I saw this humoristic video on IG. It depicts a couple, a man, and a woman in their apartment. The man is sitting, doing nothing except checking his phone while his better half is finishing a workout. It is quickly implied she hadn’t worked out in a very long time. Then, she comes up to him and asks him how she looks. As soon as she does that, the song “Changes” by the legendary Tupac Shakur starts playing and the man looks at the camera and utters the first lyrics of the song which are “I see no changes”. He does that with a certain attitude, smile and malice. Finally, the caption reads “Every girl after 1 day of working out”. It made me smile because I know what they were going for.
The video is there to emphasize how some men have “no chill”. It’s a funny, harmless video, intended to make fun of relationships. That’s all. A young lady friend of mine posted that video and I texted her. From there, we debated about its significance. We talked mostly about the little white lies we tell each other, especially our better halves to keep the peace or to avoid conflict. That type of behavior isn’t uncommon in a couple. We all have done it; we still do it and we’ll probably keep doing it for millennia. It is what people do; we lie every now and then.
My friend said the man should have lied to his girl and he should have told her she looks great. I disagreed with her and we spent a long time talking about relationships, communication and so forth. My disagreement was based on the premise the man shouldn’t have lied to his woman. My friend said the “man should have nodded” instead of saying “I see no changes”. She pointed out the man should have encouraged his wife and avoided to hurt her feelings. Basically, he should have lied to keep the peace, even if she hadn’t changed. Honestly, I understood her meaning.
This is the part where we disagreed, and we had a nice long conversation about relationships. By the way, this isn’t a gender thing. I am talking about the truth, not men lying to women about their weight or women lying to men about their bellies or sexual prowess. I wanted to talk about the simple truth. I talked about the little white lies we tell each other to feel better or to avoid conflict or to keep the peace or to avoid whatever other nuisance or insecurity our partner might have. Those little white lies do irritate me, I must say. I don’t like saying them and I especially don’t like hearing them.
I believe my take on this video stems from my age, my gender, my somewhat frequent no filter attitude and how I view relationships. I ain’t saying I never lie. Come on! I lie! Of course, I do. You know why? Because I am human. I make mistakes. I fuck up like everybody else. However, I do try to be as truthful as I can, which isn’t an easy thing to do all the time. I have realized it gets easier with time though. Truth becomes easier to tell as one gets older especially. Truth becomes easier if you practice it and when you don’t have any intention of hurting people. I frankly have no desire to lie to my better half and I expect same reciprocity from her. Well, I am single so there is no reciprocity to get from anybody! I just roasted myself! BOOM! Maybe that’s why I am single.
I want to point out something about that specific video. So, what would have been your reaction? If your better half, man or woman, who hasn’t worked out in a while, finishes their work out and comes up to you and says “baby, how do I look?” …What would you say? Seriously. What would be your answer? Of course, the man’s “I see no changes” can be interpreted as demeaning but it was a humoristic video. However, to be frank and candid, THERE ARE NO GODDAMN CHANGES after ONE WORKOUT SESSION! Of course, your partner looks good. I am sure looking good is one of the reasons you are with them. Yes, let’s be honest, let’s be real, we see beauty in our partners and that beauty doesn’t really go away.
I told my friend I wouldn’t lie to my better half, on that specific case, since we are talking about it. I would say “great job, baby girl! Maybe tomorrow, we can work out together”. I think that is extremely appropriate and kind. Nevertheless, if she insists on asking me how she looks, I won’t say she changed. IT’S ONLY BEEN ONE FUCKING WORKOUT. I could lie, a little white lie, a little rationalization to keep the peace. But am I really keeping the peace by lying? The problem with lying is that once you start doing it, lying becomes part of your world, vocabulary, and personality. We can sit here and pretend it isn’t true, but we all know it is. We start with a small lie, a tiny one, a lie we think doesn’t matter. And it probably doesn’t. Then one lie begets another and with time, lies become easier and they poison the well. Yes, that’s how it happens, and you know it.
Far be it from me to demean, humiliate, or make fun of my better half. I believe people who demean others are simply weak or troubled individuals, or both. Pathological liars, psychopaths and narcissists lie all the time. They have low self-esteem, and they enjoy demeaning others. That is what they do. My job as a partner is to never demean or disrespect my better half. My job is to assist her in any way I can so she can be all she can be. One must enjoy seeing their better half become a better person. I don’t believe there is anything more exciting than seeing your partner thrive. It is a fucking turn on.
My friend asked me “what if your girl asks you if she has gotten fat? What would you say?”. Now that is the question that seems to kill relationships. That is the famous question you should never answer truthfully. You should avoid the question like the plague. It means dance around it, avoid it, and if you cannot, then LIE. There are no other choices. YOU MUST LIE.
Why? If she/he has gained weight, it aint the end of the world. You could say, with care and love “yes, baby you have gained a bit. Wanna work out together? Let’s do something together. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s bond while we work out. Let’s change our diet, let’s do something”. Or you could ask them a million other questions. Sometimes, gaining weight is a physical response to a psychological problem. Asking questions with a keen interest strengthens a relationship. There is no fucking need to demean him/her. You don’t have to tell your better half “Jesus Fucking Christ! Look at you! What do you eat every day? You are bigger than a cow!” Anybody who says that is a psychopath/narcissist or has low self esteem, and collectively we should stay away from them! Anyone who talks to their partner like that, frankly, doesn’t deserve a partner. Simple as that.
Gaining weight is particularly hurtful and difficult for the ladies. That is a fact and I won’t act as if it’s a non-issue. Men also deal with weight issues as they get older and their waist expands like a balloon being filled with air. It is a difficult thing to talk about and most people avoid it like the plague. I know I have gained a lot of weight the past 5 years and I lack the discipline to do something about it. Am I insecure about it sometimes? Of course. Yes, I am a dude and society doesn’t judge me as harshly as women. I am aware of that. It isn’t easy being a woman, that’s for damn sure.
However, I wouldn’t want my better half to tell me I lost weight when I haven’t done anything. I would like her to tell me truth, as carefully and as gently as possible. I would love her to do what I would do for her. I would love to have an open discussion about what is going on. Lying will get us nowhere.
I understand the idea of keeping the peace. It is essential. Who wants to add stress to a life already filled with it? However, are little white lies the way to go? How healthy is the relationship when it is based on a few little white lies? Seriously. I know I am speaking like some guy who has figured shit out. I haven’t figured out anything yet. I am as imperfect as anybody. Yet, if we cannot tell each other the truth about our weight, how are we going to tell each other the truth about our feelings, our fears, our insecurities, our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations? How are we going to talk about our health issues? About money issues? How can we be in sync if we avoid telling each other the truth? How the fuck are we going to do that? How are we going to communicate? How is the relationship going to flourish? It won’t.
Honesty doesn’t mean hurting people. Honesty doesn’t mean disrespecting people. Communication is complicated, isn’t it? Then again, I am single. What do I know, right?
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day!