Is He Lying? 21 Signs to Tell If a Guy is a Liar & the Subtle Ways to Read His Lies

Is he lying or telling the truth? That’s the lifelong question many have asked when faced with mixed signals. Learn the signs and know for sure! 

is he lying signs a guy is a liar

Unfortunately, lying is an inevitable part of life. We lie to protect our loved ones, and we lie to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, lying is almost always never a good thing. If you’re wondering, ‘is he lying,’ the chances are you’re already onto him.

But it’s important to remember that sometimes we overthink things in relationships. You might be trying to track down a lie detector so you can alleviate your worries, but really, the best way to answer your burning question is to look for the signs. [Read: How to stop lying to yourself and others around you]

Why lying is hard to detect

Not all lies are bad lies. Of course, it’s far better to tell the truth, but sometimes a lie is better to cushion someone from the crushing truth that lies in front. However, if you really want to know what’s going on, you need to become better at understanding when someone is telling mistruths.

Lying is hard to detect because someone who isn’t telling the truth goes out of their way to hide the fact. After all, lying is a form of deception, and you don’t really want people to find out!

However, some types of body language simply cannot be hidden, no matter how good someone is at telling lies. All you need to do is become more used to spotting these very subtle clues. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and learn to be loyal and loving]

The other reason why lying is so hard to figure out is that we don’t want to believe that someone would lie to us. So, we try to look for other options and convince ourselves they are being honest.

It’s a complicated deal, but it’s not impossible to figure out.

Why do you think he’s lying to you?

This is the first thing to ask yourself. You came here looking for answers because you suspect something. But before we give you all the secrets to figure out if he’s lying, let’s look at you for a moment.

Why do you think he’s lying? Is he acting shady? Are things different than they used to be? Do you suspect he’s cheating or keeping secrets? Do you have any evidence or circumstances that imply he’s lying? [Read: Emotions you just shouldn’t feel in your relationship]

If yes, then it’s good to keep the wheels turning. If not, we would recommend stepping back from focusing on him and instead focus on yourself.

Sometimes when you’ve been hurt and lied to in the past, you anticipate the same thing from the present or future. You are preparing yourself for the worst. And when doing that, you overthink.

Maybe your crush was busy at work and didn’t have a chance to text you. Instead of rushing to the conclusion that something is off, just let it be. If your boyfriend forgot to do something you asked, it may not be because he is stressed about keeping a secret, but he simply forgot.

Sometimes when figuring out if he is lying, you have to figure out if you’re lying to yourself. We’re not saying you shouldn’t be careful. But overthinking small things and turning them into baseless red flags will only hurt you in the end. [Read: How to stop overthinking in a relationship and calm your fears]

Is he lying? The big signs he’s not telling the truth

Before you start investigating the ‘lie’ you think your guy is telling you, try to find out if he really is lying first. Rather than go hard and start interrogating him, look for signs that confirm your suspicion. Discovering the truth comes later.

1. Don’t take nervousness as a sign of lying

Before you start accusing your boyfriend of lying, remember there are no concrete signs to confirm it. Non-verbal signs like fidgeting, shaking, and casting eyes downward do not completely confirm lying.

If your guy is doing this when you’re talking to him, it only shows that something is “off.” It’s possible he may be hiding something, but it doesn’t confirm he’s absolutely lying about something. [Read: 17 personal questions to ask a guy to get the inside scoop]

2. Use what you know about your guy

If you’ve been seeing each other for a while, you probably know the way your boyfriend acts when he’s not stressed out or nervous. Use this as a reference to check if he’s acting any differently when you ask him a probing question.

If he shows signs of unease and distress, something is probably wrong. But, if you’re not sure how he’s acting differently, try to talk to him about stress-free topics and gradually ask him about what you think he’s hiding. If he starts looking anxious, it’s time to find out what he’s really nervous about.

3. Ask him a few questions about your suspicions

Let’s say you ask him about where he was last night, who he was with, and whether there were any girls there. If he shows similar reactions to the first two questions but starts acting fidgety on the last question, he’s probably lying.

See the progression? Don’t jump right in with your accusation. Ask about easy truths first before checking to see if he really is lying. If he looks anxious about one question and relieved with the next, you’ll know which topic to pursue from then on.  [Read: 20 veiled signs your boyfriend is cheating already]

4. Don’t push too hard for answers

The more you aggressively push for an answer, the harder it is for you to check for signs of lying.

Make sure you’re in a private location, say your apartment or bedroom. Remove any forms of distraction like your smartphones. After that, politely ask them to tell you their side of the story. [Read: How to trust your boyfriend: 12 questions to help you decide]

5. Things don’t make sense

Sometimes you cross wires and have a misunderstanding. If this seems to be the case, more often than not, it could be because he’s lying about something.

If you find yourself trying to justify his actions or make sense of something he said, he is likely lying. A man who is lying will usually change small details in his story, perhaps about where he was or where he’s going.

Be observant of these things. See what you pick up on. [Read: What to ask a guy to get straight answers if you think he’s lying]

6. He goes quiet

Whether you just started talking or have been together a while, a guy who you can’t contact for a period of time is hiding something. It’s one thing if he’s on jury duty and can’t be on his phone for the day. But, if you think a guy is hiding something and you can’t get a hold of him, he probably is.

If this happens only once early on, we recommend letting it go. But if he disappears for a day or more with zero communication regularly, or even just more than once, it is a red flag. [Read: 21 unintentional behaviors a guy just can’t hide if he’s cheating on you]

7. Things have changed

If you are dating someone that you trust, but all of a sudden, things change, it could be a sign that he’s lying. Usually, trust wavers when his behavior changes.

Is he staying out much later after work without an excuse? Is his phone going off more? Does he bring his phone to the bathroom?

If these things start happening out of the blue, they don’t necessarily mean he’s lying. But paired with some others on the list, they are not a good sign. [Read: How to trust your boyfriend: 12 questions to help you decide]

8. He’s defensive

If you ask him to explain something or simply ask where he was, and he gets angry and defensive, it isn’t for no reason. Is he lying? Possibly.

When a guy overreacts to something simple, he’s overcompensating for a lie.

He shouldn’t jump down your throat for asking about his weekend plans. If he does, ask why he’s getting so upset. If he can’t give you a feasible answer, worry. [Read: Trust issues in a relationship – 22 why’s and ways to get over it together]

9. He accuses you of lying instead

When a guy acts jealous or accuses you of lying when you know you haven’t done anything wrong, there is something going on with him.

Often, a liar will accuse you of lying to throw you off. If you are in a fight or he’s mad at you, he thinks you won’t figure out what he’s doing because you’re preoccupied. Instead of letting yourself get upset by accusations, consider where they’re coming from. Why is he feeling insecure?

Someone who is lying is more likely to think you’re doing the same. Because they know they’re capable of it. [Read: How to recognize the physical and emotional signs of a guilty conscience]

10. He tries to limit who you talk to

Whether a new guy is lying to you about his job or your beau is lying about where he’s been, he will try to limit the risk of you finding out. These liars want to maintain control of their lie and you. So, if you talk about your relationship with your friends or coworkers and he finds out, he may get upset. [Read: How to tell if you’re in a low-key relationship or an affair]

He may even guilt you into keeping things private. He might make up a story about why he likes keeping things private, so you fall for it. This is in the hopes that you interact with as few people as possible.

The more people you see and talk to about him, the more likely you are to figure out if he’s lying and, if so, what about. [Read: The signs of a toxic boyfriend that should make you move away fast]

11. Your gut tells you

Although your gut can be confused with fear and insecurity, sometimes your gut is louder than all the signs in the world. If you can’t put your finger on it but just know something is off, trust your gut.

Your instincts are probably much better than you realize. You may want to give someone the benefit of the doubt, and we’re all for that.

However, being in a situation where you feel uncomfortable is not worth it. If your gut says he’s lying, you do not have to stick around and find out for sure. [Read: How to listen to your gut and give strength to your inner voice]

12. He avoids eye contact

Sometimes you can read someone or get extra information about what they are saying by looking into their eyes. Most people are aware of this, so if your boyfriend is lying, it would make sense that he would try to avoid looking into your eyes.

Also, he might be trying to avoid eye contact because he feels guilty. Looking into your eyes forces him to accept the guilt because he’s directly looking at the victim of his betrayal. Avoiding eye contact is an attempt to avoid enhanced feelings of guilt.

13. He fidgets a lot

Just like a poker player who is trying to bluff his opponent, your boyfriend may fidget a lot if he is lying to you. Lying usually makes people uncomfortable because they know they are consciously deceiving someone.

Oftentimes the body reacts to such nervousness and discomfort with involuntary physical responses. This is an effective means of catching him in a lie because fidgeting is usually something that your boyfriend won’t be able to control. [Read: Male body language – 48 subtle signs to instantly read a man’s thoughts]

14. He is constantly tense around you

This sign may be a little less obvious because there could be multiple reasons for being tense. However, if your boyfriend is constantly tense around you or never feels completely relaxed, he could be lying to you.

Maybe he is worried that you are going to catch him. Or maybe he feels guilty or ashamed. Whatever the case is, if he is constantly jumping at sudden noises or otherwise acting defensive whenever you ask something, it might be something to watch out for. [Read: 20 relationship problems that push a couple apart or bring them closer]

15. There is an unexplainable distance between you

If you feel like there is a distance between you and your boyfriend, but you can’t understand why, this could be a sign that he is lying. He may be withholding important information or intentionally deceiving you.

Whatever the case, he may be fully aware of why there is a distance between you two, but he just refuses to tell you.

Perhaps you can address the feelings you are having with him and see how he responds. This may give you further information that you can work with. Hopefully, he isn’t lying. Who knows, maybe it was just that his sports team is having a bad season! [Read: 15 toxic relationships you should watch out for]

16. He claims to be doing unusual things at unusual times

It can be hard to come up with a credible lie when you’re caught off guard. So when you call up your boyfriend at 10 pm, and his initial instinct is to say that he’s watching football at his friend’s place despite there being no game on or any noise in the background, you better be prepared to confront him about it.

It’s not that you should be immediately suspicious, but it does help to cross-check what he’s saying with what you can observe. [Read: Signs you shouldn’t trust the guy you’re dating]

17. He is avoiding you

General avoidance is another classic sign that he is lying to you. If your boyfriend is lying to you, he may simply not want to be around you as much. It could be because he doesn’t want you to somehow figure out that he is lying or because he feels guilty.

Either way, avoidance is definitely a reason to be suspicious that he is not being honest with you.

18. He’s changed

Being a chronic liar can take a toll on your boyfriend’s personality. He may become less happy or less enthusiastic about things. Lying takes a lot of energy, and it also tends to lead to negative personality changes.

Where your boyfriend might have been more carefree or laid back, lying may have sapped his energy and healthy mindset. So if you notice that he is becoming a lot moodier or more dramatic in general, it could be that his usual positivity is being weighed down by the burden of his lies. [Read: Sure ways to know if you’re dating a cheater]

19. His breathing changes when confronted

If you ask him questions and you notice that his breathing hitches or changes slightly, it’s entirely possible that he’s trying to cover up a lie. It’s the momentary shock of wondering what he can say to get out of it, and it’s very hard to cover it up.

But at the same time, it’s hard to catch too.

20. He stands very still

It’s almost as if he’s worried that if he moves even an inch, you’ll catch him out. If you question him and you notice that he’s barely moving, he’s trying to figure out how he can get out of this situation.

Of course, don’t always take standing still as a sign he’s lying, but if it’s combined with several other signs on this list, it’s a pretty solid nod in the ‘yes’ camp. [Read: Body language and attraction]

21. He repeats questions before answering them

Basically, he’s trying to buy himself some time. Is he lying? Well, he’s either very confused about the question you’ve just asked him, or he’s definitely up to no good. Keep your questions simple, and you’ll rule out the first option.

What should you do if he is lying?

Well, obviously, that depends on what the lie is and how you feel about it. If you find out that your boyfriend is lying to you about something big, you need to sit down and talk to him and find out the reasons why.

If you find out that he’s lying to you about cheating or something like that, well, that’s something you need to seriously question. Do you want to be with someone who cannot tell you the truth? How are you supposed to trust him again?

Make sure that you have your facts straight before you make any decision, and try your best not to start overthinking. However, in the end, trust is one of the major cornerstones of a secure relationship, and if your boyfriend finds it hard to tell the truth, you have to question what you’re doing with this person.

[Read: How to spot a compulsive liar – signs it’s time to walk away]

Is he lying? Now you know the tricks to find out for sure. Only then can you decide what your next move should be.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...