Love

5 Things Even The Most Honest Couples 'Fake' To Make Good Relationships Even Better

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man and woman quietly cuddling in a wheat field

I am not a big proponent of it being OK to ‘fake’ something to make a relationship work. I believe that honesty is very important in a relationship, probably even its foundation.

That being said, every rule has an exception or two — and I know, from personal experience, that those exceptions can keep a relationship healthy and everyone happy.

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Five things it’s OK to fake to make a relationship work (as long as you don't do them too often!)

1.  Excitement over something that you aren’t excited about.

How many times has your person come to you, excited about something that you really couldn't care less about?

Perhaps it's that their team won or that they got that great parking space or saved a bit of money. Their enthusiasm is understandable but kind of annoying. I mean, who cares, right?

I would argue that an important thing to fake to make a relationship work is that you are excited about something that your person is excited about and to share with them that you are excited about it.

I remember when I showed up at my boyfriend's, so excited because I had finally found the perfect dress for my friend’s wedding. It had been a long haul for me and I was so happy to have (finally) found it. I was slightly charged up and wanted to share in my elation.

My boyfriend’s reaction? “Great,” he said, barely looking away from the TV.

I didn’t really need my boyfriend to be excited about the fact that I had found my dress, but I would have appreciated it if he had recognized that I was.

It would have made me feel loved and supported and noticed.

Instead, he ignored me which completely deflated me and made the rest of our weekend together rather unpleasant.

So, if your person is excited about something, even if you don’t really care, pretend you do. For the sake of your relationship.

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2. That you love their gifts.

When I was married, I never liked what my husband gave me as gifts.

After opening it, I would blandly thank him and then return it for something that I liked better.

I wasn’t aware of it at the time. In fact, I never saw that it happened almost every time he gave me something. Every time.

After our divorce, my kids told me that their dad said that he should have just given me gift certificates — that bothering to buy me something was a waste of time.

How bad did that make me feel? I am sure it was one of the things that led to the demise of our marriage.

In retrospect, I wish it could have been different. I wish I could have recognized the gift for what it was, something that he chose with care and gave me with love. I could have put it on my bureau or worn it occasionally or read it with enthusiasm.

I could have pretended that I loved it so that he would, in turn, feel loved.

So, try your hardest to fake that you love a gift they give you. They will be so thankful that you did!

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3. Being OK with a one-off that isn’t so OK.

Of course, many relationships are fraught with things that happen over and over and over. Those things cause anger and discord and, unless they are dealt with, they can erode the fabric of that relationship.

On the other hand, there are those little things. Those ‘one-offs,’ those stupid things that people do that you aren’t happy that they have done.

You know those things — like staying at the bar for that one extra beer without calling or losing the car keys or not knowing that their child likes their ketchup next to and not on top of their French fries.

If this thing is a ‘one-off’, a thing that might have happened at the moment but that isn’t a recurring pattern, faking that you are OK with it is a good idea.

Instead of making a big deal, blowing the whole thing out of proportion (and messing up everyone’s night), accepting it as a human mistake and letting it go would be the best thing to keep your relationship healthy.

Even if you have to stretch to accept it, I encourage you to fake this one and expend your energy on something positive and relationship-building.

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4. Saying that someone else is definitely not hot.

I know, your person knows that you love them and you desire them and you think that they are the sexiest person in the world. You KNOW that.

But, that doesn’t mean that they want to hear that you think someone else is hot too.

We all have little insecurities, no matter how loved we feel, and, for many people, those insecurities are based on physical appearance. When our person comments on another person’s looks, it can feel like we are being compared and, maybe, even coming out lacking.

So, don’t set up this dynamic.

If a cute girl walks into a bar, ignore her. If you like a guy’s shoulders, don’t stare. No matter what you are thinking about someone you see, keep your mouth shut and your feelings to yourself.

Faking that you find not one other person in the whole universe attractive will go a long way towards making your relationship work.

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5. That you like what they are wearing.

I think that every man knows the answer to "How to do you like my butt in these pants" is "great".

That the answer to "How do I look in my new dress?" is "amazing".

And every woman knows that the answer to "Did I choose the right clothes for dinner?" is "yes!".

Wait, doesn’t everyone know this? I just assumed, I guess.

A very important thing to fake if you want to make your relationship work is how you feel about what your partner is wearing. Again, many people are fraught with insecurities about how they look, and what they want more than anything is to be admired and supported with their choice of clothing.

Unfortunately, many couples who have been together for a while stop doing that. Women like to select their man’s clothes and send them upstairs to change if they are wearing the wrong thing. Men can get more honest about their thoughts about their wife’s dress or they can ignore what their wives are wearing altogether (not advisable).

Take a moment and reflect on the look on your person’s face when you told them to change their tie or that the black dress looks better than the red.

If the expression on that face was anything other than joy, you messed up.

Next time, fake it! You will be glad you did.

So, there you are — five things that can truly help your relationship go from good to great if you fake them. Who knew?

In an ideal world, we would be 100% honest with our loved ones, no matter what.

Unfortunately, relationships can be fraught with opportunities to cause discontent and if there are a few small things that we can tweak to stop that discontent from arising, we will go a long way towards making our relationship work!

So, go out there, with my blessing, and do a little pretending in the name of love!

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. She works with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.

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