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Being in a relationship is not the easiest thing in the world. And the only thing that makes that venture so much more daunting is the fact that many of us withhold how we truly feel.

When we think of dishonesty, we oftentimes think of outright lies. However, when you really think about it- withholding information is a lie in its own right. It’s always been interesting to me that while most of us acknowledge that lying in a relationship is bad, many of us withhold how we truly feel. We may do this for a number of reasons. It might be to avoid conflict, or it could even be because we are afraid they may not feel the same way.

Regardless of why, I am a firm believer that transparency is the best policy. Here are 7 reasons why:

1. Transparency builds trust.

A lot of us do not trust our partners, and a lot of this is because when they say they feel one way, they typically feel another. This can make it hard to trust- because you never know if they are putting up a front or if what they are saying is genuine.

2. Communication is necessary.

Have you ever met a couple that never communicated? If you haven’t, let me paint you a picture: there are constant miscommunications and misunderstandings, there are a lot of wild assumptions- and the two are almost never on the same page. It’s so easy to just be honest. It might not seem that way, but once you start, it gets easier.

3. You never have to guess where you stand.

If you have ever been with someone that you could never read, then you already know how confusing that can be. While this person may claim they want a commitment, on the other hand, they aren’t ready. Instead of saying that-they avoid doing so to avoid conflict. Ultimately, later on, the foundation of the relationship falls apart. If you are open and honest, to begin with-this doesn’t happen.

4. You can work on the problems that are present.

There will always be problems in relationships. You have two different people with two very independent wills, so there is going to be a clash from time to time. If you burrow how you feel- it might save you from a fight now, but it doesn’t solve the issue.

5. Transparency asserts boundaries.

Boundaries are necessary for all relationships. While you might not want to express a boundary or a limit- if your heart is telling you and you don’t, you are doing yourself and your partner a major disservice.

6. The games stop.

In relationships, we play so many games when we withhold how we feel. We might try to passively aggressively communicate how we feel, or we might try to send ‘signals.’ Why not just put it all on the table?

7. It’s a show of respect.

Ultimately, your partner deserves the respect of knowing where you stand with them and how you feel. Everyone wants to be clued into their partner’s emotional state. You don’t have to tell them every thought that crosses your mind- but if something is bothering you, fess up.