THE BLOG
11/30/2015 01:36 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Dating Life: Is Honesty the Best Policy?

2015-11-19-1447944741-2821345-Mandontsay.jpegIf Shakespeare had written a play about men and women dating and becoming intimate in the year 2015, one of his soliloquys might have been, "To tell the truth...Or...not to tell the truth? That is the question!"

Many believe that "Honesty is the best policy. Others say, "Discretion is the better part of valor." It's easy to meet someone you like, go out and quickly become intimate and innocently reveal unnecessary or inappropriate personal information that can be hurtful and sabotage a promising relationship.

The indiscreet person often does so under the guise of, "Well...I was just being honest." However, such honesty can damage a relationship in unforeseen ways, doing irreparable damage to it in the process.

Of course, being truthful is important. But are their times when you are better off not answering a new romantic partner's questions or even, not telling the truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth...so help you God)?

After all, during the formative stages of a new relationship, it's "what you don't say," that can allow a relationship to grow and develop unencumbered by TMI (i.e. too much information). Sometimes, it's important to withhold the truth until a time when it's more appropriate for it to be discussed. After all, most women wouldn't tell a man they just met at a bar, the number of men they've had sex with.

Therefore, when having an intimate discussion with a romantic partner, one should ask: would giving an honest answer to their question be appropriate or indelicate and indiscreet? Are there times when it's best to say nothing or just respond to a lover's personal questions (especially in the early stages of a relationship), with replies such as, "that's old history, I don't want to get into it," or "that's too personal," or "that's from my past, I'd rather it stay buried."

Of course, it's always a personal decision each person must make about what to share, what not to share and how honest to be in a relationship. So, let me be very clear, (in case this article is being read by descendants of George Washington who famously said, "I cannot tell a lie, I was the one who chopped down the cherry tree") I'm not advocating being untruthful or lying. Rather I'm suggesting that good timing and discretion should be a part of being honest in a new relationship.

Based on counseling 1,00s of men and women about their dating and love relationships, and 30 years of my own relationship experience, let me share a list of things never to joke about or tell a man you're in a romantic relationship.

1. Never tell a man that you hate any of your exes.
The quickest way to sound like a "loser" or victim is to speak badly about an ex-relationship you've had. Even if you're last boyfriend was a lying, cheating scumbag who broke your heart and humiliated you, it does you no good to "throw-up" this information on someone you're having a relationship. It raises the obvious question: if he was so horrible why were you with him for such a long time?

Suggestion: Keep your angry, vengeful thoughts to yourself. Instead, be diplomatic when discussing exes. Think of some of the positive benefits you received from your past relationship. By communicating what you liked about your relationship you'll appear classy and kind, and by de-emphasizing the negative you'll appear charitable. Don't discuss your negative experiences until you really get to know the other person better.

2. Never tell a man how many other people you've slept with.
Most men secretly want to believe that you've rarely had sex before them (and if you have, it was probably rather insignificant). Their arrival into your life will commence a period where you become an insatiable vixen who finally discovers what great sex is all about. Even if you've had a few lovers, most men want to believe you're not exceptionally experienced. If in their lovemaking with you, they find you to be a great lover, they are secretly amazed you could learn so much after having so little experience. Men either have no clue or cling to their fantasies.

So, should you be asked questions about past love experiences, keep the number of men you've slept with reasonably low. It will also flatter his ego. (According to a survey of adults aged 20 to 59, women have an average of four sex partners during their lifetime; men have an average of seven.) If you reveal that you've slept with too many men, you'll appear promiscuous and his opinion of you will sink. If you say that you've slept with too few, he'll know you're lying.

Suggestion: If the question is ever asked, the answer is always, "I've always been very selective about who I make love with. I usually only have sex in my long-term relationships.

3. Never tell a man you've been unfaithful in the past.
Clearly there are women who have been unfaithful in their past, whether it was because their partner cheated on them or because their partner wasn't interested in sex or because they just wanted to have an exciting affair outside of their relationship. If you've ever been unfaithful, it doesn't matter what reason motivated your infidelity. Keep this part of your chequered past to yourself, unless you want to fill a new lover with worry and concern.

If a man believes you've been unfaithful before, he'll trust you less and be prone to being suspicious of you in the future. His fears about your past unfaithfulness may come back to haunt you on those evenings you're out with your friends, especially if they are men. He may become needlessly anxious and even jealous. So, forget about discussing your past infidelity. Also, never mention a girlfriend's infidelity, because your boyfriend may assume that you're collaborating and discussing similar tactics, and open to cheating one day as well.

Suggestion: If the question comes up, don't worry about lying. Ask yourself: Is it really important for him to know about the time in your past when you were unfaithful? There is nothing to be gained with such a confession. What's important is how you behave in your relationship with him.

4. That you dislike a particular part of your body.
All of us have insecurities about our bodies because it goes with the territory of being human. It's natural to become even more self-conscious about your imperfections when you meet someone you're attracted to. But it's a mistake to draw their attention to your physical flaws (e.g. "I hate my: curly hair, big nose, large thighs, muffin top, small breasts, eyebrow hair, etc.") because it only shows you're insecurity and raises questions about your self-esteem.

After all, you are a total person, not just "your body." Ironically, if you're a big-boned, full-figured woman - that could be the very quality that attracts a man to you. Sharing your dislike for a part of your body is not only toxic to your psyche but can be a turnoff to a man who hears you deprecate yourself.

Never forget: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There have been women who disparage themselves for having a big behind, only to find that the man they're with is a big "ass-man." One person's idea of a flaw is another person's turn-on. You never know until you know them better!

Suggestion: Let your love interest make his own discoveries about your body. Keep your insecurities to yourself. It's ok to make fun of your physical shortcomings in a lighthearted manner. Once you're in a committed relationship, you'll either be so secure you won't care about your flaws or you'll have established an intimacy where can ask for re-assurance ("Are you sure you don't think my breasts are too small?")

5. The size of his Penis.
Unless you're going out with a man who belongs to the "big dick club," (i.e. the 1% of the male population with a penis measuring longer than 8 ¾ inches), it's best to avoid dick discussions or Johnson jokes. Men are far more sensitive and insecure about their penis than women can ever imagine. No matter how much reassurance you give him, he still wants more.

In fact, don't ever joke about another man having a small penis, even if it's the funny story your girlfriend told you about her "Alice in peter-land" adventure. It will only make your man feel awkward and insecure. It's much better for him to think it's not even a topic worthy of discussion.

Suggestion: After making love, if a man asks, "Was my penis big enough to satisfy you?" Your answer is always: "It's the perfect size for me." End of discussion.

6. Don't Tell a Man You Dislike His Mother.
Even if you meet a man who tells you he's angry with his mother, giving you many reasons for why he's upset at her, it's a good idea not to get involved. Avoid criticizing her, and even letting him know that you dislike her, too (even if you do).

It's likely that despite his anger, his relationship with his mother is important to him, no matter what he says. (Most males worship their mother in some way, and most mothers think their son is God's gift to women.) Eventually, they may make up; and even though you may have been critical of his mother to placate him and curry his favor, the fact that he knows you don't like her could undermine your relationship with him. Worse, he may mention your opinions to his mother (e.g.) "even my girlfriend thinks you're a controlling bitch." The fallout from sharing your strong opinions about not liking her could undermine your whole relationship with him (and her)

Always remember: when there is a disagreement between two people, a family member and a friend, it is said, "Blood is thicker than water." This old adage explains that even when sides are divided, family comes before a friend (i.e. You). Don't every put yourself in this position because you'll likely emerge the loser.

Suggestion: If your boyfriend is angry with his mother, even for reasons you agree with, listen compassionately, console, comfort, and let him know you understand why he's upset. But avoid making judgments and expressing criticisms of her. There's plenty of time to do that once you're part of his family and you have first-hand experience where expressing your opinion is more appropriate.

Learn about your Horoscope, and how the planets may be affecting you, and whether they may be bringing a relationship into your future - by going to the Free Transit Calculator and entering your birth date. And, if you're curious to learn more about your personal Horoscope and what it says about your love relationships, career, investments and health in: Order your customized Report: Your Horoscope & Future in 2015-16. Or, a report on - Your Love Compatibility.

Larry Schwimmer is an astrologer in private practice. For private consultations, contact him at: Larry@astrodecision.com or go to www.AstroDecision.com

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Larry Schwimmer is president of Astrodecision.com, a San Francisco-based consulting company. The firm uses planetary cycles analysis to counsel individual and corporate clients on picking the "best dates" to make successful decisions of all types: personal, marketing, financial, and political. Schwimmer is an internationally known business consultant, life coach and astrologer (with a Fortune 500 M&A background). Visit his website: AstroDecision.com