Don’t worry about hurting a loved one’s feelings.
Worry about creating a web of deceit. Because when you lie or mislead to “spare another’s feelings” it has the same consequences as lying and misleading for any other reason. And don’t claim moral purity either. I don’t want someone lying to me to spare my feelings any more than I want someone lying to me to get something for nothing—my money, my approval, or whatever.
If you think about it, when you lie to another to spare his or her feelings, you’re trying to get something for nothing—just like any other thief. You’re trying to create the impression that you like the person more than you really do, or that you want to retain their good will under circumstances you will not reveal to them. That’s extremely dishonest, if you ask me.
Be as kind as you can be, and as nice as another deserves. But be real, above all.