Communication in a relationship is so important — in fact, some would call it the most important part of a relationship, because communication makes everything else stronger.
"People who communicate effectively in their relationship collaborate and are truly a team," Lisa Concepcion, Life Coach, Relationship Expert, and Founder of LoveQuest Coaching, tells Bustle. "There's no feeling of competition and no desire to be right but a big desire to be happy. There's agreement, respect, more connection sexually, and the ability to problem solve, set goals and meet them. There's also a high level of security in oneself and in the relationship. People with enough communication feel connected to the other person yet not in a codependent way. They feel as if they can say anything to their partner and commit to communicate with love and respect."
Sounds pretty great, right? But what is good communication? Some may say it's all about honesty and compassion — and maybe even being brutally honest, even when it's difficult. But not everyone agrees, and some experts think that the occasional little white lie — in the right place and done for the right reason — can actually make your relationship run along more smoothly. Here are the six little white lies that experts say can actually help your relationship.
1"I Knew On Our First Date"
It's not about knowing that this person was "The One" right off the bat or anything that big, it's more about connection. "If you weren't initially attracted to your partner or didn't even like them when you first met, there is no point in bringing this up now since you have a connection," therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW.
Teasing someone about silly things they did on a first date seems like fair game, but it's easy to see why saying "I wasn't attracted to you" is just pointlessly painful.
2"It's Going To Be Fine"
Sometimes, a little white lie is a kind thing to do, especially if your partner is in the middle of a rough time. In fact, psychoanalyst Dr. Claudia Luiz tells Bustle that when a person you love has failed or is struggling that it's OK to tell a small lie to help them along. If someone has just been fired, you're not exactly going to say, "It was all your fault though, wasn't it?" when they're still reeling. Give them some time to heal and then you can have a more open discussion... later.
3"Of Course I Am"
Sometimes, you'll be doing something with your partner that you don't hate, but you don't really like either. "You don’t think there are any major problems but its just not your preference," says clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, host of The Web Radio Show. "Why be honest? What will the honesty do?"
It may be hanging out with a certain friend, a certain type of restaurant, or just because you're having an off today — but if you're not feeling it, and know that it's important to them, it's OK to say that you're having a good time when your partner is looking for your approval.
I mean, some people just can't cook, and sometimes, it's important to pretend they can. What's the point of being honest when they've gone through a lot of effort to impress you? "White lies — or what we call altruistic lies — are lies that are presented to preserve the relationship and protect the person," Klapow says. "And that's more than OK." Sometimes, kindness wins.
6"Of Course I Don't Mind"
Jealousy is a tricky one and, sometimes, you may want to play down how jealous you feel if you know there's not a good reason for it. Of course, you're entitled to your feelings — even the silly ones — but a little white lie in this case likely won't hurt. "Your partner has chosen to be with you, here and now, and that should be the focus of your discussions," psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez tells Bustle.
Personally, I tend to go with: "I am feeling jealous, but I know it's irrational and I'll get over it." But for some people, telling a little white lie is a better option.
6"They Really Like You"
Some of the people in your life might not be 100 percent over-the- moon about your partner — but you don't always need to let them know that, especially when someone else's comment isn't something you're worried will affect the relationship. "If your parents or sibling make comments about your partner, it's best to think about if this can hurt your relationship," dating expert Stef Safran tells Bustle. Use your discretion. Of course, if someone close to you hates your partner or is worried they're toxic, that's a different story.
Honesty is undoubtedly important in a relationship, but that doesn't mean it has to be 100 percent radically honest, 100 percent of the time. Sometimes a small lie can do the trick — especially when your partner's feeling are at play.