I thought honesty was the best policy...

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    Jan 04, 2008 4:00 PM GMT
    I always figured it is best to be honest and I appreciate when someone is honest with me. I am now rethinking that. This guy I dated was really nice but I didn't want to be his boyfriend and he was really upset and asked me why and I said do you want the honest answer? he replied yes. So I was honest and said he was a great guy but slightly more effeminate than I cared for. He flipped a shit and went on about what a jerk I was and how he was not feminine and all this crap. I thought being honest was good but now I just wish I made up some crap like oh im getting back with my ex or some crap.

    I like honesty, I'd prefer a guy who is not interested in me tell me up front as opposed to make up some random hoopla. I just say thanks for the honesty, best of luck.

    Blah dating is complicated and some people piss me off.
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    Jan 04, 2008 4:09 PM GMT
    Honesty is still the best policy, just because the guy asked for an honest answer then couldn't handle it is not your problem, it is his.
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    Jan 04, 2008 4:09 PM GMT
    Hippie,

    My dad always used to say "You don't have to tell everyone everything you know."

    Honesty is the best policy in matters that are important. But-----does honesty permit you to make someone feel bad merely so you can feel pure? Who is harmed by saying "I'm just not looking for a bf right now", or if that makes you uncomfortable, how about the vague-but-true "I just don't feel the chemistry"?
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    Jan 04, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    It sounds like he gave you an honest response, and you are having a problem with honesty as well.
  • Alan95823

    Posts: 306

    Jan 04, 2008 4:12 PM GMT
    Bummer, sorry you had that experience.

    The truth is, if you tell someone you're breaking up with them because of some flaw in them, they're going to get defensive. I'm not surprised at his reaction. To him, feminine may have meant "drag queen", while to you it's a different definition, so he truly wouldn't see himself as fem.



    Best of luck with the next one icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 04, 2008 4:17 PM GMT
    Honesty can be used as a club to beat someone over the head with. What ever happened to tact?
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    Jan 04, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    jprichva makes a good point - maybe saying "I'm sorry - there's just no chemistry" would have been equally honest, but easier for him to take...it's not saying 'because I don't like this thing about YOU' - it's just saying 'we don't mix well'. It's less judgmental, less accusatory.

    J.
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    Jan 04, 2008 6:28 PM GMT
    honesty without kindness is just cruel. (not that I'm calling you cruel, Hippie icon_confused.gif). a 5 yr old can call people ugly or fat right in their face. he's being honest, but he left out the kindness.

    Honesty doesn't mean you have to say everything out loud.

    it's also his fault, if he cant' handle the truth, he shouldn't ask for it.
  • BlackJock79

    Posts: 437

    Jan 04, 2008 6:49 PM GMT
    LOL, sorry hippie4lyfe, I laughed at your story because I could just see that happening. I prefer honesty, I've gone out on a date with a 2 guys (seperate occasions) and I think that they had this preconceived notion that all black men are the "thug" type, I am not, I'm much more clean cut, it was either that or they found me completely repulsive... LOL, instead of just saying, hey, you're not my type, they dodge my phone calls. I only call two or three times without a call back before I delete your number. Then the same guys will hit me up on different hookup websites when they see the picture of my torso in my profile and be like "Damn, I love me some chocolate..." LMAO! I tell them, "Hey, it's me John Doe. We met before..." and then they dodge me on the website. I always wonder why they just didn't say, "Hey, you're not my type." instead of playing games. At least then we could be friends, maybe catch a movie or something sometime. I defintely don't trip if someone doesn't want to date me because I've been on SEVERAL dates and not wanted to hear from the other guy EVER again. I really can appreciate that you were honest with him because like it or not, he did say that he wanted you to be honest. I'm guessing he didn't think you would be THAT honest though. icon_lol.gif
  • EricLA

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    Jan 04, 2008 6:51 PM GMT
    I agree with JPRich, Alan, etc. that there's a thing as TOO honest. I'm sure you didn't set out to hurt his feelings, but pointing out flaws can be hurtful, and people are likely to get defensive.

    Of course, no one wants to hear "It's not you, it's me," either. JRRich and PSBigJoey offer good advice with "I'm not looking for a bf right now," or "I like you, but I'm just not feeling any chemistry," are neutral ways to break things off.

    I commend you for being honest. There's not enough of it in the dating world sometimes. Just pull your punches just a bit.
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    Jan 04, 2008 6:56 PM GMT
    Honesty and tact are both good. It's just in this instance using more tact may have been the better choice. However, you didn't, you were honest and it hurt someone's feelings. He'll be ok. You're still good and you still did the right thing.

    1
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    Jan 04, 2008 7:09 PM GMT
    The honest answer is not always the easiest answer... especially if you're on the receiving side, however it is the honest answer. I think you did fine, no intentions to be accusatory, just stating the honest reason. Now he, even if he's upset, can process what you said and make an honest decision as to whether he wants to change his demeanor so he doesn't portray someone feminine or he feels your observations are totally off the mark. Either way, you were honest and he must now process it. As for getting upset, my guess is that his anger was more mis-directed towards you because he didn't know how to handle an honest answer and you were the easy target!
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    Jan 04, 2008 7:16 PM GMT
    Hey, I don't think you necessarily did anything wrong as long as you weren't mean spirited or degrading about it. Sounds to me like you might have hit on a sensitive issue for this guy. Maybe his more "effeminate" nature has caused him some grief in the past. However, I don't think anyone should insist on honesty if they can't take whatever it is they might hear. Perhaps you could have chose a different way of phrasing it but ultimately he is responsible for his reaction, not you. Sometimes people need to have the good sense to just walk away.
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    Jan 04, 2008 7:16 PM GMT
    Most people who say they want honesty, have never actually faced it head on. So when given an honest answer, they throw a fit (as demonstrated by hippie's date.)

    I state outright when I want a brutally honest answer. I generally don't ask if I don't want to know. I'm not bluntly honest with strangers, and my friends know when they ask me for an honest answer, I'll give it to them.

    I always try to balance my response and/or take the most diplomatic perspective. If they're incredibly arrogant, then they get the plain blunt response. I never try to hurt someone with honesty - that simply isn't right.

    To those people who want nothing but validation without honesty, then they get lame, insincere validation if anything. I can't waste my time feeding someones dysfunctional fantasy.





    Ducking now for the oncoming flames....
    (I can take it though - because I asked for it.)
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Jan 04, 2008 7:39 PM GMT
    Your should have re word it so it would be offensive to him. Hey, how do you feel if I call you effiminate . Of course it good to be honest , but please use a kinda expression. I have find out honesty is best in my professional and personal life. If it my mistake it best to be honest rather then making excuse or blaming other people like I do in the past. Sonner of latter the mistake will surface again and haunt you. But expecially when it related to other people feeling let be more sensitive. In Asian culture , we usually dont point other people mistake directly. But with double meaning word and action. Most people will get your message.
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    Jan 04, 2008 7:54 PM GMT
    Hippie,

    I would always prefer that someone be honest with me.
    There is a difference between being honest and cruel.

    I can always respect the truth over a lie anyday of the week.

    Good for you!

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    Jan 04, 2008 10:09 PM GMT
    A lot of people are pointing out that no one wants to hear about their "flaws." But since when is being effeminate a "flaw"?

    Now there are plenty of effeminate guys who piss me off to no end because they make it into a whole diva act, calling people "girl" and "bitch" and all that.

    But I've also known some guys who just naturally had some effeminate characteristics, whether it was being soft-spoken or having somewhat of a "gay accent," if you know what I mean.

    Frankly, the whole cult of masculinity taking hold in the gay world is a little disturbing to me, with guys making a point to describe themselves as "masculine," a "real man," or, god forbid, "straight-acting." Believe me, whenever I see something like that in someone's profile I move on. It shows that either they're insecure about their "masculinity" or their sexuality or both. And although it's standard gay code for "I'm a manly man," it's still comes off as a slam against other people, which seems both unkind and unnecessary.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I had the same views as hippie4lyfe's when I first came out. Lisp = dead to me. But as I learned to differentiate "acts" from true personalities, the effeminacy issue kind of just faded away for me.

    I've met and dated so many different types of guys now that I'm realizing that you've just gotta talk to someone to figure out if they're right for you. Who knows, maybe there's a screaming queen out there who's perfect for me. If it's who they truly are and not some dumb act they put on at the local queer watering hole, then cool.

    Anyway, I don't mean to get up on my soapbox. It just really bugs me that so many guys put on the act of being a "manly man," just like there are guys who act the diva's part.

    And hippie4lyfe, if this effeminate guy was good enough for you to date (or to do whatever else with), then I doubt his effeminacy was the real dealbreaker. Did you visualize introducing him to your friends and family and co-workers, and get scared that they might think you were less manly for dating him? Or is it possible you yourself thought you were less manly for dating an effeminate guy?

    I really don't mean to give you shit about this. For a while I often thought the same kinds of things about certain types of guys, especially the effeminate ones. "What does it say about me as a gay man if I publicly date so-and-so?"

    But I will say that "effeminacy" as a reason for a breakup is a bullshit answer. Being effeminate (or "masculine") has nothing to do with the kind of person someone is. Dating implies wanting to be with a whole person, not a "type." If it were me who had been dumped, and the guy dumping me objected only to some superficial personality trait instead of what I think or do or feel, then yeah, I'd be pissed off too.

    In closing, I agree with PSBigJoey -- just say that you're not feeling the chemistry. It really does cover a lot of ground. :-)
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    Jan 04, 2008 10:22 PM GMT
    There's a phrase I've tried to follow: "Speaking the Truth in Love." In other words, can you say things that are truthful, but also loving towards the person receiving this. Sounds like you definitely spoke the truth, but the "in love" part was a little lacking.
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    Jan 04, 2008 10:24 PM GMT
    I actually would have preferred that someone tell me exactly what you told him, if that was what they felt. Tact is great and all, but some people prefer brutal honesty. I say let people determine whether or not what you see as a flaw is something they feel they need to fix about themselves, and that requires honesty. I would probably not be called tactful in matters of dating because of that, but I think that honesty is where it's at.

    Even if you're pointing out something that you see as a flaw, you can put it nicely. Even if it's not something that you see as necessarily a flaw, but just something that destroys the chemistry based on your own personal flaws or preferences, you can be nice about it. I think what you said is fine, and I also completely agree with Webinfront, who points out that you're having a problem with his honesty now.
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    Jan 04, 2008 10:39 PM GMT
    Honesty is still the best but ya got to let the guy down gently. as usual PSjoey put it best.

    There are also times when one asks for your honest opinion when they really don't want it at all. Classic example when your partner asks how he looks you always say "Great"
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    Jan 04, 2008 10:41 PM GMT
    Being a gracious person often means regarding someone else's feelings above your own.

    "Honesty" is fetishized. It is a virtue, sometimes, but not the only virtue and surely not the most important of all virtues. And too often it is used only to make its user feel better and purer, not because it is in and of itself a good thing.

    Not being cruel is more important sometimes than the self-aggrandizing that passes for "honesty." And the men who take pride in being "blunt" are really saying "I and what I feel are waaaaay more important than you or what you may be feeling---chew on that, pal."
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    Jan 04, 2008 10:52 PM GMT
    Jprichva,

    My problem with that is that the lying "for the sake of the other person" has gotten us to the point we're at now, where honesty is rarely utilized in the ending of a relationship. Instead, we have a vast armada of phrases, terms, and strategies utilized to tell someone that it's not working, and when people actually have flaws they're never addressed. Most people know that you're lying when you use a lie to break up with them, and it's really not any better of a feeling to be lied to than told the truth in most instances.

    In addition, I would contend that lying is just as much a way for you to feel better about yourself as is honesty. You're really just trying to make things better for yourself, and if that happens to make it better for the other person then that's really just a side benefit.

    If the golden rule is to treat others as you would wish to be treated, then some of us are going to utilize honesty in breaking up with someone, because that's what we would want.
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    Jan 04, 2008 11:01 PM GMT
    You can call it lying if you wish, you can break up with someone in any way you choose. I'm certainly not here to tell anyone how to conduct the end of their affairs.

    But no, I disagree that when I tell a white lie I'm doing it for myself. The truth is always easier to tell, but it is not particularly important.

    A question for you: if you're breaking up with this guy, that by itself suggests that you don't plan to see him or spend any more time with him. Why then is it necessary to tell him what his "flaws" are? It's not as if by correcting them he is going to get you to un-dump him. All you accomplish with your "honesty" is to make some probably very nice guy feel worse about himself for a while. Wonderful.

    And, by the way, you're doing it for his sake? So he can avoid the same problems in his next relationship?
    That is none of your business anymore. It stopped being your business when you broke up with him.

    Be classy. Say goodbye, good luck, and I wish you well. Being blunt is not being classy, not in the least.
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    Jan 04, 2008 11:07 PM GMT
    There need be no intention of attempting to correct it so that you will un-dump him. If you tell him something that you think to be a flaw, it's only your opinion. Let him decide for himself if he thinks it's a flaw, and if not then all well and good. But by telling him a lie (and you can call it a white lie if you like, but it is still, in fact, a lie), you take from him the ability to judge whether or not your criticism is valid. You remove his choice to accept or reject your judgment.

    And as I stated before, how is being lied to any nicer than being told the truth? Can you honestly tell me that when some guy lied to you about breaking up with you, you didn't know he was lying? I've known every single time, and that damn well doesn't make it better; in fact, I find that it makes it worse.

    I will say, however, that I agree with your first point and I also have no business telling someone how to end his affairs. I do, however, think that there is a lot of positive in being truthful--far more so than in lying.

    ---EDIT---

    By the way, I don't want to imply in any way that there's not validity to what you're saying. I can see what you're saying when you point out that honesty is partly for your own gain; certainly, in some respects it is. But so is lying. I think you would be lying to yourself if you implied that it wasn't. The difference between us just lies in which we view more positively. I view honesty as more positive, and you view tact as more positive--both equally valid views, and I think there's a lot to be said for not sticking hard and fast to either position, even if you utilize one a lot more often than the other.
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    Jan 04, 2008 11:16 PM GMT
    You're saying that this "honesty" is necessary because then your ex can decide for himself whether the "flaw" is in fact a "flaw" at all and take corrective action if he chooses?

    What if he doesn't want to have that conversation at all? You're forcing your agenda on him just to make yourself feel virtuous.

    I'm all for social lies when circumstances warrant. All this talk about the virtue of honesty--believe me, as adults, we don't need to live by absolutes. Sometimes honesty is more important. Sometimes kindness is. We grow up, we learn to distinguish. We are the better for it.