Last week a friend shared an upsetting story about how her boyfriend of six months broke off their relationship.

They were talking marriage, kids, the whole deal.

Then, after an awkward phone conversation, came a text – “I don’t want to be with you anymore.  I’ve met someone else.”

The way he broke up was a low-character move, clearly, but I was more intrigued by the lie.

The relationship wasn’t working for him but he didn’t get out until he met someone else.

Why?

In my dating past, I have stayed in relationships I knew weren’t going anywhere.  I never took it to the extreme like this guy but I’ve misled.

I’m guessing you have too.

I did it because I didn’t trust myself.  I didn’t think I could find someone I’d like better.

Not a great reason, which is why I stopped doing it.

I didn’t like my reason.

Do you like yours?

There are tons of reasons why men lie to women – to get sex, to hook up behind their back, so they don’t have to be alone – but there has to be a common link to all these lies, right?

At least that’s what I’ve wondered.

Much of the literature on the topic points to issues of control and power as motivation for lying but I’m sorry, that doesn’t go deep enough.

At their core, lies are told because the liar prefers them over the truth.  The lie allows the person to hide behind a more desirable version of himself.

When we lie, we don’t want the other person to see what we’re thinking or who we are.

But lies have a way of stacking up.  The more lies we tell, the harder they become to keep telling them.

Eventually we fess up to our own morality.  I’d like to think we breakdown and tell the truth because we can no longer tolerate the deception laid on someone we respect but it has more to do with reaching a breaking point with ourselves.

We all have an intrinsic desire to tell the truth.  That’s why we look down when lying.

Unconsciously our non-verbal cues give us away because deep down we’re programmed to tell the truth.

Lying to women, particularly about loving them when we don’t, allows us to avoid feeling something negative about ourselves.

“If I stay with this woman I don’t love, I can avoid looking at why I don’t pursue other women I might be more interested in.”

“If I cheat on her, I don’t have to look at why I don’t deserve a woman I wouldn’t want to cheat on.”

You get the idea.

The next time you find yourself living a lie with a woman, ask yourself why.

Be honest.

She’ll eventually move on but you’ll be left with the lie.

It belongs to you.

And you’ll probably be living it in your next relationship.

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