Dating with integrity

My friend Bruce shared how he’s experienced that women he’s beginning to date lie. We agreed that telling the truth, while uncomfortable at times, is really easier in the long term. Not only are you being respectful of the other person, but you date with integrity.

But what about white lies — little untruths that accomplish the goal, but are unlikely to hurt someone’s feelings where the whole truth might? Like telling a guy who emails you that you’ve started seeing someone else, when really you’re not attracted to him? To live 100% in integrity does not mean you have to tell him you’re not attracted to him. It’s easy to say, “We’re not a match,” before you start emailing or calling, but once you’ve begun that process and you learn you don’t want to continue, it’s hard to say the full truth.

To me, living — and dating — with integrity means acting congruent with your values. If your values include honesty as well as kindness, compassion and consideration, how do you balance these?

You choose behaviors that cover both seemingly inconsistent values. So while some may get upset if the white lie is discovered, most will understand when you explain you wanted to be kind. Many men will say, “Why weren’t you just honest?” To which you’ll reply, “I was as honest as I felt comfortable being while still wanting to be kind, considerate, and sensitive to your feelings.”

After all, dating with integrity can be uncomfortable. But it is ultimately easier as you can respect yourself for acting in alignment with your values.

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4 responses to “Dating with integrity”

  1. Linda Avatar

    AMEN to that, DG!!…..Dating with integrity is a GOOD thing. Thanks for bringing this to light!!!!

  2. Traci Avatar

    How does Bruce know that he’s being lied to? Maybe he’s making assumptions based on past experiences.

  3. Bruce Daley Avatar

    When they say things like “we are divorced we just haven’t filed the papers yet” or “my ex-husband is not really in prision…its more like a 7 – 10 year time out” or “no I really am Paris Hilton” it makes me suspicious, but when they say I am 38 years old or I wear a size 2 then I know they are lying.

  4. Christine Avatar


    I just had this conversation with a girlfriend who went to great lengths to make up “busy” excuses with a guy she just was not interested in. I think there are diplomatic ways to tell someone you’re not interested. For example, I just went out with a guy I knew in the first few minutes I was not going to date. I picked up what he wanted (friendship) and used that to frame my response when he asked me out for a second date. In essence, I said that we’re looking for different things since I am looking for a boyfriend and that I didn’t think we’re compatible enough. I didn’t go into details about no chemistry or statements that I didn’t like and ended with wishing him all the best. He thanked me for my candor.

    If you are diplomatic and choose the right words, it’s not hard to tell someone you’re not interested and typically it’s appreciated.