Transparency is defined as:
::having thoughts, feelings, or motives that are easily perceived::
As we get older, there is a strong desire to be completely open and honest in our relationship, whether they are platonic or romantic. We want to be able to cancel on that person we really don’t feel like seeing, ditching that party for a night of good sleep, declining that wedding invitation because you have no extra money to fly to PR to see so- and-so get married. It feels like a relief, it feels easier, and can be quite liberating. Unless it comes down to being completely ‘transparent’ with our partners.
I started thinking about this after finally completing Season 1 of ‘This is Us.’ If you haven’t gotten on it, I highly suggest you waste free time binge watching the whole thing. I for sure have never cried so much watching any show, and the writing is phenomenal. I’m also about to ruin it for those who don’t watch it *boop!*
There’s an episode where one of the main characters, ‘Kate,’ is having a conversation with her fiance Toby. He brings up the fact that she never talks about her father, who passed away. When he asks her about him, Kate can’t even begin to start a conversation about her father. Later in the episode, he shares that he thinks it’s best that they prolong their engagement. I remember being so struck but what he said: ” I feel like the woman I spend the rest of my life with should be able to tell me everything.”
There’s still girls out there afraid to fart in front of their boyfriends because ‘women don’t do that (insert eye roll here.)’ Or those who refuse to discuss their exes with their current partner. Or to tell bae you would rather stay in than go out. Or admit that ‘that thing you do in bed sucks and I would prefer if we stopped doing it thanks.’ Instead, we stay quiet, and then complain about it 6-12 months later, after it’s already become a habit. Very mature.
The idea of being transparent is a good one. It seems to be so amazing and incredible to be completely 100% with our significant other. That’s #goals right? For some this comes natural, for those who have issues being transparent in other relationships, this can be challenging. The fear of being transparent is that our partners will see a less favorable, less attractive side of us and they won’t accept it. Fear causes us to withhold, avoid or deny the truth. The idea of transparency is admirable, however it is my belief that only handfuls of couples actually practice it. I believe that because it’s hard. It starts with small things. Things you can let go or overlook. Then when it gets to big things suddenly there’s cotton in your throat. Your heart is beating fast and you’re stressed about possibly being found out. Now shit is uncomfortable. Instead of ‘I actually don’t like your best friend‘ or ‘I hate when you drink too much‘ it’s ‘I actually don’t want kids‘ or ‘I’ve been unhappy for months.’ It’s. Constant practice. Constant self reflection, push-pull effect. How much are you willing to communicate? How honest are you willing to be, knowing that it may upset your partner?
Lies are hard to keep track of. You tell the truth, and you never have to remember the story you told. If your partner really loves you, they will 1)give you the benefit of the doubt 2) listen to you even if they don’t want to 3) communicate their thoughts and feelings on this revelation in a caring, supportive way. This is not to say that every truth won’t possibly cause friction/pain to your partner. But part of a successful, honest relationship is one that is free of secrets. Better to be honest, than get caught in a web of lies, ultimately ruining the trust you have built your relationship upon. But hey, what do I know?
Be well, kids.