used to hang out with their last partner. Some people may feel threatened or hurt if this is kept a secret, but at the end of the day, does it really matter? A place is just a place.
Their flirting tricks
The Playbook is the book where Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother) wrote his best tricks to get women. Perhaps your partner doesn’t have a bible of moves, but I bet they have a signature move they perfected while being single. Some things are just personal and don’t influence a relationship so why bother sharing? Their tricks worked at the end of the day, they got you, so why should you care?
They’re still thinking about their exes
Now, here’s where we enter murky waters and everyone, including yourself, has experienced this. This is a lie by omission, especially when you’re starting a new relationship. Comparisons are inevitable at the start but the memories they build with you will overpower those of the past.
Meeting someone and thinking they’ll never lie to you is impossible. Many of the topics aforementioned can be revealed unexpectedly but at the end of the day what matters is the trust you’ve built. If this happens, you’ll know for sure that you’re with the right person.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards