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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Honesty

Honesty is an interesting concept. Most of us think digitally - or absolute - about honesty. Either someone is dishonest or honest. When it comes to ourselves, honesty usually gets a relative meaning. Honesty depends on the situation, the causes and the consequences. Why should one be honest to another person if those words would hurt? It even has a nickname: white lie. The Dutch expression is even more to the point: a little lie for the sake of good (NL: "leugentje om bestwil").

Yesterday evening my date informed me that she has an STD as she wants to be honest about it towards her future partners. My knowledge about that STD was minimal and thus my fear took the overhand. She now feels that by being honest, she has hurt herself and her prospects of finding a future partner.

She could have said nothing to me. This STD is of an inflammatory nature and hides in the nerves when not active. Some people only have one attack in their life. Others have an outbreak every month. Her last outbreak was 2 years ago. There is medication to suppress the consequences of the outbreak but there is no cure. Allegedly, many people carry this virus without even knowing it. Obviously, at some point in time she would have to tell her partner about the STD when she would have a new outbreak. Yet, that new outbreak may never come.

She told me that she contracted it from a former boyfriend who had not informed her. He even claims to her that she is the one who gave it to him. Denial and reverse psychology are both classic in these matters. Now that I have informed myself on this topic, I can only conclude that he must have had an outbreak while being with her. An outbreak is not something that goes unnoticed for the person experiencing it. However, it can easily get unnoticed by the other person.

Now she is very sad and convinced that I will dump her. Her honesty only causes herself pain, doubt and rejection. Is it possible that someone is too honest? My earlier response to her was that this is not about honesty but about responsibility. Actually, I am less convinced about my earlier statement after reading the medical facts. Nevertheless, not being honest right now does put a huge mortgage on a relationship and the cost of future redemption may be very high - too high.

I am glad that she told me this information. Not as a reason to dump her but to consider the options as I actually like her quite a lot. Her smoking and her loud snoring may be better reasons to "dump" her. Hiding behind ignorance would not a good reason. I have no clue yet how to deal with my fear. Knowledge contains fear but does not remove it. And fear is a powerful emotion. Also see my blogs of May 11 ("Fear and Hope") and February 23 ("The Promise and Fear of Change").

Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard. And mostly what I need from you. Billy Joel, from his 1978 album "52nd Street" (lyricsvideo, wiki)