It seems that when people want something that isn’t material (like the kind of sex you don’t pay for or even the kind of friendship you don’t pay for) they want the other person to want it too. I fully understand this. I don’t want to have sex or be friends with people who don’t like me. I also don’t want to try to talk anyone into liking me.

Here is the issue I see. If someone wants something from you, they might try to recruit you into something. Think of the asshole boyfriend who tells his girl that he loves her just so she’ll have sex with him. He gets her to consent and feel good about it. He feels good about it because in that moment, she wants him. If he truly loved her, he would tell her without making any connection to sex. Even if the guy isn’t such an asshole after all, he might say the words because he feels a desperation, he wants it, maybe he feels like he could love her.

Now, I find myself evaluating every relationship and every interaction in every relationship I’ve ever had. Friendships, love, sex, business, whatever. It’s true that in a friendship or closer relationship, each person should get something from it. I’m not arguing against that. I’m only suggesting that the thing you should always get from a person is the thing that they want to give you. No method of force, coercion, or bad spirited convincing should ever go into any relationship, even business.

I’m not against negotiation. I’m against lies and coercion. The asshole boyfriend thinks that he is negotiating with his girlfriend. I’ll offer you love for sex in return. It’s not a negotiation though if you go into it knowing that you’re not delivering on your part of the bargain. It’s just a lie.

People lie, and they use each other, and at times it occurs so often that it’s difficult to see when its not happening. Sometimes people just misrepresent themselves because they really want you to like them. It’s difficult not to fall into this social trap. It can also be difficult to be a good person and still get what you want out of life, but I do think if you speak your mind and tell people what you want, the good people in your life (some of whom are liars) will help you get there from time to time.

There are different reasons to lie, and although I don’t like it when people lie, I do it sometimes. I want to get to a place where I never do it again. If you lie to get what you want, I think that’s terrible. I don’t do this. If you lie because you don’t want to hurt a person’s feelings or you don’t want to have an awkward conversation that is going to hurt you, I understand this. I do this. I wish I wouldn’t, but when I lie, I don’t ever gain anything from it. I also, almost always, end up telling the person the truth later on.

I’m going to commit, from this moment on, to never lie, ever again, about anything.

Son of Sappho Diary

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