If everybody lies and nobody likes being lied to, then why do people lie in relationships? Whether it’s a little white lie or an earth-shattering secret, lies will happen between you and your romantic partner—and it sucks.
Is lying so deeply ingrained in people that they don’t know they do it? One study shows that 60% of adults can’t go 10 minutes without telling a lie. Granted, the lies were trivial in nature, but then why tell them at all? Researchers reveal even the participants were shocked at how many fibs they told when they watched a video playback of their conversation.
Why do people lie in relationships? Is there ever a good reason to? We’re looking at the truth behind deception in relationships.
Common relationship lies
White lies are not even close to the same thing as lies of betrayal. In fact, some couples prefer to have little white lies in their relationships because it makes life easier. Why? When it comes to small, common lies, people would rather not know what others really think about them.
Even the most honest person probably agrees that while you shouldn’t lie, you shouldn’t always speak the truth, either. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit in a quiet middle ground and enjoy your happy relationship.
Lies like “I don’t watch porn” or “I’ve never been bored in our relationship” aren’t nice to hear, but they aren’t exactly earth-shattering. [Read: Decoding your dude – Why do men lie, and what you can do about it?]
Relationships are like roller coasters. They have their ups and downs and these twists and turns last the entire relationship. At one point or another, everyone is going to be bored of their partner. It’s what you do when you’re bored that makes the difference.
So, if you’re bored in your relationship and let it pass, do you have to purposely hurt your partner’s feelings by telling them you were tired of their company for a time? How about nah. [Read: 8 lies we tell when our relationship is going downhill]
Why do people lie?
People lie all the time from things big to small. Now that we know the difference between a harmless fib and a soul-crushing confession, it’s time to learn why people lie in the first place. Here are the most common reasons.
#1 Because they’re cheating. Academic survey researcher Tom Smith reports 15%-18% of married couples have affairs during their marriage.
With the digital footprints we all leave behind us in the digital snow it’s pretty hard to get away with cheating these days. Even if your partner finds out months after you start, they’re going to find out eventually. Still, cheating is one of the biggest and most devastating secrets in a relationship.
Being betrayed by someone you love is one of the biggest hurdles anyone ever faces in life. Lies lead to broken families, loss of income, and loss of trust. And the thing about trust is that it’s easy to give to someone you love, but as soon as you lose it it’s nearly impossible to repair. Even if you really want to. [Read: Ignorance is bliss? The debate on cheating and confessing]
#2 Insecurities. One study done by Scientific American shows that 90% of people lie on their online dating profile. Shocker! People often lie to cover up insecurities they have.
For example, most women lie about their weight on dating profiles. The men lie about their height and how much money they make. You may lie about your job, your education, or your relationship with your family members, all because of some insecurity you hold. [Read: How to spot the liars in an opine dating site]
#3 Avoiding accountability. Remember when you were eight years old, and your mom asked you if you were the one who tracked mud through the house? You say no, but you’re a liar. And apparently, you haven’t learned a thing because one of the top reasons people lie is to avoid accountability.
According to retired psychologist turned TV show host, Dr. Phil, this is usually a train of males. Men lie to escape accountability whereas women often lie to make someone feel better.
So things like “I never said that about you” or “I never spent that money” are little lies to avoid getting into trouble from your little misses. [Read: 8 scenarios when white lies can be your saviors in love]
#4 Money matters. Money is lied about, and most people probably understand why. It isn’t easy to talk about money, especially when you have separate bank accounts. Any woman who’s ever made a trip to Sephora can probably admit she’d rather her mate not see the receipt.
A credit card survey revealed that 6% of participants hide their bank account or credit card statements from their spouse. The survey also showed that one in five thought it was okay to keep a $500 shopping spree from their partners—even going as far as keeping multiple hidden bank accounts from their mates.
#5 To create a more exciting life. Some people thrive on drama, making an exaggerated lie seem more than just a little alluring. People lie about where they’ve traveled, who they’ve slept with, and what celebrity sightings they’ve had all to make themselves seem more interesting.
#6 Lying about family. Why do people lie? Obviously, you haven’t met their families yet! Many people lie about family members to avoid embarrassment or out of protection. Often people lie about parents who have abandoned them, addicts in the family, or they lie about sickness or mental challenges a family member might have. They even lie about the reason why they don’t communicate with family.
#7 To hurt their mate. Spite can be an excellent motivator, especially when it comes to creating hurtful lies. If your mate reveals they share dirty texts with someone else you might be tempted to lie and tell them you’ve been with someone also. Lies about cheating or expressed interest from the opposite sex are common fibs told to purposely hurt your partner. [Read: Revenge sex – My own experience and everything I learned from it]
#8 To avoid hurting their mate. Opposite of the above, many lie to spare their mates feelings, even on trivial matters. “You’re the best I’ve ever had,” “You never annoy me,” and “I don’t fantasize about other people in the sack” are just some of the truths people avoid telling their mates.
For example, if your man’s penis is the smallest you’ve ever been with there’s no reason to reveal this information—unless you’re seeking to crush his ego forever. So when he asks how his measures up, just grin and tell him “You’re the best.”
#9 To protect others. Many people lie to protect both the innocent and the guilty. People may vouch for a friend saying they were with them all night when really their friend was off pursuing some side action.
People lie for friends on job applications, court appearances, passport references, they lie to protect family from scrutiny, or to protect someone’s privacy. [Read: How to stop lying to yourself and your partner]
#10 To manipulate. If your partner doesn’t like a buddy of yours, they may say they came onto them just to cause a rift. This is a form of manipulation that is downright awful. Not only are they disrespecting your friendship, but they are shaming people who really do deal with these problems by crying wolf about them.
People also lie to gain an advantage over someone, such as pretending not to hear about a certain situation just to get one of the involved parties to spill their side to you.
[Read: 6 big lessons I learned from being lied to for 5 years]
So why do people lie? Bottom line, people lie because they can. The good news is that for the most part, you can work through the issues that cause your mate to be dishonest with you. For the rest who refuse to be honest, we say kick ‘em to the curb!
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Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...
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